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Trace L. Gordin





Joined: 04 May 2006

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject: AngelSword reviews?         Reply with quote

Worried I could have sworn I saw a forum somewhere on here yesterday that said something about reviews of swords by AngelSword. Did I imagine it? I sure haven't been able to find it again. And I couldn't find it in forums anyplace else, either.
All I know is that in various places I've encountered a helluva disparity in people's opinions on the swords from those guys. Anything from, "stay away from them, they break easily" to "best swords in the world".
Well, I was hoping to find an objective review someplace, as I'm considering an 8-10 hour drive to bloody Scarborough Fair just to go look at the things & see if I think it'd be a swell idea to drop a bundle on one. Well, they do have hassle free sounding layaway, and a lifetime warranty/guarantee thing. WTF?!

In Hell I'll meet you, and once again Defeat you.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Trace,
No other sword company will produce such widely varied commentary as Angelsword. The very mention of the company's name invariably brings out both vehement support and vehement denouncement of the products, both of which often are of the band-wagon variety ("I like them/I hate them and nothing you say will change my opinion. If you disagree with me, I'll just state my opinion again, but more loudly."). It is nearly impossible to get unbiased opinions on their products.

Angelswords are not historical designs, nor do they claim to be. As such, this site, "A Resource for Historic Arms and Armour Collectors" is not the best place to get info on them.

There have been no threads on them here for several weeks at least. The last one quickly got out of hand. This one must not.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think your decision to go look at their products is probably the best way to approach things.

That way you can decide if their value proposition is really going to be valuable to you.

I would recommend that you go with the intention of looking and reflecting on things. Don't go intending to buy if you find the right deal, because you may get a hard sell for the wrong product. Don't take the funds to buy if the deal is right. In my experience, if I have the cash burning in my pocket, a deal finds me whether its really a deal or not.

I do recommend that you make yourself walk away from the first time chance to buy from any vendor. If you can wait a week and still feel that you have to have a product you've seen, and then decide to buy, you will be making a better decision. Besides, no matter what anybody claims in this hobby, when we're talking about reproductions, once in a lifetime deals are seldom once in a lifetime.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sat 06 May, 2006 7:36 am; edited 2 times in total
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: AngelSword reviews?         Reply with quote

Trace L. Gordin wrote:

Well, I was hoping to find an objective review someplace, as I'm considering an 8-10 hour drive to bloody Scarborough Fair


If you're going to Scarborough Fair .... Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.....

(Sorry, Someone had to say it.)

On a more serious note, what is this thing you are going to? A blade show of some kind?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: AngelSword reviews?         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
If you're going to Scarborough Fair .... Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.....

Thanks, George. We needed that. Happy

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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 207

PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: AngelSword reviews?         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
Trace L. Gordin wrote:

Well, I was hoping to find an objective review someplace, as I'm considering an 8-10 hour drive to bloody Scarborough Fair


If you're going to Scarborough Fair .... Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.....

(Sorry, Someone had to say it.)

On a more serious note, what is this thing you are going to? A blade show of some kind?


Scarborough Faire is a renaissance faire just outside of Waxahachie, Texas (immediately between Dallas and Waco). Its quite large as faires go. Nice permanent location. I made the commute out there a couple times when I used to live in Lubbock (out in the West of Texas, south of Canyon and Amarillo).
Angle Swords usually has a booth at Scarborough, and its usually swarming with people--usually people who look like adolescent males.

Their designs are not historical, and in my opinion are quite ugly and feel like sword-shaped crowbars. I have heard that some of them can be quite good cutters.
They tend to make a really big deal about their heat-treating process, including a couple big posters inside and outside their booth at Scarborough. They really like hyping that their process results in some sort of "super-steel." I won't say anyhting about this, as it seems to be one of the major sticking-points in the pro/against arguements (and frankly, I just don't care).

The a-historical nature is what turns me off about them, personally. Personally, I would rather have a sword like one that a man in the Middle Ages would actually carry.

