Functional Sword vs. Display Sword
There are a few important characteristics that separate a display sword from a functional sword. In no way are we attempting to suggest that one type of sword is better than the other. As sword lovers, we appreciate the fact that both types of swords serve their own unique purpose. What you will need to ask yourself is, "What are my intentions for this sword?" If you're setting up your display room, or maybe you're lucky enough to have a man cave, and you want a decorative piece that will really stand out, then more than likely you're looking for a display sword. On the other hand, maybe you're a trained ninja who specializes in espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and occasional open combat situations. In that case you would need a fully functional sword. But no, really, you don't have to be a ninja to wield a sword. There are tons of uses for swords, anything from slicing up a watermelon to demolishing a 2 liter Mountain Dew bottle just for the fun of it. Our point is there are dozens of reasons why having a sword is a good idea whether those reasons be for self-defense, recreational or purely ornamental purposes.
Man has been wielding swords for thousands of years and with the evolution of weaponry, swords are seen less and less on the battlefield, as they are replaced with ranged weapons such as rifles and side arms and other melee weapons such as bayonets and machetes. Even with the development of more modern weapons, there is still a love for swords and the art of sword fighting. There's something about holding a sword in your hands, it's like you have your destiny in your hands, literally.
One of the main differences between a "battle ready" sword and a display sword is the type of steel used to forge the blade. Functional swords should be composed of high quality carbon steel. Although, the high carbon steel will still need to be forged correctly to ensure that the carbon is realigned properly. Through the process of forging, the metal is heated to a malleable form then hammered into the proper shape. Most functional swords are then quenched and tempered creating a durable blade that is also flexible.
Most display swords are not functional, or "battle ready," and are merely decorative pieces. You may be wondering why the heck someone would want a sword they couldn't use. Well, the first and most obvious reason would be that they look freaking awesome! When a sword designer sets out to make a display sword, he can allot more money to creating visually appealing, intricately detailed swords, as opposed to spending more of the budget on the steel selection and the tang of the blade which is common in fully functional swords.
Yet another good reason to have a decorative sword mounted on the wall or displayed in a case is that they make for excellent conversation pieces. When most people walk into a room with a sword display, their eyes are immediately drawn to the sword display. For thousands of years men have been honing the art of sword making.There are dozens of different types of decorative sword, but we're just going to review a couple of them here to give you a general idea of what some collector's like to display.