August 16, 2012 2:54 am
The primary question to ask is: How will the sword be used?
A display sword is primarily about aesthetic appeal. While this decorative sword isn’t necessarily of lesser quality, it should not be used for practice. These swords are usually crafted with more attention to engravings and other details, rather than blade strength. Always use the manufacturer’s hardware to mount a display sword. A falling sword is one of the most dangerous things that could happen to a sword owner.
A functional sword – to be used for cutting practice, for example – needs to be more durable. Novice sword-buyers are often best off with a “beater” sword, termed that for the fact that it’s made to be used. Beaters favor function over style – they have thicker, heaver blades to make them less breakable and more able to take on a wide range of cutting targets. These swords are modeled after historical or famous swords, but are often not very accurate in their details. They also tend to be much more affordable than higher quality swords.
A high-quality sword, intended for long-term or frequent use, should have these features:
-The sword should be made of high carbon steel. Non-carbon steel swords can shatter on impact. Cheaper swords are made of stainless steel, which tends to be brittle.
-The sword should be heat-treated and tempered to ensure that the blade is not too brittle or too soft, for user safety.
-The sword should have a full tang. The tang is the insert that attaches the blade to the handle. If the sword does not have a full tang, it’s more likely that the sword will break during use.
-The sword should weigh less than three pounds to ensure it’s properly balanced for optimal cutting speed.
It is possible to find stylish and fully functional swords anywhere from $150 - $300. Though a high-quality sword will be pricier than a beater or some display swords, it will also last longer under duress and is a worthwhile investment for an authentic collection.
Source: Valiant Swords
Published with permission from RISMedia.