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Sword Buyers Digest - November 2008
November 01, 2008

Paul Southren

Good to see you all again, because I’ve got a pretty exciting issue of the digest waiting to be devoured. ^_^

Between some very exciting industry news, the culmination of our SBG Cafe Press competition, a must have ‘bargain of 2008’ Katana offer, and the usual mix of fun and mayhem, I’m pretty sure (or at least I hope) you’ll find something to both entertain and inspire you.


4. COLLECTORS CORNER: Special Announcement
6. VIDEO OF THE MONTH – ‘Reclaiming the blade’ (trailer)


October saw 6 new reviews added to the site, including 3 Windlass medieval and dark age swords, the Cheness Ayame, the DSA Dark Age sword and the Valiant Armoury Signature series Castile.

I was hoping to get in a few more, but the opportunity to offer what I think is quite possibly the best deal of 2008 for Katana enthusiasts, as well as reformatting and repopulating the Official SBG Merchandise Cafe Press store with many of the entries of our most recent competition caused me to get a little sidetracked (more on both of these things shortly).

Naturally, I will be adding the other reviews and more over the course of November, so to read the latest additions and keep abreast of new reviews and articles as they are added – be sure to visit the SBG News section or better yet – subscribe to the RSS feed for up to the minute additions.


The amount of quality entries was astounding! I really had no idea that we had so many skilled graphic designers in the SBG Community!

But the time has come for me to pick the winners, and with the number and the quality of entries – it has been no easy task, let me tell you that...!

So without any further ado - our first place prize position goes to (drumroll)...


– for his last minute design ‘Caution, SBG member at work’ (as well as the most entries overall)

Café Press Winner

For his efforts Bishop will be getting his choice of ANY sword at the SBG Sword Store valued at $300 or less (Bishop, your email on how to claim your prize is on the way shortly!).

The two runners up for the $100 Gift vouchers weren’t far behind though, with one being awarded to JohnErickson for his hilarious work ‘Sword Fighting 101’ and the other to Katanado for his ‘objects in mirror are closer than they appear’

Thanks to everyone else who contributed, I’ll be adding as many of the designs as possible to the store over the next few weeks. I really wish that I had been able to offer a prize for everyone who entered, but I guess that since the proceeds from the sales of the cafe press items this original artwork will adorn will be used to create a prize pool for future giveaways, by contributing anything everyone WILL win in the long run (not to sound sappy there, but it is true!).

Anyhow, if you want to check out how the designs are taking shape into products so far – or better yet, buy one for yourself, please visit our cafe press store below...!


Despite the doom and gloom in the world economy, and despite the fact that many sword companies and vendors are definitely struggling to stay afloat – it certainly isn’t all bad news on the sword industry news front.

Indeed, as I believe I have mentioned before, the competition to create the best possible bang for your buck sword is intensifying to fever pitch - which has seen some sword makers go back to the drawing board and to streamline their operations to be as ‘lean and mean’ as possible – case in point, Valiant Armoury.


As many of you know, Sonny Suttles from Valiant Armoury had created a whole plethora of new swords since he took over, including Chinese, Japanese and medieval designs. However just recently he decided that the best way to move his company forward is to focus on what he is doing best – and that is the exciting medieval swords being produced in collaboration with Gus Trim and Christian Fletcher.

To this end Sonny has decided to wind up production of all swords except the Valiant Armoury originals and the Atrim/CF designs, which has caused him to liquidate a small number of high quality Katana that he was originally planning to sell at the $699 price point - for just $299.99 SHIPPED right here at SBG Sword Store!


The Tinker Pearce Longswords, after initially being rejected by the man himself, have been reworked to his satisfaction and the first (small) batch has been sent out to retailers.

While it is still around 2-3 months before they will be available in any quantity, the good news is that they are up to standard and a few will be making their way around the place to purchase, though it is still too early to tell exactly WHO is stocking the first batch yet.

Tinker Pearce Longsword Disassembled

Click here for the full article.


The long awaited Cheness 9260 Tanto is only weeks away now, and after seeing a sneak preview myself, I must admit – they definitely look like they will have been worth the wait...

A very unique design, and a perfect companion to the Tenchi Katana and Wakizashi Daisho set, click here for some specs and to get an idea of what to expect.

To stay on top of developments in the sword industry as they happen, be sure to check the SMG Newsfeed often - or better yet, use the RSS feed to get announcements in your RSS reader.


Dan Dacombe Dan won’t be joining us this month, but he has a very good reason…!

Dan and his wife are preparing for the arrival of their first child! I’m sure he will be sharing more about this in due course on the forums, but in the meantime – Congratulations are in order!

Best of luck Dan, we’ll keep your seat here warm until you get back. ^_^


Bargain Katana or...?
I always get a lot of emails asking about Ryanswords – so what do the SBG forumites think? A bargain or...

Darksword Free Dagger Promotion with every backorder
It’s on again – and the production run is closer than ever before. Contact me via PM or email if you are interested..

What to do with your Katana if EVERYTHING is loose?
It does happen with production Katana from time to time. So what are the solutions (other than sending it back for a replacement?)

Shootermikes European Sword Cutting Primer
A video tutorial by Shootermike Harris on how to cut with a straight bladed European Sword (yes, it does take some getting used to).


The November vid of the month is a trailer for what must be the most anticipated sword documentary of recent years – Gatalia Films Reclaiming the Blade.

Featuring the last recorded footage of the late sword historian Hank Reinhardt as well as the works of John Clements from the ARMA, and a veritable who’s who list of medieval sword re-constructionists and experts – this work is so much more than a mere documentary, it is a project designed to reclaim the lost arts of the Western martial art tradition.

While no firm release date has yet been mentioned, this short 2 minute trailer suggests that it isn’t that far off now...

Youtube vid of the Month

You Tube Video of the Month

For more information, visit the reclaiming the blade website here:


A selection of hot product discounts and clearouts from our affiliated vendors. Grab a bargain and support SBG at the same time!


Ok, now this really is something special for all you Katana lovers out there...

As I mentioned, Sonny Suttles from Valiant Armoury has decided to focus his attention on the medieval sword market – but before he made this decision he produced a beautiful line of High quality, 1060 carbon steel differentially hardened Katana with solid iron fittings that were to have a retail price tag of $699...

With his change of focus, and needing the money back to re-invest into the Practical and Signature Medieval lines, Sonny asked me if I would like to offer these blades to the SBG community at a fraction of their true value.

Naturally, even though the deal was exceptional - I had to see and try out one of these swords for myself first – and after doing so I must say, this really is a huge opportunity to snatch up a Katana of astounding beauty and functionality for less than what it would normally WHOLESALE for...

Valiant Armoury 1601 Katana

Until stocks last, the price on these swords will be an unheard of US$299.99 (with FREE SHIPPING in the USA, $26 to Canada, $35 to Europe and $59 to everywhere else!). Don’t miss out, understandably they have been selling VERY fast since I put them in the store a few days ago and the small amount available will almost certainly be sold out within a week at the MOST...

Hope you all had a great Halloween! And remember, NOW is the time to buy all those unused pumpkins... Hehe...

See you all next time!

Paul Southren

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