The pollaxe was born as a consequence of the arms race which led to the development of plate armour. With armour being immune to cuts and resistant to all but the most high impact thrusts, the pollaxe crushes, tears and punctures its way through the opponents defences.
Fiore refers to the pollaxe as being ‘heavy, cruel and deadly, making better blows than any other hand held weapon.’ Regardless of the grace and beauty that can go into the craftsmanship of individual pollaxes, there is no disguising that this is a weapon of brute force.
The weapons mass gives it the required momentum to crush or pierce armour plates. It is far heavier than any other weapon used in armizare. It can strike with either the hammer or the spike, or deliver heavy thrusts with the spear like point. You can also strike with the butt of the weapon, use either end to lever your opponent off balance, or use either side of the head as a hook to pull at your opponent.
Although the pollaxe section is relatively short, there is a great cross referential manner about Fior di Battaglia. The pollaxe posta parallel the sword in armour posta. One of the grappling plays is demonstrated, although any of them could be. Fiore also tells us that the pollaxe can perform all the plays of the sword and spear.