I can't seem to find the answer anywhere on the internet.
What weapons did the Jedi and Sith use before they moved on to proto-sabers?
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This is addressed in the Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force factbook. In short, the early Jedi Order started with metal swords, then progressed to swords forged (and artificially hardened/sharpened) with Force powers before then moving onto proto-Lightsabers and finally Lightsabers proper.
If you played SW:TOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and you play as a Jedi Knight or a Sith Warrior the starter weapon you get is a practice saber (also called a vibrosword.)
Virbroswords are melee weapons with cylindrical blades that delivered painful shocks on contact instead of cutting or cauterizing like a normal sword or a lightsaber.