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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu 09 May, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject: Has Darksword gotten any better?         Reply with quote

Hello,

I've been searching through the forums looking at all the threads related to the Darksword Armoury company and the quality of their products. I saw a lot of bad reviews, but the latest entry on the matter i could find, was dated back to 2006. I don't know if there are later reviews that I'm just missing or what, but that six to seven years ago, so I was wondering if anybody knows if the quality of Darksword Armoury's products has increased. I know there were some pretty good reviews on their rapiers, and late swords in the Reviews section, but I'm more interested in their early medieval swords.

Most notably this one:

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

I'm certainly no expert on swords so I don't know if the ability to make good late-medieval swords would be mirrored for early-medieval swords.

Anyway, if I missed some more recent reviews on the matter, I apologize, and I would appreciate any insight or advice any of you can offer.

Thank you.
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 12:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stats on KOA:

Overall Length: 34 3/8'' Blade: 27 5/8''
Weight: 2 lb 10 oz
Edge: Blunt
P.O.B.: 5 3/8''
Thickness: 4.5 mm - 4.9 mm
Width: 52.3 mm
Grip Length: 4 1/2''
Pommel: Peened
Add Sharpening $25 (Adds Approx. 1 Week to Ship Time)
$419.95 without sharpening

I recently has one of their swords with the same blade and it gets thicker towards the end.
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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At that price you're in the range of Del Tins (minus a scabbard). Del Tins aren't the bargain they used to be but they are still quality.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Note that it is a blunt. Is that what you want? With its 27 inch blade, it is kind of heavy, even for a blunt. Also the fact that the blade actually gets thicker towards the end is not good news for this kind of a sword.

One of the main problems with DSA's is that they are designed as blunt, reenactment swords with no consideration for the blade geometry needed for an efficiant cutting and piercing sword. Those models are then given an edge and sold as sharp swords.

It depends what you are looking for. If you want a durable basher type, then DSA's may work for you. If you want a real sword, you should go elsewhere. The best ones in this price range are from Valiant Armoury. In a couple of weeks there should be models available from them.
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the sheaths look nice from afar, but are pretty crude in person and do not fit the blades well; I hope eyal has increased the overall quality, but the one(s) I got and returned also had tempering issues. They are no longer really designed for reenactment combat anymore either. the blade edges are thinner to facilitate sharpening, which when paired with the possible tempering issues does not make a good sword for blade to blade fighting.

del tin would be a better option for this price range for living history and test cutting; better fit and finish, blade geometry, etc. and KOA offers scabbards for 100-200usd

anymore money and you get into A&A territory
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
Joined: 14 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got a DSA that is now a little over two years old - I got it in Jan. 2011. Compared to another sword I have at the same price point (Legacy Arms Gen2) the DSA is very disappointing in every aspect. I doubt I would consider another., without an in hand inspection that yielded an unexpected result.
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Brandt Giese




Location: Everett. Wa
Joined: 06 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought a Darksword medieval sword and dagger 4 years ago ( do not own them today) and I will not consider another purchase.
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh wow! Apparently in the past six years, Darksword Armoury has not gotten any better. I took up your advice, and looked at Del Tin and Valiant Armoury. Del Tin has a nice little number for about $330.00, but it doesn't have a scabbard/belt setup, which is a big deal for me. The Valiant Armoury Crusader Signature edition looks really great and it does have ab belt and scabbard that guys about $500.00. And VA is located in Texas of the shipping would probably be cheaper than Del Tin. The scabbard on the VA one looks more appropriate to the 12th century (what I'm going for) than the one Darksword Armorury with an earlier style of chape.

If anybody knows more about VA swords they'd like to share, I'd really appreciate it.

I thank you all for your extremely helpful advice. I've really learned form this thread. Thanks again.
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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

you could get a crusader monk scabbard for the deltin or a simple leather one made by the guys at KOA

believe me, most production scabbards are not a selling point once in the hand. I'd much rather have a $400 sword than a $300 sword with a scabbard for $400. You can also make one yourself with a router and a hand sander, as well as a variety of other methods ranging from utilitarian to downright garish.
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Brandt Giese




Location: Everett. Wa
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can get an upper end production sword for not much more money if you are not in a hurry by watching myArmoury's marketplace.
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 1:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom King wrote:
http://www.kultofathena.com/customization.asp
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...eval+Sword

you could get a crusader monk scabbard for the deltin or a simple leather one made by the guys at KOA

believe me, most production scabbards are not a selling point once in the hand. I'd much rather have a $400 sword than a $300 sword with a scabbard for $400. You can also make one yourself with a router and a hand sander, as well as a variety of other methods ranging from utilitarian to downright garish.


You don't think the Valiant Armoury sword is a good one? There sure aren't many specs on it.
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have 2 Valiant Armoury swords and they are a good value. They will be releasing an updated line in the future as well. I would describe the current line as being a cutting line of swords for the most part and they are based on Christian Fletcher and Gus Trim designs but the blades are manufactured in China. Grips and scabbards are done by VA in Texas. The VA scabbards are much better than anything out there in the production market. They come with a hex nut but will be peened on request.

I have some Del Tins as well and they make many swords you cannot find anywhere else. When buying their products, you need to look at the stats for each model as some are excellent and some are more in line with reenactment with more weight which will affect handling.

