Shillelagh Review


July 24, 2008, 04:39 PM

After hurting my ankle and hip recently while lifting weights, it occurred to me that a good sturdy cane couldn't hurt anything (right? right? canes aren't weapons, so they can't...hurt...anything :scrutiny:)

I placed my order, and with shipping and a rubber ferrule came to 55.00 USD.

My first impression on lifting the cane was that it was balanced, unique, and painted black. I didn't realize the dark color was paint, but it is. Latex perhaps. That's ok though.

I don't know what I was expecting at 1 1/8"x35.5" but it is also pretty short...BUT not too short to use as a cane. (Canes ought to roughly come up to the crease in your wrist, and at 6'1 this one does.

I have been taking it for walks and to personal obligations, and I have already grown used to having it. The thorns that are shaved off are still quite thorny, although not sharp, and would potentiate any blunt trauma induced with said shillelagh.

"If you sell it, they'll buy it" -THR member

"Beware the man with the limp" -unknown

"I'll see your box cutter, Mr. Atta, and raise you three feet of American hardwood" -M. Ayoob

"stick beats knife" -sm

It's very sturdy, medium-weight, and it has a certain traditional aspect and was used by my ancestors in Ireland. What's not to like?

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July 24, 2008, 04:41 PM
Another pic

July 24, 2008, 04:49 PM
That is very nice. The Shilleleagh has a great deal of rustic class that make it easy to carry about with you and remain non-threatening to hoplophobes. They served the Irish well for hundreds of years.

Carl Levitian
July 24, 2008, 05:13 PM
Very nice, welcome to the blackthorn club!

The more you use it and have it with you, the more it will become a natural part of you, and people will get used to seeing you with it. In time, it will become invisiable.

July 24, 2008, 05:15 PM
Well said, guys. Thanks! Feel free to post further pics of sticks.

July 24, 2008, 06:53 PM
..........I walk my dog. That and a derringer. People have seen me with the walking stick so much that nobody questions it. Even came in handy a time or two.

July 24, 2008, 06:55 PM
I have had one for several years now. Mine is also painted, as I believe a great many Blackthorn sticks tend to be. It is also hell for stout, and as conwict wrote, has the vestigal stumps of the thorns. Getting hit or raked with those stumps would not make for a pleasant day whatsoever. Every bit as effective as the grooves in a CaneMaster.

It would serve most members best to realize that these are natural products, and so uniformity is clearly not available.

That being written, any interested parties should pay very close attention to the Lollysmith written descriptions, as well as the photographs. Some sticks are thicker than others, and Lollysmith does sell sticks that would serve Grandma well, but are far too light for "duty" purposes. Just my two cents worth.

Edited to add this that I posted awhile back in another walking stick thread:

July 24, 2008, 06:59 PM
Good point Otony. I picked one that said "only wants to do your bidding. A strong protective nature arises when necessary."

They recommend 1" to 1 1/8" (at top) for sturdy, "duty" oriented sticks. Mine's 1 1/8".

I'm glad I paid attention and looked around, because if I hadn't I could have made a mistake and gotten one of their 3/4 or 5/8 sticks.

July 24, 2008, 07:13 PM
Mine is a one inch

July 24, 2008, 07:43 PM
I've got the heavy duty 1 1/8 " diameter too. Very stout, eh?

The tip ended breaking off when I hit something hard. It had the rubber tip at the time. I used a regular crutch tip to replace the old tip. I had to put a lot of black electrical tape to make the tip fit good. Then I put a lot of wrappings around the whole thing except the bottom so that it held together well; and the whole tip is black and looks stock. It's even more heavy duty than before. Apparently the thin part with ferrule is the weak link.

Have fun!


July 24, 2008, 07:59 PM
Very nice!

I had a 1 1/8" and it was stout all right!
One of these days I'll get another...

July 24, 2008, 11:48 PM
Forgot to add, I cut mine to a proper length (for me) and then wondered how to go about reinforcing the tip, as I had removed the ferrule.

The solution was to find a copper cap in the plumbing section that had an ID as close as possible to the OD of the tip. A little work with a rasp fitted the tip to cap, which was retained with a force fit and epoxy. Then I found a rubber cane tip that slipped over the copper cap, easy-peasy. Cane tips came in a variety of sizes, BTW.

Net result, I doubt the tip will break off, as the wood was actually reduced much less than when fitted to the original ferrule.

Carl Levitian
July 25, 2008, 06:27 AM
The reason blackthorn sticks are allways painted black is, traditionally in the old country, a fresh cut blackthorn was burried in a peat bog for several months to season it, and this turned it almost black.

These days they just paint it.:(

Old Irish history.

July 25, 2008, 07:56 AM
I've developed arthritis in both knees over the years and started carrying a cane several years ago. Call around to your local martial arts academies and I bet you can find one that can teach you a specialized class in cane or single stick. You would be amazed at the possibilities. There is an earlier thread about a man who was beaten badly by 7 men leaving a fair after several of them fondled his 12yr old daughter. The fair had metal detector and a no weapons policy. I said in that thread that 1 cannot beat 7 without a weapon. Well trained with a good cane I'd give you better than even odds.


July 25, 2008, 01:59 PM
I have one as well. I love it, and people ask me what happened to it if I carry a different cane.

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