The only 2-handed weapons I have seen so far have been at most only a point or two higher in damage than a 1-handed weapon.

Why would I ever want a 2-handed weapon instead of two 1-handed ones? It seems like two one-handers will always be superior because you can have two sets of bonus effects.

5 Answers 5


You're looking at DPS, not Damage, right?

Two Handers tend to be slower - you attack much less frequently - but hit much harder. This is particularly useful in combination with the way several channelled or high-cost skills work - you'll conserve your resources more while doing comparable damage with a big heavy weapon, at the cost of defense, or possibly some extra damage. You'll also want to take a look at this question for a rundown on dual wield mechanics:

How is listed DPS calculated when dual-wielding weapons?

(Your class also comes in to play here. For example, Demon Hunters using a 2h such as a Bow instead of a Hand Crossbow can still equip a Quiver in the OH, retaining the stat bonuses from the offhand slot).

  • You can equip an off-hand with a 2H?
    – Rachel
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 11:52
  • @Rachel Quivers only, Demon Hunters only, only with a ranged weapon in the MH. Commented May 17, 2012 at 12:57
  • Ok, so it wouldn't work with a Wizard staff + offhand orb? I suppose technically it would make sense since you don't really hold a quiver in your hand...
    – Rachel
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 12:58
  • 1
    @Rachel yup, you can't use a 2h staff + offhand orc, only a 1h wand. Jealous of those DH's DPS. Until you see them get 1 shot ;)
    – theorise
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 7:16

The 2-hander I'm currently using is ~25% higher in DPS than anything else I've found, and it's rare so it has as many affixes as two normal weapons would have.

I think it all depends on what you find in your travels.


Some spells or auras rely on having a to hander equipped. For instance there is a monk passive that improves spirit regeneration rate when you have a two hander equipped. If damage isn't the only concern, two handers do have a place.


You do not attack with both 1 handers at the same time. You alternate, and thus each of your weapon-based damage skills are weaker since the weapon damage on each 1 hander is less than a 2 hander. The advantage, however, is that 1 handers are faster, so any skills that have proc (trigger) abilities, such as chance to stun/crit/slow/poison, will occur more often with 1 handers. Furthermore, in the case of demon hunter for example, you will generate hatred more quickly (though one might argue you also spend it faster). Experiment, and find out.


I think all of you didn't see the two-handed weapons in Diablo 3. For example:

2 handed daibo for monk "The Clouds and the Moon" for 37lvl has only 73-85 dmg

1 handed fist weapon for monk "Scarbringer" for 36lvl has 70-87 dmg!

So what's the point in using two-handed, slower and weaker weapon than fast one-handed? I think two-handed weapons should have MUCH higher dmg since they're slower (that's the point).

And it's not only on low levels:

60lvl one-handed fist "The Fist of Az'Turrasq": 332-447 dmg

60lvl two-handed daibo "Rozpedin's Staff": 438-608 dmg

I know it's higher but it should be like 1k for a 60lvled two-handed weapon.

In most games that's the way it should be (example: Diablo 2)

  • 1
    In Diablo 3 you can't rely on Legendarys you have to find/buy some high rolled rare(ilvl63 for best results). But Blizzard said that they want to buff Legendarys in the near future (soon™), then they could become viable. BTW: 2 handers have approx. 15% more damage than 1 handers of the same level
    – Lerkes
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 11:45

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