The saber was principally designed for a cutting stroke. It usually had a single edge on either a curved or straight blade, which averaged 28 to 32 inches. "Short saber" is the term used to describe the light saber carried by most officers as their fighting sword.
Whereas the military hanger eventually became a sword used by non-commissioned officers, the short saber was originally designed as an officers sword. As such, the short saber usually incorporated a more ornate and fashionable hilt design. This helps illustrate class and social rank divisions between officers and regulary infantry and non-commissioned officers.