Posted by Jason M. on 3/25/2022 to Learn About Swords
The European Medieval sword does not have as many named parts as the Japanese Katana, but it is important to learn them and what their purpose is.
What is a Pommel?
A Pommel (Pronounced pom-ul) is a piece of metal that is attached to the end of the handle of most European and medieval swords. The word comes from the French root "pomel" meaning "rounded knob" and the Latin word "Pomum" meaning apple. The Japanese equivalent would be a Kashira. The difference though is in how they function between the two swords.
The most important use of a pommel is to stop the hand from slipping off the end of the handle during combat. The size and weight of the pommel is also used as a kind of counterbalance to the long, wide blade of a medieval sword. In many cases, a pommel was also a way of solidly constructing a sword as the tang would go through the end of the pommel and then be "peened" over the pommel. With this strengthening the weapon, in combat, a pommel would also be used as a bludgeoning weapon.
Types of Pommels
There are many different shapes and sizes to pommels such as round, disc shaped, perfume capped and scent stopper. Some pommels would also bear decorations and engravings. These would most likely be some type of crest as in the Teutonic Crusader sword in the picture above.
I hope you have enjoyed this article on Pommels. If you have any questions or comments, please drop them in the section below.