The bill consists of a head incorporated a bladed cutting edge, a hooked edge to the rear and a point, mounted upon a six foot long staff. The bill originated as an agricultural general purpose and hedging tool, which become mounted on a staff for military use.
As a battlefield weapon the bill was becoming obsolete as it was far outreached by the length of the pike. The exception would have been for gunners with the artillery to protect themselves from attack.
However in household garrison situations the bill was a particularly useful weapon. Firstly the bill can be used as an individual weapon and does not require the mass numbers that the pike does to work effectively. Due to the shortness of the staff, the viciousness of the bill head and the speed at which the weapon can be used, two billmen can effectively hold a gate or doorway against superior numbers. Secondly the bill is for more manoeuvrable within enclosed spaces than the longer pike and can be employed to effectively defend gateways and doors.
Another form of Pole arm was known as a Halberd and the Partizan, which was often used by Officers. It served to help manage troops in line and was a recognisable symbol off authority.