The Medieval Knights Sword of William Marshal

The William Marshal Broadsword (2000-GT) is in many ways representative of a typical one handed medieval knights sword.

This should come as no real surprise as Sir William Marshal was himself one of England's finest and most loyal Knights, however there has been some discrepancies as to exactly how historically accurate this sword said to be a replica of his own really is.

Indeed, in a review of this particular medieval knights sword over at My Armoury.com, the author Bjorn Hellqvist (who has handled firsthand the original blade it was based upon) has his doubts, noting many points of divergence from the original.

But he also states:

"To be fair, the 2000-GT actually handles pretty well - better than some other maker's single-handers." - Bjorn Hellqvist

Considering the price point of this medieval knights sword (typically around the US$250 mark, though with a recommended retail price of US$319) - and that Bjorn usually handles semi-custom made replica swords (unlike the William Marshal, which is a production piece), the reality is that this sword is actually pretty good value for money.

For the average medieval knights sword enthusiast, the most common complaint about this sword (and the rest of the Hanwei Forges' line of medieval swords) is that while the blade is not quite as sharp as it could be. And indeed, this sentiment was echoed in the following review by SBG Sword Forumite Red John, who otherwise found this sword to be a very strong and well put together, if somewhat plain piece...


Hanwei William Marshal Sword Review

Review by Redjohn, Arizona, USA


Steel 

Weight 

Point of Balance

Price Range

5160 Spring Steel

2lbs 9oz

7.5" from guard

US$200 to $249

This sword was supposed to be mine, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but at some point in the gift giving process I presented it to my wife with another sword I had bought for her, also by Hanwei, the fantasy Japanese styled Sentinel...

I don't quite regret this decision, as she just completely fell in love with it on first sight, and it is in our house...but still...

First Impressions

This impression of plainness vanished upon drawing the sword, as the blade was beautifully polished, with the groove in the middle of the sword shined to a mirror finish, and once held in the hand it simply felt good to hold.

The wrap of the hilt was extremely tight, even griping the sword and twisting my hand as hard as I could produced no movement of the wrap at all, and it possessed enough of a pattern that it was not likely to become slick to hold even with the sweatiest of palms.

The pommel cap, while unadorned, blends nicely into the grip.

The only complaint I'd have would be where the end was peened over to hold everything together, it is rough in feel and appearance, and seems almost like an afterthought compared to how well put together the rest of this medieval knights sword looks.

Cutting Ability

I would have preferred a sharper edge on this sword, but my previous cutting experience is with a Katana, and I may be spoiled by having such a razor edge on my sword.

That said, my wife once again lined up with our milk jug targets, and after the obligatory practice swings, made a sweeping stroke that produced one of the most beautiful hums I'd ever heard from a sharp shiny object as it parted the ambient atmosphere, and easily produced two plastic objects from one.

She reported that she could feel more of an impact with the target than she did with the Sentinel, however given the greater thickness of the broadsword over the Sentinel I found this to be unsurprising.

The Marshall easily performed a couple of more cuts on the milk jugs, and I decided to up the ante just a tad with this medieval knights sword.

We had a couple of very narrow juice containers made with a much thicker and harder plastic than our previous victims, and I set one up.


Some replicas of a medieval knights swords just don't cut bottles well. But that does not make them useless - many are very durable and do better on heavier targets.

The blade made its glorious hum as it whipped through the air, impacted the bottle...and batted it across the lawn.

At this point I feel almost obligated to make excuses for this sword, the target was pretty small, very tough, and my lady love is inexperienced in swinging a sword. On inspection of the bottle, the sword did cut into it, however the result was not what I'd hoped for from a blade that I'd honestly have no qualms about swinging at a tree stump.

Conclusion

I like this sword, I really do, its failure to make that one cut aside, it is a beautifully constructed weapon, feels very tough and solid in the hand.

I would still like to find a way to put a better edge on it if I could find a way to do so without fear of ruining the blade, and I do plan on having my wife try it on other targets some time in the future to see how it performs on something more solid than a water filled plastic container.

For someone who is into European weaponry and looking for a good medieval knights sword I would suggest this weapon, but for someone who is used to the unsurpassed cutting ability of some of the Katana out there I would caution them not to expect that same performance from this particular broadsword.


PROS

  • Very strong and decent handling sword
  • A good replica of the historical original

CONS

  • Has an edge, but needs to be sharpened properly before using for cutting practices
  • A bit on the plain side for it's price point

WHERE TO BUY

The William Marshal sword has a recommended retail price of US$440 - a hundred dollars increase since it first came out, which is - to be completely honest - rather over the top for this piece...

However, the best price I have seen it online for is US$264.95 here at Kult of Athena, which is much more reasonable and makes it a worthwhile buy.


I hope this information on this replica medieval Knights sword has been helpful. To return to Affordable Replicas of Medieval Swords from The Medieval Knights Sword of William Marshal Reviewed, click here

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