Windlass Viking Swords Comparative Review

For the money, Windlass Viking Swords are some of the best dollar for dollar value functional replicas on the market.

They are well tempered, well made and most handle quite well too.

In this comparative review we look at 3 of their most popular and long lasting models - the Sticklestad (one of my personal favorites), the Leuterit (which is the same sword the Gen 2 River Witham is based on) and the Ulfberht (click the links for the other full reviews of these swords on SBG).

From left: Sticklestad, Leuterit & Ulfberht Windlass Viking Swords

Read this quick review to get a sense of how each of these 3 Windlass Viking Swords compare to each other and see which one you like the most..


Windlass Viking Swords Comparative Review

Review by SBG member Alfacentori


Well I got home today and found my long awaited delivery, not one, not two, but three Windlass Viking swords!!

I didn't previously have any Viking swords, and keeping to the SBG theme of cheap but functional, I decided to splash my hard earned on a Windlass.

The problem was I could not decide which one.

About two and a bit weeks later, they were here, the Windlass Sticklestad, Windlass Leuterit, and Windlass Ulfberht.

Historical Overview

The Sticklestad is named after the battle of Stiklestad fought in 1030 in Norway, in which the king of Norway Olaf II was killed. It is not as far as I am aware however based on an historical blade.

The Leuterit sword is based on a famous Viking sword in the British Museum.

The Ulfberht is based on perhaps the most famous of all Viking sword types, the high carbon steel bladed Ulfberht swords. Made only in small numbers and of superior steel to other Viking blades the Ulfberht's were so desirable that even in Viking times they were copied by inferior sword makers.

Initial Impressions

The swords came in one box, and were spiral wrapped and surrounded by brown paper wrapping. The packing was good, and none of the swords were any worse for the journey they had made from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere.

After I got them unwrapped and cleaned up (all were well greased) my first impression was wow! All three looked great in the flesh, better than I expected.

Statistics

Sticklestad
Blade Length: 31 inches
Handle Length: 3 7/8 inches
Overall Length: 37 inches
POB (Point of Balance): 5 7/8 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz

Leuterit
Blade Length: 31 inches
Handle Length: 3 3/8 inches
Overall Length: 38 1/4 inches
POB (Point of Balance): 6 1/16 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 6 oz

Ulfberht
Blade Length: 30 1/4 inches
Handle Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 35 3/8 inches
POB (Point of Balance): 3 7/9 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz

The Sticklestad

This blade has the least character out of the three, but don't let that trick you into thinking it's no good, it's very good. It has a simple but elegant shape that looks the part.

The grip, like the scabbard, is wrapped in a felt like material with small brass inserts at each end, which although unusual at first doesn't feel to bad to hold. That said though, a nice leather grip would feel even better.

The guard is decorated with a pattern of almost runic patterns, like the rest of the sword its thin, light, and excellent.

As with the guard the pommel is decorated and of a three lobed type. No complaints here.

The scabbard, like the grip, is covered in felt material and is the best of the three swords for quality, and holds the sword nice and snug. All good.

The Leuterit

One word best describes the blade, fantastic. It is wide but surprisingly light, and comes to a nicely shaped point. This blade has the look of something designed for a real warrior.

The grip is unusual in that it is real wood held in place by silver studs. The grain of the wood is actually quite nice, not at all cheap looking like I was expecting. All in all very happy.

The guard is large but slender and decorated with bronze diamonds. The only slight gripe would be that the bronze colouring applied to the diamonds is a bit hit and miss.

The pommel is a three lobed type, and is far more chunky than that of the Sticklestad. The peening is clearly obvious, all in all I like it.

The scabbard, like all Windlass swords, is cheap. But that's not what you really pay for with these swords, and it does the job.

The Ulfberht

This is a serious blade. It is the thickest, heaviest, and tapers the most of the three. A big thumbs up.

The grip on the Ulfberht is wrapped leather and it feels nice in the hand, and is somehow more sure than the other two to wield. The guard is plain, but solid as an old cast iron cooking pot. The pommel is a Brazil nut shape, undecorated, and as solid as the guard. This is a serious sword.

The scabbard, as with the Leuterit, feels cheap, but it does the job.

Handling Characteristics

The Sticklestad: This sword is the lightest of the three and it feels it, but in a good way. It feels like it could be comfortably cut with for hours, and flows naturally from guard to guard. It almost feels like you could fence with it, a real surprise. My missus tried all three and kept coming back to the Sticklestad, its a real nice easy to wield sword.

The Leuterit: This is the best balanced (for me) of the three. It is solid but light enough to enable mobility and a quick return swing, it really is a lovely thing while still feeling like it could batter through any opposition.

The Ulfberht: This sword has presence. Compared to the other two it feels like a meat cleaver, heavy, solid, powerful, unstoppable. Conan the Barbarian would like this sword, and so do I. It has none of the nimbleness of the Sticklestad, or warriors grace of the Leuterit, but when you hold it you know what it was made for, a really nice sword

Conclusion

To be honest I expected them to feel like three identical swords with different cosmetics, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Even after only owning them for a few hours each has a clearly recognisable personality, each it's place, and each it's own fighting style.

  • The Sticklestad is the warrior maiden, the lightly armoured warrior relying on speed and skill to survive.
  • The Leuterit is the balanced warrior, matching skill with aggression, the mainstay of combat.
  • The Ulfberht is the berserker, heavy and brutal, it just oozes presence, and you know that no armour within reach is safe from its savage bite.

These swords have made a real impression on me, each of them is alive with its own unique personality. If you like Viking swords, are on a budget, or looking to fill out that collection, I can't see how you wouldn't be happy.

WHERE TO BUY

While you can pick up all of these Windlass Viking Swords direct from the manufacturers retail arm - Museum Replicas Limited -  in their one handed sword section here

Plus if you use the coupon code SBGVIP it will take 10% off the price lowering the prices to what is shown below:


I hope this comparative review of these Windlass Viking Swords has been helpful. To return to Dark Age and Viking Swords from Windlass Viking Swords Comparative Review, click here


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