Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > choosing a rapier/supplier... Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
F. Carl Holz




Location: someplace out on the water (and probably not able to access my PM)
Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun 06 Jun, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: choosing a rapier/supplier...         Reply with quote

Recently I decided start in on learning rapier. Up until now I had only gone so far as longsword and a little sword and buckler, so the shift calls for a change in equipment. I'm not yet willing to commit an especially large amount of money to it, but I want something that works.

For these reasons I picked the Hanwei practical cup-hilt; I have references on Spanish as well as Italian rapier I hope to utilize and, truth be told, I think it looks good and it comes with a fitted scabbard, something I haven't seen on other rapier trainers.

So, I have a two part question:

1. Is this a practical choice as a starter? I know that there are better swords out there, but I don't want to have to stomach a bill much more than $200, and I am unaware of many other options.

2. What supplier should I go through/is there a difference? The three I had considered were: therion arms, Kult of Athena, or Hanwei shop (who is supposed to be the official hanwei supplier) however I was amused by the spread of prices they presented me with. I understand that KOA has a sort of quality control in place, but Iím not sure of its efficiency. I've also got the impression that Therion Arms makes a point of only selling the most recent issue of any model.

The prices listed go:
Therion Arms: $195
Hanwei shop: $159.99
KOA: $133.95
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 307

PostPosted: Sun 06 Jun, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have ordered from Kult of Athena many times and been happy every time. I've never heard a bad review of them.

The Hanwei Cup hilt practical is a good starter rapier, as is the Hanwei practical rapier (the swept hilt one), which is even cheaper, and also available from KoA and Therion.

The only other rapier I generally recommend that comes in under $200 is from Alchem ( http://www.alcheminc.com/longhilts.html ), although the model I personally prefer for rapier is just over $200.

Good luck!

Ottawa Swordplay
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sun 06 Jun, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In a similar situation, I bought the Hanwei Practical Cup Hilt from the Knight Shop (.co.uk). I got the Cup Hilt because it fitted the sources I wanted to use best. Recently I also found out that the Cup Hilt blade is considerably less flexible than the other practical blades (that are very flexible!).

So, in short, I heartily advice the Cup hilt as a starter rapier.

School voor Historische Schermkunsten

www.bruchius.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pauli Vennervirta





Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun 06 Jun, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a practical cup hilt. I agree that it is an ok. rapier for a beginner, but still it is miles away from, say, Darkwood Armory economy models. Balance and durability are much better with Darkwood and you get the blade lenght you need.
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Slee




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 11 Dec 2007

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 07 Jun, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I still swear by the Hanwei 1098 rapier ($129) I bought from By The Sword (http://www.by-the-sword.com) about three years ago. It may be a little heavy in the overly complex hilt but it looks good and moves easily in bouting. You can easily get replacement blades ($50) if you need to - i've only needed to once - with standard lengths of 37 and 43 inches.
Regards

Chris Slee
http://college-of-arms.org.au
Australian College of Arms
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 307

PostPosted: Mon 07 Jun, 2010 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 1098 and 1099 practical rapiers are only $95 from KoA, which is ridiculously good. I don't find them overly flexible, but then I prefer a good amount of flex in a practice blade. I know some people find the hilt a little heavy, but the balance is pretty good, and I have no trouble with it. I've used much worse. As far as the guard being overly complex, I'm not sure what to make of that. I will say that it is the only commercially available rapier I have encountered with which you can effectively and easily bind your opponent's blade with the sweeps. The only rapier I've seen that was better for this purpose was one that was handmade by my friend specifically for this function. Not many people teach how to do this technique though.
Ottawa Swordplay
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Isaac H.




Location: Northern California
Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Likes: 32 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon 07 Jun, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another excellent as well as affordable rapier supplier I highly recommend Zen Warrior Armory (ZWA). I have purchased two schalgers from them and have been very pleased.Mine were $180, but there are some models for less than $120(depending on what blade you choose ). You can mix and match parts to create your own custom sword.Although the selection isn't superb, the customer service is. When one of my ZWA blades broke due to unatural tang stress,they replaced the blade for half price!

The Hanwei practical cup hilt is a begginers weapon at best. A student in my rapier academy owns one so I have observed this weapon first hand.The blade is definately stiff, but far worse is the fact that the quillons are quite weak.Since there is no support between the quillons and the bottom of the guard,the wimpy quillons eventually bend inwards due to combat stress and tightening the pommel.The balance of this sword isn't amazing and the red leather that lines the inside of the guard is peeling off. Although Hanwei is a fantastic company, the practical cup hilt is far from being a fantastic sword.

Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

But wounded honor is only cured with steel.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I asked Therion about replacement blades for the cup-hilt, and he said they were not available. Then again, the whole sword isn't much more than a replacement blade from Darkwood.
Jim
View user's profile Send private message
Greg Coffman




Location: Lubbock, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 254

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there any practice blades out there with historically accurate rigid blades?
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
View user's profile Send private message
Pauli Vennervirta





Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would say that Darkwood bated blade could be quite rigid, but blunt.

Quote:
The DA2BR Bated Rapier blade is wider, stiffer and heavier than the DA1PR Practice Rapier. It more accurately represents the weight of many "period" rapier blades, (rather than being a "sport blade" from present times).

http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_...ucts_id=68
View user's profile Send private message
Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
Are there any practice blades out there with historically accurate rigid blades?

Personally, In terms of rapiers for free-play, there are plenty of blades available which will allow you to perform all of the historic techniques correctly and yet still flex when you hit your opponent (and actually, you might be surprised to see just how flexible the blades on historic practice pieces were).

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
F. Carl Holz




Location: someplace out on the water (and probably not able to access my PM)
Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't realize that the difference to a darkwood armoury economy rapier was so little (well, $80), would you say the extra $80 for a darkwood armoury economy rapier is worth it?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pauli Vennervirta





Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 3:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

F. Carl Holz wrote:
I didn't realize that the difference to a darkwood armoury economy rapier was so little (well, $80), would you say the extra $80 for a darkwood armoury economy rapier is worth it?


Yes, absolutely. I had both the Hanwei Cup hilt and the Darkwood economy Pappenheimer. The Darkwood economy rapier is slightly less flashy, but it is wastly more durable. For example, the quillons on the Hanwei bent really easy, I actually did not notice what happened (propably due to a heavy cut by my opponent). I cant think that would happen with a Darkwood. Plus you get to choose the blade lenght you need, make a search here in myArmoury or swordforum.com and you find instructions how to get the correct lenght for you. Also the balance point can be customised by getting a different pommel.

The quality of the blade is better with Darkwood and you can get another, if your blade breaks. Also, if you want, you can get a different blade and change your rapier to a more cut oriented weapon, for example by getting the spada blade.

So my opinion is that you cant really compare these two. Darkwood wins every time.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 307

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

F. Carl Holz wrote:
I didn't realize that the difference to a darkwood armoury economy rapier was so little (well, $80), would you say the extra $80 for a darkwood armoury economy rapier is worth it?


The Darkwood economy rapier is a far, far superior product in every way.

Ottawa Swordplay
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
James Holczer




Location: Central New Jersey
Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to echo the preference for Darkwood. The blades that Darkwood produces are in my opinion superior to anything put out by Hanwei. Thatís not to say that the Hanwei blades are bad, it just that they do not handle like a Darkwood. Any Hanwie blade Iíve seen 40Ē or more has far too much whip in it for my taste. While I agree with Steven Reich that you can perform historical techniques correctly with a lot of blades that are out there but an overly whippy blade causes your point control to suffer and depending upon the degree of flexibility it can cause small quick blade actions such as disengagements to become larger and slower.
View user's profile Send private message
Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Holczer wrote:
I have to echo the preference for Darkwood. The blades that Darkwood produces are in my opinion superior to anything put out by Hanwei. Thatís not to say that the Hanwei blades are bad, it just that they do not handle like a Darkwood. Any Hanwie blade Iíve seen 40Ē or more has far too much whip in it for my taste. While I agree with Steven Reich that you can perform historical techniques correctly with a lot of blades that are out there but an overly whippy blade causes your point control to suffer and depending upon the degree of flexibility it can cause small quick blade actions such as disengagements to become larger and slower.

I agree with you on the "whippiness" of Hanwei blades. What I wanted to point out in my previous post is that despite what some on the WMA community feel, there are trainers that are far, far better than just "adequate". My point is that if anyone is waiting to get a rapier trainer because he wants something that accurately simulates a "real rapier", then he's waiting needlessly.

A point on "whippiness" and flexibility: while the two are related, a flexible blade does not have to be whippy if it is tapered correctly. I have a blade from Darkwood that flexes very nicely and yet is not whippy in the slightest (my wife has one just like it, except about an inch shorter).

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
James Holczer




Location: Central New Jersey
Joined: 29 Dec 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:
James Holczer wrote:
I have to echo the preference for Darkwood. The blades that Darkwood produces are in my opinion superior to anything put out by Hanwei. Thatís not to say that the Hanwei blades are bad, it just that they do not handle like a Darkwood. Any Hanwie blade Iíve seen 40Ē or more has far too much whip in it for my taste. While I agree with Steven Reich that you can perform historical techniques correctly with a lot of blades that are out there but an overly whippy blade causes your point control to suffer and depending upon the degree of flexibility it can cause small quick blade actions such as disengagements to become larger and slower.

I agree with you on the "whippiness" of Hanwei blades. What I wanted to point out in my previous post is that despite what some on the WMA community feel, there are trainers that are far, far better than just "adequate". My point is that if anyone is waiting to get a rapier trainer because he wants something that accurately simulates a "real rapier", then he's waiting needlessly.

A point on "whippiness" and flexibility: while the two are related, a flexible blade does not have to be whippy if it is tapered correctly. I have a blade from Darkwood that flexes very nicely and yet is not whippy in the slightest (my wife has one just like it, except about an inch shorter).

Steve


I definitely agree, you donít need to spring for a Darkwood if you want a trainer that will just get the job done. But as I know you are well aware of, a blade that handles properly can make the learning curve easier.

It boils down to taper and temper. The Darkwood blades that I use have very little perceptible ďwhippinessĒ to them but yet they are still flexible and durable as well. I do also have a Zamorano blade mounted on a Dennis Graves creation that isnít too bad in terms of itís wobble considering how thin it is and how little taper is has but the durability of the blade is in my opinion somewhat suspect. I spend a lot more time with the Zamorano addressing nicks in the blade after practice than I do with my Darkwood.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > choosing a rapier/supplier...
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum