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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Albion Soldat - Rolled edge on freshly killed wild pig         Reply with quote

I did some test cutting with my Albion Soldat on a freshly killed wild pig (had been dead for less than 5 minutes), and thought I'd share my experience.

First, I cut at it's neck with a half-powered (40-50%) cut that i pulled to avoid potentially hitting the ground. It cut easily through the rough hair, skin, muscle and fat, and into the neck cavity.

Next, I made a more powerful (~80% or so?) cut at the pig's fore-leg. It cut cleanly/easily through everything till it reached bone, upon which it felt like hitting a rock. DONG!! It rolled the edge rather badly on my Soldat.

Overall, I was a bit surprised...both at the ease of cutting into soft tissue, even with a rather weak and pulled cut, and at the edge damage the Soldat sustained at cutting at the pig's fore-leg.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nzU1CDkP1hI/UWDXElzHFWI/AAAAAAAAA5Q/MQJGoNoIG-I/s898/image.jpeg

Click links below to see pictures (added as links instead of images, so people don't have to see it if they don't want to).

**WARNING, GRAPHIC MATERIAL**

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-y6GfH3S2Zeg/UWDXNBxZpaI/AAAAAAAAA5o/h6FV5Zsykek/s720/photo.JPG

The cut appears shallower in these pictures than it actually was
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4_WM6CWoBcU/UWDXEHIMOHI/AAAAAAAAA5I/KdHHwiQHVI0/s720/image+%281%29.jpeg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PzYCChhuAGc/UWDXFMnabKI/AAAAAAAAA5Y/7eUhIY54UMs/s720/image+%282%29.jpeg

The fore-leg (can't see too well, but it cut cleanly, straight to the bone)
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Yki6f4g8xoM/UWDXJYLnJaI/AAAAAAAAA5g/mdi_VxnMC4s/s538/photo+%281%29.JPG

Any thoughts? Should a messer be expected to cut through a freshly-killed pigs fore-leg without sustaining damage?
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion Soldat - Rolled edge on freshly killed wild pig         Reply with quote

Well, many years ago my brescia spadona had sustained similar damage when cutting pork arms, though definitely not as "freshly killed" as your target of choice. Yet, I'm not surprised to see it's still the same nowadays from the same manufacturer.

And not every sword I've tested would sustain edge damage on a pork arm, even at a higher sharpness than the Brescia Spadona. To list a few that could do well: Tinker (custom made), Angus Trim, Arms and Armors, Martial art sword, Cold Steel (Fred Chen), Hanwei (Paul Chen).

Of course, the list for those that didn't survive well against pork arm cutting were a lot longer....

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INKuF5C1rfc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JywFM2wOlOA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebZp55GViow

These are the examples of my sword-testing for various customers / students / manufacturers. 2 swords were sponsored by 1 of the mainland forges to see how they can improve their stuff.

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Herbert Schmidt




Location: Austria / Europe
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This edge damage shouldn't happen. The question is as to the reason for it.
It could be the makers fault (Hardening, Cross section etc) but it could also be the users fault (misalignment, bad control etc).

How much experience do you have with cutting pig?
There is also the question as to how you had put the pig up. Was it hanging, lying…

To my experience a pig is not really a challenge if one does cut right. A leg is barely felt.

Also, to my experience, the blades of Albion are quite up to the job. But in the end, every blade has to be judged anew.

Have fun and stay safe!

Herbert

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Historical European Martial Arts
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That isn't really good science, to extend the results of testing a particular model to represent the entire brand line up. Infact I wouldn't even go as far as to say that the results can represent all units of that particular model. All we have shown is that two specific blades have sustained edge damage when cutting these pork arms. In fact I would take a rolled edge over a chipped edge any day.

That said, I’m a bit surprised that the Albion edge rolled like that. I thought they had switched to modern through hardening steel when they started making sparring blunts.

Don't the Soldat and Brescia both have particularly acute edges?

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Herbert Schmidt wrote:

It could be the makers fault (Hardening, Cross section etc) but it could also be the users fault (misalignment, bad control etc)

...

How much experience do you have with cutting pig?
There is also the question as to how you had put the pig up. Was it hanging, lying…


This was the first time I had cut a pig with a 1 handed weapon. Though, I do have many years of experience with cutting with swords.

(http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=27841, for example)

My impression during the cut was that the edge alignment was fine, but of course, that's only an impression...
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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
That isn't really good science, to extend the results of testing a particular model to represent the entire brand line up. Infact I wouldn't even go as far as to say that the results can represent all units of that particular model. All we have shown is that two specific blades have sustained edge damage when cutting these pork arms. In fact I would take a rolled edge over a chipped edge any day.

