The standard is - there is no standard. A blade that is a knife for one person could be a short sword for another.Sasquach wrote:It's 15" OAL. But it's not as big as this one. This one was actually designed as a "knife" to be carried in place of a sabre and has an OAL of 17 1/2"! It's a Cold Steel reproduction of the 1849 Rifleman's Knife. I'm pretty sure it could qualify as a short sword! Maybe someone out there will be able to tell us where the length of a blade officially ceases to be a knife and becomes a sword. There must be a standard somewhere.philco wrote:Charlie that one has me pondering at just what size does it cease being a fixed blade knife and become a sword.
What is the overall length ?
The general rule of thumb is that if a knife blade is too long to be easily used in an "ice pick hold", it is a short sword.
Another "rule of thumb" (or is it "rule of elbow"? ), a knife has a blade length that is the same or shorter than the distance from the tip of the user's middle finger to the outside of the elbow.
Another set in quicksand opinion is "over XX inch blade = short sword", where XX = any integer between 10" and 20", depending on who's making the pronouncement.
Some hold that the difference between a knife and a sword is the handle construction. In German, messer means knife. Peasants couldn't own swords. Peasants could own knives. By German law, if the blade had a "knife handle" and was single edged, it was a knife.
The "grossmesser", or "big knife", could have a blade anywhere from 20" to 36"+ and be a two handed weapon but still be classified legally as a knife.
The "kriegmesser" or "war knife", was a curved blade, similar to cavalry saber, up to around 1.5 meters in length, and could have either a one or two handed handle. It was a knife.
So, "pick your standard and go for it."