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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Which Windlass Viking sword . .         Reply with quote

Howdy folks!
I've been looking around here a while, among other places, and have decided to get a Windlass sword when funding permits. I was hoping to get the Ulfberht, but I can't find a dealer in the UK that sells it. So, in my price range, I picked out the following ones which I didn't think looked too bad, and not too ridiculous historically:

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/lobe-v...ec45d87f5f - Five Lobe Viking sword
This is probably my favourite on looks alone and seemed to have the most positive reviews... I prefer lobed pommels to have only three, but beggars can't be choosey.

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/swedis...ec45d87f5f - Swedish Viking sword
I really like the crossguard on this one, but the pommel looks, to me, bizarre. I've no archaeological expert, but I've never seen one like it before. I also prefer the slightly broader (1/4") and longer (about 1 3/4") blade, though that's not a huge deal, of course.

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/stickl...ec45d87f5f - Sticklestad Viking Sword
Again, I really like the crossguard but the pommel does nothing for me. I recall seeing a poor initial review on Sword Buyers Guide, but I'm not sure if that was purely due to poor out-of-the-box sharpness, or blade geometry.

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/viking...ec45d87f5f
Just called "Viking Sword"
I've heard nothing about this one, which doesn't really encourage me too much . . . I like the design a lot, but I'm weary of non-ferrous guards. When they say German silver, I presume they mean nickel silver? Good or bad choice for a guard? I've never used it for anything myself, but I've seen it put to good use as a bolster material for knives - of course, alluminium has been used for that, too.

I'll say now, I do make knives as a hobby so sharpening and to an extent, regrinding the edge, isn't a huge deal for me, and to be honest I wouldn't buy a sword for any of those prices without expecting to put in a bit of work to make it more accurate - namely, replacing the pommel with a top guard and pommel, and doing some work on the handle and scabbard. So basically, I'm looking for a decent blade that will be good for whacking things up in the back garden, with reasonable quality crossguard and pommel to do until I replace them, and with reasonable historical accuracy as far as blade shape, fuller and grind go.
Could anyone shed some light on which would be best?

Cheers in advance!
Pete

PS:
http://www.thevikingshop.co.uk/catalog/leuter...2141a0c93c
I forgot this one! The Leuterit sword. I do really like this one, not least because of the broader blade!

Cheers again!
Pete
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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
Joined: 10 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi

I can only tell you something about the german silver.
I've often worked with it, and I can tell you that it is much hareder than brass for example. It even seems to be harder than unhardened steel, so I think ist would be a good choice for the grip. And by the way, I think it looks really fancy too.....
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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the the Sticklestad and would strongly recommend it. It's initial review on SBG has since been updated. The problem was in fact with the sharpness, but www.reliks.com has improved their sharpening service. With proper sharpening, the Sticklestad cuts like a dream and is solid as a rock. A real beast of a Viking sword for the price. As for the finish, that can always be modified to suit your own tastes. I antiqued mine and plan on re-wrapping the grip down the road. The grip wrap is ok, but the suede absorbs the oils from your hand and will deteriorate over time. Also, the copper fittings are actually copper plated. I plan on replacing those with real copper wire when I replace the grip. Other than that, the Stickestad is a very nice weapon. I've also heard decent feedback about the 5-lobe and Leuterit, but I haven't had any personal experience with them. All 3 have peened pommels so be prepared for extra work when removing them. Hope this helps, and be sure to post pictures of your modifications when you finish Happy Good luck

-JM
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Which Windlass Viking sword . .         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:
...but I'm weary of non-ferrous guards. When they say German silver, I presume they mean nickel silver?


Nickel silver has no silver in it. It's an alloy of consisting of copper, nickel and zinc usually. There are different mixtures and sometimes zinc isn't in there. I would not want it for a sword hilt, especially on a Viking-styled sword. It's not something that would have been used historically. It's probably tough and resilient enough to work decently, but it's just far too out of place on a Viking sword, in my opinion.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh MacNeil wrote:
The problem was in fact with the sharpness, but www.reliks.com has improved their sharpening service.


Does Reliks do the sharpening themselves or do they use Museum Replicas as their sharpening service? I asked the same of Kult of Athena and was told that they (KoA) uses MRL's service.

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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin - interesting, I wouldn't have expected it to be that tough. Though now I really think about it, I guess toughness wouldn't be a huge factor with that particular sword - I reckon if anything's getting close enough to a crossguard that narrow to potentially hurt you, you've got a problem regardless of what it's made of!

Josh - that's nice to know Big Grin I did see the second take with the new sharpening, but I wasn't too sure whether it had just been sharpened, or had more serious edge-work done. What do you think of the pommel? To be honest, the more I look at it the less weird it looks. It'll never be my favourite, but I'm sure I could live with it! As for the peened pommel, I did suspect that. Not too sure how I feel about it - with some work and "precision engineering" I could probably replace the handle without having to remove the pommel (I've not handled many swords, but out of the ones I have, I have never been pleased with the handle) but it would be a bit annoying if I wanted to replace the pommel. I certainly will post pics, too Big Grin I've actually got a sword modification on the go right now (a John Barnett viking sword that cost me £30...) but I think it'll be a while before I can show it off with pride as historically accurate, unfortunately. Do you have any pictures of your antiqued sword?

