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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:31 am    Post subject: Sharp Steel Swords Made Blunts?         Reply with quote

I have seen many sources which say steel swords are best for training due to being realistic, but in all honesty, the well made training blunts are very expensive. I could always save up for one, but is it plausible to buy, for example, the Windlass German Bastard sword then file down the edges and point into a blunt and be safely usable?

Any information is appreciated! Thank you!

Looking to start HEMA!
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The geometry of a well-made training blunt is designed to give you a sharp blade feel in a safe tool. The difference in shape, etc. is actually quite profound, and I'm not sure how effectively you could start with either one and make it into the other. By grinding down a "live" blade, you're going to be left with something that still isn't exactly safe and will almost assuredly handle badly. Now, if we're talking about something from Windlass, we might not worry so much about the latter, because they tend not to handle all that well to begin with, but you're probably not going to make it any better except by wild luck. If money is an issue, have you considered a waster? Speaking strictly for myself, I'd be very nervous sparring with someone with a blade modified like you're talking about, both for my body's sake as well as my weapon's.
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Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 15 Feb 2014

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:
The geometry of a well-made training blunt is designed to give you a sharp blade feel in a safe tool. The difference in shape, etc. is actually quite profound, and I'm not sure how effectively you could start with either one and make it into the other. By grinding down a "live" blade, you're going to be left with something that still isn't exactly safe and will almost assuredly handle badly. Now, if we're talking about something from Windlass, we might not worry so much about the latter, because they tend not to handle all that well to begin with, but you're probably not going to make it any better except by wild luck. If money is an issue, have you considered a waster? Speaking strictly for myself, I'd be very nervous sparring with someone with a blade modified like you're talking about, both for my body's sake as well as my weapon's.


Thank you for the info! We are going to start with wasters! A friend and I were originally going to get some Rawlings but he decided to go with the Cold Steel H and H waster instead so we will see how those work out. I am just hoping to move over to steel at some point.

EDIT: Also, I thought that maybe if I get one that has a lot of blade presence and file until the edges are thick enough and I round them, perhaps I could make it slightly more agile with less blade weight.

Looking to start HEMA!
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Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Get yourself a Fabri Armourum Longsword if you can get one in the US - I know KOA has them, though not in Stock according to their website.
Their blades are next to indestructible, cheap (On KOA the Fabri swords are about 50$ more than the Windlass Bastard Sword you reference), and quite safe (unnecessarily thick edges, very round points etc).
It's not going to be a beautiful sword and it is certainly going to be heavy (though that's just something to build strength in training Razz ) but it will last forever and is great for starting with HEMA on a budget.

And if you decide after some time that you feel like to need something a little more slick, you have a nice spare to lend to any newcomers to your Group, which is always nice to have.

Working down a sharp is not a great idea, even if you get the edges blunt enough to be safe without messing up the sword or its balance, chances are that it will not flex properly while thrusting and even a relatively blunt point can bite deep if it hits a weak spot and doesn't flex.

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Joel Minturn





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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends on what you call expensive.

THe Hanwei FederShwert http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tice+Sword and the Hanwei Tinker Longsword Blunt http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Longsword Are not too badly priced. There about what you would pay for a Windlass and you don't have to put more work into them.

Is this training by yourself or are you looking for a group to train with? If you looking for a group I would recommend waiting and see what they use. Depending on the group they may have rules about what is and isn't acceptable. I personally would be worried about somebody who showed up at a practice with a ground down sharp.

My concern with a ground down sharp is the flexibilty of the blade. I would be concerned that it is too stiff. Practice blades are designed to be flexible so they bend when you stab your opponent. An overly stiff blade will hurt someone. Many sharps are too stiff to begin with and grinding the blade would only make it worse. Unless you try to account for that they it just becoming an overly large project for medicore results at best.

As Sam said there are some pretty good wasters out there. I have 2 Rawlings Synthetics from Purple Heart Armoury http://www.woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=KS%2DL and they are pretty nice. I'd recommend getting the metal pommel but that me. I like them because they handle well and if I'm training with somebody they are not terrible to be hit with.
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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd go with H/T blunt given the options. They are pretty good to begin with. Add in that you can switch out the blade for a new if you damage it too badly or need a sharp is a fairly nice option.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 9:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you can afford it, get an Albion Maestro - they come from the opposite side of the spectrum from blunting a sharp --- they are blunts made to handle as much as possible like real swords. They have enough flex so that you won't break someone's ribs with a thrust. They hold up pretty well to continued use.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As well as these very good points, I would also argue that cheap sharp swords are not made properly.

