Difference Between Sickle and Scythe

Sickle vs Scythe

Sickle and scythe are two important tools used in agriculture or farming. They are used for the same purpose of cutting grain from the fields and also have similar looks. Weeding is another purpose for which these two curved knives with handles are used. Both these manual tools were prevalent in different civilizations till the arrival of reaping machine. However, despite similarities and overlap in functions, there are differences between sickle and scythe that will be highlighted in this article.


Scythe is a tool that allows people to cut through grass and to reap grain from the fields. It consists of a long handle or shaft made of wood that has a blade or knife attached at right angles to it. There are scythes with two blades attached to them; one shorter blade attached in the middle of the shaft. One can use a scythe standing upright in the fields as it is used by holding it with both hands. The user need not hold grass or grain with one hand while cutting with a scythe. Cutting away weed and grass becomes easy with the help of scythe.

Scythes are lightweight and efficient and can be easily stored for frequent use in farming. The scythes with hand forged blades allow the handle or the snath to be light, making the tool easy to work with for long periods of time. You must keep the blade of the scythe sharp, to keep it working efficiently all the time.


Sickle is a farming tool that has a short handle and a semicircular blade. The user has to grip the weed or the grass in the left hand while making a sweeping motion with the sickle to cut through. It is hand held, and the user has to stoop to work through the grass, weed or grain in the fields. The inside edge of the curved blade is sharp, and a swing or inward motion is enough to cut grass. The edge of the blade can be smooth or serrated. Serrated blade is considered more effective while harvesting grain in a field.

What is the difference between a Sickle and a Scythe?

• Sickle has a short handle while scythe has a large handle.

• Sickle has a semicircular blade attached to the handle while, in a scythe, blade is attached at right angles to the handle called snath or snaith.

• Sickle is used with a single hand while scythe requires the individual to make use of both hands.

• Scythe is more comfortable as one can use it in upright, standing position whereas one has to stoop to work through grass and weed while using a sickle.

• The blade of a sickle can be smooth or serrated with serrated blade considered more efficient when reaping grain.

• Both sickle and scythe have been superseded by the introduction of reaping machine.

• One should guard his legs while working with a sickle or a scythe.