Nathan - yeah, I tend to agree. My most recent purchase has an alluminium crossguard and pommel WTF?! Though in my defence, it was advertised as being steel!

Thanks and atb!
Pete
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would second the Sticklestad. I believe that KoA has this on sale for a fair price. The only thing that I don't like about it is that the scabbard hardware is held on with tiny brass set screws that strip easy and which don't do such a good job holding the mount position, but this is not a problem if you are planning on a custom scabbard anyway.

However, if you can find someone with the older Transitional Viking Sword laying around in old stock, this is a beautiful and functional blade that Windlass should have never stopped making (my friend found one new in October for $129). It's probably my favorite MRL sword and definately worth the leg work to see if a vendor has some old stock on.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter,
I'm going to be putting together a SBG review of another sword, so when I take pictures I'll be sure to take some of the Sticklestad too. I actually like the pommel more than the cross. Mostly because when I antiqued it, the pommel darkened more than the cross making for a slightly uneven finish. I'm pretty sure that the cross and pommel are two different kinds of steel, because I did extended antiquing treatments to the cross and it still isn't as dark as the pommel. But it's not a super drastic contrast. Aside from that, I like the pommel. It's aesthetically pleasing and nicely shaped. I find that it does have a tendency to dig into my wrist a bit when swinging it in a hammer grip, but i think that can be remedied with a better grip (and better technique on my part Worried) The handle itself isn't bad... for me it's just a bit to skinny, so i want to beef it up a tad with thicker leather.

-JM

-- By the way, don't be shy about posting work that you feel is less than perfect. Constructive criticism is always good. Wink
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Which Windlass Viking sword . .         Reply with quote

Peter, here are some brief comments on the ones I've owned or handled (your results may vary):

"http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/lobe-v...ec45d87f5f - Five Lobe Viking sword"

I highly recommend this sword if you like its plain looks. My detailed comments (and some test comparison to Sticklestad and Ulfberht with photos) are here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14442

"http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/swedis...ec45d87f5f - Swedish Viking sword"

I don't recomend it. This is in fact based on an historical sword with some liberties taken. I bought one -and regretfully returned it. I posted the details in this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11353

"http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/stickl...ec45d87f5f - Sticklestad Viking Sword"

Recommended. Most people like it and agree that it looks better in real life than in pictures. Mine is very light and a bit too flexible. The wood-core scabbard is a plus for storage, but about 2 sizes too large. They claim its based on an historical sword but I have never seen a pommel quite like it.

"http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/viking...ec45d87f5f
Just called "Viking Sword""

Don't know this one, but see my comments on next one:

"http://www.thevikingshop.co.uk/catalog/leuter...2141a0c93c
I forgot this one! The Leuterit sword. I do really like this one, not least because of the broader blade!"

I have handled this several times but did not buy it. Some find it to be poor handler - I think it is OK. What I don't like is the gaudy looking silver plate and the ugly way it is flaked off at the peen.

Others I own:

Ulfbehrt: OK, but guard is rather chunky and blade not stiff enough.

Damascus Viking: Nice value-level pattern-weld: I recommend it as a collectible wall hanger but not as a functional sword for serious use.

-JD
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE - That is a shame about the scabbard furniture. I did a google on the transitional viking sword, and it is nice but unfortunately the chances of me finding one in the UK are slim to none Sad And I don't want to import - the customs people are incredibly draconian here, even about folding pocket knives.

Josh - Could be worse - when antiquing my paul chen viking sword I found that the crossguard and pommel didn't colour at all WTF?! I assume they're stainless, but I was not impressed! Maybe try the handshake grip to stop the pommel digging in? I find the same thing with the hammer grip, unless the target is solid enough to stop the sword and close enough that there's little or no follow-through. I'll probably find the grip too thin too, but I'd be upset if I didn't have work to do!

JD - Thanks very much Big Grin It was actually the comparison between Ulfberht, Sticklestad and Five-Lobed that first pointed me towards it. Thanks for your comments on the others, too - I have been looking at the Damascus one for a future purpose, but wall hanger is all it would be, I'd probably be afraid to use most Damascus blades heavily.

Thanks and atb!
Pete
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Jim Adelsen
Industry Professional



Location: WI
Joined: 28 Dec 2005

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the Five Lobe is the best handling of the bunch.
www.viking-shield.com
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Ant Mercer




Location: Leeds, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Pete,

If there's a Windlass sword you particularly like, but can't find in the UK, try e-mailing or ringing the guys at theknightshop. They're really helpful and have specially ordered me swords from the states that they didn't have in-stock. It might take a week or two as they have to place the order and then wait for the delivery to come in, but it may be worth it - up to you. At least you wouldn't have to worry about tax and duties you'd incur importing it yourself.

cheers,

Ant
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:
JE - That is a shame about the scabbard furniture. I did a google on the transitional viking sword, and it is nice but unfortunately the chances of me finding one in the UK are slim to none


