There are three types of Swords used in Fencing. They are foil, epee, and sabre.
The foil is a light thrusting weapon with a maximum weight of 500 grams. The foil may target the torso (including the back), neck, and groin, but not the arms or legs. The foil has a small circular hand guard that serves to protect the hand from direct stabs. As the hand is not a valid target in foil, this is primarily for safety.
The epee is a thrusting weapon like the foil, but heavier, with a maximum total weight of 775 grams. In epee, the entire body is valid target. The hand guard on the epee is a large circle that extends towards the pommel, effectively covering the hand, which is a valid target in epee. Like foil, all hits must be with the tip and not the sides of the blade.
The sabre is a light cutting and thrusting weapon that targets the entire body above the waist, except the weapon hand. Saber is the newest weapon to be used. Like the foil, the maximum legal weight of a sabre is 500 grams. The hand guard on the sabre extends from pommel to the point at which the blade connects to the hilt. This guard is generally turned outwards during sport to protect the sword arm from touches.