A Chainsword is a common form of chain weapon, essentially a sword with motorized teeth that run along the blade like those of a chainsaw. Most versions make use of monomolecular-edged or otherwise razor sharp teeth. The weapon makes an angry buzzing sound as the teeth spin around, intensifying into a high pitched scream as they grind into armour.
It is a popular weapon of Imperial Guard officers, and boarding and assault parties - such as Space Marine Assault Squads, Chaos Space Marines - especially Raptors - Eldar Striking Scorpions, and Pirates.[4a]
Like many examples of human invention, the chainsword’s many variants seem to have their roots in the shrouded heresies of the Dark Age of Technology. Accordingly, it saw consistent use in the armoured fists of techno-barbarians during the Age of Strife, and among the Emperor’s own armies during his Thunder Warriors’ brutal conquest of Terra. But chainswords have been wielded by inhuman hands for aeons. Several xenos races have borne such blades into battle even in the ages where Mankind could only look up to the stars with spears in their filthy hands. Tech-Priest foundry masters have speculated, down the centuries, that it is simply a natural evolution of the sword’s design: from bronze to iron; from iron to steel; from steel to chain-teeth; and from chain-teeth to a weapon wreathed in an energy field - such as the Imperial power sword. But doubt remains. More than one Martian magos has devoted their life’s work to researching the primeval origins of chainweapons; mostly likely as an inspiration stolen from an alien race, in a war that may never be remembered. If this theorem ever bears fruit, it is distinctly possible that the galaxy’s first wielders of chainswords were jade-clad warriors of the ancient Eldar.
- Mk. II/D Errant Chainsword. This chainsword type is used by Marines Errant Space Marine chapter.[5b]
- Mk. IV Thunder Edge Pattern Chainsword - Used by the Thunder Warriors and Legiones Astartes during the Unification Wars, Great Crusade, and Horus Heresy
- Mk. V Fangmaw chainsword 
- Mk. VI Redemptor - Used by the Blood Angels
- Mk. X Hell's Teeth 
- Mk. Xf Hell's Teeth pattern. This is the most current version used by Imperial forces.
- Chainblade Combat Attachment. This small Chainblade is attached to the barrel of a Space Marine Boltgun, acting as a bayonet.
- Eviscerator - A large, two-handed chainsword, comparable in effect to a Chainfist.
- Frost Blade - An ornate chainsword used by the Space Wolves Space Marines.
- Chainsword Hecate - As any chainsword, it can bring messy deaths that help intimidate enemies and crew-scum[4a]; this model weights 6 kg, but it is well balanced[4b] so it is easier to wield and parry melee attacks.[4c]
- Krakentooth Pattern Chainsword. Used by the Space Wolves.
- Acitus Pattern Chainsword. This kind of chainswords have somewhat taller blades and are used at least by Novamarines Space Marines[5a]
- Gore Prow Pattern Chainsword. Used by Fire Hawks Space Marine chapter. [5c]
The Eldar Chainswords are made of mono-molecular 'wymfrang's
- Biting Blade - a large chainsword used by Striking Scorpion Exarchs.
- Scorpion Chainsword - a lightweight one-handed chainsword used by warriors of the Striking Scorpion Aspect. Its advanced design augments the user's strength making it an incredibly deadly weapon against infantry and lightly armoured targets.
- Chainsabre - Blades used by Striking Scorpion Exarchs which contain gauntlets equipped with twin-linked Shuriken Pistols.
- Eldar Storm Guardians also wield basic types of Chainswords.
Ork Choppas often take form of crude and massive chainswords.
Famous Chainsword users
- Ciaphas Cain
- Leonatos [Needs Citation]
- Ibram Gaunt
- Rogal Dorn - Used the massive Storm's Teeth
- Leman Russ - Used Krakenmaw
- Gabriel Seth - Blood Reaver
- Sergeant Centurius
- "Mad Chainsaw" Johnson, Commander of the White Scars, [Needs Citation]
- 1: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 57
- 2: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg.33
- 3: Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook, pg. 156
- 4: Rogue Trader Rulebook
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One
- 6: Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 114
- 7: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pgs. 60, 97
- 8: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pgs. 34, 84
- 9: For the Emperor (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell, [Needs Citation]
- 10: First and Only (Novel) by Dan Abnett, [Needs Citation]
- 11: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 156
- 12: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, p. 203
- 13: Specialist Games Catalogue, pg. 105
- 14: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition) pg.59
- 15: Imperial Armour Volume Ten pg.80
- 16: Dawn of War II (campaign)
- 17: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 39
- 18: White Dwarf #224, August 1998, pg. 25
- 19: Munitorum: Chainsword (Background Book)
- 20: The Horus Heresy Book Three pg.123
|Melee Weapons||Chainsword • Chainfist • Combat Knife • Force weapon • Lightning Claw • Power axe • Power fist • Power sword • Power Maul • Thunder hammer|
|One-Handed Weapons||Bolt pistol • Hand flamer • Plasma pistol • Inferno Pistol • Graviton Pistol • Assault Bolter • Boltstorm Gauntlet|
|Two-Handed Weapons||Bolter • Combi-weapon • Flamer • Meltagun • Plasma gun • Grav-gun • Shotgun • Sniper rifle • Storm bolter • Bolt Rifle • Plasma Incinerator|
|Heavy Weapons||Assault cannon • Autocannon • Heavy bolter • Heavy flamer • Lascannon • Missile launcher • Multi-melta • Plasma cannon|
|Grenades||Frag grenade • Krak grenade • Melta bomb|
|Melee Weapons||Chainsword • Combat Knife • Hunting Lance • Power Weapon|
|One-Handed Weapons||Bolt Pistol • Laspistol • Hellpistol/Hotshot Laspistol • Plasma Pistol|
|Two-Handed Weapons||Lasgun • Flamer • Grenade Launcher • Hellgun/Hotshot Lasgun • Lascarbine • Long-Las • Meltagun • Plasma Gun • Shotgun • Sniper Rifle|
|Heavy Weapons||Autocannon • Heavy Bolter • Heavy Flamer • Heavy Stubber • Lascannon • Hotshot Volley Gun • Missile Launcher • Mortar • Ripper Gun • Grenadier Gauntlet|
|Grenades||Frag Grenade • Krak Grenade • Melta Bomb|