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Jason Ryan
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Brand Comparison Tests         Reply with quote

I had wanted to do a brand comparison test for a long time and have finally gotten around to it. In the test I wanted to take a similar sword from the top three manufacturers in the sub $300 price range and see how they compare in various tests.

The three brands that I compared were the Generation 2, Windlass, and Paul Chen Medieval Swords. The first category will be the fit, finish and aesthetic qualities; the second will be a cutting test, the third a flex test to judge the temper of the blade, and the final a blade on blade contact test.

I just completed the cutting portion of the test last weekend and wanted to share the results. I also would like feedback on what other tests that I might be able to accomplish to compare these swords. I do plan on a thrust test through chainmaile in the near future as well!

http://www.swordsofvalor.com/swordcomparisons.html
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Allen Andrews




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I LOVE stuff like this, pictures of the tests and the effect on the swords. My only wish is that there could have been one of the lower priced Atrims in the test too Happy
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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason,

I looked at your website. One question comes to mind. Can you take the measurements of the Center of Percussion of the three swords? I think that will further enlighten us to the reasons for the bend in the Chen. I am not disputing your conclusion, but when I owned the Hanwei Albrecht, I felt it was really too thin for heavy cutting like what you did. It is fine for milk jugs, but tatami and dowel are another story. I guess my feelings are that you pushed the blade beyond what it was meant for, and in that light, the results are expected regardless of any treatment issues. I more worry that people expect miracles out of a $200 sword.

Mike J Arledge

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jason-

I really appreciate your efforts. I think the sword-buying public wants more reports of swords in use so this stuff certainly is a welcome thing for sure! I'd like to add a few comments or concerns to get us all thinking of this stuff:

You have chosen to do a side-by-side comparison of swords but have picked three (originally four) swords that are very, very different from each other. The originals on which these three swords are based were made for quite different purposes and one might assume that the modern swords are equally diverse.

You mention this in the text: "Once again we would like to point out that the swords are of similar profile and should respond in a similar fashion to the tests."

I must state that while each is of diamond cross-section, I would not consider the swords to be similar in profile to one another. The Windlass sword, in particular, was traded mid-test for another sword that has a very, very different profile taper than the others. The other two are equally diverse. Looking only at the proportions and weights of the swords, I personally would not expect the swords to respond in a similar fashion. When looking at the swords each as a whole, there are many other properties to consider (the profiles, tapers, fuller arrangements, edge geometry, mass distribution, overall weight, grip length, etc, etc, etc) and one starts to realize how different these swords really are from each other.

Another thing that concerns me about tests like this is that one of the swords was created from the start to be a blunt (unsharpened sword) and then had to be sharpened by hand. This results in quite a different product than the other two.

I would prefer, personally, to avoid the side-by-side comparisons as I see them nullified by so many factors. Instead, I'd rather see in-depth testing of each sword individually, leaving any comparisons to the reader to make given his own needs and preferences.

While the format of having all the tests done in a single article is still valid, stating an expectation of similar performance on dissimilar products is faulty. Instead, if going with the single-article format, I'd prefer to see it stated clearly that the swords are quite different but an attempt to keep the tests, themselves, similar is the goal. From there, a potential customer can determine how each sword performs against the test, not against the other swords. Any secondary comparison between products can be done, then, while noting the products' differences rather than their similarities.

Thoughts?

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Jason Ryan
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Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just added the CoP information!

Nathan,

Your thoughts are very appreciated and have made some good points. I will try to explain my thinking on the testing so that you can see what I was trying to accomplish.

The testing was done to measure the manufactures and not necessarily the swords. I did try to pick similar swords at first (what was available from each brand) The Valiant was pulled because the company was going out of business and also not really worthy of being compared to the other three. When it came right down to the day of the test cutting I realized the Shrewsbury was not going to be able to cut something that heavy, so opted to trade it out, making the test fair for that manufacturer.

The Paul Chen Hand and a Half is designed as a cut and thrust and seemed to have the heft to perform the action required. All windlass swords come with a dull edge and can be sharpened if desired. If someone were to purchase one to use for practice cutting the second bevel is something they should be aware of. What we tested is what they would receive. It actually cut well and held up fine.

So I guess what I was really trying to do is see if the swords would hold up to their intended purpose which was to cut flesh. Arms of Valor sells all three brands so really we did not want to see any fail, but wanted to determine how well our products would hold up for customer use. Now someone looking to purchase a sword for heavy cutting will know to stay away from the Paul Chen Hand and Half. My goal is to continue the testing to allow the consumer to become more educated in what they are buying. Not to open up a new can of worms, but it seems like every manufacturer stamps the term battle ready on their blades. My goal is to try to define that term and show what the swords will and will not do. If you plan on cutting boxes or light targets the Paul Chen Hand and a Half will work.

I will be doing a thrust test with the Shrewsbury and Lucerne at a later date (which is what they were designed for).

I hope this clears some things up. You have definitely provided me with some good information on how to formulate the next round of testing. I will go back and adjust the wording to make it clearer
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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a link to a review I did on sword forum of the Hanwei Hand and Half
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t...t=albrecht

jason,

I guess I wrote to quickly, what I meant to ask was what was the thickness (width) of the blades at their respective COPs.

Mike J Arledge

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Trent Stevens





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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: i really like what you did!         Reply with quote

i really like what you did! the blade comparison was well writ'in and very clever!

i look forward to seeing more!

Trenty!
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