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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,221

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun, 2008 2:33 am    Post subject: kovex ars armoury         Reply with quote

http://www.kovex-ars.cz/armoury.html

Does anyone have some experience with them? Prices are quite low, I wonder what the quality is like...
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Monty C




Location: Rome
Joined: 06 Jun 2008

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun, 2008 7:46 am    Post subject: Kovex Ars         Reply with quote

Hello, Luka

I just happened to be sailing around, saw your question, and signed up so I could answer it. I'm not one much for posting on forums, but I feel I owe it to Kovex to say something!

Kovex makes wonderful weapons. The quality-price ratio is incredible. In fact, all of my students use Kovex swords! I don't recommend anybody else for swords, really, to tell you the truth. While their appearance might seem a little plain, perhaps, they are solid and functional swords--and by "solid and functional" I mean very well balanced and flexible yet strong. Lively. This goes for what I've personally handled, at least. They have a lot of types to choose from!

So, for my personal experience with them. I've handled a dozen or so longswords of theirs, a solid viking sword, and a couple of zweihanders, and they are all a delight to fight with. The zweihanders feel exceptionally light for their great size. Wonderful. The longswords, too, are very well balanced and are thus very manageable and maneuverable. The examples I've had my hands on aren't blade heavy at all. They have (once again, the ones I've had my hands on) noticeable percussion points about two-thirds down the blade, and they sing when you're working on the flat...

I've fought with two halbards of theirs. I'm quite pleased. The blades are not too heavy, and the haft is solid and eight-sided, all in all about two meters long (because of shipping requirements, really--same concerns for the big swords). Pretty well balanced if you're holding it like in half-staff.

The other various arms of theirs I've fought with include a morningstar (terribly dangerous with that spiked steel ball, so I don't recommend it to anybody for real use unless you're the real thing, because you have to be able to stop that weight at the end of the chain instantly if your partner does something wrong and that's not the easiest thing in the world to do at speed), various daggers (all nicely balanced and flexible--I bent mine out of shape by the hilt once taking too much force in a deviation on the flat, bent it back, and it's still good a year or so later), a hand axe, flail (the one with rings at the ends of several chains--that I can recommend to play with if you're careful and know what you're doing because it's bark is far worse than it's bite), and a small flanged mace (wow--it sings from contact with steel and is capable of breaking just about anything without too much force--watch out! but nice! ).

I can't say the same thing about their helms, though my experience is somewhat limited. I've had only one helm of theirs, a sallet, and it was just too thin for comfort. A little banging around and it didn't last too well in the joints. It cost too much for the quality, in my opinion. There are far better helms for the same price (like http://www.die-ritterschmiede.de/). Like Kovex swords, my students wear die ritterschmiede helms. Kovex helms are a little too common--I don't mean that harshly, but for helms I have very high standards, and if you're not talking about 2mm for 200 euro or so, then you're not up to par in my book.

I've seen a few of their leather products--some sword scabbards--and they're nice and sturdy. Can't complain about them, really. One student of mine has some of their mail gauntlets and they seem pretty nice. Good price, too. Can't say too much about their armor pieces, though. Other than a pair of elbow cops that I have of theirs (which are nice enough, by the way), I don't have any experience with them or with shields of any kind. And, unfortunately, I have to add their crossbows to that little list, though I really wish I could say otherwise about them! They're on the list...

So there you have it, in my opinion and experience. For my "experience" I should say that it's not the lightest use one could imagine. I've put those weapons to the test--and by that I mean I've used them in unchoreographed live duels both at my school innumerable times, and in front of the public and on tv. I've done hundreds of demonstrations and "shows" of western martial arts over the last few years in Italy, and I'm still using the kovex longsword that I got four or five years ago. Obviously now I'm talking about real swordplay/combat and none of that blade-bashing edge-on-edge hollywood hack stuff. No sword can live through that shameful behaviour, but my longsword is still going strong after all the use that I've put it through. The pommel is tight , as well as the hilt. Nothing is loose or wobbly, and the leather on the grip is just fine, too, amazingly enough now that I think about it!

Hope that helps. I'm always willing to share a few good words about Kovex swords!
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jun, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for your answer, it's very informative. :-)
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jun, 2008 3:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, one more thing, what are the sword edge thicknesses? Would it be recommendable to sharpen their swords for cutting?
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Monty C




Location: Rome
Joined: 06 Jun 2008

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 08 Jun, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: edge thickness         Reply with quote

Well, my longsword has a pretty thick edge in my opinion...2 mm. Maybe that's not thick in other people's opinions, maybe it's average for swords around the world. Most swords I've seen in general are about that thick at the edge (except for diamond cross-sectioned swords), and Kovex's swords in general are about that thickness, too, from what I've seen.

As for sharpening it, I think that might be a big job if you wanted to have one continuous taper to the edge. If you sharpen it in a way that it has two bevels, two angolations to the tapering towards the edge, then it wouldn't matter, but if you want one smooth taper to an edge it might be quite a work. I can't say what that would do to the overall balance of the sword at that point either, besides the obvious point that it would shift it back to the hilt, and maybe quite a bit, but since I haven't sharpened one of their swords I can't say. I've been tempted to, though!

