Saberforge Review

by Dan Dacombe

I loved my first Saberforge, a Champion-class Medium-Blue LED “Disciple” (reviewed here). I’ve had it for less than a year but I still bring it out and swing it around from time to time. Initially I had only planned to get the one lightsaber – after all, why would you need more than one? It’s just impractical. Just like swords. You really only need one sword, because you can only use one at a time. Right?

Right?

Right. Well...

In any case, the more I kept up with the activities of Saberforge (and the more I kept in contact with the wonderful people on the Saberforge forum) the more my eyes kept being drawn back to the other sabers on the website. I also recalled that, once upon a time, I used to play the “Jedi Knight” series of video games on PC – and always dual-wielded lightsabers when the option presented itself. I took a look back at the old game and found a screenshot from when I used to play…

So. Clearly, I needed an “off-hand” lightsaber. And while I was at it, why not make it yellow?

Arrival/First Impressions

I chose the Saberforge Apprentice-class hilt “Bastion (see previous review for an explanation of different tiers of lightsaber at Saberforge), mostly because I liked the little “windows” in the emitter portion of the lightsaber. After a short wait, the saber arrived packed securely in a USPS shipping box just like the first one had.

I was impressed again with the immediate feel of the Saberforge. It has a rightness to it, a sensation in your hand that gives you pause every time you turn it on – like maybe, this time, it might be real. Yes, that is almost certainly the dorky fanboy in me talking, but you can really tell the care and attention to detail that goes into every Saberforge hilt.

Handle

The Bastion hilt is a shorter handle than the other Saberforge I’ve handled – in fact, it was the shortest lightsaber handle I’ve ever seen in person, even compared to the toy ones my kids have. This isn’t a negative, though, just an observation – and as an “off-hand” weapon, it’s honestly pretty ideal.

The handle has interesting and distinctive lines, and the small “windows” in the emitter are an interesting and eye-catching addition. Unlike some of their other models the Bastion has no handle wrap. This makes it (in my opinion) look significantly more like the lightsabers from the movies than the Saberforge Disciple that I own.

Lightsabers were (in fiction of course) constructed by a Jedi when they reached a certain level of training. The casings for the inner workings of the sabers were made not only out of “lightsaber parts” but out of whatever a young Jedi might have to hand – pipes, scrap metal, even the handlebar from a speeder bike. The Bastion looks to me like something a young Jedi would have made by re-purposing a tool of some kind – that it could be easily disguised as the tool it once was, and so slip past guards or defenses undetected.

Blade/LED

Just like the previous review, the blade is 32” long and frosted white. When lit, the colour fills it with a rich sun-yellow hue.

The LED is bright, though perhaps just because of the different colour it doesn’t seem to be as bright as the blue. The LED is the same intensity, so it probably has something to do with the colour.

When the lights are off you can really see how intense the brightness is, especially through the emitter windows.

Sound/Electronics

I chose the standard “light side” sound font, probably because I preferred the way it sounded – although I do like the “Crimson” sound font, I don’t want to sound too evil when I’m swinging this thing around…

This lightsaber seems to be a bit less sensitive to make the “clash” sound than the first one I received, but adjustments can be made via the on-board menu which is accessible for every owner – you simply need to hold down the button when the saber is booted up but not yet activated.

The speaker is, as always, concealed in the bottom of the handle. The Bastion’s electronics appear to be made to Saberforge’s exacting standards and after a couple weeks of use show no signs of issues.

Handling/Use

The Bastion is light, agile, and perfectly balanced to be used in a single hand. The handle felt comfortable in one hand, though you could choke up your grip to make room for two.

One small negative here – when holding it on one hand there is a comfortable and smooth space to naturally grip. The vertical ovals that run around the handle near the buttons are a bit sharp edged, so some handling with care is necessary – a bit of buffing with some sandpaper would probably take the edge off, but since I am not going to be using this one two handed I have no issues with it.

Blade on Blade Combat

Coming soon – with something special planned!

Extras

The Bastion came with a blade plug and kill key, as is standard with all Saberforge orders. However, the ones that arrived were quite unique looking.

First was the kill key – which like all Saberforge kill keys prevents power from continually draining the battery. This one has a small Saberforge logo on it – which I thought was a nice touch!

Next was the blade plug, which protects the LED when the lightsaber does not have the blade in it. The Saberforge standard blade plug is a pretty simple affair. This one is… different.

The blade plug has an unusual, futuristic design going for it. I actually really like it – it looks like it was made on another planet. If Saberforge was going for a “this is from outer space” look, they really succeeded.

There is also a covertech wheel, which lets you attach the saber to your belt. A very handy feature!

Conclusion

While we at SBG are still just dipping our toes into the world of gadgets, geeks, and replica lightsabers, I have to be very honest – more experiences like this will keep us there for good. Saberforge has consistently put out good products that impress the hell out of us, and the Bastion is no exception.

While one of their “entry level” hilts, the Bastion exceeded expectations. From fit and finish to handling and electronics, everything was as advertised and as expected. While this hilt did have some sharp edges in parts, we had no complaints overall - it was a great piece.

As the next Star Wars movie is due, we expect that Star Wars will be on everyone’s mind. We hope you enjoyed this latest Saberforge review – and you can count on more Saberforge reviews to come!

Saberforge.com


I hope this Saberforge Review has been helpful. To return to Decorative and Functional Fantasy Swords from Saberforge Review, click here

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