cavalry weapon in 1934. The 1840 saber had the nickname, "Old Wristbreaker," because it was fairly easy for the soldier to break his wrist in combat if he held the saber wrong. The proper way to hold the saber was inverted and away from your body. Normally sabers were not sharpened because they were intended to be used for thrusting, not slashing. Used exclusively in close combat from horseback, the saber knot would be used as a strap and wrapped around the wrist to prevent the saber from being lost should it be dropped in battle.