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Author Topic: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review  (Read 8716 times)

Sir James A

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Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« on: 2015-10-04, 19:06:11 »
I posted about HEMA equipment in another thread and realized I should post a review of BKS, since I believe I'm the only one who has one of their feders. They are, as I understand, new to the market this year. I handled mine at Longpoint prior to purchasing, and they have been open to feedback on them as well.

The blade is a couple inches short of what I would prefer, but would be right for someone around 5'6" to 5'8". The tip is a flattened and widened tip, instead of the rolled tip found on many other feders, and I like it; it seems to get better grab (purchased) on thrusts since it isn't as rounded. On the other hand, you don't get as much "sword wind" (the noise from swinging the sword) as that little round hole of the rolled tips will give you. A minor concession, and completely pointless for actual combat. I also like the wide schildt (the flared part of the blade near the handle), but that is also a personal preference.

Mine has an acorn style pommel, and a twisted bar crossguard. I like the distinct styling of it. It is reminiscent of the Arms & Armor Schloss Erbach crossguard (http://www.myarmoury.com/review_aa_schloss.html). It was originally the normal steel color, but I blackened it myself. Here is a photo:



My complaint with this is that after using it for a few weeks, the hilt bent. Substantially. We were drilling zornhaus, and it looked like a banana. I had handed it to our instructor, who was using it when it bent. I saw him hand it back, said "Uhhh...." and he straightened it back most of the way, by hand, before we thought to get a picture. This was an interesting phenomenon because we learned: (a) the tang isn't heat treated, and (b) the grip is actually just leather wrap directly over the tang, without a wooden core; a classmate figured that out because bent wood = splinters and it never made a sound nor splintered, and I can't see any wood underneath (while still assembled).

I was scared to use it, lest it break on me. I wrote to BKS, who confirmed the tang is not heat treated. BUT, they also said they will straighten it for me as well as heat treat it too. They offered to pay shipping both ways, but as they are at MD Renn Fest, I'm going to drop it off in person. I forgot to ask about getting a wood core for it, but if not, I may redo the grip/handle myself.

While it is more expensive than most feders ($550), one of the great things about it is that it has a lifetime warranty. They told me to keep using it, and if it breaks, they will fix or replace it; so they stand behind their warranty.

The best part, in my opinion, is that they are local to the DC area. So no shipping overseas, customs, etc, in the event of a warranty claim or modification request. And as a vendor at a few events, you have the chance to handle their swords prior to purchase.

I plan to keep this as my primary go-to class/training sword, and use an Ensifer Heavy for tournaments.
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Sir William

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #1 on: 2015-10-07, 14:33:16 »
BKS doesn't do wood grips so far as I can recall, its always been leather wrap over steel tang for all of their models.  Not sure why, that's just how they do it.  A shame something that expensive failed from the start- but a lifetime warranty's a good thing to have.
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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #2 on: 2015-10-08, 16:48:12 »
Oh, I also located BKS at MDRF. They lost their booth there about 10 years ago, but as of this year, they've teamed up with Dagger Dan, and have a collection of weapons available on the wall of his booth.

EDIT: corrected
« Last Edit: 2015-10-08, 22:10:29 by Sir Edward »
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Sir William

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #3 on: 2015-10-08, 17:53:04 »
I look forward to seeing them, then.
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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #4 on: 2015-10-08, 20:24:17 »
I thought they were gone for some time from MDRF?

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #5 on: 2015-10-08, 22:10:43 »
I thought they were gone for some time from MDRF?

Yep, about a decade ago.
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Sir James A

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #6 on: 2015-10-08, 23:03:15 »
Oh, I also located BKS at MDRF. They lost their booth there about 10 years ago, but as of this year, they've teamed up with Dagger Dan, and have a collection of weapons available on the wall of his booth.

EDIT: corrected

Ah, excellent, thanks!
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Sir Wolf

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #7 on: 2015-10-08, 23:49:30 »
bah lol if i would come more i would notice these things hahahaha

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #8 on: 2016-07-20, 19:13:15 »
BKS doesn't do wood grips so far as I can recall, its always been leather wrap over steel tang for all of their models.  Not sure why, that's just how they do it.  A shame something that expensive failed from the start- but a lifetime warranty's a good thing to have.
I have one of their (few?) wood grip swords. It is a heat-treated bare blade (the type XVIII single hand sword blade) I had bought from Albion that BKS polished up for me and built a hilt. I had to push them way past their comfort zone to make a wooden grip, and they still wouldn't wrap it, but they did do it.
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Sir James A

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #9 on: 2016-07-21, 01:20:59 »
Since this post got bumped... almost 6 months later, I still have no sword. No response to emails. Voice mail box is full. No idea if I'll ever get the sword back, or fixed, and I was brave enough to try one of their prototype feders since they were a vendor at a tournament last year. I've not had the sword almost as long as I had it, assuming I ever see it again.

Stay away from BKS. Not recommended at all.
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Sir William

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #10 on: 2016-07-22, 14:11:46 »
It's almost become a trend these days.
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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #11 on: 2016-07-22, 20:08:39 »
Since this post got bumped... almost 6 months later, I still have no sword. No response to emails. Voice mail box is full. No idea if I'll ever get the sword back, or fixed, and I was brave enough to try one of their prototype feders since they were a vendor at a tournament last year. I've not had the sword almost as long as I had it, assuming I ever see it again.

Stay away from BKS. Not recommended at all.

Poke Duke Icefalcon see if he can help, and from now on just buy from him. I've had a single issue with him before about not being 100% honest about what his kit was for, BUT you do always get what you order.
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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #12 on: 2016-07-24, 05:08:07 »
Since this post got bumped... almost 6 months later, I still have no sword. No response to emails. Voice mail box is full. No idea if I'll ever get the sword back, or fixed, and I was brave enough to try one of their prototype feders since they were a vendor at a tournament last year. I've not had the sword almost as long as I had it, assuming I ever see it again.

Stay away from BKS. Not recommended at all.

Poke Duke Icefalcon see if he can help, and from now on just buy from him. I've had a single issue with him before about not being 100% honest about what his kit was for, BUT you do always get what you order.

Yep.  As most people in this community know, Ice is solid!
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Sir James A

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #13 on: 2016-07-31, 03:34:58 »
Since this post got bumped... almost 6 months later, I still have no sword. No response to emails. Voice mail box is full. No idea if I'll ever get the sword back, or fixed, and I was brave enough to try one of their prototype feders since they were a vendor at a tournament last year. I've not had the sword almost as long as I had it, assuming I ever see it again.

Stay away from BKS. Not recommended at all.

Poke Duke Icefalcon see if he can help, and from now on just buy from him. I've had a single issue with him before about not being 100% honest about what his kit was for, BUT you do always get what you order.

Yep.  As most people in this community know, Ice is solid!

He doesn't do swords. I've bought from him multiple times before and everything except the mail sleeves was a good experience (sizing was horrendous, should have been a few months for delivery but was something like 18 months). In stock was always great.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Baltimore Knife and Sword (BKS) feder review
« Reply #14 on: 2016-07-31, 04:50:47 »

He doesn't do swords. I've bought from him multiple times before and everything except the mail sleeves was a good experience (sizing was horrendous, should have been a few months for delivery but was something like 18 months). In stock was always great.

Sir James he does do weapons since getting involved in BOTN/HMB.

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