If you REALLY want to find a quality product at Scarborough, I would reccomend poking thorugh the Hollow Earth booth. Though they can be hit-or-miss, they do make some rather nice wasters.
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Drake Abram





Joined: 31 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: AngelSword reviews?         Reply with quote

Eric Allen wrote:

Angle Swords usually has a booth at Scarborough, and its usually swarming with people--usually people who look like adolescent males.

Their designs are not historical, and in my opinion are quite ugly and feel like sword-shaped crowbars. I have heard that some of them can be quite good cutters.



#1. When I visited Scarborough faire, I saw adolescent males swarming EVERY booth. I really wouldn't expect a sword/weapons shop to be swarming with adolescent females. I saw quite a good mix of people and ages at the booth when I visited. Wink Big Grin

#2. While some of the designs I could care less about (some really ugly ones and some really pretty ones), I found that most of their blades were very light and well balanced. I would like to see more historical pieces there, but I guess they make for a different crowd.

just my 2 cents

Are there any other custom weapons shops at Scarborough? I saw Starfire (excellent beaters from what I hear) but that was about it.

I'll have to agree about Hollow Earth though. They seemed to be swarmed by adolescent males as well........ Wink Big Grin

*EDITED for emoticons*
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Jeremy G




Location: Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Feb 2005

Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well...I have an Angel Sword (from their "cheaper" Bright Knight line). It was the first sword I bought...Yeah I know, I am a little a** backwards! Most people buy wallhangers first...Well not me! I knew nothing about swords and was amazed that people actually made real swords. After visiting their booth (at the NY renn faire) and deciding I needed to get a sword, I came back a few weeks later and spent time picking out a nice, light warsword. It is actually quite maneuverable, works OK for Liechtenauer, and got me back into my interest in swords and historical combat (as a kid I always wanted to know how swords were really used). They have a nice warranty, are pretty tough (they told me to "beat the s*** out of it"), and some of them are nice looking. I don't buy any of that super steel stuff (the very tip has bent a little) and the edges have dulled a bit from my makeshift cutting stand (I'm always learning! Razz ). I won't buy another one. I'll get an Albion or Atrim instead. They wayyy overcharge because they can do that to the Renn Faire crowds (that's the main reason they tell you to come to the faires to look at their weapons...it is nice to hold a sword before you buy it, but they've got some good salesman and women). My AS is not really historical...It kinda looks it, but any sword can look it. Definitely more fantasy when one gets to know more about swords (although some are just plain fantastic looking). One thing that drew me to mine is that it looked more like medieval weapon than most of the others, and I've come to find that to learn historical combat, it's best to use historical based weapons. So now it's my $1500 beater! Hey, they got a good warranty and it cuts pretty sweet! My best advice is to get 2 nice swords from Arms and Armor, Atrim, or Albion than to get one Angel Sword. That is unless one of their designs really call to you. I still check 'em out every year at the NY faire, but I already know while I'm lookin at them I'm just whetting my appetite for a sword from another maker. This may be the first unbiased opinion of them I've seen Wink !
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John Gage
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Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Trace,

I would say if you want a really, really nice sword it would be best to save your money and buy an Albion Sword.
You cannot and will not be disappointed. Happy


Regards,

John

http://www.GageCustomKnives.com/
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Mark Kohnitz





Joined: 20 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy G wrote:
Well......They wayyy overcharge because they can do that to the Renn Faire crowds (that's the main reason they tell you to come to the faires to look at their weapons...it is nice to hold a sword before you buy it, but they've got some good salesman and women). ...I still check 'em out every year at the NY faire, but I already know while I'm lookin at them I'm just whetting my appetite for a sword from another maker. This may be the first unbiased opinion of them I've seen Wink !


