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Nicholas Allan Wilson




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 16 Feb 2009

Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject: Cold Steel?         Reply with quote

Who here has any experience with the swords by Cold Steel? My roommate owns the small sword. What I can say is that its rather robust, to say the least. Can anyone share there thoughts on there construction, durability and historical accuracy?

Thanks,

~nic
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Nic,

I think the general consensus on Cold Steel is that they achieve do a level of robustness that is beyond the lower tier mass producers, but they do so by overbuilding rather than by craftsmanship. In other words a skilled swordmaker's 1.5 pound sword is about as durable as Cold Steel's 2.8 lb sword. There are some verified cases of thier swords breaking, likea notable gross messer break, but with the sheer volume of swords that they crank out, I'm not surprised. You simply cannot give a sword all of the love it needs at that pace. Much like the food in a cafeteria.

I don't think one of thier European swords would pass as a replica, though this may not be thier goal so I'm not too hard on them over that. Thier goal seems to be to make a modern version of an ancient weapon, which they do in interesting and often suprising ways; like the plastic ball club and the stamped one piece boar spear.

They do have some fun pieces and they are certainly better than a wallhanger.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 772

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Gavin, I think Cold Steel tends to go for "beef" for toughness and cutting ability, not realizing that various other considerations (harmonics, node placement, distal taper, etc) combine to allow other swords (lighter swords at that) to perform better.

I have experience with a couple CS swords. The Scottish Basket hilt is a fairly nice looking (despite those goofy-looking forward gaurds) piece, weight is okay, handling is rather neutral. Like all CS swords, it is sharp enough to cut atoms -- unecessarily sharp IMO. Despite this sharpness, it's not the best cutter I've ever used, as the harmonics aren't all that good. However, the blade is very well tempered.
The "Viking Sword" is nice and handles very well, it's probably a better cutter than the Basket hilt. Some say it's ahistoric, and to some degree it is (the hilt fittings seem to be of a much later period. The blade seems to be a type Xa, and therefore isn't out of the question for a later Viking-era sword).
The 1796 Saber handled fairly well and cut well. The blade seemed to be well-tempered.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I agree with Gavin, I think Cold Steel tends to go for "beef" for toughness and cutting ability, not realizing that various other considerations (harmonics, node placement, distal taper, etc) combine to allow other swords (lighter swords at that) to perform better.


Exactly; well said. A hydraulic log splitter is impressive in the realm of pure cutting ability, I wouldn't take one to a swordfight.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 385

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
Quote:
I agree with Gavin, I think Cold Steel tends to go for "beef" for toughness and cutting ability, not realizing that various other considerations (harmonics, node placement, distal taper, etc) combine to allow other swords (lighter swords at that) to perform better.


Exactly; well said. A hydraulic log splitter is impressive in the realm of pure cutting ability, I wouldn't take one to a swordfight.


Would make for an interesting addition to an illustrated fechtbuch Big Grin
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Stirling Matheson





Joined: 12 Jan 2007

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cold Steel is a knife company, and I suggest you treat them as such. I'm always impressed by their folding knives, but the swords are ridiculously sharp crow bars.
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a cold steel messer. While I realize it is overly heavy and not very accurate it remains one of my favorite pieces that I have owned, though the pieces I have owned have been low entry level pieces, Windlass, Hanwei and the like. It seems like more recently I have heard better performance reviews of this sword then we were hearing for awhile. Personally I will probably purchase another cold steel piece in the future.
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unless I am incorrect, I believe Windlass makes Cold Steel's sword blades and they are finished up in the US. At least this is what I was told at some point a few years back by another wholesaler. I never looked into it though.

Anyone have further insight on this?

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
Unless I am incorrect, I believe Windlass makes Cold Steel's sword blades and they are finished up in the US. At least this is what I was told at some point a few years back by another wholesaler. I never looked into it though.

Anyone have further insight on this?


I've never heard this. I know that Cold Steel outsources their swords to India, but I have never heard that it is with Windlass. This seems a bit odd but certainly not out of line. There are a lot of blade manufacturing companies in India, however, aside from Windlass.

I'd hate to spread speculation without confirmation, however, so I'm happy to see your disclaimer.

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Ryan McLaurin




Location: California
Joined: 12 May 2008

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

SwordBuyersGuide.com did a review of the Cold Steel scimitar, and he actually found the name "Windlass" etched on the blade. It appeared someone attempted to rub out or buff off the name prior to its initial purchase. That being said, I have two Cold Steel swords: A Viking pattern and an imperial katana. Both are well made and scary-sharp. The Vikings grip is flat and narrow, and uncomfortable to hold in a swing. The katana is heavier than one would expect. Neither is historically accurate, but I like them.
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That Cold Steel shamshir has been calling my name for a long time now. A lot of thier swords are very cool almost in spite of themselves.
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Ed Toton




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 16 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Wed 18 Feb, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the CS "Hand and a Half" longsword. I'll agree with what most people have said here. It seems like a decent value for the price (if you can find a good price below what the CS website shows), which isn't hard to do. It's a little blade-heavy and shows less skill/knowledge with regards to distal taper and the like. So it's certainly no Albion or A&A piece. But it costs considerably less too.
-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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