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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 2:00 pm    Post subject: Good inexpensive longsword for cutting practice?         Reply with quote

Hello,

I went to my first cutting party yesterday and realized how bad off my edge alignment is. I was wondering if the myArmoury community could suggest some good inexpensive longswords I could use to practice with.

I originally was going to save up for a Albion Talhoffer, but that seems kind of ridiculous since I have a minimum wage job and even my WMA teacher has just an ATrim. So basically I'm looking for something under $500 that has as much historical accuracy as I can get for that price (I realize historical accuracy and inexpensive are not really compatable).

Thank you for checking out my topic and thanks in advance for your help. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, personally I do love my Valiant Armoury Signature Collection "Kriegschwert". Blade designed by Angus Trim, furniture designed by Christian Fletcher, and all around incredible value for the money especially considering it comes complete with belt and scabbard. The same can be said of the other Signature Collection swords, too.

Other than that, look through the reviews on Sword Buyers Guide; this is exactly what that site is for. And don't forget the Sword Reviews forum or the archived reviews from their old forum, either. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

if your purpose is cutting, The Albion Talhoffer would be a bad choice. It's is a type XVa,more for thrusting than cutting.

If you want a good performance cutter, then try something from Tried and True Armory like the Mercenary X1Ia.2 -- it has the advantage of being made by Gus Trim, himself, rather than by someone in China to his specs (Valiant Signature swords)

You should ask this question over at SBG too.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do have to agree that 'historical accuracy' and 'inexpensive' don't always go together. However, in my opinion many inexpensive swords are not terribly out of place historically; yes, they might not fit perfectly, especially in the terms of their construction (many are hex-nut or threaded tang rather than peened), but beyond that they'd fit okay. As in, if you brought them back in time, people might look at them and go "huh, that's kinda funny-looking, that bit there", but once they wave them around or use them, they'd be like "whatever, it's fine".

Ahem. That being said:

--For the best cost to value ratio, with the caveat that there's quite possibly going to be some aftermarket work involved: Hanwei/Tinker. Might very well have to sharpen them up and change out the grip; other than this, they're fine swords. Historical accuracy questionable, but they're quite adequate considering the price and in some senses far better than other swords at similar price levels. Plus, they're VERY customizable!

--Next step up... well, there's really nothing in between Hanwei/Tinker and Valiant's ATrim Practical line, unless you're willing to consider a Windlass/MRL sword. The German Bastard and 15th Century Longsword are two decent Euros from that range.

--Valiant ATrim Practicals-- not many options to choose from, only a longsword and a single-handed sword. However, both are quite decent and will be sharp out of the box. The single-hander is rather light for many people, though-- the same sword with slightly different fittings and a much better scabbard is the VA Signature Crusader, which retails for rather more. The main problem is these sell out quickly!

--After this, I'd recommend either the VA Signature line or an ATrim from Tried and True Armories; the latter has the option of having a peened assembly if you order one rather than buying one off the shelf, may cost more but I'm not sure exactly. Either way, both of these are quite excellent buys, and with the VA Signature you get a very nice scabbard as well; I'm not sure if a belt is included, but I think so.

--Then there's always the various classifieds on different forums...

Good luck and be sure to tell us what you go for!
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for responding guys. Happy

I've checked the SBG reviews Mikko, thanks for letting me know about them.

I've found 2 other swords you guys didn't mention but that I'm curious about...

The mercenary XIIa1415 from Tried and True, it looks like pretty much the same sword that you posted Roger, except with a different hilt. (I like wasted hilts)

And the Hanwei Bastard Sword. I've handled the blunted version of this and it's one of the heavier handling swords that I've seen personally, but does anyone know how good the sharpened version is?

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you wanna work on your edge alignment, I would say a XVa is a GREAT choice because it'll lets you know when you screwed up as you bat the target. More cutting oriented swords will lets you get away with more sloppy techniques. Also whatever style of WMA you train in, I would say get a sword of the style you are training in. The hanwei tinker bastard sword is a very fast short longsword. I like it for fiore, but for the german schools, I would use the longsword. Both swords give pretty good feedback on when you mess up (hey batter batter). That said, if you go with this line...you MUST be able to redo the edge...or know somebody who can. There is a very high chance you will get a very badly done edge.

