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Rusty Thomas




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Best Handling Sword?         Reply with quote

This is a pretty broad question but here goes. “If you were trying to demonstrate to a novice how well a medieval European sword handles. What current production sword would you give them that you think would most impress with its handling abilities?” I’m not talking about “this sword handles well for its intended purpose” but a sword that anybody could pick up and the first thought would be. “Wow, I could use this.” I hope this makes sense. I would tend to think a longsword would fit the bill the best perhaps the Brescia Spadona or the Munich or possibly even the Svante sword (Sadly I’ve never handled any of these) Sad . But single-hand swords aren’t out of the question. Thanks.

Rusty
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Gabriel Lebec
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Svante is a huge massive sword. Its handling is amazing to feel thanks in part to the weight and position of the pommel, but if your intention is to debunk popular myths about European swords then my first choice would be something more typical.

I very much like the feel of my Munich, but it is new to me and my experience tends more towards Japanese blades, so I'm probably not the most objective source. Wink Still, my understanding is that the Munich is more or less representative of well-balanced European longswords. [EDIT: a superficially similar sword to consider: I notice that Bill Grandy praises the handling of Arms and Armor's Dürer Bastard Sword.]

I had a chance to pick up the beautiful Albion Gallowglass once and I have to say that one was like a feather, a super fast blade - will shock anyone with preconceptions of "European iron bars." But like the Svante, not really typical.

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Last edited by Gabriel Lebec on Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:43 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well for single-handers, I'd have to recommend the Thegn, Reeve, and Squire...they all have that "wow this is way lighter than it looks but could really do some damage" feel that should change some people's perceptions.
I hope this helps,
Dan
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a Munich and a Svante and I have nothing but good things to say about both. The Svante wins in a contest between those two, but they're both handle amazingly well. They have that feeling where the sword seems to want to move. The sensation is almost like you're surrounded by an invisible network of strings and pulleys assisting your movements. the distribution of mass is executed perfectly. You know that you're holding a four pound sword when you pick up a Svante, but once the blade begins to move, gravity ceases to exist in the vicinity of the blade. I'd never experienced that before with my older MRL pieces. It's neat. Big Grin
Pax,
Sam Barris

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a much more difficult question to answer than it might appear at first glance. The reasons for this, as the topic's author already starts to mention, is that swords are created for a wide variety of purposes and intended dynamic characteristics.

Given that the original question is intending to find a sword that any person, even those not versed in the subject of swords, could hold, "understand", and use, I think the best result would be to find a sword that is sort of a "well behaved jack of all trades".

So having said that, I'd pick an Albion Knight sword as a single-hander or an Albion Crecy sword as a longsword.

Both of these swords are very much, in my opinion, a representation of a archetypal sword type that can be recognized by the general person as being a "medieval sword" and happen to exhibit very well-rounded characteristics for their types. They're easy to use, not particularly heavy or dynamically fickle, and neither sit at any extreme of any scale of measurement.

As an aside, I'd say that neither the Brescia Spadona, Munich, nor Svante are representing any average characteristic of the European sword. This includes both visual/aesthetic details and dynamics properties. All three of these swords are somewhat specialized in one way or another -- which is probably why I'd love to own them all.

(I realize this might not answer the question entirely, as it doesn't answer what is the "easiest" to use, the "most dynamic", or "most forgiving" sword. But for any of those, I'd have many questions to ask the person before I could answer. The response would mostly be "...at what?" or "...for what purpose?" and would likely not lead to many answers. Instead, I approached it in the manner above. I hope that it's helpful.)

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Brian K.
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan pretty much summed it up nicely.

However, this topic is subject to a matter of opinion & debate. I don't know how it could accurately be answered without a bias opinion as well based on someones own personal experience & ownership. How does one answer this without actual physical experience with all manufactured swords?

Part of the enjoyment in collecting sharpies is discovering how each new blade you come across does something different in your hand.

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately it almost always seems to be the next one you buy!!! WTF?!
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Last edited by Joe Fults on Tue 24 Mar, 2009 8:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a divide between swords that were used mainly against maille and those used against plate armor.

For the first, using Albion Swords - a Xa like the Templar (I'd like to say the Oakeshott, but it isn't typical), a XII like the Knight, and for a Grete sword, the XIIIa Duke.

