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Advice on Swords.

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:50 am
by cripplestickmick
Hello, sorry to post this here but is advice I need.

John Barnett swords, has anyone heard of them? does anyone have one (and willing to own up I suppose), has anyone fought against one?

I need to know before I spend my hard earned cash on trash.

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:32 pm
by tonw
I'd be more inclined to go for a more reputed swordsmith first

a good starting point is armourclass

they make very good quality weapons at reasonable prices

From what I could find out about Mr Barnetts they are made from EN45 Stainless Steel

but thats about it

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:06 pm
by chrisanson
tonw wrote:I'd be more inclined to go for a more reputed swordsmith first

a good starting point is armourclass

they make very good quality weapons at reasonable prices

From what I could find out about Mr Barnetts they are made from EN45 Stainless Steel

but thats about it
EN45 is not stainless steel

"EN45 is a silicon mangenese spring steel, supplied in the as rolled contition. This steel is suitable for oil hardening and tempering."
chris

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:37 pm
by Quayn
I'm not a sword expert but I am a confessed proud cheapskate.

With a budget sword you're looking for comparison of price versus time. If you're using the sword regularly and with gusto, pay the extra money and hit armourclass or similar. The more reputable traders will bno doubt replace broken swords should they fail within the first year. Some I've heard are still shocked if they fail after five.

If on the other hand you're looking for something to get you by till you can afford a good one, then check kovex ars, they seem popular at minute, or there are some budget swords by paul chen for re-enactment that stand up well. I've a hand and a half in it's fourth year that costy a mere £85.

http://www.blades-uk.com/view_items.php ... 5&start=10

After looking at the Barnet range the description seems fine. Though if you cvan afford a good blade then buy one, you're paying for more than just good quality steel, there's also balance, weight and general security of the handle, pommel, etc.

Sorry to sound so obvious but it is a while before people see that many of the traders in re-enactment charge higher prices based on nothing more than higher quality. Not something you see in todays market place.

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:15 pm
by Fluffster
I'd go armourclass. Never had a problem with mine it's fantastic. Have used another suppliers sword won't mention them on here, and it's crap. Blade chewed up and the handle is shocking!

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:34 pm
by craig1459
When I talked to people about swords, in different groups, "Armour Class" was the name that kept coming up. I have one now and it's lovely :D

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:35 am
by tonw
I'd actually second Kovex as well, they make fine blades.

but Armour Class is a solid bet for a good sword

I don't own one of theirs but its the one company i recomend when taking new combatants shopping

I personally use Heron Armouries wonderful blades but a bit more expensive

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:39 am
by Skevmeister
Well personally I would go for in this order

Paul Binns

Kovex Ars

and then Lancaster Armouries

Not that uncle Rogers are a third option, in fact I would say that with hsi expereience and teh longevity fo some of his swords they are some of the best ones I have come across, but mines down to weight, style and personal preference.

Kovex Ars tho, we as a team have three weapons made by them and I love them.

Skev

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 6:41 pm
by jhoonday
John Barnett has been specializing student swords, arms and armor for as long as he can remember and to date has in excess of 25 years of study under his belt. So I'm sure there is no doubt about choosing John Barnett swords artworks. He is such a great maker of swords.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:49 pm
by the real lord duvet
if you want cheap sword i'd begrudging suggest ironhead. Not pretty but they seem to do the job, some break, but he used to replace broken ones, some survive for ever. If you get a good one its balances and don't break

Had an ironhead sword thats been given a lot of abuse of years




Bit like him.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:49 am
by Dave B
jhoonday wrote:John Barnett has been very specializing in student of swords, arms and armor for as long as he can remember and to date has in excess of 25 years of study under his belt. So I'm sure there is no doubt about choosing John Barnett swords artworks.
I have one, and there is nothing wrong with it. for the price it's nice looking and pretty accurate and well made. I'd question whether heavy re-enactment style use is what they are designed for though, wheres it's exactly what armourclass are designed for. I have three armourclass swords and two have been going for a long time. I have a Heron armouries as well which is better balanced for my prefference, but pricier.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:00 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
Dave B wrote:I have three armourclass swords and two have been going for a long time.
Hah! I've got six :D and my nearest and dearest has another three :D . We recomend Armourclass to all our members who just can't live without a sword.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:37 pm
by she2dd5
Another here who likes Paul Binns and Amourclass.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:55 pm
by Wynflaed
Binns every time, no contest!

