A sword cane is a kind of walking stick that can be used as a weapon, generally with a confidential tip at the end. It typically only has two hand grips and a handle, with the head resembling either an ornamental hilt or more traditionally, one end of a sword blade. These tools are often made from lightweight aluminum, steel, or titanium to make them lighter than staff.

The idea behind using this type of cane has been around since before the Renaissance period. It appeared sporadically in Europe until around 1900 when they became popular once more due to their use by British infantry officers. While in the past they were used as a close-combat melee weapon, more recent sword canes use the hilt and blade to deflect blows, block, and stab. 

Some canes use a short blade or sharp spike instead of the saber or spear point used on most sword canes. They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as "swordsticks", "sword swagger sticks", or walking sticks with ornamental hilts/handles. They are also different from cane swords in that they are concealed within their walking stick handles, whereas a sword cane has an exposed blade that is only part of the handle design and is not hidden within the shaft of the cane.

A Brief History of Sword Canes

Most people know that their walking sticks or canes were invented to help those who are old, weak, or handicapped. The interesting fact is that this idea came from a French doctor in 1791. A lot of people now carry a cane for fashion and also for the feeling of security it gives them. In the past, some people carried real swords and concealed them in their cane so they could fight if need be!

Just think about how different history would have been if everyone had walked around with their sword at hand! Most likely there would have been more fighting than talking. Some say these canes are relics of a bygone era when gentlemen would wear them as a symbol of status. Others may think they’re just a convenient way to get around during the winter months when wearing two pairs of thick socks, two pairs of gloves, and three hats just aren’t cutting it. 

But the truth is even more interesting than these legends imply. A sword cane is not one object but, rather, two objects: A cane (or walking stick) and an "honest-to-goodness" 18th or 19th-century fighting blade that can be pushed into the shaft for safekeeping or pulled out to fiercely defend oneself in case someone becomes aggressive – or maybe even just curious.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, these weapons were used as a status symbol by British military officers, often left to them in wills or given as gifts. Their use was especially common in India, where the British Empire was attempting to expand its domain. The heat there was intense and many officers felt that wearing a sword just wasn't practical. They opted to carry it hidden inside their cane instead.

Features of Sword Canes

A sword cane is a type of cane. This simple, yet elegant, walking stick carries the weight of a sword and can be used in sparring. Cane fighting was popular from the 18th-19th century but has since died out and it is not currently practiced. There are both long (>5ft) and short (<5ft) sword cane fighting canes that vary in length between 5-17 inches depending on the manufacturer. 

The long cane has traditionally been favored by men while ladies have preferred the shorter variant because they do not need to wield so much length to strike effectively. This cane is a type of cane that carries an added element: its blade. Most of these canes, even the long ones, are only 10-11 inches in length. 

The cane, however, is covered by a metal sheath that is connected to a sword. The handle of the cane itself is usually made from metal as well. Though it was not uncommon for women to carry canes in general, it was also very common for them to carry swords which doubled as walking sticks.

Fundamental Parts of a Sword Cane

The core components of a sword cane can be classified as follows:

  • Blade

First and foremost is the blade. A cane blade must be concealed within the stick of the cane. It must not extend beyond the wand-like top of the stick more than 3 inches in length or 1/4 inch in diameter so it doesn't catch on clothing, turn sideways, etc., and potentially hurt someone. 

The length of a good blade also depends on whether you carry your weapon under your arm or in front of you - with an overarm carry, you will most likely need to have at least 12 inches sticking out past your arm while walking while with an underarm carry, you should have 6-7 inches extending past your arm while walking.

A good blade can be made from many different materials, but due to its suitability for concealment, a gemstone like opal or black onyx is highly recommended. It does not need to withstand high levels of force like a steel blade, as it is only for decorative purposes. All materials used in the construction of sword cane blades need to be carefully chosen because you need their physical characteristics in order to make the handle fit them properly.

  • Handle

The sword cane handle can be made from several different materials, but they all have to be one solid piece. Materials commonly used in cane handles include: wood, leather, metal (typically aluminum), plastic/composite material (usually fiberglass), and metal or composite rods (swordsmiths commonly use this). The material chosen for the handle also needs to be sized correctly so it will fit into and hug the blade when the cane is assembled.

The handle must be able to support a person's body weight in order to bear stress on the blade and other parts of the weapon. This means that a leather, wood, or composite material is desirable for the handle due to its flexibility compared to metal or aluminum handles. You cannot have a cane design with an exposed blade, because it will break during use if it is made from rigid materials like metal or aluminum.

  • Hilt

In addition to the blade and handle components, a sword cane can also include one or more hilt components: guard, pommel, and/or crossguard. A functional cane design requires a guard component, otherwise the blade will go into your hand when it is extended. A pommel component helps balance out the blade and also provides a hole for attaching the tip of the cane to its handle. A crossguard component helps protect your hand from sliding onto the blade during a thrust or other action with the weapon.

How to Carry a Sword Cane?

A sword cane can be carried either way: The blade may be pushed into the shaft of the cane for safety and quick access if needed, or it may be pulled out for greater reach during combat. The swords are still sharp enough to stab targets, though they act as bludgeons rather than slashers. With the long shaft of a sword cane, the cane is also powerful enough to be used as a makeshift quarterstaff. 

This can prove useful when trying to disarm an armed opponent and keep yourself safe during close-quarters combat. The blade of the cane is exposed during use, making it easy for slashes or wounds—or worse—to happen. Considering how common gun-related injuries are in America, this makes this accessory not just useful but necessary for self-defense purposes at night or in dark areas where guns cannot be used by law enforcement officers.

This cane is an extremely useful piece of equipment for those who like going outdoors to hunt, or just for people who enjoy being outdoors. There are also practitioners of martial arts and various self-defense classes who use this cane as their primary weapon. This cane has proven to be a popular weapon that is not just effective but also relatively easy to learn how to fight with. This makes them popular self defense weapons.