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Execution of prejudices and misinformation

There are a lot of different and persistent prejudices about working techniques and qualitity attributes, which are obsolete. Some of those prejudices I will broach at this point and try to show why those prejudices are indefensible.
We will explain the following, commonest misinformation.

-Forged is better than milled and polished.
-fit of the cross-guards
-priorities when buying a new historical weapon.

Forged is better than milled and polished!
This prejudice is dying hard, but 50 years ago it was absolutely right. The steel-composition 50 years ago were especially made for forging. Nowadays the most steel-variants are made for modern techniques as drilling, milling and turning etc.

 

Cross-guard fittings

If you give a sword to a knifemaker his first view will fall on the fittings of the cross-guard and pommel. A good fitting cross-guard looks good but is not really neccessary. Knifemakers have a different opinion on that, but a knifemaker is a knifemaker and a swordsmith is a swordsmith. This is as much as to say: If you examine the archaeological sword findings from various epochs, you will never find a good fitting cross-guard, because no neccessarity was given. Why? This will be explained in the subitem of "priorities". A cross-guard can obviously fit on the blade and hold, regardless of wether the gap is wide or small. It is a matter of aesthetics not a matter of quality. Tight fittings of the cross-guard not only have no qualitative overvalue, no historical authenticity, but also their borders. if the fullers goes one thirs down the tang it is almost impossible to get a tight fit. Much more important in the interaction of cross-guard and blade is the stability of the junction, if the shoulders of the blade are recessed in the cross-guard and if the junction of blade and cross-guard is rounded.
We prefer tight fittings, this is achieved through shrinking the cross-guard, ending in an irreconcilable connection.
In conclusion I want to say that I have nothing against knifemakers, a lot of my friends are knifemakers, but every group has its own quirk.


Priorities when buying a historical weapon

Most people and myself always looked at the look of a weapon at first. Was something made really neat or outstanding the next step to buying the weapons was not that far, if the price was right. However in the first trainings with the new weapon you noticed that it was to heavy and had a bad balance.

Today the order of priorities is as following:
1. look
2. price
3. function (and with this quality)

In my opinion 1 and 3 should be changed and 4 to the top. To bring up an example: If I am a free-fighter and often involved into battles, I need a plain sword, that is as light as possible and good balance (I will deal with the topic of balance later). For safe and fast fights the edge of the sword should be 2 to 2,5mm. If I see a sword that fits in my period I ask the dealer if I could take it in hand and swing it a bit. If it feels like an extension of my arm and is not too heavy, the first step is made. Next you should look for the length of the swords. One-handed swords should not touch the ground with a stretched arm. If this is not the case, look for the hardness of the sword and ask the merchant for the Rockwell hardness. It should be around 53 to 56 Rockwell for those purposes. showfighting weapons are more tender and fencing-blades are harder. If you want you can ask the merchant for the flexibility of the sword and maybe he could demonstrate it to you with a simple bending test.
In my opinion a one-handed blade should not be too thin and flexible, this interferes with the control of the blade and therefore the safety of the fight. If you wag with the sword there should be no bendings at all, the blade should stay stiff. The last part of the sword to judge is the handle and its fittings. Screwed, soldered or similiar fixed handle-parts should be avoided, and have no place on the battlefield. The highest safety und durability is achieved with a continuous tang, which is fixed to the pommel with rivets. A second possibility with the same durability, which we often use with our replica weapons, is a sideways rivet through the whole pommel and tang.

If you checked als these criterias, you should check the price of your desired weapon. This is a point were nobody could give you a hint. In the dialogue with your merchant you can hear if the blade was forged or cut, if pommel and cross-guard are mass-products or handmade. With these criterias you can check, symmetry, the finish, the polish or matting and evaluate these. My personal taste for pure fighting weapon for frequent use is a plain sword, simple forms, no or just simple ornaments and matted finish. If you have a highpolished sword with gildened cross-guard and metal inlays you will have no fun in a fight, because your awesome finish of your fancy sword is ruined. The last point on our checklist for you buying a sword is the service your dealer offers you. Your question should be if there is a warranty for broken blades and if this is the case how long? Where is your manufacturer, is he simple and easy to contact, if you have any problem with your weapon?
This would be the way of buying a sword how I would do it today. You save a lot of money and anger if you invest more time and buy the right sword. If you buy fast you will be annoyed, because you don't have a sword but a club in your hand.

All these things, that we collected here are subjective opinions and have no common validity, but in our opinion these are the criteria where the most delusion can be found. We hope we could help you.