It must first be appreciated that a sword is unlike any other object. There is nothing else to which it can really be analogous. It is a fighting tool, but it is not simply a giant knife or a huge razorblade nor is it just a heavy hunk of long flat metal with a handle. A sword is a unique instrument with its own functional properties dependent upon its design.
As a tool the sword was the premier personal weapon of the professional warrior and unlike other weapons, such as bows, spears, axes, daggers, etc., which were also used in hunting and could be made by any craftsman, a sword was made by a skilled specialist. This man was a swordsmith or a bladesmith. He would actually “smith” a blade. Through his talent and experience he worked by hand to carefully shape and then temper iron into finely crafted steel. He didn’t simply grind and polish a pre-made piece of cold metal with a few tools.