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Sword Buyers Digest - August 2010
August 01, 2010

Paul Southren Boy oh boy is this a big issue (making up the last one guess! Lol).

First off, and so we some news about the possibility of a new SBG sword forum after the current host provider, Pro boards, decided to throw their weight around - forcing us to shut down one of our most popular forum categories (more on this in a the moment!).

But to more positive news, in this issue we also have two great sword competitions, a limited edition release of the next Signature Series sword from Valiant Armory, a fun video with an idea on how to make a ‘boffer’ Katana out of cardboard shipping boxes, some great news for Australian Tatami mat cutters, some incredible deals and blowouts – not to mention a brand-new section of the digest highlighting some of the coolest new products just listed by the sword industry's most popular vendors websites..

Plus a whole lot more (hopefully without anything ‘weird’ as I've been writing this issue with a rather nasty Aussie Winter head-cold as its winter time down under! So apologies in advance if anything is just a bit messy or strange!)


3. SWORD COMPETITIONS: Euro and Japanese sword giveaways!
5. VIDEO of the MONTH:



Okay, well as mentioned briefly in the introduction - probably the biggest news for SBG is our recent trouble with pro-boards, the company that hosts the SBG sword forum..

Out of the blue I received a PM from them which stated in no uncertain terms that:

”ProBoards does not permit the buying, selling, or trading of any form of weapon on our forums. Your forum is currently in violation of this policy. Please remove all offending content from your forum within 48 hours or further action will be taken..” And concluded by pointed an “arrow of death” directly at our manufacturers and vendors forum (stating “Examples of offending content includes but may not be limited to:” the M&V sub forum).

In the end, as they have the power to completely destroy the forum, I decided to try and accommodate them as best as I could - and we are now working on removing anything that could be construed as “permitting the buying, selling or trading of weapons” from this sub-forum, though it kind of annoys me that it took them this long to discover our so-called “violations”, especially as we have other areas of the form such as the classifieds in particular that now feel especially vulnerable…

Naturally, I want to develop a phpbb forum that is a subdomain of the Main site and 100% under my control so that will never have to face this kind of situation again. The main problem with this approach is that Pro boards is a proprietary format forum, it is quite a challenge to actually grab all of the data and bring it across to the new forum..

So at this stage - unless we can find another way to just transfer everything across, the plan is to preserve as many as the best and most helpful forum posts by migrating them over to the main site (which also help in highlighting them and making them easy to locate, as is only so much you can do with stickies - and quite a few exceptional posts a buried at the bottom of their respective sub forums) and then keep the old forum as an archive with all-new active posts being made on the new forum..

I'll be doing my best to make this as seamless and painless as possible, and of course would appreciate it if you guys don't mention any reference to my plans on the current forum - but rest assured that no matter what happens, SBG sword forum will survive this, and what doesn't kill us can only make us stronger!! (Indeed, I think a new forum could work out very well, with a lot of features that we just don't have a Pro boards such as the ability to upload images and get rid of those pesky adsense ads for a start )

So stay tuned guys - I'm honestly of the opinion that within each crisis is an opportunity to make something better, and in many ways I look forward to taking the forum to a whole new level..!


Last month saw four new reviews added to the main site, the Windlass Fantasy Raptor sword review, the Hanwei Tinker line bastard sword and my own “short but sweet” review of the Kit Rae fantasy Exotath sword..

Exotath Sword

I do plan on adding quite a few more reviews over the course of the month, but I’ll also be spending a lot of time creating pages to preserve the best and most useful posts from the forums on such topics as sword customization, care, repairs, tutorials and other great content but deserves a more permanent and secure home.

Anyway, clearly there's lots going on – so to stay abreast of the latest developments feel free to sign up to our RSS feed or frequently drop by our site news page (which is now given a neat little scroll like link at the top of every page on the site for easy reference).

SBG News Page

Sword Industry News


The latest addition to Valiant Armories extremely popular Signature Series Swords, the much anticipated type XII ‘Knights Templar’ Longsword, is first being made available as a limited edition, collectible run.

Knights Templar in Scabbard

Each sword will come serial numbered (1 through 50 in order of purchase) and include a certificate of authenticity signed by Christian Fletcher and Gus Trim, plus each buyer will have the ability to order the sword with custom dye options on the leather!

Available exclusively through Valiant Armoury's Custom Sword Shoppe this is a great chance to own a customizable, high quality and collectible Longsword at a fraction of its true value.

