Cutlass Vs Saber

Cutlass vs Saber: A Comprehensive Comparison

When it comes to curved swords, the two that often come to mind are the Cutlass and the Saber. Both swords are commonly used in history and pop culture, but how do they differ? In this article, we will take a look at the differences between the Cutlass and Saber in terms of design, history, and practical use.

Cutlass: Design and History

The Cutlass is a short, curved sword that originated in the 16th century. It was primarily used by pirates, both on land and at sea, as its design made it effective for close combat. The sword typically has a blade length of 26-28 inches and a curved edge, which allowed for a powerful draw cut. This design also made it easier to use in narrow spaces, like the crowded decks of a ship.

The Cutlass also features a handguard that curves around the user’s hand, providing protection from the opponent’s weapon. The grip is usually made of a sturdy material, such as brass or wood, and is sometimes wrapped with leather or cord to improve the user’s grip.

During the Age of Sail, the Cutlass became a symbol of piracy and was often depicted in popular culture. Its association with pirates is so strong that it is now considered a classic pirate weapons, alongside the flintlock pistol and jolly roger flags.

Saber: Design and History

The Saber is a long, curved sword that originated in Central Europe in the early 16th century. It was primarily used by cavalry soldiers as the design accommodated their mounted warfare tactics. The sword has a longer blade than the Cutlass, ranging from 31-34 inches, and also features a curved edge.

The Saber also features a handguard, but the design is different from that of the Cutlass. The handguard usually consists of a cup-shaped guard that covers the user’s hand, providing more protection than the Cutlass. The grip is often wrapped with wire, providing a more secure grip for the user.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Saber was widely used in European armies, and it became associated with cavalry charges. The Saber was also used by many countries in the Napoleonic Wars, as well as during the American Civil War.

Cutlass vs Saber: Practical Use

The Cutlass and Saber were both designed for different purposes, so their practical uses are quite different. The Cutlass was primarily used in close-quarters combat, where the curved design and shorter blade made it an effective weapon for slicing and hacking. It was also used as a tool for cutting through ropes and other objects on a ship.

The Saber, on the other hand, was designed for mounted warfare and was used primarily by cavalry soldiers. Its long, curved blade allowed for powerful strikes while on horseback, and the curved design allowed for a more effective thrusting motion.

In terms of modern use, both the Cutlass and Saber have become popular among collectors and enthusiasts. They are also used in historical reenactments and stage productions.


Q: Which sword is more effective in combat?
A: It depends on the situation. The Cutlass is more effective in close-quarters combat, while the Saber is more effective in mounted warfare.

Q: Which sword is better for self-defense?
A: Again, it depends on the situation. If you are in a confined space, such as a narrow alleyway, the Cutlass would be more effective. If you are outdoors and mounted, the Saber would be more effective.

Q: Are Cutlasses and Sabers still used in modern military?
A: No, they are not used in modern military. However, they are still used in historical reenactments and stage productions.


In conclusion, both the Cutlass and Saber are effective swords that were designed for different purposes. While the Cutlass was primarily used by pirates for close-quarters combat, the Saber was designed for cavalry warfare. Both swords have become symbols of their respective eras and are still popular among collectors and enthusiasts.