How do you determine a good sword

Sword Test: Test & Recommendations (05/21)

Our approach

Welcome to our big sword test 2021. Here we present you all swords that we have tested in more detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you to find the best sword for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a sword.

the essentials in brief

  • Basically, you can differentiate between long swords and short swords. Both differ only in the length of the handle and thus in the one-handed or two-handed guidance.
  • The choice of your sword type determines the technique to be used. So you are fast and flexible with a short sword, with a long sword your movements are slower, but you can deal strong and effective blows.
  • Depending on the intended use, you can also differentiate between different types. For example, there are special training swords or decorative swords.

Swords test: favorites of the editors

The best samurai sword

This samurai sword will be delivered to you with the matching sword stand for a proud presentation and safe storage. By hand, characters were carved on the Saya and the sword blade is provided with a great engraving.

Overall, the sword is 104 cm long. The blade measures 68.2 cm and the handle 28.5 cm. However, the blade is blunt and therefore more suitable as a decorative object.

The best replica sword from Lord of the Rings

The United Cutlery "Stich" Lord of the Rings Sword of Frodo Baggins is a detailed replica of the film sword of Frodo Baggins from the films "The Lord of the Rings". If you are looking for a particularly authentic and detailed replica in good quality, this sword could be the right one for you.

The United Cutlery "Stich" Lord of the Rings sword Frodo Baggins impresses above all with its good workmanship and its overall appearance. Especially in front of the supplied wall sign, “Stich” can be optimally presented. For the possibility of a particularly proud presentation, there is also a certificate of authenticity on top.

The best stainless steel sword

This sword was specially made for all Game of Thrones fans and is a replica of John Snow's sword. The handle was wrapped in synthetic leather, the blade is made of polished and rustproof stainless steel.

Overall, the sword has a length of 108 cm, while the blade is 83.5 cm long. The scope of delivery includes a matching wall bracket, which is equipped with a typical golden Game of Thrones font design.

Buying Guide: Questions to Consider Before Buying a Sword

What kind of sword is right for me?

Especially if you have decided on a decorative sword, the blade shape, handle shape and possibly special shapes of swords can be a special eye-catcher. But even if you want to fight or want to become part of the LARP world, it is worth taking a look at different types of swords.

In addition to the "typical" knight swords and Viking swords, a number of other types and designs can be differentiated in the series of European swords:

Cult and ceremonial swords

... are used for ceremonies or other cultic acts and have strong symbolic value. Examples are: coronation or imperial swords

Judging swords ...

... are mostly two-handed swords, which were mainly used for beheadings in the Middle Ages.

Special forms ...

... are for example obsidian swords (more like a club) or tusk-tooth swords (an armament for war elephants).

Curved swords ...

... usually have a curved, single-edged blade and come from the Orient and Asia.

Bronze swords ...

... are forged from bronze according to their name and have served more representative purposes since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. So they are more suitable for history lovers than decoration.

Other swords ...

... such as wooden practice swords.

How should I choose?

Do you prefer a specific cultural area? Then consider whether, for example, Celtic swords or other European swords such as the spathe or even a rapier are right for you.

If your interests are more in Asia, you should look at swords like the samurai sword, nijia sword, kendo or tanto (even if it is one of the long knives). Do you want a decorative sword, maybe a replica of a movie sword like the Gryffindor sword or Gandalf's "Glamdring" makes an impression?

Another way of making a decision could be to look at the “story behind it”. The fight with the Japanese samurai sword is often related to a certain attitude, mental training as well as a high level of willpower and body control.

If the philosophy of a certain fighting style speaks to you, you should perhaps start here. You should think about which sword appeals to you particularly due to its type, handling and technique, appearance and possibly its historical significance and (life) philosophy and which suits your personal purposes.

What do I have to consider when buying a sword?

