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Old August 6, 2014, 07:47 PM   #1
MachIVshooter
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A tad on the larger side...

Finally got around to buying one blade that I've been wanting for some time. My camera is on the fritz, so I just stole a stock photo from google for now:



It's the Cold Steel hand and a half sword (which is really a full two hander, unless you have gargantuan palms). Man, this thing is awesome! No, it doesn't compare to a hand-crafted 4 or 5 figure custom, nor is it particularly ornate. What it is is a very high quality, no frills, all business blade. Extremely sharp, well balanced, just generally robust. Which is exactly what I was looking for. There are scores of decent rapiers and Katanas out there, but I just don't care for those styles. I like medieval European designs, and there are just not a lot of options out there for a cost effective yet well made bastard sword. But Cold Steel filled the niche between $100 costume swords and high end customs that few of us can afford, let alone be willing to actually play with.

For the record, I'm no master swordsman. In point of fact, I really don't know the first thing about sword fighting. I just like swords. So for me, this is really just a neat toy (and a back up weapon when I run out of bullets during the zombie apocalypse ). But I do intend to practice some blade wielding techniques, and for that, it is nice to have a sword that was inexpensive enough I don't mind some scuffs and scratches from honest use, yet of sufficient quality that I needn't worry about dodging a flying blade due to a broken pommel tang.

For anyone else who has an interest in blades of this style, I highly recommend the Cold Steel!
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Old August 6, 2014, 08:18 PM   #2
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That's a nice Pig Sticker.
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Old August 6, 2014, 08:26 PM   #3
MikeJackmin
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I think everybody should own a sword. People always smile when they pick them up.

I have a Cold Steel 1917 Cutlass. It seems very solid, the blade will slice paper cleanly along the entire length, and it wears a nice even blue finish. I was surprised it was so well made.

The only bad thing I have to say about it is that it has the balance of a crowbar, but I suspect the originals were much the same in that regard.
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Old August 6, 2014, 09:15 PM   #4
Sam Cade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJackmin View Post
The only bad thing I have to say about it is that it has the balance of a crowbar, but I suspect the originals were much the same in that regard.
A "Real" vintage 1917 Cutlass/Klewang is about a half pound lighter and isn't nearly as clunky the Cold Steel/Windlass thing.
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Old August 6, 2014, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
But I do intend to practice some blade wielding techniques
Be sure and do it outside.

Or you will be buying a lot of ceiling fans and sheet rock!

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Old August 6, 2014, 09:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Be sure and do it outside.

Or you will be buying a lot of ceiling fans and sheet rock!
Haha. Yeah, it''s not a short blade, just shy of 3 feet. Incidentally, I had a decorative type gun show sword when I was younger, and I did bury the blade in a wall swinging it around. Of course, the handle was still in my hands, the pommel and hilt lying on the ground. I repaired that one, but it's just a wall hanger now, along with some pretty but rather useless Frost Cutlery stuff.
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Old August 6, 2014, 10:23 PM   #7
hso
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Quote:
it has the balance of a crowbar, but I suspect the originals were much the same
Sorry to poke a hole in your bubble of enthusiasm but that's completely wrong. I've handled a couple of very good hand and a half swords over the years and they are well balanced and lively to the point where you have that "Ohhhh!" reaction. Get your hands on a Tinker Pearce hand and a half from Hanwei at 2lb 8oz or one of the Signature or Practical pieces from Valient for comparison and you'll know the difference.

Keep a close eye on the pommel of the CS since there have been complaints about failures in the past. CS was supposed to have been making them more secure.
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Last edited by hso; August 6, 2014 at 10:46 PM.
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Old August 6, 2014, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Sorry to poke a hole in your bubble of enthusiasm but that's completely wrong. I've handled a couple of very good hand and a half swords over the years and they are well balanced and lively to the point where you have that "Ohhhh!" reaction. Get your hands on a Tinker Pearce hand and a half from Hanwei or one of the Signature or Practical pieces from Valient for comparison and you'll know the difference.
Mike was talking about a Cutlass. I find no fault in the balance of the CS hand and a half; it's about 4" forward of the hilt. I doubt the Hanwei is any better, given it's price point.
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Old August 6, 2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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I have handled the Pearce from Hanwei and it is lively. I've handled almost all of CS's western swords at one time or the other and they tend to feel "dead".

I'd have told anyone looking for a western style sword to check the reviews over at SwordForums and at Swordbuyersguide. The opinions of the CS hand and a half range from "meh" to caution.

Just be careful while hacking with it and check the pommel carefully.
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Last edited by hso; August 6, 2014 at 11:17 PM.
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Old August 6, 2014, 11:21 PM   #10
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Yikes.
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Old August 6, 2014, 11:36 PM   #11
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To be fair, that pic is from several years ago when people were complaining about weak tangs and loose guards and pommels. CS was rumored to be working on fixing all of that and I haven't seen any complaints in the past couple of years (but I've not seen any reviews at all on SFI or SBG of the CS hand and a half either).
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Old August 6, 2014, 11:51 PM   #12
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MachIVShooter,

Does your sword have the newer pommel or the one that is smooth on top?

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Old August 7, 2014, 12:02 AM   #13
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Mine has the protrusion.

It is my understanding that the tang issue was addressed. Indeed, it seems that any reports of the pommel coming loose/off date 2009 & prior. The more recent reviews of this sword are pretty glowing.

Admittedly, I did not spend much time looking at other manufacturers, as I've been utterly impressed by the half dozen other Cold Steel blades I own-especially my San Mai III Magnum Tanto IV. CS blades have always proved strong, sharp and durable.
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Old August 7, 2014, 12:14 AM   #14
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They're what most people buy starting out and no surprise considering CS's presence in the market and their marketing. Other companies simply can't compete with them on advertising and very few people get to Blade or other big knife shows where they can compare them in the same day (also very few blade geeks like me are out there "wasting" their time on SFI and SBG).

Handle it with care until you're 110% certain that it is safe and enjoy it. You'll get the itch for something else after a while and you can try to get to a show where you can geek out over all the various blades in one place.

And then start to go broke trying to buy more and better.
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