When it comes to medieval swords, fortunately there is a massive and
ever changing range to choose from (in terms of sheer popularity, they
are second only to the Japanese Katana).
But in our US$300 price range (ignoring the purely decorative pieces that is) I think we can more or less narrow down the selection to three main categories of functional replicas.
The first are relatively cheap battle ready replicas just under the $200 price point, the second category are priced between $200 to $500 and are basically either one handed knightly arming swords or - the most popular - longswords. And the final category are big, mean and heavy two handed great swords..
Beyond this price point, historical accuracy becomes paramount - and we touch on these swords briefly too.
So without any further ado, let us begin our foray with the most affordable, many of which are surprisingly good quality..
In our quest to find some decently priced, battle ready swords it should come as no surprise that we can quickly discount the typical stainless steel "medieval" swords commonly available online for around the $50 price point.
Most of these are medieval in name only and are actually more like decorative fantasy pieces than anything else, with all their inherent weaknesses..
To be able to find truly battle ready swords (click the link if you are unfamiliar what to look for in a real sword) at a decent price point, two companies seem to stand out - both from India.
Deepeeka and Windlass Steelcrafts.
But dig deeper and you will quickly see that apart from their country of manufacture, they have very little in common as you will clearly see from our testing and reviews..
Clearly, Windlass Steelcrafts comes out head and shoulders as the better choice suggesting that even when looking to buy swords for under $200, you get what you pay for..
Take a tour with us of their Atlanta based, castle like showroom or click the link below to find out why..
There were primarily two types of medieval swords used by European gentry - the single handed arming sword and the longsword - also known as a "bastard" sword or "hand and a half" sword depending on which era you are looking back at them from..
Arming swords were basically designed to be used primarily with a shield, though using them alone was not unheard of - and were the earliest type of medieval sword, coming in many different styles and subtle configurations.
In our $200 to $500 price point, quality and performance varies - some are designed to be beaters, others quite refined. And none truly stand out, which one to choose comes down largely to a matter of budget and personal taste.
When it comes to longswords, for a time there was a clear winner - and that was the now discontinued Valiant Armoury Practical Longsword (discontinued because, essentially, it was too expensive to continue to produce at the price it once sold for).
While no sword quite surpassed it, some came close.
And while it didn't get off to the best start, there is one that has stood the test of time. And takes the crown..
Two new contenders for tough, entry level medieval swords have entered the market.
The first, Ronin Katana (as their namesake suggests), are famous for their range of tough, no-nonsense Japanese Dojo swords but using their extensive network of Chinese based sword forges recently branched out into the world of European swords. The results have been quite exceptional and they have taken what is possible to a whole new and exciting level.
See my hands on review and testing below for the full story..
The second recent entry to this market is from Windlass Steelcrafts working in collaboration with John Clements from the ARMA (Association for Renaissance Martial Arts) to produce the "Battlecry" series.
While the blackened, stonewashed blades (done as a cost cutting measure instead of polishing them to keep the price down) may not appeal to everyone, they are emininetly practical and well worth a serious look.
Click here for our overview of the Battlecry Series and decide for yourself if these are the medieval swords for you.
The third main category may not always be the most historically accurate. But they are certainly extremely popular - and is of course Two handed great swords in various shapes and configurations.
While our definition of a two handed sword may at times be less than scholarly, the one thing all of these swords have in common is DURABILITY.
The stand out sword for me personally is a little hard to place as it is rarely available due to an erratic production schedule. So if you see the Generation 2/Legacy Arms Excalibur sword - grab it with both hands and pull it from the stone!
Otherwise though, it is again a matter of budget, availability and personal taste.
Get a big picture overview and see for yourself.
For some people, the most important factor when selecting their swords is strict historical accuracy: not just in appearance, but in handling and design.
And the general consensus in the sword community is if you want a sword that looks, handles and feels as close to the originals as possible (and have the money to spend) - most people in the know recommend Albion Armorers
"These medieval swords are truly as close as you can get to
the real thing (without going custom or buying an actual antique) and
are very popular with well to do history buffs..."
While the construction methods may be very modern, each of their medieval swords is the result of many countless hours of museum research and testing to produce a sword that weighs, handles and performs the same as the original antiques they are based upon.
Naturally, swords like this command quite a premium, with price tags for their next Generation medieval swords starting at around US$650 and going up well in excess of the US$1000 mark (even the simple, rather plain scabbards cost more than most of the swords reviewed above!).
But THE other name for high performance swords is undoubtedly the legendary Angus 'Gus' Trim (who used to work with Albion in the early days incidentally). Between these two, the market for high end swords is their playground.
Read the reviews below to find out why..
You can find a whole host of great information on mid to high level production and custom made medieval weapons and armour at MyArmoury.com including numerous cool articles, hands on reviews, wallpapers, forums and much, much more.
Highly recommended and a very nicely laid out and professional site.
It's also recommended that you check out anything written by the late great master sword Scholar, Ewart Oakeshott - in particular his signature work "Records of the Medieval Sword".
Finally, we have a whole plethora of information and additional user submitted reviews on our very own SBG sword forum - be sure to drop by, I think you might like your stay..
I hope this information on medieval swords has been helpful. To return to the SBG Homepage from Affordable Replicas of Medieval Swords, click here