For the most part, armor protects against Slash Damage more than the other physical damage types. This is especially true for medium and heavy armor sets. Although many sets protect well against Slash Damage, many weapons that inflict it also posses the Bleed auxiliary effect.
To lower Slash Damage, it is necessary to raise the Slash Defense stat.
As a general rule, the heavier an armor piece is, the higher its defense against Physical damage will be.
Light armor sets are not the best choice to reduce Slash Damage, however, the Chain Set, Xanthous Set and Lord's Blade Set are the heaviest of all light armors, and therefore offer higher defense against Slash Damage. When fully upgraded, the Chain Set offers the highest Slash Defense of any light armor set. Lighter armor sets that offer very good Slash Defense, while still being lightweight, are the Crimson Set and Big Hat's Set.
The Ring of Steel Protection raises all forms of Physical Defense.
Unlike armor, shields modify damage based on a percentage and all forms of Physical Damage are affected by its single modifier. Many standard shields and greatshields protect against 100% of Physical Damage; the Spider Shield, Bloodshield and Tower Shield are examples of these.
Daggers ( † ) denote weapons that also inflict Thrust Damage as part of its moveset.
Slashes ( / ) denote weapons that also inflict Bleed buildup.
Asterisks ( * ) denote weapons that also inflict Fire Damage.