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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 4:02 am    Post subject: OlliN Trainer review         Reply with quote

Here is an earlier Topic discussing the OlliN trainers and it has comments worth reading for more context:

This is an early review based only on handling as I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet in actual training or bouting, so it also won't deal with durability, or how well the edges hold up compared to other trainers with actual usage, to support my guessing that the edges should hold up fine considering the usual quality of OlliN swords as far as heat treat is concerned.

First impressions are really good, really like the large pommel and the aesthetics are very pleasing.

Mine is the MHS Mark I D Trainer.

My only minor concern are than the edges do seem thin but I notice that they are rounded instead of squared off which may make them seem thinner.

The edges on the Albion do seem a little thicker. Since I train using control and generally would only train with people with good control the thinner edges are probably not a problem for advanced students using similar control and safety equipment: I'm personally not concerned about the durability of the trainer but the thinner edges my be " challenging " to lower end trainers. I think these should be used in pairs against each other or against the equally durable Albions. Well, the cheap trainers might need more maintenance after meeting an OlliN or an Albion trainer. ( Just be sure to warn anyone using a cheaper trainer that their sword might show accelerated wear and their willingness to accept the risks and increased maintenance removing deeper dings).

Apart form this issue the handling seems pretty much like I expected: More lively that the Albion, seems to transition from guard to guard very nicely but since my Longsword group disbanded I may not be able to test it against the Albion right away and honestly it looks so good I sort of almost don't want to hit another blade with it, but if used at all for it's intended purpose it has to lose it's " virginity " at some point ..... LOL.

Oh, making a sharp version of this sword I think would be a very good idea and for a training sword it almost looks like a sharp except for the rounded point.

Some people may prefer more of a scent stopper pommel but I really like a disc pommel as it gives me great feedback about edge orientation and for the scent stopper pommel I already have the Albion Liechtenauer.

The waisted handle is very comfortable and it's good to have a practice sword that replicates this kind of handle since many period sharps used this style and it's a learning opportunity to learn how it feels in training and in bouting.

The quality of the handle leather covering is as good as any custom sword I have and not a cheap but functional naked cord covering: Maybe mostly just an aesthetic issue but then having a handle duplicating the geometry and feel of an actual high end sharp has it's subtle advantages in training I'm guessing.

The blade has a diamond section with a short and mostly shallow fuller that although doesn't affect usage does make this sword elegant and attractive, the guard has a lot of detailed work also just giving the trainer the look of a real sword.

The reverse side of the guard is flat which does make easy to identify which edge one is using ( I would in practice alternate using one edge or the other as the primary edge and as the false edge to just rotate which edge is getting hit on ).

Bottom line, I'm very very pleased with this training sword.

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