Slashing or edged weapons cut things. They combine leverage and a sharp edge to cut into their targets.
Used on a living target they slice through tissue, severing bones and blood vessels creating obvious, immediate damage and incapacitating - if not killing - quickly. Against inanimate objects they are only as effective as their ability to slice bits of them off - which varies - soft targets can be cut up easily, whereas hard ones endanger the cutting edge on the blade and resist the stroke. That said the axe is - and is usually designed to be - highly effective in this role.
Edged weapons tend to be relatively expensive to manufacture - a long, sharp cutting edge requires good quality metal, well worked and anything else is a poor substitute. They are also easily defeated by armour - if they cannot cleave through the material of the armour they tend to lack the mass to deliver much impact damage.
An indicative list of edged weapons includes:
- Polearm - although many of these are also piercing weapons