You know, you might ask Kovex to sharpen it for you. Or at least make you a sword that has a thinner edge so that it can be easily sharpened. They are rather helpful. They have mixed-and-matched pommels, hilts, and blades for us a number of times without blinking an eye, so it wouldn't hurt to ask.
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Andreas Auer




Location: Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe
Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sun 08 Jun, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

in my opinion....

they are too heavy, not to well balanced, and i saw a few of them breaking off in the last year...so no kovex swords for me then (i'm owning one, but i'm not really using is, as it is heavy like a crowbar)...his Helmets i love though...

Andreas

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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Posts: 915

PostPosted: Mon 09 Jun, 2008 1:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On the road test here

http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...;idpage=41


and here pics of the blade after various period of use


http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...;idpage=42

also

http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...;idpage=87

pics of blade after use

http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...;idpage=88


last

http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...idpage=128

Judging from their look, the usual medieval-ish sword used typically in the european continent for the most diffused low level reenactment.

As a little example, look at the one hander, a sword purportedly from the XIII century which sports a ricasso ...

The blades seem to be made with good steel, so they don't nick easily in the edge as most of he other blades we use.

That's the only difference I see from standard products we see on reenactment field, whose relationship with real museum examples and Oakeshott typology is peregrine at best.

If you look with attention at the battlesword.net website, you will notice how an albion I.33 will stand out as the only real sword among the other blades.

It is a striking difference.

In fact, the reviewer at battlesword says that it appears as a real medieval sword when handled.
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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Mon 09 Jun, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have quite a few Kovex blades in our group and the older ones (~3 years old) are considerably lighter than the newer ones. Other than that not much to say. They're not my favourites, but they seem cheap and (quite) sturdy. So far we've had one break, and that was readily replaced (no questions asked), and another one just broke at the handle 2 weeks ago after 3 years of hard use.
School voor Historische Schermkunsten

www.bruchius.com
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,221

PostPosted: Mon 09 Jun, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems that it would be a good idea to e-mail them and ask for the weights of the swords I'm interested in.
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Hendrik De Coster




Location: Belgium
Joined: 20 Jan 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon 09 Jun, 2008 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i'm a young belgian student and i recently bought an old sword from them
this sword had seen many many battles with much edge on edge combat,however it's edge is still perfect and almost no dammage was done
however, this was one of his early blade who were handforged, the new ones don't really have the same quality
a lot of them don't even have a pointy tip anymore=/
much of them now have square tips now, a real disspapointment to me
however, if you can pick up some of his older blades, do it, they proubly are not that good for cutting but if you intent to use them for combat they are exelent=)

*sorry about possible spelling, foreigner;)*
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Chris Kelson





Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Reading list: 26 books

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jun, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My group seems to have a great love of their blades for re-enactment use, and several have been standing up to heavy use twice a week for a couple of years now with only minor repairs needed for the most part. They are often a little heavy, but the balance is still good and they are very durable. They're not top-of-the-line, but for most newer/poorer Razz people in our group they are just whats needed. Another reason they're quite popular is that they're one of only a few eastern european armourers thats been coming over to the UK for markets and shows to trade. Wink
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jun, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that there is a US company that resells some of Kiveks' products at an obscene price increase. Like three or four times what I would estimate is market value. How are they about working with US customers?
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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Joined: 08 Apr 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jun, 2008 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use a Kovex sword myself and I love it. The steel is pretty strong but still flexible. Yes there are better swords but kovex has a great price-quality ratio.

For the armour i can tell you pretty much the same. You can find way better armour, yes of course. But the for the price that Kovex offer their armour you get some nice stuff.

Yes, I like what they make Happy
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jun, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm happy with mine - the only re-enactment sword I've seen with a distal taper!

Balance is pretty good for the length (due to the taper, size of pommel and length of grip)

Good value for money, but as with everything, you can pay more and get better - but I would be hard pressed to find better for the price.

Grip is long, but that's kind of a norm for re-enactment swords to make up for the extra blade weight needed to make it durable and safe.
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Patrick Gilbers





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat 03 Jul, 2010 1:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Robson wrote:
I'm happy with mine - the only re-enactment sword I've seen with a distal taper!

Balance is pretty good for the length (due to the taper, size of pommel and length of grip)

Good value for money, but as with everything, you can pay more and get better - but I would be hard pressed to find better for the price.

Grip is long, but that's kind of a norm for re-enactment swords to make up for the extra blade weight needed to make it durable and safe.


Most of the Kovex swords are turned into saws within a few weeks after buying it. The strangest thing, and especially on a forumpost on myArmoury, is that noone notes the differences between a Kovex sword and a real one. (where are the people who place all those balanced, good reviews on this website?)
Some of the Kovex swords have an Oakeshott type X blade and a scentstopper pommel. Next to it they have neither the balance nor the weight of a historical sword. The steel where the earlier blades were made from was very good indeed. But afther they went to the West-European market and had to invest in all the trips to those medieval markets, they started to economise.

That seems logical because of the high costs. Unfortunately they don't look at any detail of the historical swords. Look at the Viking swords, they simply don't understand most of the Vikingswords had a lower and a upper cross guard. It seems that they don't know how an early medieval pommel looks like either.

When you look at the One-and-a-half handed gothic sword you can see a typically Hallstatt blade with a renaissance guard and something that should look like an Oakeshott type T pommel.

Off course re-enactors that are used to be specialised in their period know this differences very well. If a good replica sword is too heavy, use a spear.
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