That said, I’m a bit surprised that the Albion edge rolled like that. I thought they had switched to modern through hardening steel when they started making sparring blunts.

Don't the Soldat and Brescia both have particularly acute edges?


Oh, I agree. I'm not trying to bash Albion...I own several of their swords and really appreciate them. Yes, both the Soldat (especially the edge near impact) and the Brescia have quite acute edges compared to the rest of their line-up (I own 8 albions and have handled several other models that I am comparing too).
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Scott Hanson




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for one of the initial questions, yes, I would expect a messer or falchion to be able to sever a pig's foreleg without significant damage. I'm sure you're more familiar than I am with the plates showing the damage our forebears expected to be able to inflict with such weapons.

I am a big fan of Albions. I haven't handled any other maker that really seems to have the feel of the historic pieces down as well as they do, imo. However, I have heard several stories similar to this here and on other forums. I know they did a test on a steel drum with a Tritonia, so obviously not all of their blades would take damage from a pig leg.

It's possible that your sword has a defect. No one can make products without ever producing any defects.

Also possible that the edge geometry on the Soldat and Brescia Spadona is not up to the task of severing bone. Hopefully someone from Albion will chime in with some more information.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

steel is not indestructible, it doesn't seem out of the ordinary that a misaligned cut would result in damage. in the modern sense i think we believe that swords are invincible, but they have their limits. intended use of a blade should result in intended repair. swords that went to war, may have only survived one campaign and were re-hilted.

i don't think this is a problem that occurred because of the construction of the sword, may not also be the users fault this is just Murphy's law.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've cut pig bone (legs) with a Brescia Spadona with zero edge damage of any kind. There are two things that could explain what happened here. One you held back too much (or at all, which you said you did)/ A sword edge will either cut into the bone or it will be damaged on impact (rarely both). The other possibility is that this particular sword is defective in some way. Whether someone ground it wrong (too thin) or the heat treat was off (too soft). That's very rare for an Albion, but as with all things that are hand made, it can happen.

The wonderful thing about Albion, and why I trust and support them 100%, is that if it's their fault, they will take care of it. Always. For life. I have sent swords to them before. Sometimes they told me, "This is user error you giant lummox, but we will straighten it for you for 25 bucks." And that was fair, because it was! I am very hard on my swords. Sometimes too hard. Other times they said, "This is our fault, we will take care of it." And if it is their fault, the degree to which they will go to fix it is unreal.

Albion's customer service is exemplary. Send it back to them. They will measure the edge hardness and thickness and if it is spot on, they will say, "user error" and still do their best to fix it for a small fee with an incredible quick turnaround time. If it turns out they made a mistake, they will make it right.

The absolute best thing about Albion though, is that if they say "it's your fault" you can believe them 100%. They don't want a defective sword in circulation and they will go to great lengths to prevent it.

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Last edited by Michael Edelson on Sun 07 Apr, 2013 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From my experience, I'd say that the temper was improperly executed at least on that portion of the blade. That is a really dramatic roll of the edge there, and I've seen Albions hit 55gal barrel rims, metal cutting stands, nails, bone, rawhide rolls, screws, and trees and not suffer an edge roll that bad. Mild edge chipping/nicking? Yes. But nothing along those lines. I would suggest contacting their customer service and having them check it out, you have a lifetime warranty on that blade; if it were my sword, I'd definately use it. That's too much of an investment not to do so.
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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Herbert Schmidt wrote:
This edge damage shouldn't happen. The question is as to the reason for it.
It could be the makers fault (Hardening, Cross section etc) but it could also be the users fault (misalignment, bad control etc).

How much experience do you have with cutting pig?
There is also the question as to how you had put the pig up. Was it hanging, lying…

To my experience a pig is not really a challenge if one does cut right. A leg is barely felt.

Also, to my experience, the blades of Albion are quite up to the job. But in the end, every blade has to be judged anew.

Have fun and stay safe!

Herbert


That's absolute nonsense. Swords shouldn't be so delicate, that if you accidentally cut with an edge slightly off angle, it ruins it. NOBODY would ever be perfect with edge alignment all the time. OOPS I just messed up with that cut, and ruined my sword.

It's the users fault. No, that edge is not properly made. I can consistently cut with a 25 dollar machete and never roll the edge like that on a similar target. There is no excuse for this, none, zilch, zero.

If swords were so delicate that if you didn't have this so called proper edge alignment all the time, they would have been horrible battle field weapons. Your sword would get badly damaged on your first opponent.
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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did severe edge damage on an Arms and Armor Grunwald on a defrosted pigs leg I bought from a butcher at HEB.

