Medieval Knights Weapons

The Sword | A Medieval Knights Favourite Weapon

Medieval Knights Loved their swords, it was the medieval Knights most treasured weapon. Other weapons used by medieval knights were the Dagger, Mace, Flail, Pollaxe, Battleaxe and Lance. However it was the sword carried the most prestige and honour for the medieval Knight and was usually the Knights favourite weapon as well as the Lance.

Swords were also one of the best weapons available for close quarter fighting as they were able to penetrate gaps in armour and had several uses in close combat. The medieval swords used by Knights developed over time.

In the early medieval period Knights swords were more basic and until around the 13th century had a double edged slashing type blade. The Medieval Knights sword needed to adapt constantly due to the advancements being made in armour technology.

As plate armour replaced chain-mail armour knights swords became smaller and more pointed. These types of sword were developed so that the knight could thrust his sword through the gaps in an enemies armour and helmet which would cause severe injuries and death.

Knights weapons sword

Knights holding favourite weapon a sword and shield

Mounted Medieval Knights used lance weapons

Lances were used by Medieval Knights who fought on horseback most of the time, they would charge other Knights at great speed, it is believed that the combined speed of two Knights charging each other would be up to 95 km/h.

The Knights lance weapons were long wooden poles that had sharp metal tips at the end, however these lance weapons were also used by knights in jousting tournaments which usually had rounded wooden ends and were made of hollow wood for safety reasons.

In the 14th century Knights lance weapons were improved to stop injuries to the hand on impact, small round plates were added to stop the Knights hands moving along the shaft of the lance.

Medieval Knights Battle Axe – close combat Weapon

Battleaxes were popular weapons used by Knights up until the 11th century, after this they were less popular but made a comeback after the 14th century when plate armour was introduced and high impact weapons were needed to combat these advancements.

Knights used Poleaxe weapons on horseback where they were able to fight their enemy at close range. The Knights Pollaxe weapon was able to smash through breastplate armour and the helmets of enemy soldiers and knights.

Knights Daggers

Daggers were usually used as a last resort as close combat weapons, Medieval Knights would sometimes resort to the dagger when he had lost other weapons and/or was in very close combat and grappling situations.

Medieval daggers were very long and tapered into very sharp points that could penetrate armour, they were ideal weapons for making fast stabbing and thrusting motions at the enemy’s face and for cutting the enemy’s throat.

Medieval Knight Close Combat weapons

A selection of knights fighting weapons including a mace and morning star

Maces & Flails – Brutal Medieval Knights Weapons

Flail weapons were usually used when Knights had been dismounted and were on foot, there were several variations of the flail weapon used by medieval knights, most consisted of a wooden handle at the end of which was one or more chains that had several spiked metal balls at the end.

The flail weapon was popular amongst knights as it was difficult to defend against, however it was a very inaccurate weapon and a knight could not direct his blows against weak areas of of enemies armour, this made medieval flails easy to defend against.

Mace weapons used by knights were short sticks made from wood or metal, usually metal in later medieval times that had a heavy metal end that was usually ridged, the ridges helped to concentrate the force of the blow and these weapons were capable of splitting open the best designed plate armour.

Pollaxes – Three Weapons in one

Polleaxe weapons were usually used on foot and were really a combination of three weapons in one unit. A Pollaxe was usually around 2 m in length and were capable of punching through plate armour. There were a lot of options available to medieval Knights with this weapon.

A Pollaxe was usually a long wooden pole with a hammer and axe on one side that could be used for punching holes in plate armour, spikes on the tip could be used in a similar way to a spear. Pollaxe weapons also had spikes that will could be used to drag other Knights from their horses and were very useful for fighting on the ground.

Medieval Knights weapons facts:

  • The sword was a favoured weapon of medieval knights
  • A knights sword was a symbol of knighthood itself
  • Knights swords carried prestige and honor for a medieval knights
  • Early medieval swords weapons used by knights were usually double edged slashing swords
  • As Medieval armour improved knights swords were made smaller with sharper points
  • Knights fought on horseback unless they were dismounted
  • Knights fought using Lances, Swords, Axes & Morning Star weapons
  • Knights families were identified by the coat of arms that they wore in battle
  • Lance weapons were used in battle and in jousting tournaments
  • Battleaxes were close combat weapons used by Knights that could split armour
  • Daggers were used as a last resort in very close combat situations
  • Flail weapons were hard to defend against, but were also very inaccurate and tiring to use
  • Mace weapons were close combat weapons that could split open armour
  • A Pollaxe was literally three weapons in one
  • Pollaxe weapons could be used to drag an enemy knight from his horse


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