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Kit review: Arms and Armour "Fechterspel sword"

"Fechterspiel translates to "assault of arms"—an apt name for this western martial arts training weapon. Combining quality and historical accuracy, this sword is an excellent piece for the longsword practitioner looking for a period style and handling." The fechterspel sword from Arms and Armour.

I originally bought this sword on sale from "The Grange" back in 2009 but they have since stopped selling HEMA goods. It has remained in my arsenal through many sword culls and reorganizations.

At the time I bought this sword there were two feders on the market, this and the Hanwei.

Pros

Of all the blunt steel or nylon sword trainers I've used this feels closest in weight and handling to a sharp sword, which is cool.  It "swishes" through the air far more like a sharp than the thick edge of a more substantial steel sword or even thicker nylon sword. It's great to keep a perspective in training with what a "live" sword is like.

As a training sword it performs really well. For a long thin sword it has very little wobble when you cut with it and as it has no flexibility on the edges when it forms a bind. At the same time it has great flexibility on the flats which means that among all the swords I've used it is probably the safest for thrusting, even compared to nylon swords, I have never feared committing to a full on thrust with this sword. It's a very light blade and because it's inflexible in the cut it means you can cut with great control, even a fully committed cut does not land with enough force to cause any serious injuries.

Despite the fact that it looks and feels very slight it has actually lasted very well against a variety of swords. In fact it is almost completed free of burrs or any serious damage. Partly this is because it's such a light blade that it tends to get deflected by heavier swords rather than taking damage and partly because it seems to be a well forged blade.

I've tended to use this sword for light sparring and study group work, I guess the main reason I've held onto it for so long is that because it means that if you're using this you can travel pretty light. Both because the sword itself is easily transportable and also because it can be used in sparring without heaps of protection so it means that you can bring less protective equipment as well. On the whole I tend to favor this sword for sparring against most non-longsword swords and it's definitely a weapon of choice if sparring against rapiers.

Cons

For what it is it I feel it is expensive. At close to $500 US dollars plus shipping if I hadn't got this in the sale for just under $300 I wouldn't have bought it.

It's a very simple mass produced feeling sword even with the fluted parts on the ends of the guard it has a very utilitarian look and feel. Nowadays when there are many suppliers of feder's out there I wouldn't spend this money on a mass produced looking weapon. When $300 could get you something equally mass produced looking and serviceable like this. Also when you consider most clubs use nylon trainers at under $100 a shot it puts this firmly in the "nice to have" rather than the "must have" basket.

Of all the swords I own it also seems to rust up the easiest. I now know from experience if a newbie handles the blade without a glove I have to immediately clean down the blade to prevent serious rust spots appearing the next day.

Conclusion

It's a good sword, I'm glad I have it in my kit bag and I'm sure I'll get many more years of service from it. I'm not sure I would buy it now with so many options for feders on the market.

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