The Most Iconic Medieval Weapons And Their Uses

If you're anything like us, you've always been fascinated by the medieval weaponry used during the 15th century.

After all, it takes big, bold fighters to wield weapons of that size and power!

Whether you consider yourself a history buff or just a geek for medieval warfare related things, medieval weapons are iconic.

Let's delve into the most iconic and powerful 1500s weapons from medieval times and their uses in battle.

From swords to maces, halberds to crossbows – get ready for an incredible journey through forgotten centuries!

History And Fascination With Medieval Weaponry

Throughout history, humanity has been fascinated with these century weapons of the dark ages.

The best medieval weapons were a crucial part of warfare, determining victory or defeat.

Cool medieval weapons include swords, maces, halberds, and longbows, each with unique uses in battle.

Names of medieval weapons

They were symbols of power and strength wielded by the biggest and boldest fighters.

Societal norms, politics, and technology influenced their design and use.

However, understanding medieval weaponry is essential in studying the history of warfare.

Importance Of Weapons In Battles During Medieval Times

Weapons were essential in medieval battles as they determined the outcome of wars.

Moreover, skilled warriors relied on weapons to defend their kingdoms and conquer others.

The types of weapons medieval used depended on the situation and the battle terrain.

Weapons were often made using iron and steel and required great manufacturing skills.

Using weapons in battle required intense physical strength that only well-trained and experienced warriors possessed.

Certain weapons like the crossbow and the longbow were known for their accuracy and range, making them effective battle choices.

Overall, weapons played a pivotal role in medieval battles and reflected the strength and skill of the warriors who wielded them.

1. Longbow

The longbow is a type of bow used in medieval times, particularly in England and Wales.

Additionally, it was typically made of yew, ash, or elm wood, and was over six feet tall.

This powerful weapon could shoot arrows with great force and accuracy.

Thus, making it a key tool in battles like Agincourt and Crecy. The arrows it shot could fly up to 250 yards and could pierce armor.

Such an exuberant display of force made it a fearsome weapon in the hands of skilled archers.

Traditional Longbow required a lot of strength and training, as drawing the bowstring back to its full extent took significant effort.

With the advent of firearms, the longbow eventually fell out of use, but remains an iconic symbol of medieval warfare.
Old fashioned weapons

2. Warhammer

The Warhammer was the best medieval weapon among knights and foot soldiers, effective against armored opponents.

Its design allowed for delivering a powerful and concentrated blow, capable of penetrating armor and causing damage to the wearer.

It typically featured a long wood or metal handle with a heavy metal head on the end.

This heavy metal head could take on different shapes depending on its intended use.

Some Warhammer had a pointed spike for piercing armor, while others had a flat or rounded head for crushing it.

Despite its effectiveness, the Warhammer fell out of use with the advent of firearms

However, it remains a popular choice among historical reenactors and enthusiasts.

Learn Ten Totally Odd Facts You Didn't Know About Warhammer.

Types of medieval weapons

3. Halberd

The Halberd was a popular weapon in the 1500s during medieval times, particularly in Switzerland.

It was typically over six feet long and featured a pointed spike, an ax head, and a hook.

However, the spike was used for thrusting attacks, while the ax head was used for chopping and slashing.

The hook was used for dismounting riders and pulling them off their horses.

The Halberd was among the most versatile medieval weaponry that could be used effectively on both foot and horseback.

It was particularly effective against heavily armored opponents, as its various features allowed it to deal with significant damage.

While the Halberd fell out of use with the advent of firearms, it remains an iconic symbol of medieval warfare.
Weapons in the 1500s

4. Crossbow

The crossbow is an iconic weapon from medieval times, dating back to ancient China.

It typically consists of a wooden or metal stock with a bow-like structure on top, cocked using a lever.

This mechanism made it easier to use than a traditional bow since it required less strength to draw the string back.

However, the crossbow was highly accurate and deadly, piercing armor 400 yards away.

It was a key weapon in many battles throughout history. And its use even helped shape the outcome of some conflicts.

Despite its effectiveness, it eventually fell out of favor, but it remains an iconic symbol of medieval warfare.

Most effective medieval weapons

5. Greatsword

The Greatsword emerged during the medieval period and became an iconic weapon.

This two-handed sword measured over six feet in length. Handled by a skilled warrior, the Greatsword offered destructive power.

However, it took a lot of work to wield and required brute strength to use effectively in battle.

The weight of the Greatsword ranged from five to seven pounds, which made it quite challenging to swing.

Moreover, the sharp blade was perfect for slicing through armor and cutting down opposing soldiers.

Also, the Greatsword could be used as a defensive weapon, protecting against enemy attacks.

In the right hands, the Greatsword was a formidable weapon giving its wielder a significant advantage on the battlefield.

Check out all types of swords at Battling Blades.
Medieval European weapons

6. Mace

The mace was a medieval weaponry with a metal head and a long handle.

It was designed to deliver heavy, blunt blows to armored opponents.

Also, the weapon often had flanges or spikes to increase the damage it inflicted.