No. They don'nnnnnnt waaaaaay ovvvvvvveeerrrrrr charge. They post a price and if you pay it, you pay it. Your choice. A man is free to walk away even from a great salesman with a sword.
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Jeremy G




Location: Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Laughing Out Loud Well, I wasn't trying to stress it that much, as you're right, and I know that. But, 5 years ago I didn't have internet access nor friends who knew anything about the hobby, so when I first laid hands on their swords I was shocked. I had never held a 'real' sword, and was amazed that anyone was making them. I thought "oh, sure someone can make a sword, but it'll probably cost thousands of dollars". So, when seeing their wares, I had a revelation and a decision... They're cheaper than I thought and do I buy or not? I never buy anything for myself, and my wife was really into the idea of me grabbing at something from my childhood. So, not realizing I had other options, I grabbed a credit card and bought my favorite at the stand. I don't regret it, nor do I feel bamboozled. It's a really nice sword that got me into this hobby and was the key to learning things I had always wanted to. If I had known of other quality makers it may very well have been a different, less expensive 'key' that opened this door for me. But once again, I like the sword, and you can't beat a lifetime warranty (I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for warranties Laughing Out Loud ). I'm just saying that now I will spend my money elsewhere due to my historical preferences.

I should add that my opinion of overpricing is based on people with no knowledge of swords nor the sword community. I didn't want to come off as their swords aren't worth the price. But for someone desiring a user friendly sword without gouging their wallet of a lot of hard earned cash, there are other reliable options.
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go to the fair and give them a look. I would if I lived that close. If you can, make sure to give atrim, albion and arms & armour a look over too. Forget all the sales pitches and hype and politics and decide what you think "feels" and looks better and what you want to pay. Can't go wrong then mate. Happy

The only thing I would stress is to make sure you know what specifics you are after in a sword before you drop US$1k on one.
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Joe Gonzalez




Location: Leander, TX
Joined: 06 May 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Angel Sword         Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I just bought an Angel Sword at the Scarby Faire and so I though I'd post my comments. I bought the blade shown below. The blade is made from 1/8" thick S-7 about 25" long and 1 3/8" wide. The hilt and pommel are blackened steel and the grip is wood covered with ostrich leather. Overall length runs a little over 33 inches.

I also thought that these swords were overpriced when I first encountered them. I also thought that they were too thin for regular use. Two things changed my mind. The first was a video on the AS website showing them bending an S-7 blade almost into a circle before it snapped. The second was doing some actual cutting with an AS ninjato-style sword which belongs to my sensei. This skinny little sword has seen regular use at our dojo for several years cutting water bottles, tatami mats, and bamboo. Its held up fine, even on a few bad cuts by novice students. I've got a tameshigiri stand and a box of mats on the way, so I intend to see how my blade holds up under cutting. I'll post my impression of it after I use it for a while.

Overall, I'd agree that AS blades are not 100% historically accurate in their styling. If you are looking for a historical replica right off the shelf, then an Atrim or Albion would be a better choice. I mainly bought my AS because of its cutting performance and the fact that it felt great in my hand. The size, weight, and balance really impressed me and prompted me to buy, even though I wasn't intending to purchase a sword at that time. It was expensive, but I think it was well worth the purchase price. I think Taylor Ellis had some good advice about making sure you know what you want in a sword and checking out the other makers. I did and so far I'm pleased with my purchase. The real test will come when my stand and mats arrive.

Jeremy G - You mentioned your tip bent slightly and the edge dulled. What were you trying to cut? Have you contacted AS to have them repair it under warranty?



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Cheers,

Joe
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Mark Kohnitz





Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jeremy....that is much clearer. You were coming off differently in the first post. Now it sounds as if you are a happy customer.
My wife essentially convinced me to purchase by the same terms. (Not at swordpoint). I had been a regular visitor to the booth for nearly 20 years and had only come close a few times before my wife insisted since it was my B-day, we had the $$ and it would fulfill a lifelong 'dream'. Mine was very similar to yours but more basic. Bitchin' cutters though I really don't do that stuff. I have seen many AS and many others. Admittedly I have handled far more AS pieces. Fit and finish are great. Some have occasional issues relating to 'abuse', by my definition. Usually in the weakest point of any sword, the handle. Where the lesser material meets the stronger always tends to show more stress damage whether it is swords, cars or bones.
I have since sold that one and purchased a Jody Samson Seaward. Not as good a steel, but I really love the uniquicy of the design. Definitely non-historic fantasy-ish, but it fits my style. A little 'out there'......
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Joe Gonzalez




