CutlassesThe cutlass and its direct descendant — the cavalry saber — played a powerful role in American history. When the first European ships landed parties on American shores, the cutlass landed with them. Many of us think of the cutlass as the pirate sword, but it has a much broader history. This blade began as the weapon for the common seaman — who had very little training in sword play but lots of experience at chopping things. The Navy issued short heavy cutlasses to sailors shortly before hand to hand confrontations, while officers carried their more slender and deft sabers at all times.

The distinctive basket hand guard of the cutlass carried over to cavalry sabers, the swords carried by mounted soldiers throughout the Civil War and the many conflicts that followed. Cutlasses also found use in peaceful applications, and were the preferred tools for harvesting sugar cane on Caribbean plantations.

Today’s cutlasses are usually reproductions of museum antiques, though some are more fanciful, influenced by movies as well as the inaccuracies of romantic literature. The concept of a short, heavy chopping sword still finds practical application from time to time, as modern companies recreate new versions of this old military blade. The cutlass is a working man’s sword, only slightly more refined than a machete and as well suited to chopping brush as to repelling the occasional boarding party.

Some of Our Favorites

Cold Steel makes a US Navy officer’s cutlass. It’s a replica, of course, but it’s combat-quality.

With the same clean lines as the Cold Steel, this Cavalry Cutlass matches the kit of the typical Civil War Cavalryman.

For those who love the Pirate trade, here’s a costume version of a pirate cutlass that really is pretty good.

See All of Our Cutlass Reviews Below


Black Beard Pirate Cutlass Sword Replica | Trademark Global 38 Inch Antiqued Caribbean Blade

Time for pirates out there to get serious, because here’s a decent cutlass for you at last. Trademark Global raised its...
JT Hats
56 sec read

Shamshir Persian Sword w/ Leather Sheath by Bud K | Prince of Persia Warrior or Fantasy Pirate Cutlass

This cutlass-style sword from Bud K. shows the flair of a blade from Prince of Persia — but buy it for...
JT Hats
1 min read

House of Flying Daggers Sword of Leo | Chinese Kung Fu Broadsword w/ Scabbard

This replica of Captain Leo’s broad sword from the hit kung fu movie House of Flying Daggers looks better than most...
JT Hats
58 sec read

Jack Sparrow Fantasy Saber Cutlass, Stainless Steel | Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Replica Sword

Since today’s pirate cutlasses are usually part of a costume rather than battle weapons, you’ll want to consider the Pirates of...
JT Hats
1 min read

Ka-Bar Machete Cutlass w/ Leather Sheath | Black High Carbon Steel Blade

Ka-Bar’s Black Cutlass Machete reaches back to the roots of both designs, coming up with a new approach that works well...
JT Hats
54 sec read

U.S. Navy Cutlass Carbon Steel Replica Sword | Civil War Cavalry Re-enactment Blade

This 31 1/2″ replica sword with a highly polished 25 1/2″ high carbon steel blade recreates the familiar sidearm of U.S....
52 sec read

Pirate Cutlass Sword | Skull and Crossbones | Pirate Costume

So you’ve decided to be a pirate. You got a parrot? Check. Tri-corner hat? Check. Jolly Roger flag? Check. Seems like...
50 sec read

Valor Naval Boarding Cutlass | Stainless Steel Military Sword | Full Tang Reenactment Blade

This 36″ overall length flat ground stainless steel replica more closely matches the weapon a naval officer might have carried than...
48 sec read

United States Navy Sword | Cold Steel US Naval Blade | 1917 Cutlass Replica Militaria

This is a replica of the last sword issued by the US Navy. A cutlass design, it’s often referred to as...
37 sec read