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Author Topic: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers  (Read 3647 times)

Lord_Owen_Token

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Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« on: 2014-06-17, 03:58:57 »
Hail!
I was wondering if you fine fellows would know of any high quality trainers? I am looking to use this trainer alone, to get used to a sword in my hand; and to start self teaching basic forms and the like. I want to get a hand and a half trainer to use with the heater shields I will be DIYing as soon as I have a trainer lined up. Price is subjective to the quality at hand. If my request is to broad, please ask for the information you need to give a better suggestion.

Also, any thoughts on my choice of starter weapons? A hand and a half sword and heater shield.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #1 on: 2014-06-17, 04:12:28 »
Can't go wrong with Purpleheart Armoury & their Synthetic Type 3 Pentii's or their steel feders. However speaking as a shieldman your best bet is to work the broadsword & shield, and then have a longsword for your two handed work.

I'm not sure what you want to do was every used in history.

Are you planing any HEMA, SCA, or other WMA activities in the future?
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Ian

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #2 on: 2014-06-17, 11:41:28 »
Thorsteinn is right. A hand and a half combined with a heater shield is an odd combination. While it physically could be done, historically you'll see shorter single handed swords in combination with shield or buckler, and longer swords without any shield at all.

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Sir Edward

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #3 on: 2014-06-17, 13:34:53 »
As others have said, a longsword really is meant to be used by itself. A shorter, single-hander would be ideal for working with sword and buckler.

For synthetic trainers (far better than wooden wasters, IMHO, and about the same price), I would definitely go with the Purple Heart type-III.

Longsword: $125 http://www.woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TYPE-III-50

Single-hand: $125 ($110 on sale currently) http://www.woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TypeIII-Short

If however you would like to train with steel (which has quickly become the standard in HEMA/WMA circles), there are several great options out there. I think some of the best currently on the market are the Albion Meyer and A&A Fechterspiels, but if you want to spend a little less, the trainers from Darkwood Armory (not to be confused with Darksword Armory, which is totally different) are a pretty good deal. I added the shipping/handling charges on the A&A models since they show it with the price on their pages. I'm not sure about the shipping from the others. Albion's tends to run around $25-$35.

For all steel weapons, I recommend adding a "thrusting tip". One of the easiest methods is to fold a couple of pieces of leather over the tip and tape it down. Or, you can find rubber safety tips online, I think.

Longswords:

Albion Meyer: $490 http://albion-swords.com/swords/albion/maestro/sword-practice-meyer.htm

A&A Fechterspiel: $490 + $51 S&H (training grade) http://armor.com/sword203.html

Darkwood basic-training longsword: $340 http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6&products_id=87

The two following "Federschwerts" are new, so I haven't seen them up-close. But it looks like they're replacing the older Federschwert design that they had, which while light and whippy, were great for light practice without a ton of safety gear. We used to use the old models occasionally with just t-shirts, masks, and gloves, for half-speed, technique-driven work.

CAS-Iberia "club" Federschwert: $295 http://casiberia.com/product/federschwert-club/sr7001
CAS-Iberia "Meyer" Federschwert: $299 http://casiberia.com/product/federschwert-meyer/sr7002

Single-hands:

CAS-Iberia/Hanwei Practical hand-and-a-half: $250 http://casiberia.com/product/practical-hand-and-a-half-sword/sh2106
(I'm including this with the single-hands, since this one is actually a bit small for a longsword, and works nicely for shield or buckler use. Or at least, earlier generations did. I don't think they've changed the design too enormously since then).

CAS-Iberia/Hanwei Practical single-hand: $220 http://casiberia.com/product/practical-single-hand-sword/sh2046

Albion I:33 sparring sword: $460 http://albion-swords.com/swords/albion/maestro/sword-practice-I33.htm

A&A scholar's sword: $395 + $44 S&H http://armor.com/sword207.html

Darkwood Arming sword: $285 http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6&products_id=503
« Last Edit: 2014-06-17, 13:40:52 by Sir Edward »
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Lord_Owen_Token

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #4 on: 2014-06-18, 18:43:47 »
Thank you Sir Edward! The Practical Hand and a Half you recommended is perfect! And thank you Thorsteinn and Ian for your input. I will let all of you know when I get it.
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tomrkba

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #5 on: 2015-08-01, 04:54:02 »
If the CAS Paul Chen Practical Hand and a Half were great for $250, they'd be all over the place at Longpoint 2015.  They're not...so there must be a reason.

