The sword and rapier are very similar blades in appearance, but they have different names. This often becomes the subject of disputes between experts who prove to each other which of the above types weapons carry one or another blade.
The Russian historian Klim Zhukov tried to clarify the situation in one of his videos.
The expert noted that outwardly, both the sword and the rapier are very similar. There is an opinion that the first one has a slightly wider blade, but the classification does not indicate how much. At what point should a sword be considered a rapier and vice versa?
Another difference between these two blades is the decoration of the hilt. It is believed that the more “rich” is the rapier and it was used for duels. The sword was a purely military weapon.
However, as Zhukov noted, duels were often fought with combat blades, and expensive elements were present not necessarily on civilian swords, but also on knightly ones, which they used in battles.
The essence of the difference, according to the expert, lies in the terminology. So, translated into Russian, a sword means a sword. That is, a double-edged long blade.
But the rapier is double-edged. Therefore, she is also a sword.
At the same time, according to Zhukov, if we turn to the Spanish terminology of the 16-17th centuries, then the rapier is a “sword for a costume” or for civilian wear, which brings us back to the version of the use of this blade in duels.
Summing up, the Russian historian noted that disputes over the difference between these swords are meaningless. Since in terms of weapon classification, they are almost identical. The difference is only in the origin of the names.