Is Ritter Steel a good company?

by Ryan Goeing

QUESTION: I'm thinking of buying a rosewood shirasaya & wakizashi made by Ritter Steel. I believe it's an American company however they say their swords are hand made.

I found the sword on a web site called "thesteelsource" The sword will be mostly display, however I would like to know that I could use it for cutting if I wish. If not I was hoping someone would be able to point me in the right direction, and not towards the musashi rosewood shirasaya.

ANSWER: Hi Ryan,

The jury is out on Rittersteel - mostly because they really are not so popular...

The swords are actually made in the Philippines, and tend to be very big and heavy. I have tried emailing Rittersteel before and so have some guys I know to find out more about them, but there has never been any response.

As to other recommendations, it really depends on what you are looking for and your budget. The Musashi one is the best IMHO...


- Paul

Comments for Is Ritter Steel a good company?

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about rittersteel....
by: dragonHawk


I'd like to add that I have had the unpleasent misfortune to handle some rittersteel swords. They are thick, to heavey either in the tip or handle, and are plain ugly IMO. I'v had a couple come into my shop for maintance/repairs, and some seem built decently, and others feel like cheap fleamarket junk. Knights Edge is the only place I have seen selling this brand. I'd stay away from them and look elseware for a blade.


by: ronin

I was one of the lucky custemers of ritter steel, that was so wonderfuly ripped off because they decided to tell me at the last secound that my order would take another six weeks added on to the six weeks that I had already waited. Here's some advice to any one buying a sword or dagger or katana from ritter steel, don't buy it from them. You can go to other stores localy and see your options, instead of buying from these liars. good luck friend,

what about ...
by: Anonymous sells some ritter steel products. I was thinking about buying a celtic flame dagger , though after reading this i'm not sure.
It just seems that reputable dealer like kultofathena wouldn't carry their products if they are really that bad.
i dont know. im still deciding .
Problem is there is no other reputable site that sells this dagger.
Anyway, for katanas, shirasayas, etc.. definitely Musashi is the best for the low price.

Ritter Steel
by: Atamisc

A while ago i baught a ritter steel "soul of Samurai wakizashi. for the smaller of the two "soul of Samurai" set, it weighed more than it should have and was heavy toward the tip. It was sharp, and still is, but when i used it to cut through some corn stalks in place of tatami, the blade became slightly bent, as if it could not hold up to the stress of a bundle of three corn stalks. I would say it looks nice as a decorative piece with it's ebony and brass handle, but for functionality, i would have to rate it maybe a 1 1/2 stars out of five.

p.s. it says in the Knights Edge magazine that i baught the sword from that the sword is hand forged carbon steel, but it was plain to see that it was machine made with the defined grooves from a press roller or orther machinery. i would say there isn't the full truth in advertising either.


Not bad
by: Avery

I bought the colada broadsword rapier by them,from Koa,there not bad for the price.its strong,durable,comes moderately sharp,but it's a tad blade heavy.

My $.02 on Ritter Steel as owner of past world-wide weaponry business
by: Tim Sperling

My review is 15 years old unfortunately but I actually just randomly Googled them on my phone to see if they were still in business and saw this discussion.

I owned and operated Sperling Weaponry which at one point in time was so well advertised and known online that I had a guy from Denmark order a 46 lb. Ring-mail hauberk from me even after I warned him shipping would be like $200 (probably 400 today!), I was surprised there wasn't some sort of arms and armor shop up there in viking central but that's just an example but again, it's been 15 years since I last bought or sold any Ritter Steel products so I can't say anything about what they may be doing right now but just wanted to put in 1 good word about them.

I could be remembering wrong but I believe they were supposed to be a family business like mine (Sperling Weaponry) and that the Ritter family made all their weapons and products by hand on their island they owned privately in the Canary islands. I could be wrong but that's what I had read or heard back when I dealt with them. I sold so many swords to so many people and 99 out of 100 people could not physically wield any real-spec combat ready historically accurate or at least real weight, length, materials, grip sizes, etc. I see a lot of "oh its so tip-heavy" or "unbalanced" when I know for a fact through years and years of personal experience from a teenaged weapon enthusiast to a globally recognized weaponry business owner that regular people are never going to be ready to handle a legitimate combat ready sword especially a 1-hand viking or crusader type sword.

Even a good samurai sword with a 32-38" blade and 42-48" length so 10" of handle to help balance and handle it and a middle-of-the-road blade weight no one will be able to swing it around with authority, everyone ends up swinging one and then looking like a bowler that got their fingers stuck in the bowling ball and getting yanked around after it because it simply takes immensely strong wrists and forearms and everything else really but to an insane extent that literally requires years to develop.

So that's my response to 99 out of 100 people who have ever called any weapon too heavy or too tip-heavy as if they know anything about anything.

Now the Ritter swords I own still to this day are both 1 of 200 I believe it might actually be only 100 made not 200 but I am erring on the side of caution. I have a lion heart crusader English broadsword and a hand-and-a-half-sword that I could probably never physically use single-handedly personally. They are as shiny and perfect today as the day they arrived approximately 15 years ago. I've been set armorer for multiple shorts and indie films that have featured those exact swords and they haven't even picked up a fingerprint.

Obviously I make sure to clean them after anyone has handled them but these things are absolutely solid. The steel is just intimidatingly solid and thick as hell just as any true sword meant for life and death mortal combat hundreds of years ago would have been.

There are nearly flawlessly carved bloodgrooves and fullers and yes they are absolutely machine assisted but there's a human hand running the machine which is absolutely still hand-made by any standard so no one should be accusing them of mass-producing their swords just because they're perfect. They're not a giant car company or medical robot factory no machine is making those weapons. Humans use machines yes, if they didn't it would cost $3000 a piece in man-hours and materials.

So take every review with a grain of salt, including this one (again, I haven't dealt with them in around 15 years) but literally almost all of the bad reviews right before this are probably based on one of the dumb rookie mistake complaints I just listed.

But when in doubt don't ask random strangers on a message board call the company! I'd call the place you're trying to actually buy it from because they will absolutely help you in any way to spend money with them, if you want more info try contacting Ritter or find a better place to research them because hardly anyone knows what they're talking about online about anything period. But when in doubt just buy something else. Look for terms like "battle ready", "live steel", "high carbon spring steel" (or something close to that) and even "SCA approved" for the LARP regulation specs.

Research the brand name, know your steel! If it's any kind of stainless steel or all polished to a mirror finish or any sort of actual licensed official movie replica then it's absolutely NOT for playing with. Just for looks. Any real weapon will absolute make it very clear that it is there to be used and abused. Like my Ritter swords, a lot of them will not be sharp but they won't be flat or rounded edges either they will just be like a real sword a blacksmith made and didn't sharpen yet because they assume you won't actually be using it for blood sports. A sharp edge is common on samurai swords (aka ninja swords even tho thats not a thing) but katanas, wakizashis, tantos, etc., usually do come sharp, even the junky wall hangars actually but the good stuff that is sharp usually says to use those cutting mats or whatever and will usually say what NOT to hit with them too.

But do your homework and look into it and don't trust the ignorant masses to base any decisions on. Talk to the right people.

Hope this helps, best of luck!

Tim Sperling

demo sword
by: Mike

I had bought a Ritter Steel katana to practice with. It is heavy and sharp enough to do serious damage. Its a pretty good sword for what I paid. Tends to get peoples attention who see it. You have to be careful when swinging this thing.

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