The advantage of the sword point over the edge became increasingly evident by the end of the 16th century. The Rapier, with its long, elegantly thin profile which emphasized its point, became the popular choice in civilian self-defense. It was however a somewhat unwieldy weapon especially when it was used in narrow, crowded streets and alleyways. Eventually a more sophisticated, shorter and lighter version emerged that by the end of the 17th century had evolved into an entirely new weapon, the Small Sword.
Civilians carried it for as long as swords remained an integral part of fashionable dress. Its primary advantage was its stiff, lightweight blade which was forged in a triangular cross section. It was a highly lethal weapon, ideal for thrusting, and hung conveniently from a sash, baldric, or belt. The hilt (compared to the Rapiers) was simple and smartly functional, consisting of no more than an elliptical plate, or two shells and a light knuckle guard.
The Cold Steel Small Sword duplicates the original model in weight, balance, triangular cross section, and deadly sharp point, but uses modern materials like 1050 high carbon blade steel, heat treated to a tough spring temper. The hilt features two shells with functional finger loops and a light, but strong, knuckle guard. Perfectly balanced and weighing only 22 ounces, the Small Sword comes complete with an attractive leather scabbard that features an intricately decorated throat and chape.