Regardless of which sword you are looking for, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying a sword:
  1. Are you even allowed to buy a sword? The age of majority requirement applies particularly to edged weapons online shops. In the section below we have summarized some legal information for you)
  2. Cheap is not always bad. With a sword for 30 euros, however, you cannot assume a high-quality sword. It is better to invest a little more in your sword and read through reviews and testimonials beforehand.
  3. Order only from trusted retailers. There are also some rating portals here that you should read through beforehand.

What material should my sword be forged from?

The short answer is: steel. In the past, swords were mainly forged from steel, the "better iron". Due to its high elasticity and ductility, steel, in contrast to iron, can be processed better.

The so-called "Damascus steel" is particularly prominent. The steel, named after its homeland Damascus, is a mixture of several types of iron and steel. Above all, it impresses with its handsome pattern.

Today, however, swords are mainly made of industrial steel using modern machines. Info: Only decorative swords do not rust due to a higher chrome content. Swords made for you to fight will rust and require intensive care!


Where can I buy a sword?

You can buy swords mainly online or at medieval markets and similar events. According to our research, most swords are sold on the Internet through the following shops:
  • battlemerchant.com
  • elbenwald.de
  • ritterladen.de
  • schwertshop.de
  • melbar.eu
  • swords & more

Of course, you can also find a combat sword or decorative sword at amazon.de or ebay.de.

If you want to get involved in a (medieval) association or club anyway, it is best to ask there again. Often you get a better price there through bulk orders or cooperations.

Would you like to experience buying a sword as authentically as possible? Then go to medieval markets near you. You will often find a blacksmith there, where you can inspect the product directly. Info: Battlemerchant usually sets up its tents at the Wacken Festival. Would you like to see your sword beforehand or don't even buy it online and are there anyway? Then let's go.

What does a sword cost?

Swords come in all price ranges. From a simple practice sword for 20 euros to a hand-forged individual piece for several thousand euros. To give you a small overview, here are the results of our research: You can find wooden and practice swords in most shops for as little as 20 euros.

In all other areas, as already mentioned, the price ranges are very broad depending on the material, quality and type of sword. Therefore, we have only listed the rough price range, which we were able to determine on average in our research.

  • Sharp swords from 250 to 820 euros
  • Battle-ready swords from 55 to 850 euros
  • Decorative swords / film and fantasy swords from 35 to 600 euros
  • Samurai swords from 30 to 3,000 euros

As always, of course: there are no upper limits. As with the samurai swords, the price for good and special examples can also be particularly high. The cheapest copies are probably especially suitable for beginners. If the sword fight and the extraordinary decoration don't suit you, you didn't have to invest a lot of money here.

Of course, there is also the possibility of a blacksmith making a personal one-off piece made just for you. But this can also cost you several thousand euros.

Would you like to forge your sword yourself? Then look for blacksmithing courses near you. Schmiedeglut, for example, offers a five-day course for around 900 euros in Grebenheim (Hesse).

Decision: What types of swords are there and which one is right for you?

Basically there are a number of different types of swords. However, we can first differentiate between two main types of swords:

  • Long swords
  • Short swords

Both basically follow the same structure, but differ fundamentally in their handling. Depending on the purpose for which you want to buy your sword, you should deal with a few questions in advance. In addition, sword types can also be differentiated according to the type of use.

These are among others:

  • Training and practice swords (mostly made of wood or plastic)
  • Battle ready swords
  • Decorative swords
  • Sharp swords

In the following section we would like to give you the basics on the subject of “swords”, which you will come across in your search.

What is the difference between long swords and short swords?

Both sword types differ mainly in the length of the handle. It determines in which style you can wield your sword. The term "long" sword is a bit misleading here. Contrary to what one might suspect, this term does not refer to the actual length of the sword, but only to the type of guidance.

Two-handed swords are called long swords. In fact, the length of the blade here is usually quite similar to that of the short swords. Only the handle is longer on these models so that it can be comfortably grasped with two hands.

Short swords are therefore one-handed swords, the one-handed. The handle is accordingly shorter here. For orientation: Here you can usually assume a total length between 40cm and 80cm.

