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Mathew Morris





Joined: 01 Jan 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject: Popular Opinion. Who do you think is the best sword makers?         Reply with quote

Hello Hilt-weapon Buddies!

ive played with and owned several swords over my collecting time, ive found some that i can love, use and Trust.
i wanted to know who you guys thought were the good, the bad and the ugly of swords and there makers, to help myself and others choose the next well respected and highly reommended blades .

what makes an overall Great sword?

Quality (can it take a beating) Feel, Cosmetic.....what ever you lads think. i'd even like to read about the customer service and the wait time.

id allso like to hear negitive feed back, just to see if people have had swords bend or break, Was it a one time maker flaw or allways bad tempering? and un-recommended companies?.......

who do you adore? and why?


ex: Tinker
Angus Trim
Albion Armorers
Peter Johnson
ArmArt
Vince Evans
Arms and Armour
Cold Steel
MRL
Cas Iberia


Thanks Gents in Excited to read what comes up.....im allways hungry for Knowledge
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe the forum wishes to avoid promoting specific manufacturers. Reviews of individual swords are acceptable though. The veterans here will probably mention that some of the makers listed target different price ranges, with appropriate levels of finished quality and performance. Most of those you listed offer reasonable value versus price.


I've only test cut and drilled with swords from two makers on your list. I considered both of them good.

Albion - great construction, very nice grips and hilt furniture. Some of the sharper design model sword edges may deform slightly in test cutting of "medium" targets (the last 1/8" tip/point on one of mine curled slightly while making a misaligned cut through a milk jug.). But, this is supposedly realistic of similar historical swords. Since my first purchase from them, I have been a repeat customer. Sword purchase number 3 (a Sempach) is due to arrive on Monday, May 22.

ATrim - very durable swords for test cutting which also feel good in terms of handling. I used one in a "beginner group introduction to test cutting". Several people missed targets placed on top of a steel oil drum. The sword repeatedly recieved unitentional abuse in which the edge struck hard into the rolled rim of the drum. The steel drum ended up with several gashes about 1/8 to 1/4" (3 mm to 6mm deep.) The sword came out fine with only very slight dulling of the edges where it struck the drum (not enough to feel like it really needed any repair or touch up yet.) This was an older model sword and the grip tended to loosen. I understand that the newer models are greatly improved in terms of grip quality. I would love to see the ATrim / Christian Fletcher duo offer a permanent peened hilt assembly model.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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Posts: 698

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Damn It! #*##!!!!! I just lost everything that I typed! I just reviewed every company that I've ever purchased from or handled. Since I'm really pissed off right now, I'm not going to type it up again. If anyone wants my opinion on A&A, ATrim, Albion, Lutel, Del Tin, Cold Steel, Phoenix Metal Creations, ArmArt, MRL, Manning Imperial, Templ, Purple Heart Armory, or Darkwood then let me know and I'll type the info up individually later on.

One thing that I will say, is too please keep it civil. myArmoury is a fantastic resource and doesn't need any tension that might be brought about by a fanatical poster. Maybe I'm being paranoid but please be objective.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Read the reviews on this site. Most major players are covered. The reviews are opinions.

Alternately look at some of the colections. You can quickly duduce opinions from what is included in them, and form your own opinion using the information there.

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

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




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A more interesting question, in my opinion, would be to ask who the people here think offers the best value or bang for the buck?

This might be more enlightening, especially if you're looking for hidden or overlooked gems out there. Its equally subjective, but perhaps more valuable when searching for a deal.

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

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




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
One thing that I will say, is too please keep it civil. myArmoury is a fantastic resource and doesn't need any tension that might be brought about by a fanatical poster....
Ya mean someone who might type:
Quote:
Damn It! #*##!!!!!
Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud
(sorry, Jason, I just couldn't resist that)

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Likes: 48 pages
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 698

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Jason Elrod wrote:
One thing that I will say, is too please keep it civil. myArmoury is a fantastic resource and doesn't need any tension that might be brought about by a fanatical poster....
Ya mean someone who might type:
Quote:
Damn It! #*##!!!!!
Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud
(sorry, Jason, I just couldn't resist that)


HA! That is me being civil! Razz
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
If anyone wants my opinion on A&A, ATrim, Albion, Lutel, Del Tin, Cold Steel, Phoenix Metal Creations, ArmArt, MRL, Manning Imperial, Templ, Purple Heart Armory, or Darkwood then let me know and I'll type the info up individually later on.


I'd like opinions on Manning Imperial, Templ, and Darkwood. Wink

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

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




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to hear opinions on Manning Imperial as well.

