Medieval Knights Weapons

Knights’ Favourite Weapon *The Sword

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 that carried the most prestige and honour for the medieval Knight and was usually the Knights’ favorite 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 armor 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 Knight’s sword needed to adapt constantly due to the advancements being made in armor technology.

As plate armour replaced chain-mail armour knights’ swords became smaller and more pointed.  These types of swords 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.

Full Plate Maximilian Armour

Mounted Knight *Lance

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 60 mph *that’s 30 mph each!

The White Knight

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 from moving along the shaft of the lance.

Lance Rest

Lance Rest

Lance Rest

Battle Axe *High Impact 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 they had lost other weapons or were in very close combat possibly 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.

Rondel Dagger

The Rondel Dagger Designed to Penetrate Gaps in Knights Plate Armour

Maces & Flails *Clubbing High Impact 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.

A Medieval Flail Weapon

Medieval Flail Weapon

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 enemies’ armour, this made medieval flails quite 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.

Medieval Knight Close Combat weapons

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

Poleaxe *Pollaxes  *3 Weapons in 1

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

Medieval Poleaxe Footsoldier

Poleaxe Weapon

A Pollaxe was usually a long wooden pole ‘classed as a polearm weapon’ 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 could also have spikes that would be used to drag other Knights from their horses and were also very useful for fighting on the ground.

Medieval Poleaxe Weapons

Medieval Knights Fighting with Poleaxes

Medieval Knights Fast Facts

  • The sword was a favoured weapon of medieval knights
  • A knight’s 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

Medieval Knights History

  • Knights usually 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

Medieval Poleaxe Footsoldier

  • 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 3 weapons in 1
  • Pollaxe weapons could be used to drag an enemy knight from his horse