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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Fri 23 Oct, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Opinions on the Hanwei Practical Basket Hilt Broadsword?         Reply with quote

What are your opinions on the Practical Basket Hilt Broadsword?

I'm considering purchasing one and I need to know if it would in fact be suitable for reenactments/stage combat/training.

Does it have a good tang? Is the blade hard enough but still flexible? Does it handle well? How's the balance? Does it simulate the original weapons adequetly?


Thanks in advance!
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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 367

PostPosted: Fri 23 Oct, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found the tang to be alright. But the blade is a bit stiff and unweildy. The couple models I've played around with also had a fairly acute point that had to be ground down to make safe. They are a bit on the heavy side, but it does compare to at least one original highland sword I've handled. They don't have a lot of flex in the thrust either. I know one person who took the blade of their practical Norman sword and put it on the basket, then peeked that down. Made it into a very nice sword.
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Michael Bergstrom
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Fri 23 Oct, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
I found the tang to be alright. But the blade is a bit stiff and unweildy. The couple models I've played around with also had a fairly acute point that had to be ground down to make safe. They are a bit on the heavy side, but it does compare to at least one original highland sword I've handled. They don't have a lot of flex in the thrust either. I know one person who took the blade of their practical Norman sword and put it on the basket, then peeked that down. Made it into a very nice sword.


I guess what I really want to know is, would you trust it in combat? (I don't plan on actually using is as a weapon, I just want one that's a decent sword)

What do you know about the Coldsteel Basket Hilt? Is it a good sword? Same questions as last time. Big Grin
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Michael B.
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Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 367

PostPosted: Fri 23 Oct, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that the Cold Steel basket is way overbuilt. That and it is a sharp. If you are looking for a sword to use in WMA or reenactment I would lean towards the hanwei one. However, I did have one of their morturary blades fail on me after three years of fighting with it. Looks like they had welded an all thread on it and didn't temper it right, causing it to crack over time. The edge tends to get torn up and has to be filed down regulary.
For the price, I doubt you'll find another baskethilt, if you can boost it a bit, look into darkwood armoury or armour class. They'll have better baskets and more variety. But in addressing your original question, I would trust it fighting if maintained and checked routinely, and only for a couple years. It is a suitable trainer I feel, just a little clunky.

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Michael Bergstrom
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Neal Matheson




Location: sussex UK
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
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Posts: 145

PostPosted: Sat 24 Oct, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a Hanwei practical broadsword. It weighed over 4 pounds! The basket is nice but the black paint flakes off when struck so if you don't keep repainting it or strip it the basket will begin to look tatty. The pommel unscrewed very quickly which is a fault everyone I know who has used one has found.
A ghastly sword which I suggest you don't buy.
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

Posts: 715

PostPosted: Sat 24 Oct, 2009 2:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i have just got one, it looks good for the price point, the basket size is right for a medium sized hand and the weldings are quite nice, the blade is a little heavy but nothing that can't be solved with a little training. i have used it in dry handling for the late highland broadsword regimental style of fencing, and i have found it quite comfortable.
you have to consider firstly the price point, for that price is a good sword, nothing of fancy or terribly good in terms of handling, but for sure for have something good you have to wait and pay more, so if you are looking for something cheap and quick to have, and that it's good for the price point, buy it, if not go for armour class.

cheers

gabriele
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue 17 Nov, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies.

I'm still unsure though. What would you guys recomend for a Scottish Basket-hilt Broadsword that's reenactment/WMA safe and costs around 400 USD or less? I know all of those features in one sword may not be realisic, but I though it was worth asking.

Thank you for all your help.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Nov, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neal Matheson wrote:
I had a Hanwei practical broadsword. It weighed over 4 pounds! . . . The pommel unscrewed very quickly which is a fault everyone I know who has used one has found.
A ghastly sword which I suggest you don't buy.


Neal...

I don't know what was in your sword, metal-wise, but they don't weigh more than about 2.5# or at least all the ones I have examined were no heavier than that. You can use some epoxy or other types of adhesive on the threads of the tang to keep the pommel from backing off, although that is not a permanent fix. I have noticed that Hanwei some times makes subtle changes in their swords after introducing them, usually to correct problems like you describe, so perhaps you got an early one. I don't think I would condemn it completely, because there are very few choices out there. If A. is willing to work with the sword he will probably find that it is adequate for the price.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

Posts: 715

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

depend from the historical period you like to reenact, the hanwei basket hilt is correct only for 18th century, if you are interested in an earlier period i reccomend you the armour class early basket hilt, that it's good for elizabethan period till ECW, armour class offer also a range of more expensive basket hilt fit for the 18th century but they are outside the price range that interest you, armour class, in my opinion is the best choice for a training weapon and has a better handling than hanwei, but you have to wait several months and you have to order the scabbard separately, also their early basket hilt is not good looking as hanwei, so if you have planned to use it for fencing go with armour class, if you need it just for display, save your time ordering an hanwei (the normal version instead of the practical one)
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second Gabriele's Armour Class suggestion. Get the early basket hilt.
It would do allright for 18th century reenactment as well (at least as a Jacobite) because many old swords were pressed into service again, and the simpler styles seem to have survived in good numbers to our time, so why wouldn't they be used back then?

If you're getting one, I suggest you get one with a sharp blade but ask them to leave it unsharpened as this will be a lighter sword more like originals. Most AC basket hilts I've held have been very nicely balanced, but with a reenactment blade a bit heavy.

The Hanwei practical is waaaay to heavy. The not so practical one is allright, though still a bit heavy. I know of one sword school in Scotland that uses these quite a bit, but even the normal ones are ground down to get them lighter and more like original basket hilts.

