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William Knight

Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Tue 13 Nov, 2018 9:21 pm    Post subject: Review: My New Sword By Swordmaker         Reply with quote


Iím not a collector per se, Iím a reenactor or if you want to get a bit precious about it I do Ďliving historyí. Everything else I do - HEMA, weapons and armour buying, wearing and using - stems from and comes back to my desire to portray a 15th century English soldier to the public. So it has to be accurate, certainly, and it also has to serve an interpretive purpose - to justify it in my kit, it has to teach people something, or teach me something, about the past and in particular something about 15th century English archers.

But on the other hand, one reason why I reenact 15th century England is because it has my favorite armour and weapons of any period of history. And sure, I could tell you a bit about the furbishers guild and their conflicts with the cutlers supposed monopoly on swordmaking but at some level, swords are cool, and 15th century English swords are, if you ask me, coolest of all. In particular, as Oakshott said if you ask someone to draw a picture of a sword they will probably draw a sword of his Ďfamily fí - type XV or XVIII, wheel pommel, downward-sweeping crossguard. So in the back of my mind thereís also this aesthetic concern.

Both of these considerations were in my mind when I started drooling over Albionís Kingmaker ten years ago, around the time it was first announced. I still love that sword. But as time went on, I became more interested in getting a truly custom sword, something handmade that had the imperfections and idiosyncrasies of a medieval original. And thatís when I found Swordmaker, AKA Maciej Kopciuch. I presented him with an original sword from the Cleveland Museum of Art that fit the aesthetic I loved and which would be appropriate to my portrayal, and he set to work. A couple of weeks ago, I got the result, and Iíve been using it ever since to get a feel for it. Spoiler Alert: itís awesome.


Measurements from the maker:

total length 990mm
blade length 830mm
blade width (max.) 46mm
blade thickness (max.) 8mm
grip 95mm
crossguard 184mm
pommel 54x20mm
balance ca. 70mm
weight ca. 1060g

Handling Characteristics

This sword has changed my entire idea of what a single-handed sword should feel like. Itís light at around a kilogram / 2 pounds 4 ounces and despite its length its point of balance is less than 3 inches from the guard (thanks to that big pommel no doubt). Needless to say, this makes it quick to maneuver, but it actually works -best- when you Ďchoke downí on the grip and lightly grip it near the pommel, with your pinky and the whole bottom edge of your hand resting or even wrapping around the pommel. This just feels -right-. Gripped like this, the sword -wants- to do all those little casting cuts and deft maneuvers that sword and buckler fencing demands. Using my sparring sword (which is only 8 ounces heavier) using the proper form for these maneuvers is a chore and a literal pain. But with this sword, I donít want to do them any other way. As a history educator, I appreciate a sword that shows the quickness that some medieval swords could have. I havenít cut with this sword yet but Iím looking forward to doing so.

Fit and Finish
The fit and finish of the sword itself show a great deal of skill and painstaking hard work. There are no mistakes or shoddy work in the sword, no shortcuts. But itís not Ďperfectí or symmetrical or pistine. Itís handmade, and it shows it. It reproduces a lot of the eccentricities of the original sword, and also the the minor asymmetries that are inherent in handmade work. Moreover it is quite plain. No fuss, no decoration, only the simple elegance of the lines themselves. But thatís what I wanted - one reason I selected Maciej was that he says write on his website that he makes swords that reflect the handmade and functional nature of the originals. This is important to show the public the imperfect and practical nature of these tools of the soldiers trade. When it comes to the functional fit, itís superb. Nothing rattles, everything fits.

In addition to the sword I also ordered a belt and scabbard. Unlike the sword I had a less precise idea in mind and though Maciej and I talked a great deal about it in the end he had a bit more latitude. I am quite happy with the result. The oxblood belting and black scabbard are visually striking and match what we agreed upon. The fine tooling of the leather of the scabbard is both visually striking and simple enough for an archer, at least to my mind. It shows how even utilitarian objects night offer a chance for display. The main belt buckle and the rosettes are gorgeous. One minor point, more of a nitpick, is that the secondary buckles arenít quite up to the same historical standards as the main one - perhaps because the maker couldnít get the desired type of buckles and these would do. Ultimate this is only a minor point. The buckled assembly in general was Maciejís answer to the problem I posed to him, where I needed something that could fit around my 30Ē waist in my gown and my 40Ē waist in my jack, so that it would be adjustable. Iíll try it out and see how I like it - worst case scenario I might re-belt the scabbard with a fixed suspension but keep the main belt.


What youíve heard is true. Maciej Kopciuch is a true artist and he delivers an incredible value - true custom swords at the cost of a high-end production sword. I heartily recommend him and his work.

Last edited by William Knight on Mon 19 Nov, 2018 8:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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J.D. Crawford

Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,903

PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maciej is definitely an Artist. I like his work with high medieval swords best. Shapely but a bit rough and ready for a fight.
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin

myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2018 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a really good looking sword. I like the choices that were made for it.
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Roger Hooper

Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 4
Posts: 4,393

PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most of his swords are patterned after earlier times-11th to 14th centuries. This 15th century one is great. I like the hollow ground blade.
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Timothy Verseput

Location: United States
Joined: 13 Nov 2018

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2018 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool! can I ask what your trainer sword is?
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William Knight

Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought this from Purpleheart a while back to train and spar with. It's nice and works well but is not nearly as quick and light as the real thing.
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