Top 4 Best Viking Sword

Are you interested in learning everything that there is to know about Viking swords, and maybe even buying a Viking sword too? If so, then you have come to the right place.

Today, we are here to provide you with all of the most important facts about Viking swords, including their origins, some of the most popular and well known types, what they were used for, and more.

We have also reviewed a number of select Viking swords that you can actually buy, with the aim of helping you find the best one that your money can buy. Let’s get to it and talk about Viking swords.

Click here to skip to our recommended pick!

Image
Product
BEST OVERALL
Ulfberht Viking Sword
BEST BUDGET
Norse Tradesman Spring Steel Viking Sword
BEST COMPAC
24” Ulfberht Viking Sword
BEST HAND FORGED
Windlass Steelcrafts Hand-Forged Ashdown Viking Sword

What is a Viking Sword?


The Viking sword is also known as the Viking age sword. These swords can also be referred to as the Carolingian sword. This is a specific type of sword that was very prominent and widely used in both Northern and Western Europe during the early middle ages, or in other words, by the Vikings.

The Viking sword generally consisted of a pommel, handle or tang, cross guard, and the blade. Generally speaking, Viking swords had double edged blades, but sometimes also had single edged blades, with those blades generally being between 70 cm and 80 cm in length, although there are some models that have been found, which were as long as 100 cm or as short as 60 cm.

These blades were generally quite heavy, often weighing up to 1.5 kg, or well over 3 pounds, with blades often being fairly wide, tapered, and coming to quite an acute point.

Viking swords were generally quite heavy, and often featured hilts made out of antler, bone, or wood, and were often adorned with jewels, and more important than anything else, the large hilt and pommels were designed to counterbalance the blade, thus producing a well-balanced weapon.

  • Production: 8th C to 11th C
  • Weight: 1.0 to 1.5 KG (2.2 to 3.3 lbs)
  • Origin: Europe – Western & Northern
  • Total Length: 84 to 105 cm (33 to 41 inches)
  • Blade Length: 70 to 90 cm (27 to 35 inches)ссс

History of the Viking Sword

The Viking sword is thought to have been developed or created sometime during the 8th century, and it is shown that it was developed from the Merovingian sword (Frankish swords made during the sixth and seventh centuries, which themselves were based off of the Roman Spatha).

What is also interesting to note is that the Viking sword then inspired the creation of the knightly or knight’s sword during the late 11th and 12th centuries.

Now, what does need to be said here is that there are very few references to Carolingian era sword production, which means that the history of these swords is somewhat unknown. The most common examples that we have of these swords are those found in tombs and burial grounds.

What is equally as important to note is that not all Viking warriors had swords. These Viking swords were not as much common weapons as they were prestige weapons, or in other words, more like family heirlooms that were handed down from one generation to the next, and were also often provided as gifts to people in order to denote their high status in Viking society.

One of the reasons why many Vikings did not actually have these Viking swords is due to their high cost. During the Carolingian period, these swords did become more affordable, which is why later on during the early middle ages, more and more Vikings would have these swords. Moreover, Vikings used these swords to go on raids, to plunder and pillage. One single raid was often more than enough to provide the necessary finances to purchase a sword.

How Were Viking Swords Used

Ok, so in case you are wondering, Viking swords, although they were somewhat large and heavy, were often just small and lightweight enough to be used with a single hand. Although there are some examples of Viking swords designed for two handed use, most were designed so that the user could hold and swing it with a single hand, while using the other hand to hold onto a large shield, which was designed for defence purposes.

Although earlier Viking swords were used more for thrusting than anything else, later models were designed more with chopping, cutting, and cleaving in mind. This is why mostly all Viking swords had double edges, so that the user could inflict damage on both the primary swing and the backhand or return swing. The Viking sword, at the end of the day, is designed to inflict maximum damage while allowing the user to have a shield for defensive purposes.

DID YOU KNOWthat early Viking swords were made out of pure iron and were actually known to bend in battle?!?
DID YOU KNOW that Danish blacksmiths began experimenting with iron that contained a lot of carbon, to the point here the iron they were using contained over 0.35% carbon, at which point it effectively becomes steel?!?

Types of Viking Swords

Generally speaking, we would spend a whole lot of time talking about the different types of Viking swords. However, when it comes to Viking swords, classifying them is a job best left to somebody who has time to write a ten thousand page book.