Kenton
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like Albion Armorers and (by extension) Peter Johnsson's stuff a lot, but the only high end swords I own are from Albion, so I can't comment on other manufacturers. I do like a lot of the stuff from Arms and Armor, particularly some of the rapiers, daggers, and hafted weapons.
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Mathew Morris





Joined: 01 Jan 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: haha you all fell into my trap!         Reply with quote

haha you all fell into my trap! there soooo much to talk about!!

BTW, that sucks when u loose something you spent time typing, my heart goes out to you Dammit!!!!

ive had a great time playing with swords to death these last couple of years and ive found somethings out!

Angus Trim makes amazing, durably swords!! ive cut down trees, hacked into metal (a breast plate, it pierced it nearly 1cm) and all other crimes that were not soposed to do with blades! and they last!!!!! any one who owns Atrim sword!!
you have something to rely on!!!

Cas iberia, ive had 5, a rapier (with a plastic grip) it bent...the tamplar sword it bent, 2 (two!!) godfred damascus viking swords!! (the oil smells amazing) but the pommel broke on one and the other Bent!! and a hand and a half that would of bent if i didnt give it to my friend!!
But wow there Axes are the best ive found.....the metal is effective and strong, ive broken bricks with my hero's axe (i had it sharpened after)

Armart!! beautiful peices! have 3 daggers from him! there well made...but they were so expensive and it took sooo long to get them (even with the promised warranty Pavel gave me) i dont want to abuse them to much...i think they'd do fine though!

Cold steel! neat swords....i owned the "blutcher" cavalry sabre....nice sword.....it bent then broke (this one wasn't overly abused....it broke on a hay stack) i talked to cold steel they said it was my fault, swords break (apparently samuri would carry up to 7 swords in battle because they broke all the time..........right?) ....i wasnt happy, so i drove to ventura and met Lea Thompson (nice fellow) he gave me a brand new one.....it broke too.
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Mathew Morris





Joined: 01 Jan 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: more stuff         Reply with quote

some more stuff!


Cold steel make a great warhammer for the price!!

Albion Armorers! best Customer service ever!! Mike is such a nice guy. i owned two viking swords from them. the Vinland well detailed, great to look at....not to heavy either....well it bent (probably my cutting right!!!) well things happen in battle so if a peasent blocks and i hit him with the flat of the blade should it bend? no!! so i called mike. no worries, it was a one shot bad temper, he sent me another one......that didnt last to long either! he gave me credit.

Del Tin. Love em!! they are such durable swords, not the best looking though and a little heavy, but i enjoy the rugged look!
sometimes the pommels become loose.



Tinker!! what a nice guy! very creative and a sharp fellow! the viking sword i have of his is sharp, quick and durable. it cuts milk bottles like a champ! and hay like its hay..... flexable too.
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Likes: 48 pages
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 698

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Jason Elrod wrote:
If anyone wants my opinion on A&A, ATrim, Albion, Lutel, Del Tin, Cold Steel, Phoenix Metal Creations, ArmArt, MRL, Manning Imperial, Templ, Purple Heart Armory, or Darkwood then let me know and I'll type the info up individually later on.


I'd like opinions on Manning Imperial, Templ, and Darkwood. Wink


Darkwood wins my vote for the best bang for the buck. Scott Wilson can really do anything you ask him to do. He has a large selection of complex hilted Swords & Rapiers and is constantly expanding his line. His website only shows some of the possibilites and items available and is never truely updated with his current products. This is a shame as he does some interesting work including most resently some blunt training messers. He also makes his own blades and in addition uses Hanwei, Del Tin, and ATrim blades so there is a lot of variety for the customer.

I have owned one rapier from him and handled 3 others and they have all, in my opinion, handled better than their $300-$400 price tag. The fit of his pieces is always very solid (I know of one rapier going on 3 years of contact practice use w/o loosing) while the finish can vary based upon the level desired by the customer. His base-line hilts lack subtle detailing and can even include some prominent weld marks, which by the way can be hidden pretty effectively by blueing. While his more expensive pieces can be very nicely detailed. It all depends upon what the customer is willing to pay.

As with every custom smith communication is they key to receiving exactly what you want so be as detailed as you can be when corresponding with Scott. This can be doublely important in the case of Darkwood. Communication while often pleasant can be spotty and usually has to be initiated by the purchaser. You will rarely receive an update on the progress of your sword/rapier unless you ask for it. Delivery times also seem to vary. While I received my order very quickly (less than 2 months), I know others who have waited over 6 months. To be fair to Scott, 6 months is still a short period of time for a custom project and in the end the final product is always worth it.

Onto Manning Imperial. Here's a company that not many people know about. However I think that is going to change. For example when I initially placed my custom order with them the wait was 8 months. Less than a year later they now have a 16 month waiting period. Manning is a company that I can really only discuss the ordering process as my commission is being shipped to me as I type this.

