Skip to main content
A photograph of viking-era weapons

Top 5 Viking Weapons

Image Credit:

Vikings were highly skilled in weaponry, and this was one of the most important reason for their success as invaders and raiders. Talented ironmongers and battle strategists, they created advanced and extremely effective weapons.

Here we take a look at 5 of the top Viking weapons:


Most Vikings carried a weapon at all times - and this was typically an axe. Held in place with a belt, axes long handles gave Vikings the advantage of a longer reach in battle. Depending upon the use and wealth of the axe owner, the cutting edge of the axe ranged from 3 to 18 inches.


Swords were the most expensive Viking weapon, due to the high expense of iron. Usually only reserved for military leaders and the wealthy elite, Viking swords were double-edged and around 35 inches in length. They were often decorated and held in scabbards, carried over the shoulder and reachable by the right hand.


The spear was one of the most popular Vikings weapons, ranging between 3 and 10 feet in length, and primarily used for throwing and thrusting. Spears were designed in various different designs, lengths and shapes - each with a different weaponry purpose. Some were designed to be thrown at a great length while others for close impact.

Bow and Arrow

Initially used for hunting, Vikings quickly discovered the effectiveness of bow and arrows in raids. Archers would release arrows to kill as many enemies as possible prior to close contact fighting. Skilled archers were able to shoot an average of twelve arrows per minute, and the arrows were so strong that they were often able to penetrate enemies shields.


While just about every Viking carried a knife (even slaves), the seax was a larger more lethal version that was typically only owned by the wealthy. A curved knife, it was used both for practical, everyday purposes as well as for self defense.