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Throughout history the sword has been an effective means of self defense for everyone from military personnel to pirates. Today the sword is more often used for decoration purposes but if kept sharpened and in good condition it can still be used to protect you. Since swords have basically been in use since the Bronze Age, there is a wide variety of styles which come from nearly every region of the world. What to look for when in a sword depends on what purpose it will serve. If it is only for decoration then pick out the design that you like best. If you plan to be able to actually use it as a weapon, then there are a few other things to look at in the construction of the sword:
1. Proper Heat Treatment – if this is not done correctly, it can leave the blade too soft which causes it to dent.
2. Proper Balance – required to make the sword easier to wield.
3. Tang (where a portion of the blade enters the hilt) – when the blade and tang are forged together, it makes the sword stronger.