The Del Tin 10th Century Viking Sword features a double edge blade with wide central fuller. The guard and pommel are made steel. The grip is hard wood with a black leather wrap. The unsharpened blade is made of well tempered Chrome-Vanadium steel with a hardness of 50HRC and is peened at the pommel for durability.
The sword has always been a highly personalized weapon, but perhaps never more so than the Viking Age. A great sword was a spectacular investment in money and materials – treasured heirlooms, good blades were passed from father to son. Many swords were given names and personalities – such as Leg Biter Life-Taker and Byrnie-Biter. Masterly crafted swords were so superior to more crudely constructed blades that it was easy to believe that the typically secretive smith who made them had imbued his work with magic, making a great blade from crude iron and coal that was both durable, flexible and able to hold a keen edge.
The success such a weapon could bring to a skilled warrior brought life into the legends they wove around their named blades. Unlike the axe, spear and bow which had utility purposes outside of battle, the sword was a tool solely in the province of war. Such an expensive and specialized weapon marked its bearer as a professional, dedicated warrior.
Some early Viking swords appear to have a foreign origin – as many blades bear the marks Ulfberht and Ingelrii – two swordsmiths or group of smiths that seem to have been based in the lower Rhine. Perhaps they were regarded as higher quality imports and the amount of blades found bearing their inlaid iron mark is made all the more likely as a more expensive sword was likely to be cared for a longer time then more crude workaday blade and thus likely to survive into the archeological record. The name must have had some connotation to higher quality, as there are some obvious, cruder forgeries bearing their mark. Even then, con-men made knock-offs of luxury products!
The workmanship and storied legend of the Viking sword made it the likely weapon of champions and heroes in an often tumultuous and uncertain world. Even today, that awe of mysticism is preserved in these dark age blades that recall the epic tales and sagas of those that used them.