A well-known example of short swords is the Roman gladius. Depending on the definition, this can also include long knives or daggers. The hand-and-a-half sword, also known as the bastard sword, is an intermediate type.

Here, too, the length of the handle plays a decisive role. By extending the one-handed grip, the second hand can have a supportive effect. The special feature here is therefore the possibility of one-handed or two-handed guidance without the sword being basically designed for two-handed guidance.

How the choice of a long or short sword affects the fighting style and the fighting technique to be used will be discussed in more detail later. So first you should ask yourself the question:

For what purposes do I want to buy a sword?

Basically, swords are usually bought for two reasons:

So is it actually about fighting or should the sword only serve as a decorative element?

Let's start with the first: If you actually need your sword for a duel, your preferred fighting style is decisive for the basic decision between a long or a short sword. We have created a small comparison for you to help you decide.

The pros and cons of a long sword

  • Long range
  • High intensity of leverage attacks
  • More power through two-handed guidance
  • Restricted use in cramped situations / terrain
  • Greater effort due to the length and weight of the blade
  • Difficult handling due to the size of the sword

The advantages and disadvantages of a short sword

  • Less effort due to lighter weight
  • Easier and faster handling thanks to the short blade
  • Requires less material and is therefore cheaper
  • Shorter range
  • Lower intensity of the attack due to lower leverage
  • No two-handed attacks possible due to a short grip

With the short sword you are comparatively agile and can execute quick, effective blows. You can also wear a shield at the same time. If you are fighting an opponent with a long sword, you should rely on good cover, precise blows and plenty of movement. Are your strengths in movement and light-footedness? Then the short sword is the right choice.

If you prefer to keep your opponent at a distance and give him strong, sweeping blows, the long sword is right for you. In both cases, battle ready swords, wooden swords or LARP weapons specially made for the duel are used.

What is the difference between a single-edged sword and a double-edged sword?

Sounds complicated, but it's actually quite simple: A double-edged sword is sharpened on both sides and enables you to strike with both the forehand and the backhand.

In principle, this just means that you can use both sides of the sword. For example, you could turn your blunted blade during combat to keep fighting. Accordingly, single-edged swords are only ground on one side and represent the rarer type of both.

The term "double-edged sword" comes from the Bible. It expresses that something can bring benefits and harm at the same time. Because of the two-sided grinding, there was also the risk of injuring yourself in the back when defending against enemy attacks.

What are edged weapons?

Edged weapons are in principle all weapons that achieve an effect through your pure muscle power. Here you could also come across the term "bare weapons". If you come across this category in sword shops, it only means for you that you will come across swords, daggers, sabers or other bladed weapons.

What are upholstery weapons?

Upholstered weapons or latex weapons are in principle replicas of real swords or “real” weapons as a whole. In contrast to the "original", however, they are made of softer materials. They are mainly used in films, in the theater or in live role-playing (see LARP).

What does LARP mean?

LARP means live action role playing (game). This is primarily about acting and participating in this constructed, past world. There are extra battle ready swords or LARP swords for this. These are basically the same: unsharpened swords for exhibition combat.

If you want to find out more about LARP, I recommend reading advice pages. There are also some forums where followers can exchange ideas. You can buy LARP weapons in almost every sword shop.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate swords

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate swords. This will make it easier for you to decide which sword is suitable for your purposes or not.

In summary, it is:

  • Usage
  • Type and design of the sword
  • Size of the sword
  • Weight of the sword
  • equipment

In the following approaches you can read about what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Usage

As already mentioned above: First you should consider whether you want to use your sword in combat or just use it as a decorative sword. This decision forms the basis for evaluating the size, weight and type of sword, which we will look at in more detail in the following sections.

If you really want to have the "fighting experience" with your sword, the following questions must first be clarified:

  • Can I find a training and combat partner?
  • Is there a club near me that I could join?
  • Am I aware of the risk of injury, but is it not a problem for me?
  • Do I have armor / protective clothing?

If you can answer these questions with "Yes", nothing really stands in the way of the whole thing.