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunatly, even the Early Basket-Hilt from armour class is about $100 USD over my price range.

I'll probably go with the sharp Hanwei but get it unsharpened. One question, is Kult of Athena a reputable sword dealer? Their prices seem almost to low to be true.

Thanks for all the help!
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kult of Athena is a great company to do business with - great customer service, prices, and lots of choices on their website.
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have used the Scottish practical broadsword and the practical backsword. I like them both in terms oif value for money, but agree with a lot of the assessments here. They are heavy (although not impossibly so) the paint chips, and the edges take and give a beating. I haven't used the non-practical version, so can'T comment, but I'm always a little leery of grinding the edge off a sharp blade to make it safe. Depends on your needs as always.

I have purchased from Kult of Athena on several occasions. In fact, they are pretty much my go to store for equipment. Their service is fast and I've never had a problem with an order. I usually order multiple items from them, since I make group orders for my club to save on shipping costs, so I've probably bought more stuff from them than a typical customer. I highly recommend them.
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Christopher E.




Location: PDX
Joined: 06 Dec 2005

Posts: 149

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On a whim I just picked up a Hanwei Basket Hilted broadsword (no the practical series) and I only paid about $210USD for it. After playing with it for a little bit, I'm almost embarrased to admit that I really like it. It looks really nice...the blade has plenty of flexibility to it without being whippy...the scabbard is relatively nice and the weight isn't too bad. I disassembled it, took out the basket liner and put in a couple of leather washers that I made out of an old belt and I think it looks even better. Overall it's pretty decent for the price. If you're in the market...try spending the extra $50USD and get the non-practical series from Hanwei...that is, of course, you can't splurge on an AC or a custom commission (both of which I have on order)... When I get the AC (in about 22-weeks) I'll do a quick comparison of them. I also have the Cold Steel basket hilt and liek it too...though I think the Hanwei is actually a bit nicer, lighter, and less dangerous since the CS one is wicked sharp.
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help!

I should clarify a few things though. I don't plan on actually fencing with it, there's no historical fencing place anywhere near where I live. I was leaning towards the practical version mainly because I'd like to start historical fencing in the future, if I move near enough to a school for it.
Also, this will be my first "real" sword, and I was thinking that a practical one would be easier to learn to care for than a sharp one.
If I do get the opportunity to use it in a reenactment (which is unlikely, I live in the states, not many reenactments where a basket-hilt would fit in here), It's unlikely it would be drawn anyway.
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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Posts: 386

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In any case, the extra you put into the nice version is worth more when you receive the sword than you actually spend Wink
The normal version is a decent sword at an affordable price. The practical is a cheap sword in both price and what you actually get.

I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you get the "sharp" version.

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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Dietrich Dellinger




Location: York, PA
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a Hanwei practical backsword and have handled the practical and sharp broadswords. Of the practicals I think the backsword is nicer, it isn't as heavy and I think it has a bit more flex in the thrust.

The sharp broadsword is an entirely different animal than the practical and feels very nice in the hand.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually own one of the sharpened Hanwei broadswords and also the backsword. I do not fence and do not intend to start. As has been mentioned here, these swords can be found at decent prices most anywhere, look good and are of good qualtiy considering the price. If you are looking for something that will not be used in combat then I think one of those will be the answer to your need. I would like an Armour Class sword too. I got a close look at one of their dirks this summer and thought it was well done. But, these swords cost more than I can justify spending, even with the more reasonable exchange rate we have at the moment.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: Get thebrowned version         Reply with quote

If I may interject, if I was going to buy a Hanwei, I would order the version that has the aged finish. Virtually all of the swords in that period were either blued, japppaned, or browned due to the climate. The bright finishes you see in museums is after "conservation." Something else you might consider is taking out a little weight on the blade by grinding down the blae and adding some fullers. This is a bit labor intensive but can be done with a little patience, sandpaper, and a couple of rat-tail files. All in all, the best combination would be the Glasgow hilt on a backsword blade, but, alas, that's not the way they are sold! Actually, I have a Hanwei broadsword blade and scabbard left over from my Turchish project a year of so ago that I would be happt ro trade out for someone with a backsword blade and scabbard!
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I, too, intend to get both the Antiqued Hanwei Broadsword, sharp and blunt. I dont have any hands on experience with it yet (I once handled the Backsword) but I was happy with their Mortuary hilt that I got so I'll go for it. If I were in your position, and was not going to use it for fencing or re-enactment but was not comfortable with the sharp version....I'd still go for the sharp but file the edge and tip down just enough to make it safe for you. The sharp version is FAR more attractive than the Blunt. You have that fuller, the basket isn't painted black but has that nice patina, and of course the grip is far more attractive with the ray skin. I also have two Hanwei Blunts already (Norman and Hand and a Half) and my impression is Hanwei puts far less attention and workmanship into the fit and finish of the Practical line, somewhat understandable I guess since their going to have the crap beat out of them.... Wink

Of course the choice is entirely up to you, since there is a fairly significant price diff between them, but that is what I would choose to do.

Also I'll put in a good word for Kult of Athena, I've ordered 2 swords, 2 axes, a helm, and a gambeson through them and I've never had a problem. Communication is immediate, they give you a tracking number right away, if an item is in stock, mine have always shipped the day after I ordered it. Even though their prices are phenomenal, all my products were in perfect condition, so it's not like their selling slightly damaged merchandise at a discounted price or anything. I am planning on buying several more swords through them in the near future, so I'll give you the thumbs up there.

Hope this helps you decide!
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