Slashing and chopping are the primary functions of dao, which are single-edged Chinese swords with a single edge. It is also known as the Chinese sabre, although those with wider blades are sometimes referred to as Chinese broadswords.
A modest curve and single edge characterise Dao blades, however a few inches of the back edge are often sharpened as well. Because of the mild curvature, they are able to be highly effective during the thrust.
The earliest known dao date back to the Shang Dynasty in China's Bronze Age, and were known as zhibeidao - straight-backed knives. Initially less popular than its counterpart the Jian, the dao became more popular with cavalry during the Han dynasty.
Slowly creeping up, the Dao became more and more popular with time. Towards the end of the Three Kingdoms period, the single-edged dao had almost completely replaced the jian as a weapon of combat.