The Difference Between An Ax And A Sword | The Better One

Ax vs A Sword

There were no firearms back then, so people had to rely on hand tools to defend themselves against enemies. To use weapons and protect themselves, they needed agility, speed, and courage. They cannot kill anyone from a long distance as we can today.

Is an ax better than a sword? In skilled hands, the sword is a superior weapon. The skillful use of a sword against an armored foe, on the other hand, is a different story. Axes need less steel and finesse, putting the individual on the receiving end at risk.

It is a bit complicated to address since both can inflict harm to the person receiving the blade. In this article, I will compare the sword and the ax and give my take.

Ax VS. Sword

I believe all weapons have their strength and weakness and that learning how to fight with them is fun. Axes are known for their ability to slash through the wood. Battle axes, on the other hand, are not the same as wood-chopping axes.

Battle axes are thinner compared to wood axes. As a result, they are lighter, faster, and more effective at cutting people. You may think it is a great idea but let us look at it more closely.

One-Handed Sword Out Of Armor VS. One-Handed Ax By Itself

In general, the sword reigns supreme here. Axes lack hand safety and are slower than swords.

The weight is concentrated at the end of the weapon and is usually shorter than one-handed swords. A one-handed ax may be made as long as an arming sword, but it becomes unwieldy.

There is one downside, however. Ensuring that the ax-head lands are far more complex than ensuring that the edge or point is on goal.

In an unarmored fight, an ax’s only real advantage is force. It has a more percussive force and does not need to be sharp to do damage.

In unarmored combat, I hesitate to say that a one-handed sword does minor damage overall. Although they do not move as much force, they compensate by being able to cut cleanly.

Two-Handed Ax Out Of Armor VS. One-Handed Sword

Without a doubt, the ax comes out on top. It has a reach advantage and is more potent than a one-handed sword, allowing it to circumvent its guard. Its pace is also not to be overlooked.

You can also thrust with two-handed axes. It is a little-known fact, and a thrust from one of those things is very damaging. However, it cannot inflict damage as a swing can.

The only disadvantage of the ax is that it is possible to miss with the ax head. In professional hands, this is not a big issue.

Two-Handed Ax Out Of Armor VS. Two-Handed Sword

This fight is a more level-playing area. One is more maneuverable, while the other has a more powerful strike. I believe the sword has an advantage, but only because an ax lacks hand protection.

Two-Handed Sword Out Of Armor VS. One-Handed Ax

The ax is once again outmatched. It now has to contend with the extra leverage and scope provided by a two-handed blade. Two-handed swords are also handy weapons, and the result would most likely be the same as the previous match-up.

One-Handed Sword Out Of Armor With Shields VS. One-Handed Ax

The match-up is now much more balanced. Shields have a design that you can use with one-handed axes. The ax has smaller scope, but this is not a big deal when shields are involved. It may even be an advantage.

Axes can also catch shields. With a sword, you can hook shields, but only with the crossguard, so it is not the best one to use.

The sword is less flexible but quicker, while the hammer is more versatile but slower. However, it hits like a tank, so I am going to call this dead even.

Advantages Of Using An Ax

The top of an ax is weighted. It is a piece of cake. The first axes were made in 6000 BC, and the first sword was made from 1600 BC to 2000 BC.

Making swords takes more time and money. Axes do not need a metallic and weighted head. All it needs is a metallic and weighted head.

The edges do not even need to be razor-sharp. The cutting ability of the weapon is primarily determined by the weight and leverage offered by the swing.

The ax is an excellent counter to these advantages. You can use it to hook other arms. An ax has the advantage of being much easier to use than a sword for binding. It is also great in keeping the weapon immobilized by locking it in place.

Once you have hooked them, turn the ax sideways to make an even tighter angle, and they are trapped. Add to that the fact that an ax can easily catch a blade; daggers can deflect a thrust but not catch it. Axes, on the other hand, can.

A longsword attempting to nimbly test someone with an ax in their offhand is more likely to be intercepted. It is bound rather than seeking a simple opening. This right here is the hidden secret of the ax, which I have not seen discussed elsewhere.

Advantages Of A Sword

In a skilled swordsman’s hands, the sword is a superior weapon. It is superior to almost anything other than a gun. That is why we have been using them for over 3,000 years.

However, mastering the use of a sword against an armed opponent requires a lifetime of practice and discipline. Also, high-quality swords have often been costly.

One can use swords in a variety of ways. You can battle up close or far away. You have an endless number of guards and attack vectors to choose from.

  1. You can catch an ax handle with a sword point and grab the sword tip with the other side.
  2. You can also hip-throw or break the arm of the axman.
  3. You can knock his teeth out with the crossbar, break his arm, and then hip-throw him.

Remember, the ax requires you to push it with your hips. It makes it hard to faint convincingly, and it needs a degree of telegraphing and attention to each blow.

A good swordsman who understood swordsmanship could whip a man wielding an ax. He would do so by keeping an eye on his foot. He can predict when each blow would land.

So Which One Is It: Sword Or Ax?

We only have limited information sources. Training from a textbook with pre-determined weapons and techniques is much simpler and more functional.

We have a lot of historical manuals on longsword, rapier, and broadsword/saber combat. However, we have very few (almost none) on ax fighting.

Wide shields, like axes, must be reconstructed. We need to put what we’ve learned from other weapon systems into practice. We would also have to experiment at the end of the day. You will gain some insight into a proper martial structure to work off of.

Two-Handed Ax To A Longsword Or Shortsword

The sword-wielding man isn’t the sharpest blade in the armory in this war. Things shift when you compare a two-handed ax to a longsword or shortsword and their tactical ally, the shield.

The war ax has the greatest range, giving it the first opportunity to strike the sword and shield combatant. The sword and shield wielder is aware that there is a two to a three-foot gap between them and their enemy.

That gap, they must pass across without being killed. And that is the cherry on the top.

All the sword and shield users need to concentrate on defending, parry once, and close with the two-handed battle-ax. But in my opinion, the ax user is in deep trouble.

The sword and shield user is now beyond their grasp, making a successful attack extremely difficult. All the ax user has to dodge with is a shaft that is a few inches in diameter and easy to snap a blade around.

Fighting a fleeing battle is an option for the battle-ax user, but fighting and running backward don’t mix well. Once again, it boils down to ability. Is it possible for the war ax user to land a single attack against the sword and shield user’s shield parry?

Two-Handed War Ax And A Two-Handed Sword

If you’re comparing a two-handed war ax to a two-handed sword, it’s not a question of which weapon you choose. You are back to the second base point: the abilities of those who use it.

The one who has more talent has a better chance of winning. However, the closer they are in skill, the more equal the odds become.

My own opinion is that a greatsword with comparable reach and more balance has an intrinsic advantage. But we are different, and this is just my opinion.

Shield VS. Ax

We’re down to sword and shield vs. ax and shield now. That’s where I’d had the most experience. An ax, in my opinion, is nothing more than a tip-heavy sword with a much smaller effective blade.

When the ax user is clever enough to attempt a shield snatch, it can be aggravating. However, remember that a shield can also snatch another shield. So, once again, the great leveler, the second point – talent, comes into play.


There are various styles of swords and axes. But in general, I’d say that axes are easier to use, but swords can be more consequential. It’s more about trade-offs and meaning than it is about which is better. The real game-changer is shields and plate armor.