Category: Swords

Review: SPES Dussack Waster

Given how important the dusack has been both in the fencing schools and tournaments, all the way from the very early 1500s up until Napoleon and the late 1700s, as well as on the battle fields as a weapon of war, it is somewhat surprising to see how comparatively little love it is given within historical fencing circles, at least when compared to the longsword and the rapier. Possibly this is due to two causes; both a still common belief that it was just a wooden toy sword – not quite understanding its historical role and use, but more...

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Review: Regenyei fechtschwert

  The swordsmiths around the world have seen some pretty fierce competition developing over the last few years, especially the high-end companies like Albion, who suddenly find themselves being outrun by swordsmiths who directly target the needs of us HEMA-fencers, which Albion really doesn’t, instead more catering to sword collectors. One such swordsmith that I have been fortunate enough to follow is the Hungarian swordsmith Péter Regenyei. This review will discuss his training swords of the so called “feder” type. Data Manufacturer: Regenyei Armory Sword type: Fechtschwert Blade length: 39.4″ (100cm) – Can be modified to 35.4 – 40.9″ (90-104cm)....

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Review: Arms & Armor Fechterspiel Sword

  Swordsmith: Arms & Armor Arms & Armor have been making swords for practice and sparring since the late 80’s which makes them a very old player in the HEMA field indeed. According to themselves, they felt that they originally had a hard time building a market for swords of the federschwert type, since most customers wanted something that looked like a “real” sharp, and it wasn’t until the late 90’s that they felt that there was a growing market for the federschwert. Still, that makes their federschwert one of the oldest and most tested training swords in HEMA, particularly...

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Hands-on Preview: Pavel Moc Fechtschwert

HEMA has gone through a lot of progressive development in the last decade. The community is growing rapidly and bouts, tournaments and other forms of sportive sparring have become a standard part of practicing Kunst des Fechtens. The demand for weapons suitable both for practice and sparring is definitely as big as the demand for good protective gear. The Big Schermowski from John Meadowcourt on Vimeo. Unfortunately, most of the weapons used by hemaists today do not meet the condition of versatility. Despite the availability of well-made swords practitioners choose weapons which are sometimes not even suitable for proper...

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Review: Lichtenauer steel longsword

In a way I think one’s first real sword is like your first love. It is something you will always remember in a special way, since it was such a strong emotion experienced for the first time. My first, was a Pavel Moc Dürrer. Since then I have bought several swords of his making, both sharp and blunt. Following a debate regarding the length of longswords, and having written a short article about How long a longsword should be, I was quite excited hearing that Pavel had designed a new really long longsword called the “Lichtenauer”. The images I initially saw didn’t exactly lessen this excitement. But first a little background on the maker of this sword: Pavel lives and works in Kolin, 45km east of Prague, and has been making swords professionally for 13 years. In his ancestry Pavel has blacksmiths going back several generations and this, in combination with his interest in history led him onto the path of becoming a professional swordsmith. In his factory he designs and produces swords both for reenactors, for HEMA-sparring and truly amazing high-end replicas for museums and collectors. The specific profile of his works is to create designs close to historic originals and still keep the price range in line with what is affordable to the wider swordsmen community. At this he is without doubt quite successful, although a certain...

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Review: The Dave Rawlings/Knightshop Synthetic longsword – Pro-Line Extreme

Few HEMA-related products have caused as much debate as the Dave Rawlings/Knightshop range of Synthetic Swords. This comes quite natural as they were developed in close collaboration with the HEMA community, and the way we practice differ quite a lot inbetween clubs. So how has the Red Dragon Armoury succeeded in satisfying all our different expectations? The answer is complicated and to be perfectly honest, I find the Knightshop line of synthetic swords a bit tricky to review, which is the reason why the review was delayed quite a bit. Although I have had concerns for some of the characteristics of the blades and share other peoples’ concern regarding “whippiness” and a tendency to leave somewhat nastier bruises, I also think it is partly a matter of using the right tool for the job.  Furthermore, I am deeply impressed by the manufacturer’s ambition to improve on the blades to make them suit the HEMA fencers’ needs while maintaining a sustainable production method that works with mass production. With that said, the Knightshop synthetic longswords have both advantages and disadvantages. The blades are quite safe in thrusting. At the same time, a bit too large flexibility still makes working from the bind rather tricky and since this is essential in the fencing most of us study, it is a problem. However, it becomes less pronounced with each “generation” of these...

