Recently I joined a HEMA club and I was told that I should get my own equipment. I can take my time; some people spend more than a year getting fully equipped. But there are times when there are not enough swords to spare between all the assistants. Also, there are pieces that are more personal than others (I was advised to get head protection first). So I was thinking of getting it the next month and a sword the month after. The thing is, I don't want to spend much but in my club, they use a steel hand-and-a-half sword in full shape (not Federschwerter) and quite rigid ones. So my questions are:
knowing that my sparring partners will carry heavy rigid swords, should I buy a steel sword? I read that fencing against less flexible swords makes your sword wear faster.
what I should look for when I choose a sword? Like material, shape, size, weight, etc.
P.S.: in my club they don't even consider using swords that are not made of steel.