For pure thrusters against plate - The type XV Poitiers and the XVa Talhoffer.

For a later more cut and thrust sword, the type XVIII Kingmaker and the XVIIIb Earl


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Tue 24 Mar, 2009 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking only about longswords...

If I wanted to wow someone with how a medieval longsword handled, I'd show them the Brescia Spadona. Nathan is right, this is not a typical sword and is highly specialized, but it's a dream to handle.

The Svante, in my opinion, is not a good sword to show people. When you hold the Svante, you go "wow that feels so light I can't believe this is a 4lb sword wow wow wow". But then if you actually start to swing it around, you change your tune to "oh yeah, this is a 4lb sword." Getting the balance that close to the handle did some wonky things to that sword's dynamic balance and handling characteristics. I love the sword...it's a great sword, and very impressive, but not the best handler out there, despite how it feels when you first pick it up.

The Munich is also, IMO, a poor example. If the Svante is a 4lb sword that is supposed to feel like a 3lb sword, then the Munich is a 3lb sword that is supposed to feel like a 4lb sword. This is a good thing for an experienced longsword fencer, but not something you can wow someone with.

I think the Albion Talhoffer...older blade...is a superb handling sword. The new ones with the super beefy points not so much (I'm assuming the new Talhoffers get this point...I've only seen it on a Ringeck so far). If I had to show someone a "typical" medieval longsword but wanted to wow them with handling, I'd give them a Talhoffer.

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The best handling medieval swords that I personally own are the:

Arms & Armor French Medieval Sword and the Angus Trim 1509.

Both are quite nice in their prospective single-handed and two-handed categories.

I've held and owned alot of other offerings. I am fond of the Del Tin 5161 and found that the handling is phenominal for a $350 sword, though heavier and not quite as fast as the AT 1509. However, if I did not own the ATrim, the Del Tin would be my favorite two hander.

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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would have to say the A&A Oakeshott sword. Although it's not my favorite period and I sold mine a while back, this sword feels like what I imagined a sword should feel like before I handled a lot of swords. Smooth but with power and precision. I can imagine a sword novice thinking "I could use this weapon and have it do what I want."
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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Squire, fo'sho. Whenever I hand it to someone who has never handled a sword before, they get a surprised look, like they just picked up a carton of milk that they thought was full, but turns out to be empty. Happy
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too concure that the Albion knight and crecy handle very well and are good "typical" swords. I also like the Albion sherrif a lot as well.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Nathan, swords of a "typical" or recognizable design would be the best candidates for an educational experience. The Svante is one of my personal favorites but it is a bit of an odd duck in terms of common perception. (I don't find it "wonky" in its characteristics, I think the maker knew exactly what he was going for when the original was made and achieved it. However, the are other swords that I find more forgiving in their handling and cutting with it is not as effortless as others.) More generic swords would be better suited. Designs that evoke a common image in the mind already have a point of reference to work from. That point of reference may be incorrect, but that makes it easier to dispell.
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Darryl Aoki





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PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll second (or third? fourth?) the vote for the Albion Crecy. I was surprised by how well it handled when I got it; it just feels nice.
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think I've handled the Crecy. But when talking about the single-handed swords, the Knight is definitely a good choice. As others have said, it's extremely well rounded in it's characteristics, and is very versatile and "comfortable" in the hand. While not particularly heavy, it feels like it can do an impressive amount of damage. It's representative of swords of this type, and would have impressed me enormously when I first started collecting.
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Derek Wassom




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albion Talhoffer gets my vote!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A & A Black Prince feels very agile even one handed and very very fast with two hands, a true " bastard sword " in my opinion but of only modest size for a two hander.

Not typical in the sense of being a jack of all trades, but a good example of a sword not being the typical sharpened crowbar that people who have never handled a real sword think of as being a medieval sword.

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William C Champlin




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Best handling sword?         Reply with quote

I would say the Laird is my current favorite but my first-gen riding sword is a close second in feeling like a feather. A very deadly feather.W
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: Best handling sword?         Reply with quote

William C Champlin wrote:
I would say the Laird is my current favorite but my first-gen riding sword is a close second in feeling like a feather. A very deadly feather.W


I would agree, the Laird is the fastest one-handed medieval sword I have handled. The Knight shares the same blade though and so should have similar balance, and is more recognizeable/representative as a classic, knightly medieval sword.
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