Halberd Vs Glaive

Halberd Vs Glaive: A Comprehensive Comparison

Halberds and glaives are medieval weapons created for close-quarter combat. Although they have similar designs, they have various unique features. In this article, we will discuss the differences between these two weapons and explore their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Halberd?

The halberd is a weapon that dates back to the 14th century. It is a combination of a spear and a battle-axe, with a long wooden shaft and a blade on top, featuring an axe head or a spike. The length of the halberd can range from four to seven feet, depending on the user’s personal preference.

During battles, the halberd was used to thrust, cut or hook enemies. The blade was used to defend against attacks, while the spike on top was used to puncture armor. The hook was used to pull riders off horses and disarm the enemy.

What is a Glaive?

The glaive is a similar weapon to the halberd, but with some slight differences. Like the halberd, it has a long wooden staff with a blade on top, but it doesn’t have a spike. Instead, the blade of the glaive is curved and wider and resembles a sword or a scythe.

The glaive was a popular weapon in medieval Europe, and it was used by infantry soldiers. Its primary use was to cut down enemies in close combat. It was also commonly used to decapitate enemies, and its curved blade made it easier to do so.

Differences between Halberd and Glaive


One of the most significant differences between a halberd and a glaive is their size. While the halberd has a length between four to seven feet, the glaive’s length is only around six feet. The smaller size of the glaive makes it less effective in battle when fighting against heavily-armored enemies.


Another significant difference between the halberd and the glaive is their blades’ design. The blade of the halberd is straight and features a spike, while the glaive’s blade is curved and wider, making it more effective in cutting enemies. The curved blade also makes it easier to cut around shields and armor.


The halberd and the glaive were used in different ways during battles. The halberd was primarily used for thrusting or hooking enemies, while the glaive was used for cutting down enemies. The halberd’s spike was effective at puncturing armor, while the glaive’s curved blade made it easier to chop off enemy limbs and decapitate enemies.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Halberd


1. Versatile weapon: The halberd is a versatile weapon that can be used for thrusting, cutting, or hooking enemies, depending on the situation.

2. Effective against armor: The spike on the halberd’s blade is effective at penetrating armor, making it an effective weapon against heavily-armored enemies.

3. Long reach: The halberd’s long reach makes it an excellent weapon for keeping enemies at a distance.


1. Heavy: The halberd is a reasonably heavy weapon, making it difficult to wield for extended periods.

2. Slow: The halberd is a slow weapon, making it harder to defend against faster attacks.

3. Limited use in close combat: The halberd is less effective in close combat than other weapons, such as a sword or a mace.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Glaive


1. Lightweight: The glaive is a lightweight weapon, making it easier to wield for an extended period.

2. Versatile: Although the glaive is a cutting weapon, it is still versatile and can be used in different situations.

3. Curved blade: The glaive’s curved blade makes it more effective at cutting through armor.


1. Short reach: The glaive has a shorter reach than the halberd, making it less effective at keeping enemies at a distance.

2. Limited use in thrusting: The glaive is not an effective weapon for thrusting, which limits its use in close combat.

3. Difficult to master: The glaive requires a lot of skill to wield effectively, which means that it is not suitable for beginners.


1. Which is better, the halberd or the glaive?

Both weapons have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation. The halberd is better suited for long-range combat and for puncturing armor, while the glaive is better at cutting through armor and chopping off limbs.

2. What is the difference between a halberd and a pike?

Although both weapons have a similar shape, the pike is longer than the halberd and features a longer point. The pike is designed for long-distance combat and is less effective at close combat than the halberd.

3. Can a halberd be used for horseback combat?

Yes, the halberd was used by riders during battles. Its hook was used to dismount riders, and its long reach made it an effective weapon for mounted combat.


Halberds and glaives were both essential weapons in medieval times. While they have similar designs, they were used in different ways during battles. When deciding between a halberd and a glaive, it is essential to consider the situation and use of the weapon. Regardless of which weapon you choose, both require a high level of skill to use effectively.