The tang is too thin, the shoulders are not rounded and has a welded section to mount the pommel on. In a nutshell they are great for hanging on the wall, some are good for cutting what are essentially soft targets like mats etc, but will not stand up the repeated stress of blade on blade.

At some point you are likely to end up with some form of flying scythe when your blade and grip part company in an unexpected way.

Blunt trainers are constructed much more closely to real swords with rounded shoulders and wider tangs, so that the repeated beating they get will not trouble them over much.

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Jeroen T




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problem with (affordable) steel training swords is that the geometry and the weigth are usually very different from the sharp versions.

Like mentioned Fabri armory has well priced swords and they come in different versions. Training version is a bit thicker and heavier,
show version is a bit thinner and ligther etc.

When you want a realistic feeling steel blunt prices go up fast.
There are a couple of makers who build training swords with the right weigth and balance wich you can still use for fullcontact training.

For example: Albion, Peter Regenyei, Marco Danelli.
Hanwei makes some well weighted swords but in most clubs the Hanwei aren't allowed.
Their Feders are banned from almost every tournament.
Hanwei is among my favorite makers when it comes to shapies, but with there traingblades i stay away


As for the Coldsteel trainers they are rubbish compared to the Rawlings. Bulky unbalanced plastic sword shaped like object.
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 2:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
As for the Coldsteel trainers they are rubbish compared to the Rawlings. Bulky unbalanced plastic sword shaped like object.


seconded. The only thing you can train for with the CS ones is packaging up useless lumps of plastic to be sent back whence they came...

I use the Rawlings ones for my work, have abot 30 and can't complain. They were also used (suitably painted and arted up) for the fight scene extras in the last Thor film and a few others.

Quote:
Hanwei makes some well weighted swords but in most clubs the Hanwei aren't allowed.


I understand they have now improved but as soon as they appeared on the market we were supplied some by an 'armourer' for a BBC shoot. Some snapped in seconds (always fun in a mounted melee) and somewhere there is footage of me bending one back into shape over my thigh. Also fun whilst mounted. For those reasons I'm afraid I still shy away from them. Its the same as any item, if its cheap, why? Anything that has to be affordable has had corners cut somewhere.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the replies everyone! There is too much information here for me to give too many directly quoted replies, so I will just put it all here:

Basically, a friend and I are going to be sparring and training together. The closest club to me seems to be about 2.5 hours in one direction--Spartanburg, South Carolina when I live near Asheville, North Carolina. In the beginning we will be mostly messing around but we want to learn historical techniques. I looked into Tobler's books but they are so expensive! I intend to check with my library and see if they can get one through ILL.

I don't want to use Cold Steel trainers, but I am currently working a minimum wage fast food job and barely scraping by for rent for myself and my wife. She is in nursing school right now and so is kept too busy by school to work more than one or two days. This friend of mine works at the same job but is a shift manager, so slightly better pay, more hours, etc. I did everything in my power to encourage him to buy us rawlings synthetics and he was going to, until he decided he liked the looks of the cold steel trainers and said he was getting one of those for himself but would still buy me the one I wanted. I knew that the cold steel one would probably destroy my rawlings if we did it that way so I told him to just buy me a cold steel too. Despite not looking forward to using cold steel, still looking forward to learning!

The Fabri Armorums are definitely on KOA and I definitely love the site, but what bothers me is that pretty much everything remotely good that I'm looking for stays on back order! I wish they could fix that... Those Albion Maestros look great and though expensive, are not nearly as expensive as I thought they would be! The Hanweis look like they are VERY affordable and one of these days I may be able to save up for one! I would prefer the Albions, but any sort of steel trainer is out of the question for the present, until I get a much better job, or until after I go to massage school and become a licensed massage therapist, which is the plan for once my wife finishes nursing school.

Looking to start HEMA!
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about the Hanwei SH2106? AKA the Hanwei Practical Austrian longsword/hand-and-a-half --

It appears to be discontinued, but there are still a few in stock here and there. And it doesn't cost much.

This model has gone through 5 iterations, and number 5 looks much improved from number 1. I have one, though I haven't yet put it to the test. The edges are thick and rounded and look well able to handle abuse. It has good, but not great balance, certainly better than other swords of the same price (except for the Hanwei Tinkers, of course). I have heard very different opinions of them - some say that they hold up well, others, that they are only good against each other and will get chewed up quickly by other models. Some say that it depends on the individual sword - some last and others quickly die, a quality-control issue for sure.