As mentioned, Crusader Monk makes budget wood core scabbards that are good value for the money. He also does custom work like grips, sharpening, new wood grips and much more at a very reasonable price. Kult of Athena also has the option to select his scabbards and grips when you buy a sword from them.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Corey Skriletz wrote:

You don't think the Valiant Armoury sword is a good one? There sure aren't many specs on it.


Here are some specs for the Malatesta model over at Kult of Athena Valiants aren't being sold there at the moment, though that might change.

Valiant sword blades are made in China, but designed to the specifications of Angus Trim, a respected swordmaker. They may not be quite as good as ones personally made by Gus, but they are certainly better that ones by Darksword, Hanwei, or Del Tin (Del Tins are good but often a little heavy, designed for reenactment) They are delivered in batches to Sonny Suttles a couple of times a year. He hooks those blades up with hilts and scabbards. So, either there are plenty of models around or none. They tend to go fast. Right now there are none, but there are strong indications that new and old models witll be available sometime later this month.

My advice is to telephone Sonny Suttles at the number published on his website. That may be the best way to get his attention and to nail down what you want.
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much! I think the valiant arms one is the best way to go then, it's just a matter of lining up the proper funds at the right time to coincide with the swords' availability. I especially like that the VA swords come with the integrated belt scabbards. I saw Crusader Monk's scabbards, but they just weren't the style I was looking for. However, I do like his regripping styles. Do you know if it's possible to contact Sonny and get a custom pommel made for one of the swords?

Thanks again for all your help, everyone.
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Mon 20 May, 2013 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think VA will mix and match hilt parts of other swords they sell if you ask. Do not think they make hilt parts in-house.

Last edited by William Swiger on Mon 20 May, 2013 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 20 May, 2013 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sonny Suttles is the best person to answer that question. As mentioned, Valiant does customize swords, but changing pommels is a tricky business - the wrong choice/weighted pommel can mess up a sword's balance. There is also a question of historical accuracy, though that may not be important to you. One could make a case for putting a later pommel on an earlier blade type, but not the opposite, like putting a brazil nut pommel on a type XIX blade.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 20 May, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can't speak for DSA having never done business with them but I've never felt compelled to do business with them. I have dealt with Sonny at Valiant some years back and think his products were offering solid value at the time. I've not priced/shopped recently but when I did he set accurate expectations with me and delivered on his commitments as expected. Product and service met or exceeded my expectation of value in each instance.
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Lance Carter





Joined: 28 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have also wondered this for quite some time and having a few extra dollars in the bank waiting on my custom from A+A to arrive I finally caved and bought a piece from them, i decided on the Excalibur. The reason I chose it was because the look of it to me at least was very pleasing, and its dimensions should roughly match my upcoming order from A+A and that way I would have something to compare the DSA Excalibur that was similar. I must say the shipment arrived rather quickly i ordered it on May 7 and it arrived on May 17 I got it sharpened with the scabbard and belt, the sharpening job seemed a little rough the bevel was a little wavy and uneven and it was easy to tell it was designed to be a blunt but nothing I canít fix over time with a stone and some elbow grease. The sword i must admit feels a little sluggish in hand but I have little to no experience with swords of that size before now i have only owned single handers. When i opened the box i was very surprised with the fit and finish i, to say the least i was very worried that i wasted over 600$ but i do not feel that was at all now, it is very eye catching and beautiful in person the pictures on the site do not do it justice. but i am rushing through this post as you can tell from my grammar, I am at work and must return to it i will tell you more about it later today maybe at lunch or after work still lots more to comment on it as i put it through rigorous testing over the long weekend
Thanks
Lance Carter
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lance Carter wrote:
I have also wondered this for quite some time and having a few extra dollars in the bank waiting on my custom from A+A to arrive I finally caved and bought a piece from them, i decided on the Excalibur. The reason I chose it was because the look of it to me at least was very pleasing, and its dimensions should roughly match my upcoming order from A+A and that way I would have something to compare the DSA Excalibur that was similar. I must say the shipment arrived rather quickly i ordered it on May 7 and it arrived on May 17 I got it sharpened with the scabbard and belt, the sharpening job seemed a little rough the bevel was a little wavy and uneven and it was easy to tell it was designed to be a blunt but nothing I canít fix over time with a stone and some elbow grease. The sword i must admit feels a little sluggish in hand but I have little to no experience with swords of that size before now i have only owned single handers. When i opened the box i was very surprised with the fit and finish i, to say the least i was very worried that i wasted over 600$ but i do not feel that was at all now, it is very eye catching and beautiful in person the pictures on the site do not do it justice. but i am rushing through this post as you can tell from my grammar, I am at work and must return to it i will tell you more about it later today maybe at lunch or after work still lots more to comment on it as i put it through rigorous testing over the long weekend
Thanks
Lance Carter


Lance - Any chance you could post some pictures? I too think the Excalibur looks pretty good from Darksword. I have no first hand experience with any of their swords and would be interested in seeing some additional pictures of that model.

Thanks
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Darksword Excalibur - see Kult of Athena specs - is a 3.5 lbs sharpened blunt with virtually no distal taper, and no profile taper to make up for that. IMO, it can't be called a real sword
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