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Author Topic: Aluminum Swords  (Read 5343 times)

jason77

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Aluminum Swords
« on: 2016-07-26, 21:14:24 »
I've been considering buying some new trainers and whilst most HEMA clubs are using either synthetics or steel (typically both), I know of some other groups using wasters made of aircraft aluminum. I am considering this option for the value it presents and I'd like to hear some of your opinions on these types of trainers. I'm specifically looking at Sword Crafts which produces some very fine aluminum swords... http://www.swordcrafts.com/

The only downside seems to be the lack of blade flexibility which means you have to be careful in a thrust and hold back. For Meyer's students this shouldn't present a problem since Meyer didn't include thrusts in his system.

On the positive side I have been told that they last virtually forever, feel very well for weight and balance. They are not much cheaper than steel and so some would likely say to just purchase steel but steel breaks and often enough it will break under a year when used for drills and sparring consistently. One gentleman told me that a man in his club had been using an aluminum sword for 7 years and was still in good shape. You could NEVER use a steel sword for 7 years. So the value is in its longevity for sure. Further they are quite beautiful pieces as you can see here...





Sword Crafts also does custom orders. This is the only source for these swords I have so if anyone has other suggestions for suppliers I'd love to see their works as well.

What do you all think about this? Aluminum seems to be a good option for clubs since these swords can take the abuse and be continually used. They can't be used in tournaments but in training they seem like an excellent option.
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Sir Brian

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #1 on: 2016-07-26, 23:36:32 »
Well the club I train with has used aluminum blades extensively. One of the assistant instructors even makes some very affordable and serviceable longswords and even made an arming sword for me. Yes they are great for basic drills with beginning students and even up to intermediate level drills. HOWEVER, they should not be used for free play at speed. They are simply too brutal and cause more damage than steel. I have two broken fingers due to aluminum blades and as for durability of the blades themselves? I've broken two. One of my own and another of my friend's that was a Sword's Craft. Now Charles Jevons at Sword's Craft does beautiful work and those blades breaking was due to excessive power on both our parts and not due to a lack of quality in the blades. I have also had two steel blades break although they can sometimes be cheaper to repair/replace just the broken blade.

Another aspect to consider is getting a better feel of the bind with steel over aluminum as I've determined that aluminum blades encourages bad technique insofar as providing too much leverage in certain binds and parries . I am a big guy that can power through many binds and parries with an aluminum blade that I simply can't do with a steel blade, ergo I get a more genuine action from the steel blades. A difficult transition for me was dueling from strictly aluminum to steel until I absolutely refuse to duel with aluminums and I'll use synthetics before aluminum blades. Steel blades might cost a little more but will be worth it in the long run.
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jason77

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #2 on: 2016-07-27, 00:46:52 »
Thanks for that thoughtful response as it raises some issues that I'm not aware of as I haven't ever used aluminum. Our group uses synthetics but we are anxious to acquire steel but the group doesn't have the budget for steel. The best we can do is say that everyone needs to acquire there own whenever they can but then that will leave some people out who will have to stick with synthetics whilst others will want to exclusively use steel. What to do...  :-[
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #3 on: 2016-07-27, 03:28:58 »
Thanks for that thoughtful response as it raises some issues that I'm not aware of as I haven't ever used aluminum. Our group uses synthetics but we are anxious to acquire steel but the group doesn't have the budget for steel. The best we can do is say that everyone needs to acquire there own whenever they can but then that will leave some people out who will have to stick with synthetics whilst others will want to exclusively use steel. What to do...  :-[

What about these? Not to expensive for Steel, also the Aluminum swords didn't ahve a price listed on the site. Where did you see them?

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=FA27A&name=Fabri+Armorum+Heavy+Combat+Thrusting+Sword+-+Training+Grade

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=FA03A&name=Fabri+Armorum+Heavy+Combat+Hand+And+A+Half+Sword+-+35%27%27+Blade+-+Training+Grade

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2395&name=Hanwei+Tinker+Pearce+Blunt+Trainer+Longsword

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2106&name=Hanwei+Practical+Hand+and+a+Half+Sword+-+5th+Generation

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2326&name=Hanwei+Practical+Norman+Sword


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Sir Brian

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #4 on: 2016-07-27, 08:21:43 »
What about these? Not to expensive for Steel, also the Aluminum swords didn't have a price listed on the site. Where did you see them?