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Review: Zugadore poly sparring sword by Revival.us.

This waster came seemingly out of nowhere onto the market, at a time were we are seeing very quick changes and developments in the line of sparring swords available for HEMA fencers. Its sleek lines and, for a Liechtenauer-fencer, odd-sounding name has raised a bit of attention amongst the HEMA fencers, but how does it hold up to closer scrutiny? Let’s find out… The Zugadore waster was designed by Revival.us in close collaboration with Brian R. Price, notable author of several books on medieval and Renaissance combat and the founder of Schola St. George, which today has 17 chapters...

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Review: Norrlands waster by Plastsmeden

The best longsword nylon wasters I have tried thus far were hand made by Pentti of GHFS. Unfortunately he no longer produces these, so they are near impossible to come by. However, the little known “Norrlandswastern” is the next in line and it offers quite unique features. In fact it excels in many ways and makes the Penttis look crude. These too are handmade with quite a bit of love and pride, and they can be designed according to your specifications, with regards to length and balance. In fact, a small folder, describing how to shorten the grip to...

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Review: Synthetic Longsword Type II by Purpleheart Armoury

This hand-made Synthetic Longsword II is actually a bit of an old Rolls Royce or a Bentley. The quality of the build and components is excellent and it is based on a design of wooden wasters that have been proven from more than ten years of use. It is very sturdy and will probably outlast many of the other nylon wasters. At the same time, in my opinion, the general design has been somewhat bypassed by synthetic swords of other makers, both in handling and with regards to safety characteristics. Looking at the characteristics it is roughly an equivalent...

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Review: Synthetic Longsword Waster by Pentti of GHFS

I consider myself very fortunate having had the chance to follow the development and having been able to practice with the infamous Pentti nylon wasters, which in my experience is amongst the finest nylon sword simulators, if not the finest; due to a very simple reason, the quality of the material in the blades… Sparring clip showing the last generation of the Pentti wasters. Unfortunately Pentti no longer produces these wasters so they can only be bought second hand, if you are lucky enough to find someone who is willing to part with his Pentti waster. However, the blade characteristics of these are so unique that I feel that it is vital to take a closer look at the Penttis before discussing the other synthetics on offer by other makers. UPDATE: PurpleHearts makes very fine copies of these called Pentti+ and I can highly recommend them, as they are near identical in design, and above all uses the same high-quality material, rolled Amid PA6. Admirably, Pentti has never settled with a single design. On the contrary, he has listened to the opinions and thoughts of the rest of the club and has constantly sought to improve his designs, ending with a 4th generation of his longsword design. Cleverly, this has obviously been studied well during the development of the Knightshop synthetic longswords and it continues to influence other makers as...

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Sparring swords – Introduction

What defines a good sparring weapon? A common notion is that it should be as close as possible to the real, sharp weapon it simulates, but be designed with safety in mind, thus lowering the risk of permanent injury. However, since a sharp weapon is designed to injure, this is an inbuilt contradiction. Due to this simple fact, safer weapons always have drawbacks since they just aren’t supposed to perform the same way as real weapons. This has lead to various forms of solutions by different makers, both historically and in modern times. Traditionally, there have been a few...

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Review: Albion – The Regent

Thoughts: The Regent belongs to a category of longswords that can be presumed to have its origin in the mid 15th century Germany. The pommel is a development of the fishtail type, the blade is hollow ground and thus has no fuller. What hits you when you at first see the Regent, is quite likely the beautiful lines. The hollow ground blade that curves to an aggressive point, the characteristic pommel type and the unusual grip combines into a particularly pleasing overall impression. The looks in particular has also made many reevaluate the hollow ground swords, and the Regent...

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Review: Lutel 15019

Thoughts: Lutel 15019 is a typical sword created for modern training or steel sword sparring. The blade is simple and the edge is designed to take a beating and is therefore thick, and the sword’s characteristics are good, considering the price and the fact that it is a blunt weapon. There are a few problems though, the first being that the sword has a strong resonance and that the vibrations are considerable. The second is that such a heavy sword, that isn’t completely balanced, is straining in wrists and arms, to beginners in particular, whom likely are the target...

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