Fencing Swords Explained: Foils, Epees, Sabres…

Useful knowledge on fencing! Did you know there are different kinds of swords? Learn the difference between epee, sabre, and a rapier.

Fencing Swords

If you’re new to fencing then you may be surprised to learn that there are different types of fencing swords and different competition rules for using them.

I used to think that fencing was fencing and that the swords were all alike. Now I know better, of course!

Types Of Fencing Swords

There are in fact three different sword types:

  • the Foil
  • the Epee, and
  • the Sabre

In fencing, you always duel against the same type of sword.


These are light-weight swords with a blade that is thin and rounded, so very flexible. They were originally made from rolled steel foil (hence the name).

Foils are the most common sword to start learning with. However, that doesn’t mean they are just for beginners. But the discipline and skills developed by training first with a foil can be transferred to the other two swords.

Foil Fencing Target Area (Torso Only)When duelling with foils, only the…

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