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I am a HEMA practitioner (hema-ist?), who has been training with a plastic hand-and-a-half sword from Cold Steel. While it appears to be the correct weight and roughly the correct size of an actual sword, it does not do one critical thing that a real sword can. It cannot cut; it is blunt!

Therefore, I'm looking to buy my first sharp, functional, metal sword. Being a novice, I've looked around for advice, and found some advice from Skallagrim here.

I can't break the bank buying this sword, so I'm looking for good quality at a cheap price, and can be shipped to North America. Any suggestions for swords or resources, such as buying guides, that I should pay attention to?

These suggestions and resources should lead to swords which:

  • are not composed of stainless steel; it must be safe for actual use.
  • come sharp or the sharpening service is "cheap."
  • cost less than 400 USD but above 200 USD.
  • are "hand and a half" or "bastard" swords.
  • are not "fantasy" swords or "sword-like" objects.
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  • Cold Steel's Bastard Sword is $469.99. – Ruut Nov 14 '15 at 2:19
  • Just a thought - There are some very good crafters that tour renaissance faires. Perhaps you could get in touch with them and request a custom if they don't have one? – JohnP Nov 10 '20 at 15:30
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If you are in the US want to buy your first steel sword either sharp or blunt, my suggestion is to take a look at HEMA Supplies, a US-based importer and reseller of Peter Regenyei's swords that seem to offer reasonable prices. They mostly sell blunt steel feders from Peter Regenyei but they will take orders for custom sharp longswords.

Regenyei is one of the most trusted swordsmiths in HEMA. I personally own a (blunt) Regenyei longsword (a "hand and a half" sword) and I've briefly handled sharpened custom jobs from him, all really good quality.

HEMA Supplies - https://www.facebook.com/HEMASupplies/timeline

One thing to bear in mind, I'm living in Europe so I'm not familiar with the exact shipping costs to the US but I'll be conservative and assume it's rather high, however you might just get away with a sharp sword in the $400 range if you're lucky. If you have to choose between spending a little more for a high quality robust training sword or buying a cheaper sword of lower quality, I would recommend paying a little more.

One last thing that doesn't directly answer your question but I think is important nonetheless, if you are a novice I would recommend getting a blunt training feder. It's much safer to train with if you are just starting out, most clubs will use feders for sparring, and they are cheaper and easier to maintain.

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What style of swordsman ship are you studying? If you're into fencing, A rapier is more your circumstance. If you're into brutal sword play, a bastard sword, longsword is more the emphasis. The fact is the Oakeshot typology leaves a Wide diversity of swords for Europe. Even hand and a half types have a very wide diversity. enter image description here

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  • He states in the question that he's looking for a "hand and a half". – Macaco Branco Nov 10 '20 at 2:49
  • I suspect you lived up to your name, LazyReader. I specifically asked for buying guides or resources for acquiring sharp, functional swords. Oakeshot's typology, while useful, doesn't really apply here. Also, the idea that brutal sword play is performed by bastard swords shows a distinct lack of appreciation for the various fighting systems and possibly a little confusion on what a rapier is. To many of us, "rapiers" are straight-edged, one handed, thrust centric weapon for war, not a smallsword or fencing foil, which are for civilian use. – PipperChip Nov 10 '20 at 14:56

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