I forgot to mention that one - transitional viking sword. I agree with JE. If you can find a good one it is such a super sword and handles well if you don't mind a blade with a lot of presence - which is likely historically accurate anyway. I've had one for years and this is also my favorite Windlass sword. To me it is worth more than many $500 swords.
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ant - to be honest, the main reason I was after the Ulfberht was because of the review on SBG, which was pretty glowing. I was never big on the pommel or guard though, both of which seem to scream "Norman" to me rather than "Viking". And judging by the pumpkin whacking link JD showed, I'm sure the five lobed will work well enough Happy

While I do think the transitional viking sword looks good, and obviously has just received good reviews, I'm really put off by the crossguard and length of the fuller. . . if it were local, I'd consider it, but given that I can only seem to find it in the states, I'll probably not.

Thanks!
Atb
Pete

PS (I seem to be post-scripting a lot recently)
Ant, since you've dealt with the Knight Shop already, what do you think of their sharpening service, if you've used it? Reckon it's worth it?

Atb
Pete
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:
While I do think the transitional viking sword looks good, and obviously has just received good reviews, I'm really put off by the crossguard and length of the fuller. . . if it were local, I'd consider it, but given that I can only seem to find it in the states, I'll probably not.


It really ain't a viking sword anyhow - its an early medieval sword with a type XII blade, a lobated quasi-Viking pommel and a (probably) Anglo-Saxon inspired guard. But I think you already know what you want anyway. Wink

As has been said so many times before about Windlass, these vary a lot in quality control so you should establish first that you will be able to exchange it if there is any problem. Hold out for a good one. Good luck.
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Ant Mercer




Location: Leeds, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Pete,

The sharpening service wasn't too bad. I've had all my swords from them sharpened and they've been fairly well done. They create a knife-like secondary bevel which is very obvious. This isn't too much of a problem for me as I sand these out and give the shiny-shiny blade more of a matt finish anyway. So if you're happy with the secondary bevel or with correcting it yourself it might be worth it as a time- and labour-saving option. Mind you, you say you make your own knives so it might be worth saving the money and doing it yourself!

I prefer to save myself the stress of ruining the blade.


Probably not much help, now I ready it back... Confused

Cheers,

Ant
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JD - Yeah I think I'm starting to realise too that I know what I want Happy What sort of quality control issues? Are we talking bad grinds, bad fit and finish? Just because if it's a bad fit and finish, I can handle that, but if it was a bad temper I'd be worried about ordering it with a sharpening service, since some retailers I've heard dont take returns on sharpened swords...

Ant - I might just go ahead and get the sharpening service then. While I'm used to sharpening knives, I'm finding the technique worryingly different so far! I'd basically be worried about getting a wobbly edge. How thick are the edges to begin with? A couple mm, or reenactment standards?

Thanks and atb!
Pete
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The common complaints are loose hilt furniture (sometimes fixable if you don't mind re-peening and/or shimming) and overly flexible blades. However the latter is usually more a problem on their long-swords. The 5-lobe should be fine. -JD
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of the swords mentioned I handled 5-lobe, Sticklestadt, Leuterit, Ulfberht and Transitional.
I liked them all, but Leuterit was my favorite for handling. It has very nice, wide blade, flexibility was just how it should be, it had enough authority but still well balanced and maneuverable. Transitional was a bit too point heavy for my taste, but not too much and it was probably superior sword to all Windlasses I handled in overall quality. But earliest dating for such sword would be about 1100 so it's not really a viking sword. Sticklestadt and 5-lobe are also nice, well made swords, but they didn't make a big impression on me. They just don't have "authentic viking" feeling to me. It was personal probably. Wink Ulfberht was also very nice sword, many people praise it, but I think it is a bit too flexible and It has massive hilt and light, thin blade so I think it doesn't have enough blade presence for a sword used in a shield wall. Happy All in all, I would probably go with the Leuterit.
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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:
JE - That is a shame about the scabbard furniture. I did a google on the transitional viking sword, and it is nice but unfortunately the chances of me finding one in the UK are slim to none Sad And I don't want to import - the customs people are incredibly draconian here, even about folding pocket knives.


Peter,

I haven't posted on here for a long time but just happened upon this thread and read about your predicament and thought I'd throw in my 2 pennies worth:

Anyway, I don't know how much experience you have with UK customs but I ordered the Windlass Ulfberht Sword about 18 months ago from Kult of Athena in the US and had no problems with UK Customs at all; all I had to do was pay VAT on the sword when it arrived in the UK, which I did online and it was with me about 3 days later.

Now I don't know if they have become anymore draconian over the last year and a half; I dare say if you were to import knives, then considering the current hysteria about knife crime in the UK, customs might put your order under added scrutiny. From what I can gather if its not on their list of things to look out for ie firearms, Samurai swords etc then they aren't particularly bothered as long as it conforms to the rules and all duties/VAT is paid. So going off my own experience, ordering from the US is not something which I would find a great problem.

BTW I've dealt with the guys at the theknightshop before and they have always been very helpful so if you do go the route of ordering through theknightshop then you shouldn't have any problems.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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