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Risto Rautiainen

Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: sword, a fast overview         Reply with quote

As there seems to be a lot of interest in Jan Motycka's inexpensive blades and I happen to own one, I thought I might post a small review.

I needed a cheap second blade to accompany my previous blade that is already quite worn out. So last fall I ordered a longsword from Jan Motycka ( I ordered the model J003 with the pommel of the twohanded sword T001. At the time the prices were lower than they are
today. The different pommel cost me 14e extra. Total cost was: J003: 125e + pommel 14e + shipping and packing 37 e = 176e. Today the sword would cost about 30e more. If you consider ordering from him you should do group orders. This way you might be able to drop the shipment costs.

Jan answers questions quite fast and was very pleasant to deal with.

The sword was promised to be ready in 3 months, but because his steel supplier went out of business he had to find a new one and test the new steel grade. Because of this the sword arrived 2 months late. The sword was in mint condition and very well packaged.

The sword has a single narrow fuller and a quite wide blade reminding me of early twohanded war swords. This combined with the fishtail pommel produces a -not very historical, but attractive- sword. The sword has a coarser finish than many other sword makers use, as grinding marks can easily be seen. I think this is okay for a training sword. The parts seem to fit very tightly. The pommel is said to be screwed on. I'm not sure if it uses a sort of "screw on pommel nut" or what. After 3 months of use the pommel has turned a bit, but that actually has not affected cutting as I seem to be able to maintain proper blade alignment better than before. The handle is wood covered with leather wrapping. One thing that separates this sword from other swords available on the market is the use of a ferrule. This is quite ahistorical (for longswords), but produces a nice detail and
sturdiness for the handle. Here are the stats:

Hardness 50 - 52HRc
Blade material 54SiCr6

Length 116cm
Hilt length 26,5cm
Crossguard length 20cm
Blade length 90cm
Fuller length 60,5cm
Blade width at the base 4,5cm
Blade width at the tip 2cm
Pommel width 5,7cm
Blade thickness at the base 5mm
Blade thickness @ 45cm from base 3,5mm
Blade thickness at the tip 3mm
Center of percussion 60cm
Weight 1599g
Point of balance 6,5cm

As you can see the balance is very close to the hilt. So close that someone might find this unattractive, but I'm getting used to it. I'm not sure if it's because of the twohanded sword's pommel or is this is a feature in all of his swords. The sword is very fast and maneuverable with good tip control. This feels quite weird for a sword that looks like a cutter. It's quite easy to use with just one hand. The handle is a bit wide for my small hands but nicely flat so correct blade alignment is quite easy. One minus is that there is no proper whistling when the blade moves through air in correct alignment, just a faint whisper.
Some people that have tried the sword found the pommel to have pointy bits, but it sits in my hand just perfectly. Some have also stated that the handle could be longer. This was not a problem for me as my earlier blade has a really short handle and
compared to that, this length is just fine. What worries me is that the blade is quite whippy. Just a tad whippier than some of the most flexible Moc blades. For now the blade has remained true and has not been nicked too bad. It has not been under very heavy stress (like doing heavy sparring,) but it seems to be holding up.

For the price, this thing is a beauty and an excellent sword.

I've also heard good comments on the singlehanders Jan makes although they seem a bit heavy at least on paper. I believe custom work would not present a problem for him either. I hear that sharpening is on his list too for an extra 10 euros. There's another review of his blades on the Schola Gladiatoria forum. Here's some pics:
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M. Eversberg II

Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting. Nice prices. I'll see if we can get an official review done some time.


This space for rent or lease.
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