I'd say that Armour Class swords vary in usability. The problem with them is that they don't match the hilt/pommel to the blade size - so while their narrower, lighter blades have a good balance, if you want a wider blade you'll end up with a very end-heavy weapon. That said, they are very pretty and bloody robust. I have one that I used to use as my main weapon and I now keep it for big display shows where I wasnt a rock-solid block, as opposed to the Binnsy which is for actual fighting.

My group has also found a big variance in weighting with Kovex - definitely nice, well-made weapons (a mate got a beautiful hand-and-a-half from them) but we got some single-handers from them that, well, are really only any good if you specifically want to train with an overweight weapon. So with either of these I'd definitely go to a market and wave their wares about a bit before buying something.

Personally I wouldn't waste my cash on a Paul Chen/Hanwei... it'll be a breadknife before you know it, if it hasn't fallen to bits first. Binnsy, Armour Class and Kovex will all sell you something designed to see some usage.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:23 pm
by EnglishArcher
If you've got the cash it's worth checking out Albion. Their Maestro line (for medieval) have a superb reputation in the WMA world for handling and robustness. The general feeling is you can't get better.

Their Skirmish line covers earlier swords, and are designed specifically for re-enactors and stage combatants.

http://www.albion-europe.com/swords/swo ... rmish.aspx
http://www.albion-europe.com/swords/swo ... estro.aspx

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 4:27 pm
by Wynflaed
Wow, I'm impressed that Albion tell you the centre of gravity of their blades - I've never seen that on a web shop before.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:53 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
I've only used a sword twice during a re-enactment battle, once having lost my pole arm and once having forgotten to pick it up before I went on at Bosworth (yes I find fights that exciting that I forget that I'm meant to use a weapon.)

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:35 pm
by paul bennett
Wynflaed wrote:Wow, I'm impressed that Albion tell you the centre of gravity of their blades - I've never seen that on a web shop before.

Albion use Peter Johnson, one of the greatest living swordsmiths, as a designer.

They make swords for the martial arts market, and we tend to want to know that sort of stuff. Peter also designs the blunts with rotational dynamics in mind, hence the full length fullers on the liechtenauer and meyer models.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:21 pm
by EwanDoc
Before I got into re-enactment, I bought a Barnett Basket-Hilt. Looks pretty good, but is the most unwieldy chunks of metal I've ever held. The guard itself also takes chunks off your hands as the edges aint finished. One of the guys in my group bought one and it lasted two shows before breaking.

For my re-enactment now, I have two of Binns' re-enactment range, one for Viking and one for Medieval. They are a delight to use, solid and not prohibitively expensive. I'd recommend him all the way!

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:20 pm
by Cat
Mr Binns if you can afford
Armourclass
Kovex (although I have had one of theirs break, just out of guarantee, aargh).

I currently have an Armourclass single hander and am ecstatically happy with it. It's light weight and well balanced.The Kovex bastard sword was lush too.

Oh, and plus one to IronHead Bob's swords. Basic, functional, inexpensive and can go on for years.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:47 pm
by saxon
Have a tri-lobed Viking sword by Armourclass (bulletproof ! ) and an exact 13th century copied sword by Paul Binns ( fantastic balance ! ) ....... would go for either again .......... personal taste and as has been said try them at a trading event first and see what suits yourself ....... personal preference on balance and use

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:14 pm
by EwanDoc
I was put off Armourclass when I heard about several incidents over the past few years of their blades breaking a few inches below the point, it has put a lot of the groups up here off using them. I have heard recently though that Armourclass have bought new tempering vats that should solve the problem.

Anyone else know anything about this?

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:28 pm
by Sir_John_Thomas
I love Uncle Rogers swords, picked one up at Tewks this year , have hardly put it down since. :-D

I rather like Hanwei swords, I have a hand and a half that I've been using (fairly hard too) for nearly 3 years, and it stands just as good as any of the other more expensive swords in the group, and any others I have fought against, and for alot less money too.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:47 am
by KedlestonCraig
Sir_John_Thomas wrote: I rather like Hanwei swords, I have a hand and a half that I've been using (fairly hard too) for nearly 3 years, and it stands just as good as any of the other more expensive swords in the group, and any others I have fought against, and for alot less money too.
That's because they don't look anything like actual swords, unless obviously plastic grips and scabbards are earlier than I thought ;-)

Quality of blades varies - I've seen one snap on first use, and I can't see them holding value well. The same arguments hold for Kovex.