The Albion Meyer tends to hit too hard.  It's too heavy and inflexible, though I've heard they have redesigned it.  I have not played with a recent Meyer; few are using them and the price is high.

The A&A Scholar's Sword is excellent.  I really like mine.  I doubt I will use anything else, though the guy who makes Roland Warzecha's feders is really good.

Avoid any synthetic trainers unless you cannot afford anything better.  They do not transmit force well and bind worse than steel feders (feders are not that great either).  The real problem is they BOUNCE and this leads to bad feedback and worse habits.  "Bouncing" becomes part of the game in synthetic tournaments.  We prefer to use feders in Capital KDF where possible (sometimes we have too many new fencers).

CAS and Hanwei Federschwert...nah.  These won't hold up.  Several Hanwei Federschwert's owned by CKDF members are limp noodles that fall apart. Dark Wood...nah...I didn't see one at Longpoint 2015 (maybe someone had one, but they're not in common use).  Be happy if you get a year out of one before it breaks from moderate use.  The Hanwei I used for part of Bill Frisbee's halfswording class was far too noodle-y to apply effective pressure against a stiffer feder.

I use Ensifer.  I really like it.  Rengenyei makes good stuff.  Chlebowski also makes good feders.  Jake Norwood uses a feder from Comfort Fencing and Baltimore Knife and Sword now makes HEMA feders (they seem pretty good.)  BKS is new to HEMA and I won't use them until they've been around awhile.

Soooo...A&A, Ensifer, Rengenyei, Chlebowski, Comfort Fencing, BKS.  Albion likely should be evaluated for stiffness and how hard it hits.  I find A&A to be the best, with Rengenyei a close second due to price and full customization.  Ensifer makes a good feder and mine has held up to hard use in the past year. Chlebowski's stuff is good and cheap, but you'll never hear back from them and the sword will show up on a random date (likely after that important tournament or class). 

You can also look at Danelli Armoury, but he's tied up for awhile.  There are a few other small shops that make trainers, but you really cannot go wrong with A&A, Ensifer, Rengenyei, Chlebowski, and Comfort Fencing.



« Last Edit: 2015-08-01, 05:08:31 by tomrkba »

Sir Edward

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #6 on: 2015-08-06, 13:09:52 »
If the CAS Paul Chen Practical Hand and a Half were great for $250, they'd be all over the place at Longpoint 2015.  They're not...so there must be a reason.

The Albion Meyer tends to hit too hard.  It's too heavy and inflexible, though I've heard they have redesigned it.  I have not played with a recent Meyer; few are using them and the price is high.

Yeah, the Practical Hand and a Half was redesigned to be heavier and stiffer, so it'll hold up better than the earlier generations. But now it's in an awkward zone of being too heavy for its size, too short to be a good longsword, and too big to be a good single hander.

But for the Albions, you have that mixed up. The Meyer is the safer longsword for unarmored fencing, and is light and has decent flex. The one that's dangerous for Blossfechten is the Lichtenauer, with its thin edges and rigid design. However, the qualities that make the Lichtenauer more dangerous for Blossfechten also make it great for Harnessfechten (armored combat), where you want a stiffer blade.

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Henrik Granlid

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #7 on: 2015-08-16, 07:21:01 »
For actual longswords:

The Hanwei-Del Tin longsword blunt is one of the best bang-for-buck weapons you can get your hands on and it's cheap as well.

The Albion Liechtenauer is another absolutely brilliant weapon, although it is a bit stiff for thrusts in Hema.

Pavel Moc's weapons are also absolutely great, however, the steel is a bit soft and they tend to get nicked easier than other weapons. However, he has a 140 liechtenauer which is absolutely massive AND thrusts well.


Feders:

Pavel Moc makes good, if a bit fragile feders

Albion Meyer - Too stiff

Regenyei, however, is THE swordsmith to go to for feders. His has become the standard pretty much throughout the european fencing community. They are absolutely brilliant.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Looking For The Best Hand and a Half Trainers
« Reply #8 on: 2015-08-16, 17:16:40 »
When I have money I shall have to look back on this thread, as I plan to get a set of blunt arming swords and blunt longswords at some point.
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