In my magic system, people are capable of forming weapons out of their aura. The density of aura is naturally around 0.1g/cm3, but can be compressed down to 0.5g/cm. This means that aura can at most have a density similar to wood, but can be even stronger than steel. As a result, aura is primarily used to construct bladed weapons, with metal cores (iron or perhaps even lead) being used to increase their weight when necessary.

This leads me to the question of: what's the best weight for a bladed weapon? In history people have largely been limited by their materials, but with what is effectively a supermaterial, swords can be made much lighter than in the real world (and potentially slightly heavier, if a very dense material is used as the core).

To make this question less broad, I'll ask specifically about the optimal weight for daggers, longswords, and spears.

Would metal cores be used to make these weapons similarly heavy as they are irl, with aura simply being used to increase their strength, or would a longsword's weight be brought down to say, 1kg, or even 500g? I imagine issues with balance could be easily solved with the thoughtful shape and placement of the cores.

My magic system has no relevance to this question beyond what has been stated.

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    $\begingroup$ Is there armour? What are the weapons being used against? $\endgroup$ May 6, 2023 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ one handed or two handed? one handed weapons tending to be between 2-4 pounds, (900g- 1800g) from maces to axes to swords, while two handed could get a lot heavier depending on type. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 6, 2023 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ VTC:Needs More Focus. Asking for daggers, longswords, and spears is asking three questions, not one. Worse, the "optimal weight" for any of these three objects depends on the type of dagger, longsword, or spear... the purpose for each, the techniques used to employ each, the culture behind each.... In short, there isn't a single right answer here because there are far too many variables in play. What's stopping you from looking up any random dagger, longsword, and spear, discovering its weight, and moving forward? (Research is a required prerequisite to Stack Exchange.) $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 7, 2023 at 3:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH yes, I could just google the weight of a real world weapon and use that, but that is very clearly not the focus of the question. As stated within my question, people have access to a very light material, meaning they have the ability to make bladed weapons much lighter. Hence my question on a weapon's optimal weight, and whether they would make weapons lighter or keep them around the same weight as their real world equivalents. $\endgroup$
    – M S
    May 7, 2023 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ Especially with the clarification in the comments, this is an XY Problem. @MS if you want to know how the described material would be used to construct weapons, then ask that specific question. You only briefly touch on it near the end of your question, and the title does not imply it at all. $\endgroup$ May 7, 2023 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


Whatever the real world weight would be

There is no singular optimal weight for all bladed weapons. Optimal is a relative term that depends entirely on several factors such as shape, fighting style, and ability of wielder. In this sort of situation it is best to simply follow the real world because real world weapons have been honed to their design over thousands of years of trial and error. You can't really compare one weapon to another for every situation because each is specifically designed for specific purposes.

A common comparison might be the difference between European longswords vs Japanese katana. Katana are designed for slashing, while longswords are more for stabbing. You could also mix in the entirely different principals behind an axe, which itself could be a massive lumbering tool of execution, or a relatively small but versatile tomahawk. That brings up an entirely different issue in weight distribution. An axe's strength is the weight of the axe head, while a thin sword like a rapier takes advantage of keeping the weight close to the hilt for speed over strength.

At the end, the only real answer is that you should aim for a weight similar to the weapon you are trying to emulate, because the weight isn't just a hindrance of the material, it is a feature of its function. Maybe also keep in mind that a metal core is probably only viable for weapons that have a more central balance. Weapons that take advantage of a heavier blade, like an axe or kukri or kopis, would likely be disadvantaged if that blade suddenly weighed almost nothing.

  • $\begingroup$ Exactly. The edge "just" focuses the force; that force is generated by accelerating (swinging or thrusting) the mass and then rapidly decelerating it on your skin. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    May 6, 2023 at 16:34

If we stick to the majority of a weapon you can get some constraints.

Main one handed weapons in general tending to be between 2-4 pounds, (900g- 1800g) from maces to axes to swords to spears. this is remarkably consistent across cultures. Daggers tending to be back up weapons and it could range from slightly less than a pound to almost 2lbs for the longest and thickest.

By longsword I assume you mean a English two handed sword and not the single handed sword most games label as longswords. Two handed swords tended to range from 3-7lbs depending on design, quality, ect. Not counting the rare really huge example.

Two handed spears could get up to 10lbs depending on how long they were, but 10ft spear were not uncommon. You may just want to look up a spear of the length you want. There is basically an entire spectrum of spears from 2lbs to more than 13lbs. Although the larger ones tend to be referred to as pikes as often as spears.


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