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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,[7] Chaos Space Marines - especially Raptors[8] - Eldar Striking Scorpions,[2] 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.[19]



The teeth of Imperial Chainswords are made of an adamantium-carbon alloy.[19]

  • 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[20]
  • Mk. V Fangmaw chainsword. Used by the Space Wolves.[6]
  • Mk. VI Redemptor - Used by the Blood Angels[14]
  • Mk. X Hell's Teeth [16]
  • Mk. XI Hell's Teeth pattern - Used by Space Marine forces.[7a]
  • 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.[1]
  • 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.[1]
  • 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]
  • Hydraphur-Pattern Chainsword - Also known as a Chain-Cutlass, these short-bladed curved chainswords are favored by Rogue Traders and Armsmen. They are sized to fit within the tight corridors of a starship and trade balance for raw damage potential.[22]
  • Siren's Wail Sub-Pattern - Used by House Escher on Necromunda[23].
  • Clan Pattern - Used by House Orlock on Necromunda[24]
  • Drusian "Crusader" Chainsword - Popular in areas where Saint Drusus is venerated. The weapon is typically holy silver in colour with a curved cutlas-like blade and a spiked basket hilt.[26]
  • Locke-Pattern Double-Edged "Mercy" Chainsword - Featuring a longer haft and have had the protective carapace on the back removed to facilitate greater damage potential at the cost of the wielder's safety.[26]
  • Cadia Mk IV Assault Chainsword[28]
  • Cadia Mk XIIIg Assault Chainsword[28]


Chaos Space Marines


Scorpion Chainsword.[3]

The Eldar Chainswords are made of mono-molecular 'wymfrang's[19]


Ork Chain-choppa[8]

Ork Choppas often take form of crude and massive chainswords.

Famous Chainsword users

See also



Space Marine Standard Infantry Weapons
Melee Weapons Combat KnifeChainswordChainfistPower SwordPower AxePower MaulPower FistPower LanceThunder HammerLightning ClawsForce SwordForce AxeForce StaveRelic BladeCrozius ArcanumExecutioner Relic BladeOmnissian Power AxeServo-Arm
One-Handed Weapons Boltstorm GauntletFlamestorm GauntletBolt PistolHeavy Bolt PistolAbsolvor Bolt PistolPlasma PistolHand FlamerInferno PistolNeo-Volkite PistolGrav-PistolAssault BolterPlasma ExterminatorPlasma CutterReductor PistolWeb PistolGrapnel Launcher
Two-Handed Weapons BolterAuto Bolt RifleStalker BolterStorm BolterBolt CarbineMarksman Bolt CarbineInstigator Bolt CarbineOcculus Bolt CarbineHeavy Bolt RifleExecutor Bolt RifleHellstorm Bolt RiflePlasma GunPlasma IncineratorAssault Plasma IncineratorFlamerPyreblasterMeltagunMelta RifleGrav-GunAstartes ShotgunScout Sniper RifleBolt Sniper RifleLas-FusilCombi-WeaponWebberVengeance Grenade Launcher
Heavy Weapons Heavy BolterExecutor Heavy BolterHellstorm Heavy BolterHeavy Melta RifleMulti-MeltaHeavy FlamerPyrecannonLascannonAutocannonAccelerator AutocannonHeavy Plasma IncineratorPlasma CannonGrav-CannonMissile Launcher (Superfrag LauncherSuperkrak LauncherVengor Launcher) • Assault Cannon
Attachment Weapons Astartes Grenade LauncherWrist-Mounted Grenade LauncherFragstorm Grenade LauncherGrenade HarnessCastellan LauncherCyclone Missile Launcher
Shields Storm ShieldBoarding ShieldRelic Shield
Grenades/Explosives Frag grenadeKrak grenadeMelta bombHaywire MineShock GrenadeSmoke GrenadeAnti-Plant GrenadeRad GrenadeStasis GrenadeVortex Grenade

Imperial Guard Weaponry
Melee Weapons
One-Handed Weapons
Two-Handed Weapons
Heavy Weapons

Adepta Sororitas Weapons
Melee Weapons ChainswordEvisceratorPower SwordHallowed MaceMace of the RighteousAnointed HalberdPower BladesNeural WhipArco-FlailBlessed WeaponDialogus StaffChirurgeon's ToolsStaff of BeliefNull RodRod of OfficeSarissaParagon War BladeParagon War Mace
One-Handed Projectile Weapons Bolt PistolPlasma PistolHand FlamerInferno PistolCondemnor Boltgun
Two-Handed Projectile Weapons BolterFlamerMeltagunStorm BolterCombi-Weapon
Heavy Weapons Heavy BolterHeavy FlamerMulti-Melta
Grenades Frag GrenadeKrak GrenadeMelta-Bomb