A rapier sword was used almost exclusively as a thrusting weapon. At first, the swords were used on the offensive, but eventually became a self-defense tool. It was primarily used by civilians for protection and for duels. In the 16th century, other European nations developed their own rapiers, such as the German Rappier which was used in sport fencing. Use of the rapier for civilian combat dropped off after the 17th century.
Spanish rapiers date back to 15th century Toledo. Spanish masters mixed hard and soft steel to give rapier swords strength and flexibility. These swords were narrow, long, and had a slight edge.