The Albion Squire Line was this esteemed companies first foray into 'affordable swords for the beginner and re-enactor' - that is to say mid range ($450 to $600) rather than their usual high end production swords.
In this hands on impartial review, we look at what to expect from Albion at this new price point. Because clearly like all mid-range swords, to meet the demands of a lower price point, some corners need to be cut. But can the Albion Squire Line still maintain Albion's reputation for quality and perfection, or does their offering not really stand out from other similarly priced swords? Have a read and decide for yourself how successful, or not, they really were.
Review by SBG Forumite, The Mu
So I wanted to try an European sword for a change.
I've handled a few Windlasses briefly and that's it. I've owned only
katanas so this is my first European sword. I've been pondering for a
couple of years to get this particular sword, and now that I had some
extra money, I finally purchased it. Yay. There is something archetypal in Albion 13th C Knightly and I wanted something as basic
as can be. Of course I know there is no such thing as "basic" type. I
also wanted something with authentic handling and high quality, so
Albion was my choice. I think this is also a great piece for some
is Oakeshott type XII blade. It is still mainly a cutting sword, but it
has also effective thrusting capabilities. Thrusting capability was
needed because of improvements in armors of the time. XII has greater
profile taper than it's predecessors and fuller is shorter. This blade
type was in use from the 12th to the 14th centuries. I keep this part of
the review short, because I'm not an expert on the subject and I don't
want to just hastily copy and paste things from here and there. From
internet there can be easily found a few older but great reviews and
info of this sword.
this is the third and the last part of my Albion saga. I ordered a
sharp SL 13th C Knightly from Albion Europe in the beginning of October.
First they accidentally sent me an unsharpened version of the sword and
after I informed them of the error they sent me a replacement sword
asap. The replacement sword arrived quickly, but it was faulty (loose
pommel, gap between guard and handle etc.) so I had to ask them to send
me one more sword. They agreed to do so after their holidays. This time
they inspected the sword carefully and sent me pictures of it with
e-mail. Third sword was sent to me in 23th October so a 2-3 day delivery
time prolonged to a month, but I know they did all they could to fix
their errors as well and as fast as they could.
I'm just an ordinary amateur sword hobbyist. No bias. This is my first European style sword.
Packaging is again quite horrible. Two out of three styrofoam supports are out of place and the sword can move freely in the box. One small minus again because of sloppy packaging.
There are small cosmetic flaws
around the handle. The most noticeable problem is that the pommel isn't
aligned with the blade, it's quite noticeably twisted. And I hate to say
this but it's also loose. Just VERY little, but still loose. If I grip
the handle and pommel firmly and twist, the pommel moves just a little.
Very little. Finishing of the pommel and guard is different from the two
previous swords. Everything else seems OK but a big minus because of
the pommel issues.
Blade length: 80cm(31,5")
Overall length: 96cm(37,8")
Grip length: 10,5cm(4,134")
Weight: 1140g(2,513 lbs)
Statistics are pretty close to what they are at albion-europe.com. But there is 50g difference in weight. I think it's noticeable but I don't think it affects handling though.
Blade length: 79,5 cm
Overall length: 95,7 cm
Grip length: 10,8 cm
CoG: 11,7 cm
CoP: 50 cm
Weight: 1174 g
guard: 18,3 cm
blade thickness at guard: 5,2 cm
fuller length: 55,5 cm
Everything with the blade is tip top. Clean geometry, sharpening is OK and even, finishing is also even and decent. Love the blade, beautiful.
Handle on this particular sword is the best of the three swords. Great leather work and flawless shape. Firm and comfortable.
in all these three swords have been OK. Finishing on this one is a
little bit odd. I think they have left the surface in some places
looking as it would after casting (check the pics of the pommel too).
Surface is grainy. It actually looks OK but I doubt that it's meant to
be like this. Shape of the guard is simple, functional and nice looking.
the pommel is the biggest problem. It is twisted and slightly loose.
Finishing is odd the same way it is with the guard. Though cosmetic
flaws don't bother me. Pommel is also a different shape than it was with
the two previous swords. It tapers strongly on the sides. Actually, for
my taste, it looks and feels better though it's not symmetrical.
Price does not include Scabbard (Albion Scabbards are very basic, but cost almost as much as the Albion Squire Line Swords).
of this sword is just beautiful. As I've mentioned previously. So
effortless and vivid to swing even though it's quite a big sword for a
fellow my size(166cm, 60kg). I've never handled an European style sword
properly before these three swords, but right away it felt completely
natural to wield it. Just amazing. Love it.
is my first time cutting with European style sword so I'm doing just
basic cuts. I'm cutting soaked newspaper rolls (4-8cm thick). So, the
targets are pretty average.
Here's a pic of results:
went pretty well. Only couple of failed cuts. I have lot to learn but I
think the sword succeeded well. I think it could be a little bit
This has been an
interesting experience. I had a chance to handle three Albion SL 13th C
Knightlys and see the differences between the individuals. I'm still
worried about the QC issues. I wouldn't like to believe that this is how
all the Squire Line swords are. Please test the pommels of your Albion
SLs and tell me if you find any loose pommels. I won't return this one
because they inspected it before shipping and approved it. If the
slightly loose pommel starts to bother me I'll just weld it in place or
something... I'm no longer disappointed, just surprised. This is an
amazing sword if you get one without issues. I love this sword despite
I won't be getting friends with what I'm going to say but I'm going to be honest. I wouldn't pay this price for this particular sword again. But, I would still recommend it to anyone interested in historically accurate one-handed European sword. It is a good sword and I suppose Albion swords are usually of better quality than the previous two that I got.
I hope this review of the Albion Squire Line Swords has been helpful.
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