Is the cold steel hand and a half sword a worthy purchase

by greg moore
(wichita kansas)

QUESTION: I have had good experinces with Cold Steel knives and I like the quality and price of all their pieces but the reviews are few and far between. I am trying to decide if I should buy the Grosse Messer or the Hand-Half or maybe the Scottish Basket Hilt.

I also like the Greek Hoplite sword by Windlass Arms. I can afford only one at the moment and I am leaning towards the messer or the hoplite, however it is for lack of reviews on any of the others. I am loking for something that cuts well but I hear bad things about both makers.

I worry less about weight than I am of servicabilty. I also have heard that Windlass has a tendency to discontinue peoduct and so I dont know if I should just go ahead and to get the hoplite sword before they stop making it.

Also I worked on a surveyor's party and we used machetes everyday. While working in the swamps of south georgia we would sharpen our "knives" at least once a day. Is there a simalarity between sharpening a machete and a sword. I am sorry about having some much to say but I really am very interesed in starting a collection and i am more than a bit daunted by the variety of accounts.

ANSWER: Hi Greg,

I've heard of problems with the Cold Steel Hand and a Half (indeed, we have at least 4 questions about it so far on the ask a question page) - and also with the Gross Messer. The Messer has been fixed, but I'm not sure about the Hand and a Half yet - someone who asked about it here is planning on asking Cold Steel to see if any changes have been made to the design..

The Hoplite is a solid little sword - and has been around for years, so isn't likely to be discontinued soon (though true enough - you never know with Windlass. The running joke at SBG is that everytime we give them a good review, they discontinue it..! Lol).

As to servicability - a good sword doesn't need to be resharpened for quite some time under normal circumstances. But the principle is more or less the same and your experience with the Machete will stand you in good stead.

Hope this helps.

- Paul

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