Due to its weight and balance, a skilled warrior could use the mace to devastating effect.

Moreover, the mace was particularly effective against plate armor, as it could bypass its protective qualities.

Mace-wielding knights often led charges against enemy troops, using the weapon to create openings in their ranks.

Overall, the mace was a powerful and iconic weapon of the medieval period.

Go and get your favorite medieval-age weapon today from Battling Blades.

Medieval melee weapons

7. Pike

The pike is an iconic medieval weapon, the most common medieval weapon used in formation by foot soldiers.

It consisted of a spear-like pole up to 18 feet long with a pointed metal tip. Soldiers would hold the pikes upright when used in formation.

This position created a wall of pointed spears that could deter enemy charges and protect against cavalry attacks.

Effective against cavalry charges, the weapon’s long reach allowed foot soldiers to strike at mounted opponents from a safe distance.

The pike required significant training and coordination to use effectively in battle.

As firearms became more common, the use of the pike declined.

But it remains an iconic symbol of medieval warfare in the 14th century.

Old weapons of war

8. Battle Ax

The battle ax was an iconic medieval weapon used in medieval times, particularly by infantry soldiers, its design varied.

It typically featured a long handle made of wood or metal, with a heavy blade on the end,

This blade could take on different shapes depending on its intended use.

Moreover, the battle ax was devastating in close combat, delivering a powerful, concentrated blow that could crush armor and bones.

Its weight and size made it difficult to wield great speed, but blunt force made it a formidable battlefield weapon.

Irrespective of its effectiveness, the battle ax eventually fell out of use with the advent of firearms.

But it remains a popular choice among historical reenactors and enthusiasts.
Dark ages weapons

9. Flail

The flail is one of the iconic medieval french weapons with a spiked ball attached to a handle.

It was a deadly weapon that could deliver devastating blows to opponents.

However, it was also challenging to master, as the swinging motion required skill and practice to control.

Knights and foot soldiers often used the flail in battle, and its effectiveness made it a feared weapon on the battlefield.

Despite its popularity, the flail fell out of use, likely due to the advent of firearms and changes in warfare.

Dark Age weapons

10. Katana

The Katana is a sharp, curved sword used by the samurai in medieval Japan.
It's known for its effectiveness in one-on-one combat, thanks to its balanced design and sharpness.

The Katana typically measures three feet long, with a curved blade and a long grip allowing two-handed use.

Its unique shape and construction are used for both thrusting and cutting, making it a versatile weapon on the battlefield.

In addition to its effectiveness in combat, the Katana symbolized the samurai's honor and status.

Depicting family history, many were passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms.

The Katana has become an iconic symbol of Japanese culture and history.
Big medieval weapon

Pros Of Medieval Weapons

Medieval weapons were effective, versatile, reliable, and symbolic.

On the contrary, they also had limited range and were cumbersome, expensive, and dangerous to the user.

Despite their drawbacks, medieval weapons played an important role in shaping the warfare of their time.

Hence, left a lasting legacy in the weapons we use today.


Medieval weaponry was effective at taking down armored opponents.

Swords, maces, and axes were designed to penetrate armor essential for a warrior's survival during a battle.


Medieval weapons were versatile, meaning they could be used in various ways.

Swords could be used for slashing, thrusting, and even throwing.

Maces were effective at crushing armor, while axes were useful for chopping and hacking.


Medieval weapons were reliable and durable, built to withstand the rigors of battle.

Made from high-quality materials including steel, iron, and bronze they were often passed down from generation to generation.


Medieval weapons were often symbols of status and power. Owning an expensive or ornate weapon was a sign of wealth and nobility.

Most effective medieval era weapon

Cons Of Medieval Weapons

Medieval weapons had some drawbacks that made them less effective in battle.

Limited Range

Most of them had limited range, which made it difficult to attack an opponent from a distance.

The exception to this was archers, who could shoot arrows from afar.

However, they were less heavily armored than other warriors and could be easily defeated in close combat.

Heavy And Cumbersome

Many of these weapons were heavy and cumbersome, which made them challenging to maneuver during battle.

This feature made them unsuitable for prolonged battles or skirmishes that required quick movements and flexibility.


Medieval weapons were expensive, which made them accessible only to the wealthy.

This limited their use to nobility and professional soldiers who had the financial means to acquire them.

Dangerous To The User

Many of these weapons were dangerous.

For instance, swords could easily become lodged in an opponent's armor, leaving the wielder vulnerable to attack.

This meant that using these weapons required significant skill and experience to avoid putting oneself in danger.

Medieval English weapons

To Wrap-Up

Medieval weaponry has stood the test of time as icons of an era defined by chivalry, bravery, and warfare.

From the powerful broadsword to the swift and agile longbow, each weapon served a unique purpose.

This purpose was crucial to the success of medieval warriors.

The innovations in weaponry during this period fundamentally transformed the nature of warfare.

Also, it profoundly impacted the development of modern warfare tactics.

The continued fascination with medieval weaponry is a testament to the enduring legacy of these weapons.

However, they had a significant influence on medieval culture and contemporary society.