Jun 01, 23 11:48 PM
Balaur Arms - Manufactured in: India & China, designed by Kult of Athena
Steels used: 5160 Spring Steel (previously EN-45)
Price Range: $199 to $359
Official Website: None
Balaur Arms is one of Kult of Athena’s house developed brands.
Founded in 2018 in partnership with KOA’s designers and sword experts, and working with established sword forges across India and China, the end result of this collaboration is a well regarded budget line of swords specifically made to address the concerns of modern sword collectors. As a result, Balaur Arms have quickly established themselves as a serious contender for extremely affordable, yet surprisingly well made line of medieval replica swords.
Designed by the founder of Kult of Athena, who drew on decades of experience from having handled literally thousands of swords over the years, they kept the best elements, discarded the worst, and created a line of swords that tick ALL the boxes including (but not limited to):
All for around $200 to $300 on average..!
In a nutshell, these swords have been made to specifically address the most common concerns and complaints of modern sword collectors. As a result, Balaur Arms have quickly established themselves as a serious contender for an extremely affordable, yet surprisingly well made line of medieval replica swords.
There is no specific warranty offered by the manufacturer so any issues are to be handled directly by the vendor. But it's KoA, so your in safe hands..
Balaur Arms are primarily well know for their range of European medieval swords - namely a selection of Viking Swords to arming swords and longswords from the high medieval period.
In addition to their bread and butter medieval and European sword line, they have recently branched out into entry level Japanese Katana with differentially hardened T10 tool steel blades.
Currently Balaur Arms swords are made at several different forges, including those of Windlass Steelcrafts in India and LK Chen in China among others.
While the location and specializtions of each forge is different, the blades are primarily made from quality 5160 spring steel and to keep labor costs down, the forge uses such equipment as CNC lathes, power hammers and other cost/time saving measures.
Swords are well tempered (to a HRC of 53, which is ideal for a medieval sword) and exhibit excellent flexibility as clearly shown in the picture to the left (though we do not recommend frequent flex testing - doing it too much will cause micro cracks no matter how well the sword is made and what brand makes it. Swords were originally designed for fighting, not bending in some kind of medieval strong man competition, and were often bent and folded when offered to the dead),
Below is a video showing the time saving (and thus, money saving) use of a Power hammer. And before you get carried away and say "that's not traditional! What about a hammer and anvil?" hate to burst your bubble, but Power hammers are used to make Nihonto in Japan worth many thousands of dollars - so if it is good enough for heirloom quality traditional Japanese swords, it is certainly good enough for budget sword lines..!
Most of the reported issues on Balaur Arms are largely to be expected for swords at this kind of price point. That is to say, because the blades are made by hand hammer marks, uneven grinds, etc are par for the course (and actually, much closer to the historical originals because of it!).
Some customers find the makers mark, a 'B' stamped on every blade, to be bothersome, others do not really mind - so it is nor an issue per se, but customers should be aware in case they find a makers mark to be somehow distasteful.
Similarly, there are some people who dislike the free scabbards included with the sword line as they are a little rough here and there - however to significantly improve a scabbard adds significant cost to the swords overall price (historically scabbards often cost around half the cost of the sword itself - so if extrapolated to include Balaur arms, instead of being $199 they would be closer to $300 if the scabbard was upgraded).
As the brand Balaur Arms is owned by and made to exact specifications of Kult of Athena, they remain the sold distributor,
But unlike many sold distributors who price gouge you because they own a monopoly - KoA's philosophy has always been "We work hard to keep our prices low, and try to sell items for what we think they should sell for, not as much as we could possibly get."
Take one look at the swords, compare them to other similar brand, and you can see they have not deviated from this policy whatsoever...
For the full Balaur Line Up At KoA (expanding all the time) click the link below:
I hope this information on Balaur Arms has been helpful. To return to the Sword Manufacturers Dossier from Balaur Arms, click here