How Long are Longswords Really? A Complete Overview

how long is a longsword

The longsword is a medieval sword with a cruciform hilt between 26 and 30 cm (10 and 12 in) in length. The blade is usually diamond or lenticular in cross-section, and often has a shallow fuller (groove) on each side.

The total average length of a longsword is measured at around 120.6 cm. This already includes the handle (or the hilt), which measured 26 cm on average.

When it comes to the weight, the longsword was between 1.6 to 2.6 kgs maximum.

Here are some historical facts that we’ve collated regarding the average statistics of a medieval longsword gathering pieces of information from ancient books and museum’s expositions:

Average length: 120.6 cm

Average weight: 1.6 kg

Minimum length: 99.7 cm

Maximum Length: 141.3 cm

Minimum Weight: 1 kg

Maximum Weight: 2.6 kgs

Average blade length: 94.71 cm

What are the Elements of a Longsword?

The longsword is a two-edged sword. It has a long, wide, and thick handle so it’s comfortable to grip two-handed and have the flexibility to maneuver the sword in any direction. The longsword is made from various types of metal and is quite flexible. The blade is longer than it is wide. The sword usually includes a pommel, guard, and cross guard. 

The long sword is a type of sword that’s known by different names throughout history, such as the hand and a half sword, the hand and a quarter sword, and the hand and a third sword. It was given this specific name (longsword) because of the long handle that allowed the wielder to hold the weapon with both hands. The elements of the longsword are its reach, thrusting, and cutting abilities which make it a great weapon for warriors on the battlefield.

Its great reach and weight allowed for slashing and cutting blows from a distance, and its sharp tip made thrusting attacks a great asset to the longsword. The longsword was a great weapon for men-at-arms to use against men on horseback, because of its reach and cutting ability.

In close combat, the longsword was a very effective weapon, although it was a bit awkward to use. The longsword was a very popular weapon across Europe from the early 15th to the 16th centuries.

It was also known as the hand-and-a-half sword because it could be used with one or with two hands.

The longsword was originally used as a close combat weapon, where it was essential to have a blade with a long cutting edge. The hilt of the longsword was optimized for two handed use, but it was possible to use it one handed too. Later, the hilt was optimized for one handed use.  

Brief History of the Longsword

The longsword is not typically characterized by its longer blade, but instead by its longer grip. This indicates that the weapon is intended to be used as a two-handed weapon. The Longsword are a very rare type of sword in general during the Middle Ages, however, they were still available at the time and did exist.

In Medieval Europe, the longsword continued to be used as a weapon for war and was later used for unarmed combat by knights and other armored soldiers. Eventually, it became a weapon used by mercenaries and unarmored soldiers.

In the fourteenth century, the double-handed great sword originated in Switzerland, and by the sixteenth century, it was mostly used as a military weapon.

Swords were the most popular weapons of choice for knights in the late medieval period and the Renaissance. The most common type was the longsword. It was the most widely utilized sword of the period. 

Later in the Medieval period, however, it became increasingly rare to see knights en masse, especially after the longbow became prominent in the 1300s. Men-at-arms were increasingly seen on foot, and the longsword became outmoded for foot combat.

How Long Should A Longsword Be for My Height?

The length of a sword is a very personal thing. As a rule of thumb, if you have to ask, you should get a sword that is a little too long for you. A properly sized sword should feel like an extension of your arm.

If you have to exert tremendous force to use it, it’s too long. If it bangs against your knee when you walk, it’s too long. If it only strikes the target and your hand and doesn’t feel like it is an extension of your arm, it’s too long.

When you hold your sword in a high guard, does it cut the line between the inside and outside of your forearms? Is it comfortable to hold? If not, it’s too long.

When you hold your sword in a low guard, does the pommel hit the ground? Is it comfortable to hold? If not, it’s too long. That’s the basic idea. The longer your sword is, the more leverage you can apply with your wrist at the expense of mobility.

What are the Advantages of the Longsword?

One of the most popular and versatile melee weapons on the battlefield is the long sword. Although they aren’t quite as fast or powerful as other curved swords, they’re still effective and have many advantages.

With the long sword, you can block attacks, use your weapon to mutilate foes while your shield is down, and you can also attack with it even while running.

It’s a versatile weapon that can be used to perform different attacks depending on how you use it. That’s the idea behind it, but in practice, it’s a bit of a pain to use.

There are several notable elements of the longsword. One of them is that it has a much longer reach and excellent thrusting abilities.

The longsword is also known for having very effective drags. Drags are moves that are done with the tip of the blade, usually with the pommel of the sword, to get the sword out of the way of an incoming attack.

Drags can be particularly effective when your opponent’s sword is coming in high, which is often the case in the bind with longswords.

The longsword is one of the best weapons at dealing with enemies who are wearing heavy armor, such as plate mail. It’s also the best weapon to use against an opponent who is carrying a shield.

It’s got a long blade that can inflict deadly wounds from afar and is also more effective than some other swords. Curved blades make sense, especially if you’re looking to maximize the use of your weapon, but if you’re looking for more efficiency and speed, the straight blade is the way to go.

The straight blade is the more balanced of the swords. This is because it transfers its momentum to the target more efficiently. It also means that you’ll have an easier time wielding the weapon. The straight blade is also nimbler than the curved one.

A good sword, like the longsword, is a useful weapon to have in your arsenal. It is easy to maneuver and has some reach advantage over short swords.

When using two-handed swordsmanship, using both hands while moving your body is only adding strength and momentum to your attacks. In that case, your attacks will be faster. But, if you use a one-handed sword, you can steal your opponent’s momentum and break their timing. 

Is A Katana Longer Than A Longsword?

Most fighters would use a longer sword than a katana for cutting or slicing. And since the katana wasn’t able to chop off limbs or heads.

The European longsword was a better weapon to use if you wanted to defeat your opponent in a single attack. Technically, a European longsword is much longer than a Japanese katana.

Jordan Rosolenne

Hi, I’m Jordan Rosolenne, the founder of I’ve been a sword enthusiast all my life and I consider it a serious hobby of mine. I love everything about Swords, Katanas, Medieval Weapons, Anime, and much much more!

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