The Khanda has a straight, double-edged blade that broadens near the tip. The blade itself is quite broad and heavy, and transforms into the tip rather abruptly. The hilt has a metal spike coming out of the bottom that is typical of the Khanda.
Unlike other straight-bladed swords, the Khanda is poorly designed for thrusting, instead being used for hacking and slicing. Combined with the Indian martial art style known as Gatka, the Sikhs managed to achieve tremendous cutting power with this weapon. The Sikhs venerated the Khanda as a weapon of great prestige and honor, It had roughly the same place in Sikh's warrior classes as the Katana did to the Samurai. Sikh warriors in battle wielded the khanda with both hands and swung it over their head when surrounded and outnumbered by the enemy. It was in this manner that they traditionally committed an honorable last stand rather than be captured.
- One of the most important religious symbols in Sikhism is named "Khanda" and the symbol features a Khanda sword in the center with two Kirpans on the sides and a Chakram on the Khanda blade.
- A European equivalent of the Khanda was the Executioner Sword. As its name suggests; it was only used for executions. As seen with the French Arming Sword and Rapier; Europeans preferred thin thrusting swords since plate armor and chainmail was so effective at blocking slashing swords.