Hanwei Godfred Viking Sword- Anyone ever handled one?
I've been looking at this sword for a while and have been wondering if anyone has ever owned one or handled one befor. I'm interested in the quality of the guard construction. From the photos I've found it looks solid but that doesn't compare to having it in your hand. Any help you be greatly appreciated.
Hi! I work at a Cutlery shop and we sell the Godfried. It is a well-built and beautiful sword. In two years I have never seen any problems with sword. The hilt is always solid. That being said, I haven't done any cutting/drills with it, but it is a lively sword in the hand.
I own one of the newer versions and have mixed feelings. I have cut a fair bit of stuff with it with only a slight warping of the blade from a bad cut. However I have seen some photos of the tang and it has a small threaded piece (welded on im pretty sure) to which the pommel is screwed onto. I'll see if I can dig up those pics for you. That being said, if your just looking for a light cutter, I think you'd be ok....it is a beautiful loking sword.

Here is a thread about it containing those pics...keep in mind, this was the older version, they have since changed the blade a bit but I am unsure if they changed the tang (I dont think so)
A friend of mine has it and allowed me to use it a number of times - I found it to be a very good light cutter, but I never "pushed" it - mostly because it wasn't mine, but also because I didn't get the impression it was a beater.
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Forums across the net will yield a good many threads and conversations about the Hanwei Godfred sword. The tangs (as far as I know) are still assembled in the same fashion. There is a bunch of glue in there, two welded sections (one at the stub the other at the threads). The fancy swedged brass plug you see is a cap that covers a nut inside the pommel and more glue.

Let me qualify this in that I like the feel of these swords a great deal. Even others sceptical of their handling have like the general heft. I had fitted a bare blade replaced some years ago and continue enjoy light cutting. My feelings are (as many have pointed out in the past) that they are a nice package but not suited to heavy use. The overall look is entirely amachronistic but it is something I still hang on a wall to enjoy. My tastes are quite eclectic, so it is not like I don't understand why the sword is not historical but it still has a place here.

My bottom line is that if one feels froggy, jump. I do like the handling. I would not beat on it and I would not expect the world of it. I would not feel offended if another laughs at the ahistorical nature of it. A good many own this sword and many like the overall look.


I had a new Godfred and it is a beautiful and well balanced sword but mine got little surface cracks from light cutting near the tip and I replaced it.
I've handled one of the newer models (with full-length fuller) myself.
I can reiterate that it is an attractive and very nice-handling sword. The handle is a bit odd, as it is rather thick (and has that tacky-feeling rough leather cross-hatched pattern), but is otherwise very well balanced with a fine weight.
Also as mentioned, it's not totally historically accurate, as the pommel and crossgaurd are made of some type of darkened "damascus" steel, and the grip is a bit longer than many historical examples. And the scabbard is questionable as well.

The particular example I handled was poorly tempered. I was able to flex the blade perhaps a couple of inches when it took an immediate set (I forget the exact degree, but suffice it to say, it wasn't much). Of course, I was able to bend it back into shape, so none would be the wiser, but this caused me some concern. I would prefer a "useable" sword, but the poor temper clearly put this sword into the "wallhanger only" category -- an attractive, well-handling wallhanger, but a wallhanger nonetheless.

Now, perhaps Hanwei has improved the temper on the latest models; I've flexed other more recent Hanwei blades and they tend to be nice and flexible (but these are all mono-steel blades). I don't know....
I think they just don't know how to heat treat such layered blade...
Glen, the picture of the broken end of the blade is a little hard to make out. Is the grain of the steel that pronounced or is that just a distortion caused by the photo? Also, the dark band on the right hand side of the broken area, is that an open space or is it solid? What is the story behind the breakage?
Doug Lester wrote:
Glen, the picture of the broken end of the blade is a little hard to make out. Is the grain of the steel that pronounced or is that just a distortion caused by the photo? Also, the dark band on the right hand side of the broken area, is that an open space or is it solid? What is the story behind the breakage?

Forums across the net will yield a good many threads and conversations about the Hanwei Godfred sword.

Yes, the grain is large from apparently had been held at high heat for too long. I do not understand your second question, the photo on the right was a very bad scan i did because I had no camera. Brian VonSpreybock (sp) had this done for me. I no longer have the original photos which were huge. Less than heavy blows were splitting some small lengths (<6") of hickory for my smoker. All of a sudden it felt weird and the ragged crack was finished by mine ripping it apart by hand 9as I did later with the pommel) Paul Chen and others have also seen the originals. I bought the sword out of the first batches of Godfreds. It had come from Tuscany Trading (defunct). Some time after that, I grabbed one of the last bare blades that was around and only three seasons ago fnally stuffed it all back together.

Simply searching for broken Godfred sword at virtually anywhere of the various forums will relate the specifics pretty much as I have for the past six years or so. someone else had ripped one apart at the tang/blade juncture. A visit to www.netsword.com and looking in that archive will relate an old review from Angus Trim.

This is a very good example of a sword that exhibits fair spring characteristics that is not evident from flex testing. A little flex felt fine and I never went as far as to pile/stretch/bend the blade. It was flexing u to 20 degrees or better with good return.



a legend in my own time :wtf:
Viking Sword
I owned one years back and it was a nice starter sword but as you see by the other replies you are taking a chance. I have not had good luck with Chinese made swords, I know that some of them are ok but which ones. If I were looking for a lower cost Viking sword I would go with a Albion Squire line for $430 or if you wanted something alittle nicer the Albion Squire line Vinland or Clontarf from Viking Shield for $490 or $515 sharpened.
Good Idea - Badly Executed
My opinion of the Hanwei Godfred Viking is that it was a good idea badly executed in the factory. I had always wanted a pattern welded blade and the Godfred seemed like an economical alternative. I ordered one and when I received it I was very disappointed. The blade was not very well finished on the edges though I could have finished it myself but this is not what I was paying for with good hard American plastic. I felt that the sword looked cheap with the woven suede leather grip and suede scabbard. If good quality leather had been used on the grip and scabbard then I might have kept the sword.

I thought the blade steels were twisted, not layered, at least that was my impression from reading the Hanwei catalog. The cross and the pommel looked superb though. If the details I mentioned had been attended to I might have kept the sword instead of returning it to Swords of Honor for Credit. I had the feeling that this same sword had been returned to SOH by someone else since it had been shipped direct to me from SOH instead of the warehouse.

After reading all of the above postings I am glad I returned the Godfred and bought the Tinker Pearce Viking instead. With extra money saved I applied this to the Albion Reeve which was not that much more expensive than the Godfred.

An old saying is that "...if you spend cheap and don't get what you want, then you have lost the whole price....but if you pay more and do get what you want then you have only spent a little extra and received satisfaction." :idea: :idea: :idea:

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