Many people get confused with scythe vs sickle. But there’s a lot of difference between scythe and sickle. A scythe has a cutting width greater than that of a sickle. Its blade is long and curved. On the other hand, a sickle has a short handle with a short blade attached to it. Both the tools are used for the same purpose and look similar. These are used for weeding and cutting grain from the field. Before the reaping machine was invented, these manual tools came in handy. Apart from the look of these tools, multiple differences need to be highlighted.
For the development of civilization, agriculture has played a very important role. Rather than being in a constant search for food, man learned to stay in one place and experience the joy of agriculture. Through the domestication of animals and farming, the nomadic life of the people came to an end.
To facilitate the work related to agriculture, tools were invented. Farmers and peasants could utilize these tools for the cultivation of land. With the invention of tools like sickle and scythe, a lot of time and effort was saved.
Comparison Table: Scythe vs Sickle
|Shape and size of the blade||The blade is attached to the handle in the form of a right angle.||The blade is somewhat semi-circular in shape.|
|Size of the handle||Scythe is made of a longer handle than a sickle.||A sickle is made of a shorter handle than a scythe.|
|Direction of swinging||A scythe can be used only in one direction i.e. from right to left.||A Sickle can be used in both directions. From right to left or from left to right.|
|The position required for use||The user can be in the standing position while using the scythe.||The user needs to be in a stooping position to use a sickle.|
|Cutting of forage||Cannot be used for the cutting of forage.||Can be used for the cutting of forage.|
|Use of hands||Both hands cannot be used. The user cannot hold the plant in one hand and the tool in the other hand.||The user can hold the tool in one hand and the plant in another hand.|
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Earlier, the scythe was invented for the purpose of cutting grass. It was later used to reap crops. It replaced the use of the sickle which made the user stoop low or hunch a bit. The Scythe consists of a long handle with a blade attached to it at right angles.
The right way to use a scythe is to hold it using both hands, the left hand should be holding the top and the right hand should be holding the center. Then swing from the right to the left. Different parts of a scythe include the blade, ring, snath, lower grip, and upper grip.
The length of the blade can differ from 12 inches to 50 inches. It is usually made up of iron. The ring is a piece of metal used to hold the blade and the snath together in one place. The long handle of the scythe is called a snath. The upper and lower grip explains the placement of your hand. The right grip position helps to mow the grass or crops.
Scythes are very lightweight and easy to use. These are frequently used in farming. The hand-forged blades allow the handle to feel light. This makes it easy for the user to work for longer periods of time. The user must keep the blade sharp for effective use.
The sickle was invented during the Neolithic era. The earliest civilization of the Mesopotamia region started using this tool. It was made of flint and had jagged edges which were straight. Later on, the straight blade was changed to a curved one. The curved blade allowed the user to easily swing the tool against the base of the plant.
Since it has a smaller blade and handles compared to a scythe, its cutting width is limited. The sickle consists of four parts: the blade, ferrule, tang, and wooden handle. The Blade consists of iron or carbon steel. The tang is the end of the blade that is forged. The ferrule acts as the protective metallic bush to keep the tang attached in one place.
The tool should be held in the right hand and the user has to grip the weed in the left hand. Now using the right hand, the weed is chopped off in a sweeping motion. The user has to stoop low or hunch a bit for properly cutting the weed. The edge of the blade can be either smooth or serrated. Serrated blades are considered more useful when you’re harvesting grain in a field.
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Scythe Vs Sickle
Here are 6 main differences between scythe and sickle
1) Size and shape of the blade
The blade of the scythe is attached to the handle at a right angle. In the case of a sickle, the blade is semicircular in shape.
2) Size of the handle
A Scythe is made with a long handle. A sickle consists of a smaller handle.
3) The direction of the swing
The Scythe can be used only by swinging it from the right to left direction. But the Sickle can be used in both left-right or right-left directions.
4) Required position for use
While using the scythe, the user can stand. But the use of the sickle involves a stooping position because of its smaller handle.
5) Use of hands
One cannot use the Scythe in one hand and hold the plant in the other hand. While using a sickle, you can freely hold the plant in one hand and the tool in the other hand.
6) Forage cutting
A scythe cannot be used for the cutting of forage for animals. But the Sickle is suitable for cutting forage.
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Summary of Sickle vs Scythe
These two tools have multiple differences but are used for the same purpose of cutting grass. Both the Scythe and the Sickle have been replaced by modern-day machines and tractors. These ancient tools are no longer much in use in Industrial nations. Yet, these are very important tools that contributed to the development of modern farming and agriculture.
Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin