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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject: First time looking for some advice         Reply with quote

Gday all, I have been doing a lot of reading on the internet regarding swords, reviews, quality, historical importance etc. I’ve always been really interested in history and have always had an affinity for swords. I’ve decided to finally indulge my interest and collect my 1st sword, perhaps more. I really love the idea of not only having an authentic (well close to) historical sword but it has to be fully functional and balanced so when you hold it in your hands you can get a feel for how the Knights in the past may have experienced battle and the skill they must have possessed to wield such a weapon. I have read a lot of sword reviews from sword-buyers-guide.com and myArmoury.com and the two handed style swords have really sparked my interest.

I don’t know why but a sword with a length of 45” and a blade of 36” really appeals to me, a 2 handed sword capable of being wielded in one. I really want to get this right, it might be some time before I can purchase another, don’t think my wife will let me, lol, even though she is happy to spend thousands on her horses.

Ive been looking through a number of makers Del Tin, Darkswords, etc but it is Albion swords that really appeal to me. You should see the Excel page ive set up, comparing lengths of total, blade, grip and weight & P.O.B. These are the swords that have got me stuck;

The Baron – I really love the look of this sword in particular the pommel detail and have read fantastic reviews. But I wonder if the total length of 47” is to much for a 1st timer and it has some weight to it @ 3 lbs 11oz. Im not a small guy, Im about 6ft 3”, 94kg and age 35, reasonably fit as I also work a small farm in my spare time.

The Crecy – when I first found this sword I thought it sat perfectly with what I desired, an all rounder and reviews also praised its handling. If it had the same style blade as the Baron, I probably have already placed my order.

The Steward – Assuming the Baron was to much for me to handle this would seem to be the perfect compromise, a very similar look but ive read some reviews saying it handling in one hand wasn’t that good and I wonder if the grip is really sufficient to fit 2 hands.

And to make things worse 2 single handers have also caught my eye

The Knight – a much smaller sword even small for a single hander, but what a sword, haven’t read a bad thing about it. I just cant decide if a single hander is for me.

The Oakeshott – just a beautiful sword with a full running almost to the tip, and the blade is 2” longer than the Knight. Haven’t been able to find a review on this one though.

Id really be grateful for your opinions & any advice and if there is a sword you really think I should look at please let me know.

Thanks - Paul
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My honest advice for the first sword, don't over complicate the decision. Do buy something cheap! The first sword always leads to the second, third, fifth, and twenty third sword sooner or later. No matter how you go the first time, you're going to find that you like something different by the twelfth time you buy a sword. Its just the way that this hobby goes. You learn as you collect and as you learn your tastes change. Sometimes even coming full circle. Big Grin Cool

Best of luck.

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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say go for the Baron it it's in your price range. I bit the bullet some years ago and bought one and I'll never part with it. I'm not as tall as you (6 feet) and I grew up on a small farm so I'm fairly strong for my age. I can wield the Baron with one hand but I tire more quickly than with my single handers and you have to be mindful of the inertia and trajectory of the swing since it carries a lot of energy. I would think the Crecy would'nt be as challenging - I know my Liechtenhauer isn't-but if you want a Baron then you'll still want one if you get something else I think. And if you're competing with feed and vets, and farriers then you may want to get the one you want. Joe is dead on when he said the first will lead to the second, etc, but horses are expensive--- almost as much as ex-wives I'm told.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Paul,
I have one advice for you: buy the sword YOU like best. If it's an albion, fine. If it's another company, fine too. Don't buy anything because you THINK it may be better, cheaper or more impressive to others. Just buy the one blade you FEEL is the right one for you.

Have fun,
Thomas

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An Albion Knight would be an excellent choice as I think it exemplifies that spirit and image of the classic medieval sword of the late 13th. c., plus it handles WINDERFULLY.

I have not handled the Oakeshott but, like the knight gives that archtypal sense of a clasic sword, but of a hundred or so years earlier.

I would choose an Albion, definitely. If you get a lower end sword you will automatically and immediately want a higher-end piece. Albion puts the most research into their designs and it shows.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an Oakeshott. I consider it to be just about the perfect sword. To quote Oakehott, the man, about the original,in Records on page 37 --

This magnificent weapon is, I believe, the very finest medieval sword in existence at present. If there is a finer one, I don't know of it; and this is so special that it cannot be very likely that a better should, or could, be found.

The Albion is a very close recreation of that original.

I haven't cut with it. What I can say is that this sword feels better in my hand than any other that I have wielded.