It cut deep and split the top of the femur down about 4 inches but when I pulled it out it had the edge rolled just like that in one spot. At that point, I thought what the heck, I already dinged it so I went to town on that leg and savaged the edge badly. I returned it to get a new blade which cost me 300 dollars but I learned the limits of that sword or exposed an edge that is too soft.

I bought a bigger pigs leg a week later, set it on a log which was on top of a trash can and cut almost completely through it with a charge and a 100% power swing with an Albion steward. I regret not taking pictures of this "Next time I do something like this I will" but I consistently went through that femur bone which was massive and thick and many inches of flesh. The cuts were down right scary and I did absolutely no damage to the stewards edge, it was like it was asking for more. That sword is a beast, it is fully capable of hacking a mans leg off at the thigh if you have the power or momentum on your side and if it can consistently cut through an adults pigs femur bone and take no damage at all, human bone would be less of a challenge and would be no problem.


My Albion Crecy has taken some minor edge damage that I have been able to fix myself but only after I sharpened it, the stock edge never took damage on these tests.

Look, I want swords that can take full power hits on bone and not damage, I take the risk when I do these tests knowing very well I could damage the edge of an expensive sword but I will never know what I really have until I try it. It's my own choice, my own risk, my own money.
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
If swords were so delicate that if you didn't have this so called proper edge alignment all the time, they would have been horrible battle field weapons. Your sword would get badly damaged on your first opponent.

I suggest you look up the current research on sword hardness... The 50-55 Rockwell that is the industry standard today is much higher than the norm on all but highest quality blades in period.

Even if this Soldat was a poorly heat treated blade (?), chances are that is was still significantly harder and more consistent than the average blade in period was.

Of course your machete doesn't roll... It has a completely different edge geometry designed with abuse in mind.

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Christopher B Lellis




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
Christopher B Lellis wrote:
If swords were so delicate that if you didn't have this so called proper edge alignment all the time, they would have been horrible battle field weapons. Your sword would get badly damaged on your first opponent.

I suggest you look up the current research on sword hardness... The 50-55 Rockwell that is the industry standard today is much higher than the norm on all but highest quality blades in period.

Even if this Soldat was a poorly heat treated blade (?), chances are that is was still significantly harder and more consistent than the average blade in period was.

Of course your machete doesn't roll... It has a completely different edge geometry designed with abuse in mind.


25 dollars vs how much is the soldat? 1200 dollars? And the 25 dollar blade is more reliable? That's a serious, serious problem.

However you want to break it down, the fact that a machete that costs pocket change can beat out a sword over a thousand dollars is a travesty.

No ands ifs or buts about it.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
Robin Smith wrote:
Christopher B Lellis wrote:
If swords were so delicate that if you didn't have this so called proper edge alignment all the time, they would have been horrible battle field weapons. Your sword would get badly damaged on your first opponent.

I suggest you look up the current research on sword hardness... The 50-55 Rockwell that is the industry standard today is much higher than the norm on all but highest quality blades in period.

Even if this Soldat was a poorly heat treated blade (?), chances are that is was still significantly harder and more consistent than the average blade in period was.

Of course your machete doesn't roll... It has a completely different edge geometry designed with abuse in mind.


25 dollars vs how much is the soldat? 1200 dollars? And the 25 dollar blade is more reliable?

That's a serious, serious problem.


That's just a red herring and a route I'd rather see avoided.

A machete is as similar to a grossemesser as golf cart is to a cargo van. They're different items, serving different purposes. The machete will do many dozens of things much bettter than a grossemesser could ever do. Likewise, the grossemesser will do many things the machete could never do. Both will fail under different conditions. Each with have great success under differing conditions.

In the case of cutting a pig as described in this topic, the grossemesser could be expected to outperform the machete by miles while also being prone to taking more damage.

If a person wants a machete, buy a machete. Use it as a machete would be used. But to compare it to a sword, or a grossemesser in this case, is an absurd and ill-advised route to take.

Instead, compare the Albion Soldat grossemesser to a historical grossemesser and discuss if it performs as the one from history does. Likewise, discuss if the particular example in this topic is faulty or suffers from some fatal flaw. Leave it at that, however, because that's the point of this entire discussion:

Is the sword in question inferior to a similar design that history has left us?
Is the sword in question suffering from some sort of quality control issue?
Is the sword in question suffering from some fatal design flaw?

Regarding the last two points, I'd suggest calling Albion as advised in this topic and getting them to chime in on the matter to see what they'll do. Make 'em fix it or tell you why it's not appropriate for them to do so. Simple as that.

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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:

However you want to break it down, the fact that a machete that costs pocket change can beat out a sword over a thousand dollars is a travesty.


Beating it in an abuse test is very different from beating it on the field of battle. If I was going into battle I know damn well I would take a sword that gets a ding in the edge from every little hit as opposed to a cheap machete that is indestructible. (And the statement about being made differently has been true in my experience. Compared to my swords, my machetes have a rather beefy bevel. Nothing resembling the so-called apple-seed edge.)

Disclaimer: That is just my two cents on the usage here. I do not own any high end swords and have no real ground to stand on when it comes to what a customer should expect from a manufacturer such as Albion.


Edit: And Nathan beat me...

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling


Last edited by Colt Reeves on Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Christopher B Lellis




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Christopher B Lellis wrote:
Robin Smith wrote:
Christopher B Lellis wrote:
If swords were so delicate that if you didn't have this so called proper edge alignment all the time, they would have been horrible battle field weapons. Your sword would get badly damaged on your first opponent.

I suggest you look up the current research on sword hardness... The 50-55 Rockwell that is the industry standard today is much higher than the norm on all but highest quality blades in period.

Even if this Soldat was a poorly heat treated blade (?), chances are that is was still significantly harder and more consistent than the average blade in period was.

Of course your machete doesn't roll... It has a completely different edge geometry designed with abuse in mind.


25 dollars vs how much is the soldat? 1200 dollars? And the 25 dollar blade is more reliable?

That's a serious, serious problem.


That's just a red herring and a route I'd rather see avoided.

A machete is as similar to a grossemesser as golf cart is to a cargo van. They're different items, serving different purposes. The machete will do many dozens of things much bettter than a grossemesser could ever do. Likewise, the grossemesser will do many things the machete could never do. Both will fail under different conditions. Each with have great success under differing conditions.

In the case of cutting a pig as described in this topic, the grossemesser could be expected to outperform the machete by miles while also being prone to taking more damage.

If a person wants a machete, buy a machete. Use it as a machete would be used. But to compare it to a sword, or a grossemesser in this case, is an absurd and ill-advised route to take.

Instead, compare the Albion Soldat grossemesser to a historical grossemesser and discuss if it performs as the one from history does. Likewise, discuss if the particular example in this topic is faulty or suffers from some fatal flaw. Leave it at that, however, because that's the point of this entire discussion:

Is the sword in question inferior to a similar design that history has left us?
Is the sword in question suffering from some sort of quality control issue?
Is the sword in question suffering from some fatal design flaw?

Regarding the last two points, I'd suggest calling Albion as advised in this topic and getting them to chime in on the matter to see what they'll do. Make 'em fix it or tell you why it's not appropriate for them to do so. Simple as that.


All of that maybe true and probably is but the fact that one blade, which costs literally 50 times more is also more prone to damage.

That is inexcusable to me, that's my opinion and I stand by it.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher B Lellis wrote:
All of that maybe true and probably is but the fact that one blade, which costs literally 50 times more is also more prone to damage.

That is inexcusable to me, that's my opinion and I stand by it.


You're right. You're entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that you're incorrect.

It's not "more prone to damage" as a cheap item. It's more prone to damage under certain circumstances than the cheaper item. The cheaper item, likewise is more prone to damage under certain circumstances as well. We do not live in a black and white world of absolutes.

All things suffer damage. Product design of all kinds requires a balance of non-ideals. Sword design is a perfect example of this: how hard? how soft? how flexible? how rigid? how sharp? etc. etc. It's a very interesting balancing act.

All edged weapons suffer damage. This is evidenced by simple observation of reality and by the study of surviving weapons, both from the battlefield and from the museum. There's nothing inexcusable about this. It's simply a fact based on the properties of these items and the limitations imposed upon them by physics.

Now, that does't mean there isn't a problem with the Soldat that is the discussion in this topic. There might very well be. Is it faulty? I have no idea. I suspect it might have an issue, but my speculation on the matter is as useless as everybody else who's chimed in here.

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Josh S





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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Swords are designed to cut flesh and bone. They are not designed to lose that ability. Of course, a sword will eventually lose its ability through use, just like any other tool. But it is not designed to expedite such a loss.

A sword that fails to do what it is supposed to, and manages to do what it is not, is a poor sword. Poor swords existed even in the sword's heyday, so excusing a poverty of quality by comparing it to older swords does a disservice to both the maker and to basic common sense.

The comment has been made thousands of times that one should not expect his swords to cut through trees, great helms, cars, concrete pillars, etc... Because that's not what they're designed to be used against. This is true and reasonable. But that same argument can not then be made regarding flesh and bone with any degree of respectability. That is what they are designed to be used against. A sword should not be expected to take damage to a degree that its ability to function is compromised when it is being used correctly - to say that it should, is an insult. Whether to the user's intelligence or to the maker's talents. This does not even require an appeal to value or cost, as Mr. Lellis has made; it is an appeal based on the very nature of what a sword IS. The fact that it's an expensive sword is another matter entirely.
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