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Spasimir Ivanov




Location: Bulgaria
Joined: 27 Oct 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Waisted vs Tapered vs Cylindrical hand and half grips         Reply with quote

Hi guys,
Just a question to all practitioners and makers out there. What do you feel about the difference between the different grips for hand and half swords? Which one is your favourite and why? What are their advantages?
My thoughts on the subject are that historically, they were based on both fashion and functionality. For a heavier sword, I guess waisted can help when wielding with one hand, but this can be a nuisance when wielding double handed. However, we do see long two handed grips with waisted type - prime example is the Munich museum sword. Cylindrical just seems like the easier, non specialized solution and frankly its pretty rare. Both tapered and waisted existed at the same time, with tapered grips being prevalent. I remember reading (on arma I think) that tapered continued to be made long after waisted types. Does that mean they are more functional, versatile, or just aesthetically pleasing? I've never practiced historical martial arts and never made a sword myself, so I am just guessing based on experience, logic and what I've read. That is why I am looking forward to the opinions of the experienced practitioners and makers here.

“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend”
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not a HEMA practitioner, so this is purely based on my speculation. That being said, I feel that waisted grips were favored where one hand may be armored/gloved and the other not; if the user is half-swording, then an unarmored dominant hand would be gripping the lower section of the grip which would thus be thicker, while the armored/gloved off-hand (so that it could safely grip the blade) would grip the thinner upper section of the grip. The more padding you have on your palm, presumably the smaller you'd want the diameter of the grip.

I do love them, aesthetically speaking though!

Just my thoughts!
Pete
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Mike Jia
Industry Professional



Location: Canberra
Joined: 30 Sep 2013

Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec, 2013 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always loved the look of a waisted grip, and I feel like the difference is only aesthetic.
Is it possible that it's just a regional thing, and that waisted grips were more prevalent in certain areas of Europe than others?
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having less width near the pommel allows for complex winding to be performed easier. I think a waisted grip is used when the sword user expects to be gripping the pommel.
"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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