Location: Leander, TX
Joined: 06 May 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Kohnitz wrote:
Usually in the weakest point of any sword, the handle. Where the lesser material meets the stronger always tends to show more stress damage whether it is swords, cars or bones.
I have since sold that one and purchased a Jody Samson Seaward. Not as good a steel, but I really love the uniquicy of the design. Definitely non-historic fantasy-ish, but it fits my style. A little 'out there'......


You bought a Seaward! I'm jealous! Those are really sweet! As for the steel, I doubt you would ever subject it to enough abuse to damage it. Jody uses the 10xx series steels which may be simple, but perform really well with the proper heat-treat. I've been eying his stuff myself.

I know what you mean about the handle/blade weakness. I asked Daniel about that issue and he said that the tang on mine is around .8" wide. I've seen some blades fail due to a really narrow tang.

Cheers,

Joe
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Mark Kohnitz





Joined: 20 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 10:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not so much the tang as is what is wrapped/glued/screwed or otherwise fastened to it. The metals flex the other stuff off or cause cracking at some point due to the particular stress harmonics involved in a solid strike or simple torquing.
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Jeremy G




Location: Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 10:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Joe--

The tip bend was a couple years ago. It was the middle of winter and I was itchin to get my sword movin. I was alone in the house and went thru a couple small drills and on one winden I caught a printer that was stored on top of a bureau in our bedroom...no big deal, but the tip sank in a little, caught the printer off balance, and dragged it to the floor, hence the tip bent a little...The blade dulling is no big deal either (it's still sharp), but I cut the cutting stand a few times while trying to get the most out of some milk jugs Wink . My makeshift cutting stand is an old children's picnic table standing on end....you know the kind...thick plastic, impervious to weather, home playground stuff. I haven't contacted AS yet as I believe in tool wear and tear. If you use a sword it won't stay pristine. Spending the amount I do on swords, I can't justify having them sit on display...if that's what someone else wants that's their preference. If the edge gets really chewed up, or something like the blade bends I'll contact them, but so far I've been happy with the performance.

Hi Mark--

Sorry I sent the wrong gist on my first post. I don't have any complaints with my AS piece, I just won't buy one again (unless my retirement plan of hitting the lottery pulls thru!). Every year when we go to the NY faire, I always spend some quality time at the AS booth, eyeing and holding each one that strikes my fancy. (I almost bought one last year, but held out long enough for my wife to come back and whisk me away---she knows to give me sword time, but also to not give me too much sword time!). The main reason I go historical now is that I want to learn about swords and how they were used. Some fantasy stuff is really awesome (by the way that Jody Samson piece is sweet! Nice catch!), but I wouldn't really want to use a gorgeous fantasy piece for cutting and such.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I went over to the Angel Swords website again and took another look at their swords. I'm sure they are finely crafted, durable, and very good piercers and cutters. Aesthetically, I don't care for them. Even if I did like the way they looked, I wouldn't buy one, because there is no way I am going to pay $10,000.00 for a sword, excepting perhaps an antique European weapon in very good condition.

If Angel Swords can sell to satisfied customers at that price, more power to them.
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Mark Kohnitz





Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The $10 grand range is representative of but a few blades of their offering. The Bright Knights are far less expensive twixt $1000 and up mostly. There may be some under that price depending on materials and complexity of the design. Not all their blades are pictured on the net. Many will only be seen before they sell at the faires.
Trace, where do you live? There is also Texas Ren Fest over by Houston starting in October....bigger than Scarby I think.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 06 May, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, 10K swords are the higher end ones. Still, if I was going to spend between $1000.00 and $5000.00, I would get an Albion Museum piece, or a custom sword from Kevin Cashen, Vince Evans, or Peter Johnsson. But that is just my individual taste.
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