Weapons | Patch 2.1.2
In order to know which weapon-type is best for your Barbarian, determine whether you need to maximize your damage output or maximize your survivability. Below are listed the two weapon priorities for both max damage and max survivability capabilities.
Dual-Wield > Two-Hand > One-Hand & Shield
One-Hand & Shield > Dual-Wield = Two-Hand
Provides a 15% attack speed boost resulting in very fast attacks that do less damage per attack. Greatly improves the chance of receiving skill or 'on crit' procs. Use weapons that are within 15% DPS of each other to maintain optimal overall damage while dual wielding. Weapons with identical DPS are preferred when possible.
Slower attack speed with fewer, but stronger attacks. More burst damage when using skills with cooldowns. Two-hand weapons produce slow attack animations that make mobile and kiting gameplay styles more difficult to perform.
Faster attack speed with frequent, but weaker attacks. Extra attacks increase the number of skill and 'on crit' procs. One-hand weapons produce quick attack animations that make mobile and kiting gameplay styles easier to perform.
Increases your Armor and reduces the amount of damage you receive. If your Barbarian is dying too quickly in an encounter, equipping a shield may drastically improve your survivability.