The swords at tried and true are all gus blades so they are great performers...not so much on the historical looks. If you do WMA, I would look at their XVI and XVIII longsword over the XII longsword. In anycase, if you can afford it, a gus blade is definately worth the money.

Another option is the albion squire line. The bastard sword is 490. With the sharpening it'll be a smidge over 500 though.

And finally over the 500 limit by 80 bucks....but there is the used market.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tard+Sword

If not this one, you can always keep an eye out in the marketplace sections at various forums.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
If you wanna work on your edge alignment, I would say a XVa is a GREAT choice because it'll lets you know when you screwed up as you bat the target. More cutting oriented swords will lets you get away with more sloppy techniques.


If you're cutting pool noodles and milk jugs, perhaps this is true. However, a sword like the Talhoffer requires a substantial increase in power to cut tatami mats. For a beginner learning to cut, this will grossly distort technique.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go with the Albion Squire Line for cutting. They look good, handle well, and you have the option of selecting a more thrust-oriented XVa blade, or a cut-oriented Type XIIa blade. The Squire Line has the benefit of having blades that are very similar in design to their Next Gen counterparts, only with a bit thicker edges (still perfectly capable of cutting when sharpened) and less acute point sections. They're by far your best option, and they fit nicely within your price range, especially because you want something with reasonable historical accuracy.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
P. Cha wrote:
If you wanna work on your edge alignment, I would say a XVa is a GREAT choice because it'll lets you know when you screwed up as you bat the target. More cutting oriented swords will lets you get away with more sloppy techniques.


If you're cutting pool noodles and milk jugs, perhaps this is true. However, a sword like the Talhoffer requires a substantial increase in power to cut tatami mats. For a beginner learning to cut, this will grossly distort technique.


Assuming we are talking about single mats...if your doing it right, the power generation should be a non issue. You should have PLENTY of power if your technique is spot on. If your finding yourself having to power through a single mat, then I would say that is a nice bit of feedback that mayhaps you should work on your technique a bit. I do realize that people have this inate desire of "MUST GET THROUGH"...but unless your a backyard cutter, your goal shouldn't be getting through the target so much what you learned from getting through the target (or not...you learn just as much...if not more from failed attempts).
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Squire Line is nice, but the bastard sword's grip is almost too small for me to grip it with 2 hands.

I'm interested in the ATrim XVIa.3 they have at Tried and True, but it's in the upper level of my budget...

I know it's probably not a good idea, but I'm severely tempted by the Hanwei Bastard sword because it's only $165 and I could have it in a month... (as opposed to the 4-5 months for the ATrim above)

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Hinds wrote:

I know it's probably not a good idea, but I'm severely tempted by the Hanwei Bastard sword because it's only $165 and I could have it in a month... (as opposed to the 4-5 months for the ATrim above)


Why is it not a good idea? Assuming you are capable of refining an edge, it's a perfectly fine sword. However I will warn that is the albion squire bastard sword's grip is too small, this will be MUCH too smaller. So go with the longsword instead if that is the case.
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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun, 2011 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you misunderstood which sword I was talking about, I'm talking about this one sold at KOA:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Antiqued#

The grip is 9 and 1/4", which is almost perfect for me. But I've handled the blunt version and it's a bit heavier than my old Hanwei practical longsword, and since the sharp is just a few onces lighter I'm worried it would be heavier than a good sword should. (people on this forum are always talking about a bad handling sword messing up your technique)

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Go with the Albion Squire Line for cutting. They look good, handle well, and you have the option of selecting a more thrust-oriented XVa blade, or a cut-oriented Type XIIa blade. The Squire Line has the benefit of having blades that are very similar in design to their Next Gen counterparts, only with a bit thicker edges (still perfectly capable of cutting when sharpened) and less acute point sections. They're by far your best option, and they fit nicely within your price range, especially because you want something with reasonable historical accuracy.