There isn't a review as such for the Oakeshott, but look Here and Here
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are of course other manufacturers out there that also make anything from decent but lower cost to superb quite expensive swords, but I don't think you can ever go wrong with an Albion, regardless of model. They reproduce museum pieces with modern technology milling and high tensile steel and tempering, making them just as good or perhaps even more durable than the original and still very true to form. I've never ever heard of anyone regretting buying one.

The only real reasons to pick something else is if the budget won't allow the purchase of one of their swords and you're looking for a less expensive alternative, or if you want a blade that's pattern welded or otherwise made in a fully historically accurate way by a real swordsmith with hammer, forge and anvil.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I put forth the Albion Crecy as a good first choice for a sword. It's a "jack of trades" in many aspects in that it balances so many factors: heft vs. liveliness, cutting vs. thrusting, short vs. long, etc. etc. It's a good sword to introduce people to the myriad of things that define a sword. In many ways, it will teach you what you do and do not like about swords in general.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I can make some suggestions on other swords than the ones mentioned?

The Yeoman has a very nice balance betwen agility and power. These shorter wide but heavily tapering blades are also good starters because they are easier to control.
Tke Kingmaker! Now there's a sword of swords. Hollow diamond blade, perfect symmetry combining grace and superior cutting power and thrust stiffness all in one.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Btw, doesn't Count look better to you than Steward?
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Brian K.
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

Each sword is different, to each person. One person might find a particular sword ideal to them, while another finds the particular sword unappealing. Personal experience is the only thing that will lead you to your own ideal sword. Strength is key, while at the same time, agility changes the feel too. A person's physical build and size, including arm length affects the overall scheme of things as well.

I myself started out exactly like yourself, in that I wanted a sword capable of being used with one hand, but has room on the grip for two. Over the years I've become familiar enough with all types of swords and what my own personal preferences are. Now days, I prefer a single-handed sword. If swords were practical weapons of modern age, I would be a shield and single-handed sword fighter.

I speculate your interest in the sword your looking for is finding the best of both worlds.

Between the two swords, the Crecy and the Count (which shares the same blade as the Steward), I personally like the Count better in handling both in one hand and two. But the grip on the Count makes all the difference, where as the Steward grip may change my mind. I can say you wouldn't be happy with the Baron in one hand, but in two it would shine.

Having said all of that, now it's time for my personal favorite, the Albion Chevalier. It shares the same blade as the Oakeshott but with a sexier hilt. The Chevalier is magnificent in both aesthetic appeal, and in handling. But, it's a single-handed sword.

Good luck!

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the crecy as well. It is a jack of all trades longsword. The baron really should be used two handed...but the crecy is equally comfortale one handed or two.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul,

It might help you to consider a few other questions as well.

1) Do you want a single handed sword, or is a long sword fine? Do you have any preference for one over another?

2) Is there any particular century or era in the Middle Ages that really draws your attention, and that you'd like to have a representative sword for? Alternatively, do you find that you like swords based upon the appearance and description of the individual weapon, regardless of the period it's from?

3) Of the swords you've mentioned, are there any that speak to you more than the others?

One thing you might consider: some people have advised getting a cheaper first sword, while others have been advising to go for an Albion. If you are interested, a compromise might not be a bad idea; you could purchase the Squire Line Great Sword from Albion: http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/sq...rd-MII.htm

It's built with a blade very similar to the Baron. The main differences are the lack of a cross on the pommel, a simpler leather grip, a bit thicker edges, and a slightly more rounded point. But other than that, the two are pretty much the same sword.

The beauty of buying a sword like this is that it's a fair amount cheaper than an NG sword, but still gives you a very similar handling, appearance and performance. If you find this particular sword is really to your liking, and you want to have the Baron, you can always sell it later here on this forum. My first Albion was the Squire Line Bastard, and as I've said numerous times elsewhere, even though I own numerous other NG Albions, I do not mentally distinguish the Bastard as a "lower quality" sword. The SQL Great Sword could be a great introduction or start Albion sword, which can help you to learn what your particular tastes are for sword handling, since that seems to be an important quality for you.

Alternatively, you could consider purchasing an NG Albion if that is what you would prefer. I also own the Knight and the Crecy. The Knight is probably the epitome of 13th century single handed swords, and is really a classic piece. It also has a really nice balance in hand; it's a cutting sword that has some robustness in the blade, and yet at the same time, feels dynamic and agile in the hand.

The Crecy in a lot of ways is like the Knight with a longer blade and a two handed grip. The Crecy is a really nice marriage of dynamic handling properties and cutting capacity. It still feels balanced and usable with one hand, but with two hands, it is a particularly sweet weapon. It cuts well, and because of it's nasty point, it can deliver a cruel thrust, although it won't thrust the way a Type XV or XVII would.

