Viking Weapons List

Weapons were an important part of the Viking society and were considered the pride of Viking warriors. 

As the Vikings began attacking European shores from the 8th century onwards ‘Viking Raids’, they came equipped with a wide range of weapons which they used with great skill. Notable weapons wielded by the Viking included Axe, spear, sword, knife, different pole-arms as well as bow and arrow.

viking warrior attacks

Different varieties of each type of weapon were used by the Viking warriors.  The spear, for instance, came in variants meant for close combat as well as smaller javelins while the throwing Axe was distinct from the heavier Axe which was meant for closer combat.

viking warrior waits

Viking Axe *Danish Axe

The Viking Axe typically featured an iron blade with a steel edge.

There is sufficient historical evidence to show that Vikings actively used throwing axes on the battlefield. Such axes were smaller in size and carried a slimmer blade that was sharp enough to lodge in an opponent’s body when throwing from a distance.

viking weapons crossed

The other major type of Axe was the famous Dane Axe which was typically as long as a Viking warrior and had to be wielded with both hands.

Such an Axe came with a huge and heavy blade which was enough to cut through shields, armor, and helmets when wielded in a downward stroke.

Dane Axe - was a famous Axe used by the viking

Dane Axe – was a famous Axe used by the Viking – the Dane Axe was as long as a Viking warrior and had to be wielded with both hands


A Spear was one of the most inexpensive weapons used by the Vikings and was typically wielded as a primary weapon by the peasants in a Viking army.  Wealthier Vikings carried small spears besides other weapons such as axes and swords.

viking weapons spear 1

These javelins typically had narrow and light spearheads which enabled a Viking warrior to throw them over great distances and pierce enemy shields and armor.  Larger spears were as long as two to three meters and usually made from ash wood with an iron spearhead.

These spearheads measured between 20 and 60 centimeters in length and in some cases, they were set up with wings to help dislodge them easily.


The Sword was a less commonly used weapon in the Viking armies primarily because swords were more expensive to produce and could be afforded only by the richest in the society.

Viking Warrior wielding a Sword and wearing a Helmet

Viking Warrior wielding a Sword

The standard style of a Viking sword was that of a sword with a double-edged blade that measured as long as 90 centimeters.

viking warrior berserker 1

Such a sword was meant to be wielded with a single hand so that the warrior using it could carry a shield in his other hand.

Bow and Arrow

Viking bows were usually made from yew wood and were designed so that as much as 90 pounds to over 100 pounds draw force was required to shoot arrows from it. The arrows used by Viking archers mostly had iron heads although in some cases, arrowheads were made from bone or wood.

viking warrior face

Given their heavy construction, Viking bows were effective in firing an arrow over a distance as far as 230 meters towards the enemy lines. This suggests that Viking archers may have played a significant role on the battlefield.