A Word on Swords

Before any mistakes or unwarranted assumptions are made, let me assure you I am not placing myself in the category of expert, I am proud to be a sword nut. I am crazy about them and have been as far back as I can remember. The reason I will not claim expert is because I learn so much every single day. A true expert and aficionado of the sword might, for instance, see no value in a wall hanger sword. This is the term for the swords which have no  practical usage. They are made of inferior materials, stainless steel as an example. They might have strange designs or might merely be a cheap imitation of historical swords. I cannot claim a distaste for wall hanger swords because there are pictures and video all over the internet showing me standing in front of some swords which really are good for not much more than looking shiny as they hang on the wall.

Now, one must understand that there are people who do not know these swords are poorly made. In swords as with almost everything else, you get what you pay for. Take a look at the photos that follow as I show where I disassembled one of my wall hanger Scottish Claymore swords.



As you can see, this one has an added feature which makes it unsuitable for anything other than display. Aside from being constructed from brittle stainless steel, it has a rat-tail tang. Worse would be the wire weld, but this is only slightly better. If I were to ever swing this sword, the tang may snap off, but even if it didn’t, if it hit a solid object, say a wall or table, this is highly likely to snap. And the blade is very sharp. Who knows what direction it will go when it breaks?

Who can forget this one:

This is the sort of thing that can happen. I want to be macho and make comments like “this is how we thin the herd” or some such, but the fact is I don’t want people to get hurt. So if something here can prevent someone from hurting themselves, I will feel a lot better.

The fact is, where swords are concerned, you will have to spend some money to get a good usable one. This is where the non-sword people start in with “You don’t NEED a sword that can kill a person, no one gets in sword-fights anymore.” Or some other garbage. Of course I don’t NEED a sword! I want swords. And if someone breaks into my home and a sword is all that is in reach, the sword will have to do! And if this actually is the situation, the sword that will have to do, better not snap in two and send sharp edges to slice me up instead of the bad guy.

For my current interests, I am learning a bit about Western Swordplay, and when finances permit, I will be purchasing a western style sword. Right now I am leaning toward the Hand and a Half Broadsword, here is a demo video of the Hand and a Half offered by Cold Steel: ***WARNING: VIDEO DISPLAYS GRAPHIC DESTRUCTION OF A PIG CARCASS***

I also like the Grosse Messer shown here (no…Cold Steel is not paying me for this. They just have cool videos of the swords I am talking about): ***SAME WARNING AS ABOVE!!***

Anyway, the bottom line is this – real, functional swords are not cheap. I have a lot of cheap ones from my early days of collecting. If you buy the cheap swords you will have a cheap sword, period. Be careful because low quality material and poor construction can get you hurt pretty badly if you try to use a cheap blade. Be careful, and buyer beware.


  1. jwong says:

    As a fellow sword lover myself, I highly recommend the PBS program, “Secret of The Viking Sword” to further your knowledge of what makes a truly good sword.


    1. Wallace Smedley says:

      Thank you, I will check into that!


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