Sharpe's Sword was more commonly used by cavalry, specifically it was a 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword. It was designed for brute force, as opposed to dueling. (Sharpe's Rifles). It was a dedicated cutting weapon with a broad heavy blade and was renowned as being completely unfit for delicate swordsmanship. Most cavalry troopers used the blades like bludgeons and the guards as brass knuckle.

The pattern 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword was the sword used by the British heavy cavalry (Lifeguards, Royal Horse Guards, Dragoon Guards and Dragoons), and King's German Legion Dragoons, through most of the period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.