Claymore Sword | All You Need To Know

Claymore Sword Specifications

Type Of Weapon : Sword
Country Of Origin : Scotland
Name Meaning : Great Sword
Blade Length : ~3.5 feet
Blade Width : ~2 inch
V-Guard Width : ~12.5 inch
Grip Length : ~1.5 feet
Full Length : 4-5 feet
Weight : 2-3 Kgs
Blade Type : Double Edged
Used Between : 15th to the 17th centuries

General Info

The Claymore is a Scottish version of the medieval two-handed longsword and was used by the Scottish highlanders.

The word Claymore is derived from the Scottish Gaelic ( language native to Scotland ), which literally means “great sword”.

Claymore swords are characterized by their large double edged blade and having forward-sloping cross-hilt quillons with quatrefoil-shaped friezes at each end.

This gigantic sword was used in the late Medieval and early modern periods(1400 to 1700). Being a heavy sword it required both hands to wield.

When swung, the blade with its overall weight, combined with the strength of a two-handed swing allowed it to sever heads and penetrate armor with ease.

With the invention of gunpowder weapons the long swords like the claymore proved less effective, mostly the swords were then used by the Calvary. Thus the last days of the claymore were seen during the 17th century.

Features of a Claymore Sword

Blade Length : In total the claymore was 4-5 feet in length and the blade was around ~3.5 feet. It was broader at the bottom and tapering towards the tip.

Blade Grip : Being a two handed sword it required a decent grip size which was around 12 inches in length.

Blade Width : The blade width was approximately around 2 inches.

Edge : The Claymore was a double edged sword, it could cause damage while attacking and also during recovery.

Guard : The Claymore had forward-sloping cross-hilt v shaped guard with quatrefoil-shaped( partially overlapping circles ) at both ends of the quillons. The purpose of this guard was to protect the hands of the person wielding the sword from the opponents weapon that slid down the length of the blade.

Fuller : To make the Claymore light as much as possible it had a fuller (beveled groove) along the center of the blade that ran from starting of the blade till half way to help reduce its weight.

Pommel : The Claymore had a heavy wheel shaped pommel at the end to prevent the sword from slipping from the hands of the wielder, but its main purpose was to act as a counterweight to its massive ~3.5 feet long blade.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Claymore Sword?

Advantages : Its enormous length and heavy weight made it an excellent killing weapon. This sword has been known to decapitate several heads in a single swing.

Its enormous length and heavy weight generated a lot of momentum when swung with both hands. This momentum allowed it to shatter shields and penetrate armor.

Like other long weapons the notable advantage of a Claymore’s was its longer reach and excellent slashing abilities which is said to be much more difficult to defend against. The size of this blade kept the wielder safe from other shorter weapons while inflicting damage from a safer distance.

It also proved effect a counter weapon against other long weapons like pole arms and great swords.

Disadvantages : The enormous size and weight of the Claymore was its biggest advantage as well as its biggest disadvantage.

Being a heavy sword it required both hands to wield it, this meant that the wielder could not use or carry a shield with him to defend himself against a counter attack or any other projectile specially flying arrows.

In close quarters this sword was a challenge to maneuver due to its heavy weight, If the attacker missed the opponent it would have took significant time to recover, by that time an opponent would have countered and finished the job.

Further more it was not possible to keep swing this heavy sword for hours it required great stamina to work with this beast of a weapon.

Largest Claymore Sword

The largest known claymore sword goes by the name Fuilteach Mhuirt it weighs 10 kilograms and measures 2.24 metres or 7.3 feet in length. It is believed to have been wielded by an unknown Scottish giant belonging to the Maxwell Clan circa during the 15th century. The sword is currently on display at the National War Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The William Wallace Sword

William Wallace is one of the greatest national heroes in Scotland. He led the Scottish rebellion against Edward I
Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297.

The sword used by William Wallace known as the Wallace Sword is currently on display at the National Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland. This sword is around 5 feet in length and weighs around 2.7 kg

Historic and physical discrepancies of the sword has many historians believe that it is not the sword used by the legendary William Wallace.

If this was the the real sword used by William Wallace it has been in action in the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Falkirk.


How long is a Claymore sword?

The height of a typical Claymore sword ranges between 4-5 feet in length. The blade by itself measures ~3.5 feet in length and the grip is ~1.5 feet.

How much does a Claymore sword weigh?

This giant sword would have been only be wielded by a strong Highlander as it weighed roughly 2-3 kgs. To swing this sword and then lift it back required a lot of strength. The weight it self was one of the advantages of this great sword.

When was the Claymore sword invented?

The Claymore were used in battles during the late medieval period between 1400–1700.

How was the Claymore Carried?

A Claymore could be carried in may different ways. One of the is the carry it on you back using a shoulder sheath but may historians believe that is was not a comfortable way of carrying Owing to it’s enormous size. Another way is hold the grip and let the blade rest on your shoulders as depicted in many old paintings, a modified version of this is to hold the sword by the pommel and let the sword rest across the length of your arm up to your shoulder.

Image for reference
Claymore Sword

Who used the Claymore sword?

The Claymore was used by the Scottish Highlanders in the constant clan warfare and border fights with the English from circa.

What kind of sword is a Claymore?

A Claymore is a two handed, double edged great sword. Its Scottish Gaelic meaning is literally a “great sword”, this is a Scottish variant of the late medieval two-handed sword. This sword is mainly characterized by its enormous length, forward-sloping cross hilt with quillons with quatrefoil at each ends.

How deadly is a Claymore sword?

The Claymore is know to easy shatter shields and chop off heads with a single swing. It length and weight gave it so much power that it could easily penetrate armor.

3 thoughts on “Claymore Sword | All You Need To Know”

    • Thanks for pointing it out we have updated the article.

      Q : what are the measurements of the cross-hilt v shaped guard
      A : The Cross-Hilt v guard is approximately 12.5 inch in width from end to end.

  1. I’m interested in making a replica for a friend who has a suit of armour. Could you tell me the thickness of the steel at the thickest point on the blade. I have made many good quality knives but this would just need to be normal steel with no heat treatment and just a good looking replica.


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