Functional Two Handed Sword Replicas

15th century, 11ft tall sculpture depicting St George Slaying the Dragon with an Oakeshott Type XVII Great Sword

When you think of a two handed sword, most people usually conjures up an image of a very durable, powerful cutting blade - the kind of sword used by St George to Slay a Dragon like the in picture above. 

Or perhaps they recall that infamous (and rather gory) scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail with the sword of the invincible Black Knight..

'Tis but a scratch..

If you are a fan of big, bad two handed swords like these - the biggest concern when buying a replica is if it will hold up to actual use, for the bigger the sword - the more things that can go wrong..

Luckily, it isn't too hard to find a decent battle ready version of this popular design. The problem is narrowing it down!

So let's take a closer look - first by defining what a two handed sword actually is..

What is a two handed sword?

Sounds like a stupid question I know. But as many medieval swords can be referred to by many different names (i.e. the term 'longsword' can and was used to refer to what is also called a 'hand and a half sword', 'bastard sword' and even a rapier - and only appeared in the 20th century, etc) and quite a few, including a longsword, can be classified as a two handed sword, a definition is in order.

This is a true two handed sword - a photo of an actual German antique "Bihänder" (two hander) from the late renaissance period. The sword can ONLY be used with two hands, and was used more like a halberd than like a sword.

If you want a sword like this one, often called a 'Greatsword' - then there is basically only one a couple of options..

Cold Steel Greatsword

It's big, bad and beefy. And actually fairly historically accurate. Anyone in the market for a Zweihander could do a lot worse. $399

Windlass Hero's Warsword

With a blade bigger than the whole length of most two handed swords, this sword is a monster and very affordable too. Loosely based on the historical 'Wallace' Sword. $256

Now if that is your definition of a two handed sword or Great Sword, this is where your search pretty much ends unless you are planning on spending over $1,000.

However, quite a few other sword types such as 'Swords of War' are clearly designed to be used with two hands on foot, but were also used with one hand from horseback.

Oakeshott included several of the swords in his sword typology that fit this definition of a two handed sword. Here are some of them:

Oakeshott Two Handed Swords of War

But as quite a few relatively inexpensive and affordable medieval themed two handed swords are not based on any particular historical sword or the Oakeshott typology - let's broaden the definition..

The SBG Definition of a two handed sword:

"A big, bad medieval styled sword that you NEED two hands to use the thing properly - and can take, and dish out, some SERIOUS abuse."

With this new definition, let's take a closer look at what else is there for the enthusiast who likes big, bad medieval swords - because there are quite a few to choose from, so let's look at each of the major sword forges to see what their offerings are in this broader category.

Paul Chens' Hanwei Forge

The first sword that fits our new, broader definition could perhaps and has been called a "hand and a half" sword (it's actually a Type XVIIa).

What this really means though is that you need that extra "half a hand", i.e. a second hand near the pommel to guide it, power it, and make the thing work.

Take a look at THIS sword and tell me that you could comfortably use it with a shield in your other hand...

Hand and a half? You definitely need to use TWO with this one..!

Yeah, you definitely need to use two hands for this sword. And the Hanwei 'Claymore' sword, well a Claymore was hardly a one handed sword either..

Both of these swords fit within the Oakeshott typology and are based on actual historical swords. So let's take a look at some reviews which represent a fairly broad chunk of swords in this category - with the XVIIa pictured above, a XIIa Claymore, a rare Type XX and slightly ahistorical type XIIa to get us started..

Hanwei Albrecht

Historically accurate, handles well and tough as nails. Pictures rarely do it justice to show how BIG it is really is. Just wish they would keep them in stock.. $289

Hanwei Claymore

Affordable, tough and well made - one of the best Scottish Great swords on the market, period. $259

Hanwei Mercenary Sword

The 'jewel in the junk' of a series some rather clunky beaters by Hanwei - it is actually a great example of a rarely reproduced Oakeshott blade type. $232

Hanwei Bastard Sword

The 'antiqued' version of this classic, slightly sinister looking Hanwei sword design. Another Hanwei that is a lot bigger in person than what the pictures suggest. $223

Ronin Katana

It sounds strange that a company called 'Ronin Katana' should make a range of affordable entry level medieval swords - but that is exactly what they have done. And the consensus in the sword collecting community is that they represent quite outstanding value for money and are well built, handle and cut well and historically plausible.

Here is their Two Handed Sword entry - a Type XIIa War Sword..

RK Model # 13 Crusader

A solid, well designed two handed sword based on swords of the Knights Templar. $350

Del Tin

In the early days, Del Tin used to be THE premier name for very strong and well made replica medieval swords (since 1965), but until recently the influx of other swords on the market and the 10 month wait period was not a good sign for this well regarded Italian company...

However, respected sword sellers Kult of Athena have recently brought them into the 21st century, stocking a wide range of Del Tin Swords at their usual low mark up prices. And now a whole new generation of sword enthusiasts can see what all the fuss was about - without the wait and without the hassle of importing them direct from Italy...

Del Tin Model 5155

Historically accurate and a typical example of a Del Tin. That is to say, excellent. $487

Generation 2/Legacy Arms

It is a sword brand with a bit of an identity crisis..And the products too, seem to be constantly evolving..Just look at the Black Prince, which when it first came out, looks nothing like it's current incarnation.

They are still changing, but we have one more review from them worth looking at..

Generation 2 Irish Sword

A great handling and nicely made Irish sword by Gen 2/Legacy Arms. $299.99

Darksword Armory

Like Generation2/Legacy Arms, there have been a lot of changes with the Darksword Armory line. And these refinements have not come cheap..

But when it comes to a hard core two handed sword, these are some of the best value for money swords out there..

Darksword Two Handed Gothic

A historically accurate, tough and attractive two handed late medieval Germanic Longsword with distinctive fish-tail pommel. Greatly improved and upgraded over the years. $600

Darksword Armory Templar

Attractive, tough and well made - but a tad on the heavy side. $600

Another two handed sword to consider is by the Herald Series, which is a line owned by Darksword but made in India to their specifications..

The line is pretty decent for the money, but does not really stack up compared to Darkswords own models.

Herald Series Two Hander

Looks good - but this DSA offshoot series is nowhere near as tough as a real Darksword blade. $325

There are other big, bad swords on the market, though the affordable ones all tend to be made by the manufacturers we have just discussed.

While they are not the cheapest medieval swords around, when it comes to big swords, you DON'T want to skimp out on price.

I hope this information on two handed swords has been helpful. To return to Affordable Replicas of Medieval Swords from The Best Two Handed Sword, click here

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