Medieval Swords - PommelThe pommel of a sword is the part of the hilt on the far, far left end (in the photo) that is often circular in nature. It might seem that these objects are merely decorative. However, they serve an important purpose or two. First, they can counterweight the sword so that it is well balanced and easier to hold. Also, if you use a two handed position, you have one hand by the grip and the other on the pommel. This lets you have your hand act as a "ball in socket" with the pommel and lets you pivot and rotate the sword with it being under strong control.
The hand forged sword has an awesome functional pommel. Perfect for two handed grip.
The Charles V sword has a purely decorative (maybe slightly counterbalancing) pommel.
The wooden sword's pommel gets a lot of work since I need to use two hands to wield this!
A Japanese sword's pommel was practically non-existant. Generally there was just a metal oval there to hold everything in place, known as a Kashira.
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