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.