Any opinions?
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
What about the Hanwei SH2106? AKA the Hanwei Practical Austrian longsword/hand-and-a-half --

It appears to be discontinued, but there are still a few in stock here and there. And it doesn't cost much.

This model has gone through 5 iterations, and number 5 looks much improved from number 1. I have one, though I haven't yet put it to the test. The edges are thick and rounded and look well able to handle abuse. It has good, but not great balance, certainly better than other swords of the same price (except for the Hanwei Tinkers, of course). I have heard very different opinions of them - some say that they hold up well, others, that they are only good against each other and will get chewed up quickly by other models. Some say that it depends on the individual sword - some last and others quickly die, a quality-control issue for sure.

Any opinions?


I do not currently have the funds to buy one, but if I get the money I will definitely look further into it!

Looking to start HEMA!
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Jeroen T




Location: Holland
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although the Rawlings are the better choice, that doesn't mean you won't have fun with the CS.
On a side note the Rawlings will stand up just fine against the CS.

Don't worry about steel trainers because with steel comes more risk and protective gear.

So just enjoy your CS trainers and keep in mind that it's still a weapon and you migth want to wear (protective) gloves at least.

For techniques you tube is your friend. Loads of vids about HEMA sword play.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2014 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This video shows del tin swords being unsharpened, I think. Worried
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPJ_gkAaOEU
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar, 2014 4:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen T wrote:
Although the Rawlings are the better choice, that doesn't mean you won't have fun with the CS.
On a side note the Rawlings will stand up just fine against the CS.

Don't worry about steel trainers because with steel comes more risk and protective gear.

So just enjoy your CS trainers and keep in mind that it's still a weapon and you migth want to wear (protective) gloves at least.

For techniques you tube is your friend. Loads of vids about HEMA sword play.


Oh wow, I wish I had known that! I may have had my friend buy me the Rawlings anyway, but no worries! We will definitely still have fun! We definitely won't start off full force and plan to wear some form of padding once we get it! And thank you!

Looking to start HEMA!
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar, 2014 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
This video shows del tin swords being unsharpened, I think. Worried
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPJ_gkAaOEU


I suppose that is one option, but for the price of a Del Tin, I should probably just buy a blunt :P

Looking to start HEMA!
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Victor Sloan wrote:
Edward Lee wrote:
This video shows del tin swords being unsharpened, I think. Worried
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPJ_gkAaOEU


I suppose that is one option, but for the price of a Del Tin, I should probably just buy a blunt :P


You could try that method on the German bastard sword, but the result might change the entire blade. Hanwei blunts are not very good as they loosen over time and it's a bit tricky to fix because the entire hilt is glued(I had two and they both had this problem). So Fabri is definitly a good choice, so is Albion.
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Minor note: Hanwei CAS Iberia blunts are of OK quality. Not awesome, but not utterly dog's meat either. They will have softer metal than the better quality blunts, so you'll spend more time cleaning up dings and such. Hanwei Tinker blunts are a little harder (not by a whole lot but some), and the hex-nut assembly means that while they may loosen somewhat with use all you really need to do is tighten up the nut a little. The grips aren't glued in with those, either, at least not on the hex-nut pieces.

Hanwei does have a Federschwert for reasonable price, it won't really compare to a Fabri Armorum or Albion or A&A but it'll do for a beginner. Or you could just save your pennies while you're at it.

One of the best pieces out there... IF you can find it in the classifieds... is the Angus Trim "I-beam" blunt. They're not really being made anymore though and those holding them tend to hold them very tightly indeed!

You're really better off buying a Hanwei Tinker blunt than trying to file down the edge on a cheap Windlass or some such move, though. Not only is it safer from the get-go, you won't be screwing up a perfectly good sword to make a half-hearted blunt.
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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arms and Armor have a good selection of steel trainers as well. They also are willing to customize if you have particulars about what you want.

Here's my customized Spada de Zogho:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-wygjTj6MsEk/Uzh6ZAflQ9I/AAAAAAAAAtY/w1gPyGKgxdo/w732-h549-no/14+-+1

I had a wheel pommel added and the hilt lengthened slightly. Also had them dye the leather red just because.

Its pretty sweet overall. Its a pretty close approximation to my favorite sword, which is what I wanted. Obviously it is a bit pricier than a Rawlings or CS, but as far as simulators go, a steel blunt is usually going to perform more like an actual sword. Particularly for drills and the like.

Until you save up though, there's nothing wrong with the Rawlings (well maybe a bit in whippiness...) or a solid waster for the time being.
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