I have heard that the initial contact with Manning Imperial can be a little frustrating. I know of people who have contacted them with an interest in a commission and never heard back. However this has not been my experience. For me communication with Manning has been really pleasant and easy. They have always responded to my e-mails within a week of sending them and kept me updated on the status of my project. They also asked plenty of questions to clarify what I wanted, not just at the beginning of the project but throughout the whole process. These questions can be as simple as what color do you want the grip of your sword to be to something as specific as what type of edge would you like placed on your blade. I also have multiple pictures of my sword at varying stages of completion.

For my particular commission I placed a strong emphasis on the details of the blade since it was of a very unique structure and I think that Craig nailed the form perfectly. However I neglected to discuss the importance of the shape of the handle because it initially really wasn't that important to me. When I was sent pictures of the final sword, the piece didn't really look right. The grip was too simple for the rest of the sword. It was bottle shaped and really needed to be hexagonal. Even though the sword was finished Craig made the change to the grip and even added risers per my request. He gave me exactly what I wanted.

The best part about ordering from Manning Imperial was that not only did they deliver my sword in the time frame that I was initially quoted but they even started and finished it early! It's nice to deal with a custom smith who sets realistic production expectations. My overall experience with Manning has made me want to order another piece from them even though I haven't yet received my original commission. And if the pictures are any indication, the final product should be fantastic.


Last edited by Jason Elrod on Sat 20 May, 2006 10:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mathew Morris





Joined: 01 Jan 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 20 May, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: i like Dark armoury's hilts         Reply with quote

Very nice to hear! i had him do a custom Gaurd on a new Atrim single hand saber, it was awesome, im really glad i did it.
allso he did it for me in less then a month, so i could take it home to Australia.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
And if the pictures are any indication, the final product should be fantastic.


Have you posted any of them yet?

Also, thanks.

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

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




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,

Seems that you manage to kill quite a few swords, even a few in the mix that are a bit of a surprise.

What happened to your replacement Vinland?

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

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




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Jason Elrod wrote:
And if the pictures are any indication, the final product should be fantastic.


Have you posted any of them yet?

Also, thanks.


Not until now. And only because you twisted my arm. Wink Though I'm only going to post pics of the differences in the handles right now. Try to guess which sword this is based on?
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Mathias Andersson




Location: Uppsala, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Itīs based on the beatiful type XX that is in the Bayerische Nationalmuseum, Munich. But there is some minor differences, but beatiful either way Happy
Do i get some price for guessing right? Wink
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Jason Elrod




Location: Winchester, VA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mathias Andersson wrote:
Itīs based on the beatiful type XX that is in the Bayerische Nationalmuseum, Munich. But there is some minor differences, but beatiful either way Happy
Do i get some price for guessing right? Wink


You win absolutely nothing! Yeah! Razz You are right however. The differences with the sword are based upon my desire to keep the project at a reasonable cost. However as a side note, Craig did say that he could do the inlay and even asked if I wanted it done before the blade went into heat treating.
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Elrod wrote:
Joe Fults wrote:
Jason Elrod wrote:
And if the pictures are any indication, the final product should be fantastic.


Have you posted any of them yet?

Also, thanks.


Not until now. And only because you twisted my arm. Wink Though I'm only going to post pics of the differences in the handles right now. Try to guess which sword this is based on?


Wow - that is really nice Jason!

I think this is a very individual question, and the "right" question may not be "which is best" but "which is best for you".

I require a historical feel - but not the level of historical correctness that some desire. Since many Atrim and Tinker blades have dismountable grips with that obvious construction of the pommel, I have never had the desire to go that route. I know I could go semi-custom from Christian Fletcher, but I guess that is too complicated for me.

For me, Arms and Armor has been the company where most of my collecting money has gone. There are many reasons, but most are pretty subjective. The product line is diverse, bang for the buck is good, they are enthusiastic about ideas for custom commissions (they are working on my third custom order right now) and they do a very nice job of incorporating my requests, as well as what the item "should be like" for performance and historical correctness reasons.

their products seem less "mass produced" to my eyes than Albion's do, but the variance is pretty high (the same model sword may vary by several ounces in weight, from my own measurements and other's posted reviews). It seems to me that the philosophy there is on getting things to "feel" right. Just one example:

I ordered a custom scabbard for my English longsword. This was a pretty "budget" version of approx $400. It came with obviously handmade copper (bronze?) rivets on the belt. I'm not completely sure they are historically correct, but they sure feel more right than the mass produced rivets on the belt of my (also budget "campaign line" ) scabbard from Albion.

All this says is that I have decided that A&A has - up to now - been the right swordmaker for me. If I had a bit more money to spend there are at least 5 Albion swords I would order if I could, but i don't, so my collecting will stay very specific for now, and my money will go mostly to A&A.

Gordon
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