The Sword's Crafter prices are around $200 for the basic longsword (prices are from memory of a couple years ago)

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=FA27A&name=Fabri+Armorum+Heavy+Combat+Thrusting+Sword+-+Training+Grade
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=FA03A&name=Fabri+Armorum+Heavy+Combat+Hand+And+A+Half+Sword+-+35%27%27+Blade+-+Training+Grade

I've never handled these two particular blades but looking at their weight alone they would be brutes to use for any length of time. They would certainly help develop the muscles but be hellacious to control the power levels thus cause some injuries to your students. Can't train with broken fingers and these would be bone breakers.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2395&name=Hanwei+Tinker+Pearce+Blunt+Trainer+Longsword

This one is probably what I would consider to be the very bare minimum for acceptable steel. The blades hold up fairly well for long drills and you can free play with them at full speed. The weight is a bit on the light side and the edges are a little thin which equals a bit more bruising potential, the edges also require vigilant maintenance with a dead-smooth metal file to keep the number of burrs down or you'll start ripping each other open. You can eventually break these blades (I have once), but they are easily and reasonably priced for replacement which Kult of Athena sells separately. The pommel nuts and thus grip and cross guards come loose frequently so carry the appropriately sized Allan wrench in your sword bag.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2106&name=Hanwei+Practical+Hand+and+a+Half+Sword+-+5th+Generation
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2326&name=Hanwei+Practical+Norman+Sword

Of these two I only have the first one, hand+half and it is totally unsuited for longsword techniques. I will use it in a pinch for harnischfechten (which is indicative that it is far too rigid for the thrust in blossfechten). The last one is appropriate for arming sword techniques and I would be very dubious P.O.B. (point of balance) making it a little too blade heavy.

http://www.woodenswords.com/product_p/ensiferstandard.htm
Although these blades are currently unavailable (not sure what is going on with the manufacturer in Poland) they are very well made and will serve very well. The pricing is very reasonable.

http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6&products_id=87

Darkwood Armory's basic longsword is readily available and a very good basic steel longsword. You can get it customized for a bit extra, i.e. single/double rings, longer grip, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/HEMASupplies or sbrown133 gmail.com
Regenyei blades are very popular within the HEMA community and the above link is to his USA distributor Scott Brown. They start around $310.

Here is a more consolidated link listing for other steel blade manufacturers. Happy hunting!  ;D
http://hroarr.com/equipment/hema-equipment/
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jason77

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #5 on: 2016-07-27, 22:17:15 »
Thanks for the suggestions. I am surprised to hear that the Hanwei hand and half sword was not suitable for longsword techniques and that it lack flex for safe thrusts. I asked Aaron over at Sword Carolina about this sword in particular for my wife because the standard longswords are really too long for her at 5'1". Aaron said they had one in their club which they use at times and that he would allow it in tournament as well.

Albion is pretty much the gold standard and their prices reflect this but they do have a lay away program for orders over $500.00.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #6 on: 2016-07-27, 23:46:41 »
Brian what do you think of this one?

'Practical' series German longsword
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Ian

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #7 on: 2016-07-27, 23:59:02 »
Brian what do you think of this one?

'Practical' series German longsword

That's the sword we always use when I train with Bob.  KoA sells them for something like $45 cheaper :)
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Sir Brian

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #8 on: 2016-07-28, 01:21:52 »
Brian what do you think of this one?

'Practical' series German longsword

That's the sword we always use when I train with Bob.  KoA sells them for something like $45 cheaper :)

I bought the much earlier generation sharp from Ed a couple years back. The sharp version was a little heavy in the blade for my tastes but it was a great pumpkin cutter! If Ian and Bob use it I can only surmise that they had substantially improved the balance. The longer grip is definitely a favorite feature for my bear paws. KOA usually does undercut Hal's prices by at least 10%.
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Sir James A

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #9 on: 2016-07-31, 03:30:57 »
7 years of use of aluminum is only part of the equation. Used weekly? Used in tournaments? Used an hour a week, or 4 hours a week?

I've seen 5 year old steel swords that are still in use. I've seen swords with manufacturing issues get twisted or damaged within a few months, but that's a flaw of fabrication, not material.

Best bet is to go with suggestions of those in your local training group, as they'll be the ones you are hitting most of the time. :)
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Sir Wolf

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #10 on: 2016-09-23, 12:19:36 »
get a paul bins blade.

i have 0 knicks in mine from hard core smashing it against shield and blade.

someone thought they would be cute and hit my blade with theres at full strength.... then got mad when his sword looked like southern wv teeth

Sir James A

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #11 on: 2016-09-24, 17:05:17 »
get a paul bins blade.

i have 0 knicks in mine from hard core smashing it against shield and blade.

someone thought they would be cute and hit my blade with theres at full strength.... then got mad when his sword looked like southern wv teeth

What? Bro, do you even fence? :)
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Sir Wolf

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Re: Aluminum Swords
« Reply #12 on: 2016-09-25, 19:46:16 »
What? Bro, do you even fence? :)

bahahah i was fighting swords while you were still on yo momma's .......... well anyway.

yes it has been a few years.