Pros: Materials, Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Blade Material, Overall Quality, Usable
Surprisingly good - especially for price
Intended use: Backyard cutting, Ren Faire costume, defensive practice. Overall: I'm glad I purchased it - good option at this price ($220). This is the lightest-feeling, best balanced Cold Steel sword I've handled. I am not a WMA practitioner (though I do have 10 years TKD, 2 years Epee, and am always messing around -safely- with various weapons). So far, only cut against light cardboard. Pros: *Very responsive handling, balance point 4" in front of guard, retains enough authority for fast cuts. Fast recovery. Excels at tip-cuts. Good balance between cut and thrust. *Even profile, distal taper and fuller all nicely done. *Not 'whippy' at all. *Grip and pommel are excellent. When allowing hand to slip to pommel for extended reach, pommel contours comfortably secure the grip. Pommel contours work well when gripping with off-hand (for two-hand grip of a single-hand sword). *'Keyed' pommel - this is very important. The pommel is inlet to accept the rectangular portion of the tang. This means the pommel is laterally supported, and will not rotate. *Pommel-nut construction is well done: The stepped nut applies pressure to the pommel - then to the rectangular portion of the tang (instead of applying pressure to the threaded portion of the tang and the grip material as in many swords). Also makes a difference when protecting the threaded tang-end from damage due to pommel strikes. I've not seen this fastening method before, and it totally makes sense. *Overall very attractive piece, scabbard is nicely done. Potential Cons: *Not especially historically accurate in terms of construction. *Would prefer non-blackened blade (I will probably strip it). *Pesky secondary beveled edge. It's functional out of the box, though. *Tip comes to needle point, which would be easily damaged against harder targets. Will have to modify slightly. This sword meets my needs, for my intended use at this price. Blade geometry (other than edge) is surprisingly good. If you want 'harmonics' and all that great stuff - you will have to pay more. I'm considering picking up the matching dagger, although, this sword practically begs for a buckler in the off-hand.