Indeed, there are many scholars out there who have written full length books on this topic, and moreover, there are also various classification methods. Although we aren’t going to spend a whole lot of time on this, we will do our best to explain Viking sword types in simplest terms, to make it easy to understand.

Viking Swords by Hilt Type

As noted above, there are just so many different classifications here, that it makes life really hard, but with that said, one way in which some scholars have classified Viking swords is by the style of hilt. There are many of them to talk about. For a good idea of all of the hilt types, take a look at the image included below.

Oakeshott Typology

Another method of classifying medieval and Viking swords was created by scholar Ewart Oakeshott, which is honestly too complicated to explain, as it is based on various factors. However, for a good idea of what this sword typology classification method entails, take a look at the image included below.

 

Carolingian vs Norman Swords


One important distinction to make here is that the earlier Viking swords were often known as Carolingian swords. These were often made out of iron, and were most commonly used between the 8th and 10th centuries.

On the other hand, we have the Viking swords used in later centuries, mostly during the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries, that were also referred to as Norman swords, with one of the main differences being that these swords were generally made out of steel (much stronger than iron), and instead of being stamped out of sheets, were actually forged out of solid pieces.

The Best Viking Sword

Ulfberht Viking Sword


Ulfberht Viking Sword
This sword is made with a combination of high carbon and 1095 high carbon stainless steel, with many pieces being forged and folded many times, resulting in 352 layers of ultra hard Damascus steel. It has a really cool pattern, it comes in at 39 inches long, and it features a Rockwell hardness rating of 56. This is a full tang sword, and yes, it is battle ready. Thanks to the genuine wood handle and the leather wrapping, complete with Damascus steel bolsters, it is also quite easy and comfortable to use.
Technical Specifications:
Forged
High carbon 1095 steel
Leather wrapped wood handle
Pattern Damascus steel
Value for money: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

buy on battlingblades

Norse Tradesman Spring Steel Viking Sword


Norse Tradesman Spring Steel Viking Sword
This sword is made out of high quality carbon steel, and features a full tang design, with a semi-sharp blade. Now, although the blade does not come sharp, you can sharpen it yourself, and yes, it does feature a double edge blade. Thanks to the full tang design and the high quality steel, this sword can be used for practice and battle. Moreover, thanks to the 58 Rockwell hardness rating, you can also rest assured that it won’t chip, and that it will retain its edge quite well. This sword comes complete with a wooden handle that is wrapped in leather, for both comfort and overall durability. This model comes in at 37 inches in length.
Technical Specifications:
Helbitr Style
37 inches
58 HRC
Carbon steel
Value for money: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

buy on Amazon

24” Ulfberht Viking Sword


24” Ulfberht Viking Sword
Just like the first sword we looked at, our top pick, this one is also made with alternating layers of carbon steel and high carbon 1095 steel. The result are 352 layers of hard as rock Damascus steel, that features a Rockwell hardness rating of 56. We do like how this model is quite compact, as it comes in at just 24”, and is thus also comparatively lightweight. What you get here is a wooden handle with brass bolsters, complete with a leather sheath.
Technical Specifications:
1095 high carbon steel
56 HRC
Forged Damascus steel
24”
Value for money: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

buy on battlingblades

Windlass Steelcrafts Hand-Forged Ashdown Viking Sword


 Windlass Steelcrafts Hand-Forged Ashdown Viking Sword
What you get here is a full tang sword made out of super high quality high carbon steel, a material that is well known for its hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. Thanks to the extra wide fuller, the 31 inch blade is surprisingly lightweight. Let’s keep in mind that this blade has been heat treated and fully tempered, which means that it is very hard. Indeed, this sword is battle ready. You also get a leather wrapped handle, as well as a full leather scabbard and leather straps too.
Technical Specifications:
Steel cross guard
Full tang
Carbon steel
Wide fuller
31 inch blade
Value for money: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

buy on Amazon

The Verdict

When it comes down to it, if you want the best Viking sword out there, but you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, we recommend going for the Ulfberht Viking Sword. However, if what you are looking for is the utmost in quality, and you are willing to pay handsomely for it, then the Windlass Steelcrafts Hand-Forged Ashdown Viking Sword is a fantastic choice to consider as well.

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