The backsword is so called because the triangular cross section that gives a flat back edge opposite the cutting edge. The backsword is stabbing and thrusting bladed weapon that is similar to the sabre. The sabre has a curved blade, so it is not suitable for stabbing as the backsword. The backsword blade is wide in comparison to the rapier blade. The blade of backsword can have one or two edges.
The backsword has a single-handed grip. The grip is usually composed of wood covered with leather and twisted wire. The cross-guard is usually made of brass or iron and is open toward its holder. There are many types of backswords. They differ in length, overall blade shape and cross-guard complexity.
The backswords were often secondary weapons of European cavalrymen from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Backswords were important weapons for cuirassiers, dragoons and other members of heavy cavalry. They were replaced by sabers in the Austro-Hungarian army during the 19th century.