Knights Templar Blade


A special note for Aussie Cutters: For the last year or so I think I have cut a grand total of around 5 tatami mats only because, ever since Mugen Dachi stopped selling direct to the public I have found getting decent quality mats to be an almost impossible task (heck, even when I could get hold of them, shipping a box of 10 full mats often added around $100 to the base price!!).

But all that has changed - in association with Mugen Dachi, a container load of the excellent quality tatami mats have landed in Australia with a new company called Ozi tatami:

Craig from Ozi tatami is a great guy, and while they haven't actually officially started trading yet - Craig commented they should be accepting orders sometime around the 9th of August - so for all us Aussie cutters, the drought is over!! ^_^


With recent news announcing that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy, the floating of the RMB to the US dollar, and rising wages and costs in China - I've heard it through the grapevine that price rises in Chinese made export swords are inevitable, and the impact is already being felt (after all, these days probably around about 80% of all production swords and made in China!).

This may actually be happening a lot sooner than later, so word to the wise - now is almost certainly the time to stock up!


There's only one thing better than getting a cool sword, and that's getting a cool sword for free! And in August, there are two competitions of note - one for fans of European swords, and one for Japanese sword lovers!

The first competition is the opportunity to win a real Angus trim made blade of the scabbard made by Christian Fletcher - the actual prototype of the new Valiant Armory Templar sword mentioned earlier in this issue of the digest!

Knights Templar Prototype

All you have to do to be in the chance to win is to sign up to the Valiant Armory newsletter – they won't be pushing anything or trying to sell anything themselves, it will simply be providing interested subscribers with updates and scoops on stock availability and new products from this excellent line.

To enter, simply sign up for the newsletter here: (entries close August 31st).

The second competition is for lovers of Japanese swords - in conjunction with knives illustrated, CAS Hanwei by giving away a total of six (6) Shobu Zukuri Raptor Katana.

Enter this one by signing up here:

Good luck folks!


the New valiant Armory Praetorian Swords
The original Praetorian Gladius was cool enough, but in this thread we take a look at how it has evolved..

Type X, XI and XIII
Confused about Oakeshott typology? The best way to get your head around it probably starts here!

Now THAT’s what I call a pile of Katana!
A huge pile of WWII Katana, their sad fate, a final insult to the victors and a missing Masamune sword – this thread has all this and more!

Excellent Pickle Chipping and Edge Alignment
Effotless cutting, perfect edge alignment and exceptional pickle chipping with a one handed arming sword! Well done Greg!


Even the most serious sword enthusiast cannot resist play fighting with a sword, after all, it is often our earliest childhood fantasies of sword fighting with sticks, brooms or other sword shaped objects that is the catalyst for a life-long fascination with the sharp and pointies…

To recapture this fun, or a great project you can share with your own kids or the younger members of your family, this months youtube clip features a simple, yet very cool way to make your own cardboard boffer!

Youtube vid of the Month

You Tube Video of the Month

Use this method to double your sword value with the shipping boxes (if you can resist cutting them in half that is..)


A quick overview of the latest products of interest from tried and tested sword stockists


We all know trueswords offer excellent prices, fantastic customer service and ship so fast that your order is on the way to you before you even hit payment section of the checkout (if you have ever bought anything from these guys, you will know it to be true!) – but sometimes you have to wade through a fair amount of ‘filler’ items that they offer to keep them afloat to get to the cool stuff..

But this month, there are a couple of VERY cool items – the first being the Cold Steel Marine Officers Sword for just US$198.98 ($349.99 at the official Cold steel site).

It is about time that someone came out with a sharp, functional version of a USMC sword – and Cold Steel are definitely the guys for the job as you can see from the somewhat cheesy (but always amusing) video by Lynn and the boys below.

Cold Steel Marine Officers Sword

Click image to watch the video

But I’ve saved the best for last..

After the sad demise of the tactical Blackwind Katana made by the Ontario Knife Company, and hot on the heels of the tactical Wakizashi by Hanwei, Cold Steel have come up with an extremely inexpensive, yet very promising blade with their Two handed Katana Machete..

Made of 1055 carbon steel with an anti-rust black protective coating and injection moulded polypropelene handle – it is only now accepting pre-orders and at $23.98 at Trueswords ($40 at Cold Steel) looks to be a must have item for every backyard cutters arsenal!

Check out the video below (it looks pretty darned promising I think, and at this price, it is pretty hard to go wrong!).

Two handed Katana Machete

Click image to watch the video

Phew, what an issue – I hope you enjoyed it!

Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work on our new forum, so I’ll see you guys again next month! Until then, take care – win some swords and grab some seriously crazy bargains while you can!

Paul Southren

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