How to buy a sword

Purchasing a sword can be a bit confusing for someone new to sword collecting. There are a lot of terms flying around and the vast selection and price ranges can be a bit overwhelming. We want to make your sword purchase as satisfying for you as possible, so we've written this guide to help you in that regard.
Answering these 3 questions will help narrow down the search and assist in finding the perfect sword for you.


1)What do you intend to do with it?
2)How much do you want to spend?
3)What style are you looking for?

1)What do you intend to do with it?
This core question will help determine your cost and style options. Basically there are 3 different classes of swords available today.
Decorative, Functional, and Stage Combat.

Decorative
Decorative swords as you would assume, are made for display only. They are not constructed the same way as a "real" weapon, and there for should not be used as such. Most lower cost swords available are considered decorative, despite what some dealers may lead you to believe. They are generally made of stainless or untempered carbon steel with thin welded on
tangs (the part of the blade that goes into the grip). Decorative swords range in price from about $15 - $300, and range in quality correspondingly. Decorative swords are a perfect choice for anyone who never intends to hit anything with their sword. Though most can withstand light cutting such as weeds and brush. After all it is a sharpened piece of metal. They are great for decorating, costuming, and collecting. The fact that many are made of stainless steel, means that they require little maintenance to stay looking great for years to come. This category probably has the widest range of styles available, from historic replicas, to fantasy items, to movie props.

Functional

Functional swords are noted by the term "Battle Ready" these swords are made like real weapons. Battle Ready swords range in price from about $100 on up. These weapons are generally made of carbon steel as many of the originals were. The blade tangs are longer, thicker and forged as part of the blade. This category is necessary for anyone who wants to use their sword, not merely display it. If you are into, cutting exercises, martial arts, battle re-enactment, or just want a true weapon, this is the category for you. In some cases battle ready swords can themselves be made for a particular purpose. You will find some are available with rounded tips and thicker edges for battle re-enactment, and others razor sharp for cutting. It is best to check the individual item's description for this information. Functional swords can come sharpened or unsharpened depending on the manufacturer, so do not assume one way or the other. We try to provide this information in the descriptions, but if it is not there, and you need to know, just ask

Stage Combat
Real swords were not used in the fashion we are used to seeing from Hollywood films. A blade's edge is easily damaged, so the warrior would not try to block another sword with his sword edge. However, inevitably swords would be damaged or broken completely in historic battles. What we never see is the damaged sword going back to the blacksmith to be reground after a battle. The same is true of today's functional swords, edge to edge contact will damage them. Behold...Stage Combat swords. Stage Combat swords are specifically made to withstand repeated blade on blade combat in theatrical style duels. They are made thicker and heavier than functional swords, usually with rounded tips and edges. This is the category of sword for repeated bashing. They range in price from about $90-$200. They tend to be a bit cruder looking then the functional swords, and sacrifice some accuracy in exchange for durability. Stage combat swords usually have the whole grip forged as one with the blade. Click here to see our Stage Combat line.

2)How much do you want to spend?
Swords can range in price from $15 or so up to as much as you want to pay. As mentioned above your intended use of your sword will determine the low end of your price range. Consider these as basic guidelines:
Decorative - $15 - ?
Functional - $100 - ?
Stage Combat - $90 - ?
As you can see if you have determined that you want a functional sword but only want to pay $40 you're going to have a problem. We try to offer as many options as possible for anyone's budget, but you simply can't get a decent functional weapon for that cheap.

3)What style are you looking for?
Now that you've got that all worked out, here's the fun part. There are hundreds of different sword styles available and your chosen category and price range will help to thin them down, but here is where it really becomes a matter of preference. Do you want historic accuracy? A particular culture such as Roman or Viking? A cool fantasy blade? This should be the easiest question to answer. What do you like? Everyone is different so we try to offer a huge selection. From here you should go to our sword section
to narrow down your search, browse around and see what "grabs" you, or use the culture drop down on our top menu to see all the items for a particular culture. You can also shop by price if you have a definite budget.

Hopefully this has taken a bit of the mystery out of purchasing a sword, and can help you to make an informed choice. As always if you have any questions or need further assistance, send us an email we're here to help.