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Fencing Sword Types – Understanding The Three Prime Fencing Swords in Detail

what is a fencing sword called

Fencing, a popular sport witnesses a wide range of swords. There are a lot of brands that have come with fencing that boast of high aesthetic quality and strength. Primarily there are three types of fencing referred as- Foil, Epee, and Saber. Opponents battle with each other with swords of their preference and requirement.

However, whichever the sword is, it requires impeccable knowledge, skill, and confidence for an athlete to compete well when using any sword. The sword Foil and Saber are lighter in weight as compared to Epee. Each comes equipped with different utilities and characteristics. To know these three basic fencing sword types in detail, have a look.

Foil Fencing Sword

Foil is a safe, lightweight, and sharpest sword that comes equipped with a flexible blade of rectangular cross-section tapering that is around 35 inches in length. It has derived its name from the French word named refouler that means “to turn black”.

Utility - The sword was specifically designed to be used for carrying out regular practice and training sessions. Now, it is widely used in the competition of fencing sport. It is scored on a thrusting strike to only the front or back torso.

Forms - Foil comes mainly in two forms- The French form and the Italian form. The French Foil sword is characterized by a plain and curved handle.

It gives immense freedom of action to the fingers and wrist. Whereas, the Italian Foil sword is characterized by a crossbar of 5cm behind the guard and a strap that binds the weapon to the wrist. It offers a large and strong grip.

type of fencing sword

USP - It has come to the light that the Foil sword is the first weapon that was used in the International Fencing competition by both men and women.

Characteristics - The fencing Foil sword is 110cm in length and 500grams in weight. The blade is made up of finely tempered steel with a circular handguard.

Epee Fencing Sword

Epee is a blunted fencing sword that saw its inception in the 19th century. It is popularly known as a thrusting sword through which points are scored by striking anywhere on the body.

Utility - The sword was designed keeping in mind day to day practices and the regular competitions. In modern times, it is meant to impose a thrusting wound with a blade that would allow blood to flow more freely.

Characteristics - It is 770gram in weight and 90 cm in length. It is a heavier sword than the aforementioned sword. It comes equipped with a heavy and rigid blade with a triangular cross-section.

The fluting along the sides of its blade gives it a completely different look. Its handguard being circular and bowl-shaped is similar to the Foil sword but is somewhat larger than the latter one. However, its shape, weight, and fluting look-alike rapier, an ancient dueling sword.

fencing weapons

USP - The Epee sword became part of the Olympic fencing program for men in 1900

Saber Fencing Sword

Saber is a both slashing and thrusting sword that can be wielded effortlessly during the fight.

Utility - In the initial days of its inception, the sword was used as a military weapon especially by cavalry. The targeted area encompassed the torso above the waist, the head and arms, but exclude the hands, legs, and feet. Now, it is intended to be used for both slashing and thrusting. It scores a point by striking the enemy with the front part of the blade as well as the forward third of the back edge of the blade.

Characteristics - The Saber fencing sword is extremely light with 500grams in weight. It features a flat blade with a front striking edge and a flat spine. The handguard is curved and cup-shaped which is actually large in size.


The above listed sophisticated range of Fencing swords works great for both fighting purposes as well as for Fencing competitions. Foil, Saber, and Epee- all come equipped with distinct types of blades, handlebars, uses, and characteristics. There are numerous worthy manufacturers who are known for churning the high-end quality swords. Switch to them for the best swords ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-1. On What Basis Does The Selection Of Fencing Swords Rely Upon?
Ans. Mainly there are three factors on the basis on which one should buy fencing swords. These are price, brand, and reviews. There are numerous brands that manufacture swords of varied colors, sizes, parts, and styles. Stick to a reliable brand that assures quality. Secondly, choose a sword that guarantees pocket-friendly prices as well as no compromise with quality. Last but not the least, it is always advisable to check the real-time user reviews before purchasing any sword.

Q-2. Which Is The Heaviest Fencing Sword?
Ans. The Epee is the heaviest fencing sword that weighs almost 700 grams. Foil and Saber fencing swords are both lighter in weight with 500 grams of weight.

Q-3. How We Can Distinguish A Foil And Epee Fencing Sword?
Ans. The notable difference between fencing Foil and fencing Epee lies in their handguard. The latter one protects the hand by extending the pommel whereas the former one’s guard comes in varied styles.

Q-4. What Are Fencing Swords Made Up Of?
Ans. Fencing Swords are known to be composed of aluminum, bamboo, and low-carbon steel.