An Armour Class, on the other hand, is a far better proposition and worth saving a bit longer for (and they aren't that expensive)

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:34 am
by Sir_John_Thomas
I agree with you on the scabbard, but the handles are wood wrapped in leather, they look OK. The accuracy side might be a bit off too, but they do have a full tang unlike some others that claim to be "combat ready" and cleary are not, and almost twice the price. The steel on the newer ones is good too, they had a rep for sometimes breaking a while ago, but they seem to have sorted it out now. They have a new 2 hander on the market, that comes with a leather scabbard, and the sword is pretty accurate. Looks like they may be trying to go for more of a historical look. Might be worth keeping an eye on them, to see what future releases bring.

From what I've seen of armourclass, they do some great swords, and yes the price is very reasonable.

I still love my Lancaster armouries hand and a half, the swords sings when it hits things, lovelly :D

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:26 am
by Fox
Re: Hanwei
KedlestonCraig wrote:That's because they don't look anything like actual swords, unless obviously plastic grips and scabbards are earlier than I thought ;-)
I think it depends a bit on the model as to how much they look correct.
As for the scabbard, at least you can cover it and have a sword in a scabbard, which is better than all those people who wander round with a sword without a scabbard.
I guess it depends whether you want something just for fighting/training or something the public will handle.
KedlestonCraig wrote:Quality of blades varies - I've seen one snap on first use, and I can't see them holding value well.
I think that's on the nose.
I have one I bought for a fancy dress costume that subsequently has seen some really heavy use and has held up fine.
But I've heard plenty of stories of breakages.
Anecdotally, the quality seems quite variable.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:34 am
by Harrington
I have had 4 Hanwei blades for years now, the only issue I have with them is the dinting that occurs. IMO the blades seem to be of a softer metal than other makes thus gets bigger dints during heavy figting, else good balance etc are excelent for a budget package. I have a couple of older ones where the scabards were made from wood :).

ArmourClass - Love my amourclass sword, excelent balance etc will have another probably a falchion soon.

I cannot really comment on other makes as I have used them but have not owned one long enough to make a proper judgement.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:32 pm
by KeithFarrell
I have used Hanwei blades many times and they are superb entry level weapons, although for someone who seriously wants to practice with swords my advice would be to order an Armour Class and get a Hanwei as a spare (and to use that while Armour Class works through their waiting list!). Armour Class are so far the finest weapons I have been able to use, I cannot praise them enough for the quality and price.

I have also handled a couple of John Barnett swords. I don't think they are very good - while the blades are adequate in strength, the balance is pretty horrible all things told, and they are quite heavy to use. Admittedly this makes them good practice weapons - by practicing drills with my John Barnett blade, it means that when I use my Armour Class I can go so much faster due to its lighter weight.

Has anyone used the Tinker Pierce swords? From what I have read, they are better quality than the standard Hanwei swords, but how do they compare to Armour Class?

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:39 pm
by Phil the Grips
KeithFarrell wrote:Has anyone used the Tinker Pierce swords?
I used one of their sharp blades for a project- the fellow putting the bits together for me is still cursing my name for giving him it to work with. I have since seen reports of them snapping at the tang very easily.

Re: Advice on Swords.

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:45 am
by darrelltemplar
Barnett swords - right the problem with barnett swords is some are actualy quite good i got myself an english proto mortuary and it was great but some, and i stress this point, ARE ABSOULUTELY CRAP, its really quite odd he makes a really terrible single handed norman for example the pommel screws on and snaps easily at the tang, it takes easy burrs isnt balanced and only good for the wall really, but on the other hand he makes a really nice 2 hander with a full tang, it looks nice its got a well made fishtail pommel for example which is normaly an expsensive bit of pretty on a sword, and it'll only cost about 85 quid which for a two hader is awesome price.
Armourclass are great for the price if a bit plain looking and common
i personally dont like kovex i feel they are overpriced for what they are
if your willing to pay for a heron or lancaster armouries then they are probably the best customed to you and look very nice
hanwei are good starter swords but dont really stand up to more than a years regular use.
victor brobeseque. (dont know if i spelt that right) are brilliant but i dont think he trades in britain anymore and the last trader to regulary stock them was max thomas from the knights templar but he doesnt trade anymore, though you might be able to email him and sort summit it his website is freedom enteprises
oh robert palmer/ironhead swords i quite like but nt sure how well they cope over regular use

please no stick guys for what ive written its just my opinion i could be wrong good luck :thumbup: