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Jeremy V. Krause

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 6:42 am    Post subject: Oakeshott or Vigil         Reply with quote

Hi Everybody,

I am trying to decide which of these is best for me but am having a hard time with my choice.

I have a Norman, Templar, and Reeve in that same period- also a Solingen but that's a different animal and not really relate.

I am looking for a sword to complement/compare to the above three. These tend to be more substantial robust hitting swords. Really authoritative. I even find the Reeve this way- which is odd as many I have read find this to be a very quick example. It is more quick but still goes "where it wants to go." if that makes sense.

I have handled the Knight and LOVED it's handling. Now I know this is a different type but it may give an idea of what I am looking for a "relatively" fast blade to contrast with my others.

Other factors:

1. I like the individuality and appearance of the Vigil better- plus the double fullers are a definite plus.
2. I really like the grip on the Vigil.
3. I have an impression that the Oakshott may have more of the handling I am looking for but I really have no idea.

So that's the dilemma. With your responses I may be able to make myself more clear, but as we know describing dynamics with words is difficult.


Last edited by Jeremy V. Krause on Thu 01 Jul, 2010 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jason M. Rogers

Location: Lorton Virginia
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From your post I get the impresion you are drawn to the Vigil. It is a stunning sword. Let us compare the stats of the two blades:

Oakeshott Specifications
Overall length: 40.25" (102 cm)
Blade length: 33.75" (85.73 cm)
Blade width: 2" (5 cm)
CoG: 4.375" (11 cm)
CoP: 22.25" (56.5 cm)
Weight: 2 lbs 8.2 oz (1.14 kg)

Vigil Specifications
Overall length: 37.9 (96 cm)
Blade length: 32" (81 cm)
Blade width: 2.37" (6 cm)
CoB: 4.33" (11 cm)
CoP: 22" (56.8 cm)
Weight: 2 lbs 8 oz (1.14 Kg)

The weight being NEARLY identical and having a COB difference that only a calliper could tell (55 thousanths of an inch) I must speculate that the two blades would feel very similar in the cut. The Vigil has a Blade that is one and three quarters inches shorter. More experienced blade handlers than myself will have to weigh in on how that will effect handling caracteristice. In my utterly NOOB opinion that is worth less than what you paid for it, I would say the deciding factor should come down to your visual impression. I think you know you are in love with the Vigil and it would find a good home in your collection.-Jay

The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, at any time, and with utter recklessness.
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both the Vigil and Oakeshott are very sweet in handling.
The Oakeshott reminds more of a later era "cut and thrust" sword in how it behaves in the hand. The closest I have held are high quality late 16th C swords with developed hilts. It relies more on finesse and speed in action. Despite this feeling of lightness, I was surprised as how hungry its bite was when cutting into 2x4 pine. Very little shock or feedback in the hand tells about how deeply it cuts into the wood.

The Vigil is as agile as the knight or more. It delivers with surprising "clip", as in little effort results in a lot of punch. It is more powerful, *I think*, than the Oakeshott. I have not tested them extensively side by side, so I cannot say for sure.

The Vigil is a pretty long sword, but feels more compact than the Oakeshott, that has a feeling of being "more out there" towards the point.

Both swords have a gentle blade presence. Not at all overpowering, rather a floating feel. With the Vigil this develops more into a positive pulling force in the cut. Both are quick to accelerate but the Oakeshott will be quicker in turning on a dime.

Both swords would work very well in sword and buckler fighting, as they are gentle on the wrist and have good quickness and reach providing good potential in both cutting and thrusting. The Oakeshott will reach a little bit longer and feels better inclined for the thrust than the Vigil.

The Vigil is "stronger" and more possibly more serious looking. The Oakeshott is perhaps more "noble" and "tall" of the pair.

Both these swords could really belong in the Museum line. They are very, very close to the originals kept in museums. For various reasons they are instead included in the NG line.
Both bear witness to what high quality swords of the high middle ages were in terms of design and function.

As you liked the Knight, you may find the Vigil being most close to that sword in its feel, but more mature and "advanced". It has the same cutting capability but will float in your hand to an even greater extent. The Oakeshott does also have some aspects in common with the Knight, but will lean towards the very light and lively Kern in how it behaves and respond.

Hope this helps.
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Jeremy V. Krause

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys, for your responses!

Peter, it is that "compact" feeling you present I am after. Perhaps the Vigil would be a good option for me. What was keeping me from a more definitive choice was my worry that the Vigil would, too much, resemble the Reeve in handling. I don't really what the that "wideness" factor I find in the Reeve. I am not looking for that feeling of a "butcher knife on the end of a sword."

So I am really leaning towards the Vigil.

Any other comments folks?
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Paul Watson

Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy, I own a Knight and have handled an Oakeshott on a couple of occasions. The Knight is a quick, lively, responsive sword that is easy to control.

After first picking up and swinging around the Oakeshott my impression was, wow this makes my Knight feel like a brick.

Not a very intelligent summary from someone with no martial training but I hope I make my point.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Roger Hooper

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an Oakeshott, but not a Vigil, so I can't give you a comparison. I'm sure you will be happy with either one.

The Oakeshott is a wonderful sword, an extension of your arm.

Here is what Ewart Oakeshott had to say about Xa.1 In Records, the original on which this sword is closely based:

This magnificent weapon is, I believe, the very finest medieval sword in existence at present. If there is a finer one, I don't know of it: and this is so special that it cannot be very likely that a better should, or could be found.
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