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Glen A Cleeton

Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,968

PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Budget Cutlass Expectation Revealed         Reply with quote

Budget Cutlass Expectation Revealed

The original labeled as an English maker

I will tidy this up a bit on mentioning some first impressions of exactly what I expected. I had been pondering this muse for a couple of years now. I had to wonder how much of a cutlass one might find for less than $60. What had really struck me about this reproduction was the startling likeness they (had) created . Below are some thoughts I mentioned elsewhere while waiting arrival from an Ebay seller. I will hopefully follow up with a little more exact information with some measurements and stuff like that. I'm toying around with a static device that may measure weights at points of rotation in relation to each other. That said, this is a handful, no doubt. The spine is 3/16" or about 5mm from the basket to clip (yarrrr a swedged clip). The edge is quite thick and blunt at a shade more than 2mm. The basket is a killer and dangerous in its own right. I will either scroll that very pointy part, or just round it a bit. There are burrs on the edge of that basket, so be extra careful in initial handling. The point, while as bliunt edged as the rest, is substantial and pokable as is If and when I sharpen this ( I may just put it on the table next fall at cost), it needs a gradual taper probably best done with a belt grinder but us by handy guys will get it done. As mentioned in my painting version, they nailed it in looks to a known book example. I have no doubt some may appear as falsely old but part of my excersise in regard to this one is to warn the newcomers about antiques. The tang at the shoulder is 14mm-15mm as it exits the basket. There is no roll to the grip and am not really tempted to grind the peen but I may dismount it at some point to look further. It is stout, the blade is sharpenable hard with very little flex whatsoever. It may have an air cooled steel, or other but my hunch is they ground it, oil quenched it and may have tempered it oily, as the patina looks like that to me. Not unlike burnt cam or crankshaft journals. I honestly don't know.


Somehow I always get itchy in the early spring. I had seen these over the past few years and had wondered about them because it is a fair looking representation of a book noted example. Those with Neumann's Swords Of The American Revolution may recognize it,

These still appear at a few sites but had been lost on the KOA pages. In shopping around, Tim of Grendel's still carries them.

These had been listed with a Swashbuckler name and the best descriptions appear to have come through Denix. However, the build appeared to be so different from others, these may have been from another source point and may well prove functional. I will take a closer look once in hand and maybe grind the peen off to look at the tang first. Even then, at the $60 retail point, these look pretty good even if just for costuming or decorations. An original of something like this would be at least in the high hundreds and maybe some more.

Anyway, one of a few reproductions that have made me curious. There will likely be an essay to share about this and decorative swords coming along in the future. Others will include budget LOTR swords that have been blown out.


At any rate, I would not dismiss this thing as a candidate for all kinds of fun. From backyarding sharpeners to nutz like me that still buy occasionally cheap swords. As mentioned, it is a ringer in looks and a re-enactors might just adore this thing. I will promise to offer up the Neumann page once I get settled in the next few days. I haven't moved physically but it had been a really difficult two semesters of my life and am just once again going forth.

One thing I willl reference later is How Much Is Inside?, just like the cockeyed site. It seems these inventious packers use a cellulose packing that actually makes volume dissapear and packed goods feel enormously lighter. That is a picture I will share in the packing carton. No worse feeling really than a thick machete and I think if sharpened for cutting, a heck of a good time. I cannot confirm these were batched and sold through Denix but that is where my lead went. It seems to me just one model that was unpopular and has been overlooked. The packing is gooey cosmoline and it's first step was to the kitchen sink (a batchelor's freedom). The wood handle is beautiful.

Overall? To me it seems stellar and an even better bargain than what the Patton reproductions used to come in at $129.

Don't miss these if there is interest. I saw only a few vendors still listing them and I have a hunch that when they go, they're gone for good. Grendel's (Tim) lists them daily.

More another day.


Hotspur; spending kitty funds though and the true prizes will now have less available

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Jonathan Hopkins

PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The original in Neumann's Swords and Blades of the American Revolution:

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Terry Crain

Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 224

PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up Glen. I just let the inner pirate free and bought one for fun via the grendel site since with the discounted price, its dirt cheap. I've been wanting to practice sharpening on a suitable and expendable victim before tackling some Del Tin's and others lying about. This is just the trick and will be a fun bit of costume to mess around with with no reason to worry if it gets a little rusted or treated to other pirate-type neglect.

I have Neumann and it does look like a surprising nice approximation of the historical sword you cite. The point of the basket/guard looks a tad longer than the original, but as you said, it will be easy enough to modify. Maybe round off and shorten the point a bit.

I'll let you know my impressions once it arrives.



Terry Crain
Donal Grant

Honor, not Honors!
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Glen A Cleeton

Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,968

PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Terry, I hope you enjoy it. I know I have been growing more fond of it every time I pass by and heft it. Impression's are often like that to me. A few drives around th epark make it become more familiar. About as cute as as a brick but I think it should serve well. I did already start a curl on the basket point with a hammer. I need a good stationary mandrel to get it rolled right around. A mocdification I wouldn't necessarily call it period but what this sailor will do.

As to sharpening, this is one that will need a lot of the cheek thinned out to be a grass cutter. IN file work, it could use a good bit of the flats shaved down to get closer to the edge.

I haven't weighed it yet, I was looking around the house for where I put my better pocket fisherman type. Definitely heftier than my several spadroons. The weight seems to point right to the belly when putting the beast in motion. Okee dokeley. Some early morning de-liar puts it at just less than 2lbs 12oz and blade length is 26 inches long. That does make it a bit chunky.


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Nathan M Wuorio

Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm quite surprised, I had seen that before and dismissed it because it often had "swashbuckler" in the title. It seems like a cheap, reliable little blade, maybe not the best one out there, but certainly worth the $60 or so. I might just have to get one of these things, I like single edged blades quite a lot, and it would fit in perfectly with my others. One question though, how do the temper and heat treatment hold up? Has it taken any sets? Thanks for pointing that sword out to me, I would have missed it otherwise.
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Glen A Cleeton

Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,968

PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Nathan, I did a basic bonk and grind test to it but have no way to know exacly wwhat the heat treament is. It does grind harder than butter like the 440a decorative swords. The blade is quite still with very little flex at all, even with a grunt behind it. As it is quite a thick grind, I don't think it will set just looking at it and the problems with real abuse will be apparent down the road anyway. Someone wanting it to cut bottles will need to spend a lot of time (if by hand) in reducing the crossection to allow a thinner edge. It is blows that don't cut that most often cause a problem.

So anyway, the heat treament is just a stab in the dark but I did skate it on a diamond hone to see just how soft it seemed. That seemed to compare to other India manufactured goods I am familiar with. Other cutlasses specified as imported by Denix indicate a use of stainless sharps, so this is somehow an odball batch that seems to defy logic when applied to what one might expect from Denix.


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