PLEASE NOTE: Pre_Orders for August Delivery
An iconic sword of the principalities of the Holy Roman Empire and of central Europe in the late Medieval period, the Kriegsmesser brings the Messer into its largest and most destructive form. Its large, saber-like blade coupled with a two-handed grip for power and leverage creates a sword with superb cutting and slashing ability. Whatever the source of the Messer and its smaller and humbler forms, a Kriegsmesser such as the one here with its elevated stylization was a weapon for a professional warrior, mercenary or noble.
In cooperation with famed swordmaker LK Chen, the Balaur Arms Kriegsmesser manages to recreate this powerful, large sword in a form that is particularly agile and swift for its size. Its blade features a high degree of distal taper with a thick and strong base which thins considerably toward the main striking portion of the sword to create a blade that will bite into and pass through a target with minimized drag and resistance. The keenly sharp blade is ready for powerful cutting right out of the box; the blade is well-tempered high carbon spring steel with a hardness of 54-55 HRc. The guard and pommel are stainless steel and the grip has two halves of smooth-polished rosewood which are solidly copper riveted to the thick tang of the blade for a tough construction. For heightened durability, the blade tang is peened over the pommel. The nagel gives excellent protection to the knuckle and is solidly fitted to the guard; its base pin goes straight through the guard and is peened on the reverse to ensure that it will not shear off in an impact.
This Kriegsmesser is paired with a durable scabbard of wood which features a finely cast locket and chape of stainless steel. The wood is bound in leather and etched with late Medieval scrollwork on a single side to complete the sword.
I received this in the mail today, clad in KOA’s normal giant box full of paper padding. There is a lot to go over for this review, so I will break it down into sections.
BLADE- The shape of the blade surface is especially flat with an absolute minimum amount of waviness on the flat and the texture is also very attractive, with every miniscule sanding mark being parallel to the length of the blade. The profile of the edge itself is super graceful and without dips or imperfections. The profile of the edge is very flat and without meat (niku). While this makes the edge extremely sharp, it also makes it rather delicate. This is definitely a compromise that the end user will have to keep in mind during use. The profile taper is wonderful, with the forte being approximately 3x the thickness of the foible. It is very obvious that Mr. Chen is a martial artist because the profile taper makes it a very lively and easy handling weapon. My ONLY complaint is that the last inch or so is dull, like flat dull. That said, I can only imagine how delicate the tip would be otherwise.
SCABBARD- The steel fittings are obviously hand made and very attractive. I look to be lost wax stainless cast parts. The leather work is *muah* beautiful. I don’t know how the designs are made in the leather, maybe a stencil and sandblast, but they are super attractive and exact in their edges with no runover. The stitching on the body side of the scabbard is very well done in its individual stitches, and also straight and graceful. The mouth of the scabbard is testament to the piece’s quality, as the wood is exact and perfect in its shape, then surrounded in leather, then surrounded by the stainless part. All of these layers terminate in a very flat and even plane, as though it was put together and then faced in a mill.
HILT- The shape of the nagel is very attractive and clean in its execution, and the peen on the opposite side has been blended to the point of nonexistence. The cross guard also appears to be lost wax cast stainless and very well executed, with a very clean attractive fitment to the blade and absolutely zero gap or imperfection in its fitment to the wooden panels. The panels themselves are completely without gap to the tang and extremely flat. Their shape is very comfortable in the hand with no sharp edges or possible places to give you a splinter, making me think that the wood was burnished as a final step. The cross rivets look to be copper tubing that are nicely and cleanly peened, meaning that they do not catch or cut on your skin. The pommel is attractively proportioned, making it a meaty properly weighted counter balance with a barely visible and well blended peen to the tang.
Overall, if you are stickler for attention to detail in the quality of your swords, this piece is an insane value. There is a definite reason that this sword was the first and currently the only of the LK Chen x Balaur Arms pieces to sell out. Good luck trying to find a reason not to buy one.
Justin C. (verified owner) –
I have wanted a kriegsmesser for a long time and this one does NOT disappoint! It feels amazing in the hands and it looks fantastic. I have Albion swords and this one feels just as good. I haven’t done any cutting with it but it appears to have an excellent edge on it.