The principle difference between the Baron and the Crecy is that the former is going to have a more robust feeling blade, and it will be better for cutting. It does not have quite the same agility of handling that the Crecy possesses, and obviously its point is less acute.

I hope this helps.
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I have an Oakeshott. I consider it to be just about the perfect sword. To quote Oakehott, the man, about the original,in Records on page 37 --

This magnificent weapon is, I believe, the very finest medieval sword in existence at present. If there is a finer one, I don't know of it; and this is so special that it cannot be very likely that a better should, or could, be found.

The Albion is a very close recreation of that original.

I haven't cut with it. What I can say is that this sword feels better in my hand than any other that I have wielded.

There isn't a review as such for the Oakeshott, but look Here and Here


Roger (or anyone else that knows),

As I am not yet cool enough to own any of Oakeshott's books (the day will come when I am cool enough, but it's not here yet) I was wondering if you can enlighten me on your post. What sword is Oakeshott referring to here? I have heard that the XIV "Moonbrand" was his favorite sword, but your post seems to imply that he said this about a sword very similar to the Albion Oakeshott.

Eric Gregersen
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:
Roger (or anyone else that knows),

As I am not yet cool enough to own any of Oakeshott's books (the day will come when I am cool enough, but it's not here yet) I was wondering if you can enlighten me on your post. What sword is Oakeshott referring to here? I have heard that the XIV "Moonbrand" was his favorite sword, but your post seems to imply that he said this about a sword very similar to the Albion Oakeshott.


Albion based their Oakeshott on a sword in the Wallace Collection, seen here:


Happy

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The book is Records of the Medieval Sword, by Ewart Oakeshott. It's kind of an expensive book, but if you buy one, you won/t regret it.

The book is broken down into chapters showing photographs of all the Oakeshott sword types from X to XXII. The sword I am talking about is known as Xa.1 on page 34. Unfortunately, it is a little confusing, because it is numbered as Xa.1, but Oakeshott talks about it under Xa.2.
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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 02 May, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys, thanks I really appreciate your advice.

Ive thought about buying something a litter cheaper, and in particular I have been looking at the Darkswords bastard http://www.darksword-armory.com/1329-Medieval...Sword.html I really like the look of this sword, in particular the long grip of 9'' and 30” blade definitely a one or two handed sword. I know what you’re thinking, if I like this sword, the Crecy is the obvious choice.

The more I think about it I really want an all rounder, ie capable of one or two handed use, so at this point im going to put the one handers to one side, if only the Oakeshott came with an 8” grip Eek! I think if I was to get a one handed sword it would be a roman Gladius or a Viking sword.

So back to the hand and a half selection, and I do note that there only seems to be “JUST” enough room on these swords for both my hands 6.25” to 7.625”? I have read that the pommel is also used for hand placement at times?

The Baron has the best size grip, but I feel it weight will only allows for limited one hand use, but I have read some say that the can use it comfortably in one, so I guess experience is a big factor, but still I feel it will be a slow one hander.

The Crecy is the next step down in length, weight and grip length, but is quite a different style blade. I keep coming back to the Crecy, and compounded by what others have said about its handling, and I feel it is really an all rounder in its design and intention, and quite a good cutter from what I read.

The Steward ( I like the simpler look over the Count Big Grin ) is the next step down again in length, weight and grip length, would seem to be ideal for one handed use? But I think I like the Steward for its specifications rather than for its looks, the style of the blade tip, not being as pointed just doesn’t grab me. Sorry I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I’m just working through my thought process.

It’s the European medieval swords that appeal to me no particular century, the Japanese Katanas while impressive don’t have the same romance for me.

Still considering Wink

Thanks again.

Paul
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 02 May, 2011 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might consider Albion's short Type XVa's, like the Castellan, Mercenary and Constable. They can all be used comfortably with one hand or two, though they're shorter than what you're looking for. The Crecy would come in just after those swords, as it's pretty maneuverable with one hand, but not as much as I remember the XVa's to be. For me, the Baron was best used with 2 hands. 1-handed use was possible but with less speed and control than 2-handed.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 02 May, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul,

With many long swords, like the Baron, Crecy, and the Steward, you need to grip the pommel with the second hand if you are going to wield the sword effectively with two hands. Aside from the fact that holding the sword this way feels more natural, it's also something that is very commonly seen in the period fighting manuals.

As for the Steward, while you can use it with one hand, I think you'll find that it really functions much better with two.

The Crecy really is a good all-around sword as a starting point. I think you'll like the handling. It was high on the list of my first Albion NG long swords to own.
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 02 May, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Crecy really is a good recommendation for an all rounder. I think you'll eventually find things you like better, or at least differently, about other swords. But I also think you'll always be able to find something about the Crecy to come back to.
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