Medieval Knight Weapons – Metal Made the Man

Medieval knight weapons were as diverse and interesting as the period of history itself.

Picture of medieval knight holding sword and shield
A good knight could be rendered useless in battle if his weapons weren’t well made and durable. From swords and axes to pikes and halberds, the metal behind the weapons in the medieval knight weapon catalogue is often what made the difference between success and failure. The smiths who crafted weapons were the unsung heroes of warfare.

As was the case in the making of chain and other forms of armor, the medieval knight weapon was greatly effected by the quality of metals available. Iron was the most common metal of use, refined into steel for a more high quality weapon. However, the medieval knight weapon was dependent on quality iron, something difficult to obtain in many parts of the world.

Very pure iron processed into steel would create a more solid finished product for the use in a medieval knight weapon. Weapons created using substandard bog iron, found in peat areas, would oftentimes be more brittle and subject to breaking. This could be tragic for a warrior who depended on his sword as a medieval knight weapon of choice.

Despite some problems with the creation of metal products, the medieval knight weapon of most common use was a sword. Sharp on the edges and deadly brutal on the tip, the medieval knight weapon of choice came in many varieties. From long swords to short and even cutlasses and scimitars, the medieval knight weapon of choice could be carried with ease, was effective in battle and also showed signs of status based on its quality and workmanship. Long swords and their ilk were used in battle and for show, other more decorative swords were used for ceremony and in tournaments as medieval knight weapons of choice.

Medieval knight weapon examples found in the sword class were typically double edged and made from steel. They generally had a crossguard hilt and pommel. Medieval knight weapon makers were known to adorn the swords with decorations or engravings. The owner’s name, prayers and even jewels are found on surviving examples. The medieval knight weapon’s intricacy often stood testament to the status of the owner. While swords were the medieval knight weapon most commonly used by those of station, others weapons were well used in battle. Axes, pikes, halberds and more all had a place in the history of the medieval knight weapon. If it could strike a target, it could be used as a medieval knight weapon.

Also commonly used as a medieval knight weapon, the lance was known for its powerful blow from a mounted rider. This long wooden pole was often tipped with deadly metals for real battles. The lance, however, really came into its own as a medieval knight weapon for jousting in tournaments. To help spare unnecessary bloodshed against a friendly opponent, tournament lances were often blunted on the ends.

Medieval knight weapon models served the purposes of aiding their owners in battle and also showing the status of their wielders. Heavily adorned medieval knight weapons might look pretty, but the true test of their mettle was in their durability, a feat for weapon-makers plagued by low quality iron reserves and a difficult steel making process.