Craig's right. The Squire Line offers swords that can cut and also look like the real thing. They are the real thing. The problem with buying an inexpensive sword is that sooner or later (usually sooner) you are going to have to buy a better sword anyway.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Hinds wrote:
The Squire Line is nice, but the bastard sword's grip is almost too small for me to grip it with 2 hands.

I'm interested in the ATrim XVIa.3 they have at Tried and True, but it's in the upper level of my budget...

I know it's probably not a good idea, but I'm severely tempted by the Hanwei Bastard sword because it's only $165 and I could have it in a month... (as opposed to the 4-5 months for the ATrim above)


Robert,

To grip the Bastard, you need to be holding your dominant hand near the guard, and the other needs to grip the pommel. If you're trying to grip it with both hands placed together, it will be too tight as you say.

By the way, in regards to the Hanwei sword, see your own post: "I know it's probably not a good idea..."
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Assuming we are talking about single mats...if your doing it right, the power generation should be a non issue. You should have PLENTY of power if your technique is spot on. If your finding yourself having to power through a single mat, then I would say that is a nice bit of feedback that mayhaps you should work on your technique a bit.


I'll work on it. Wink


In the mean time, to the OP, don't buy a XVa, XVII or other thrust optimized sword for learning to cut. If you want an inexpensive Albion for cutting, get a Crecy.

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hanwei Bastard is not really an optimal sword for longsword fencing... If you want a cheap sword, Hanwei Tinker Longsword would be the most acceptable choice. I have one it's relatively good cutter for the type and handles well. But I really dislike the hex nuts...
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:


In the mean time, to the OP, don't buy a XVa, XVII or other thrust optimized sword for learning to cut. If you want an inexpensive Albion for cutting, get a Crecy.


What Mike said. The assumption here is that you are learning to cut, so I would strongly recommend something with a blade that was at least *balanced* for cut and thrust, not optimize for the thrust. In a longsword, a XIIa, XIII, XVI or XVIII will do that. Gus always had a "knack" for the XIIa blade, so the Mercenary blade mentioned will work well, as will the Albion Crecy. I have handled, but never cut with, the Valiant Kriegschwert so all I can say is that the blade form is a good choice, but I can't speak to how wellmade the blade is.

Greg Mele
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
The assumption here is that you are learning to cut, so I would strongly recommend something with a blade that was at least *balanced* for cut and thrust, not optimize for the thrust. In a longsword, a XIIa, XIII, XVI or XVIII will do that. Gus always had a "knack" for the XIIa blade, so the Mercenary blade mentioned will work well, as will the Albion Crecy. I have handled, but never cut with, the Valiant Kriegschwert so all I can say is that the blade form is a good choice, but I can't speak to how wellmade the blade is.


Valiant Kriegschwert looks great for cutting. I'd love to get my hands on one to test it, as the price is reasonable.

Luka Borscak wrote:
Hanwei Bastard is not really an optimal sword for longsword fencing... If you want a cheap sword, Hanwei Tinker Longsword would be the most acceptable choice. I have one it's relatively good cutter for the type and handles well. But I really dislike the hex nuts...


For tatami the Hanwei TInker longsword is terrible. Even with a shaving sharp 40 degree appleseed edge.

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www.newyorklongsword.com

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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all your help guys. Happy Here is my current plan...

While the crecy is a bit expensive for me right now I will save up for it in the future. But for right now I'm planning on getting the German Bastard Sword mentioned earlier in the thread to hold me over because I can have it by the end of the month and get cutting right away.

Thanks for all your help. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 07 Jun, 2011 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Hinds wrote:
I think you misunderstood which sword I was talking about, I'm talking about this one sold at KOA:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Antiqued#

The grip is 9 and 1/4", which is almost perfect for me. But I've handled the blunt version and it's a bit heavier than my old Hanwei practical longsword, and since the sharp is just a few onces lighter I'm worried it would be heavier than a good sword should. (people on this forum are always talking about a bad handling sword messing up your technique)


Ah...that one. Actually the weight isn't bad for a sword of that size...but a sword of that size isn't exactly ideal for what you do in HEMA for the most part. Still has the aweful edge issue. If you want your cutting to translate better into you HEMA training, I would say pass.

As for the second part...yes bad handling swords do ruin your technique.
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