well rounded sword

This Forum is a place for students of swordsmanship to ask advice from moderators Paul Champagne & Scott M. Rodell on how to practice test cutting in a manner consistent with how swords were historically used in combat. Readers use this Forum at their own risk.

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TienLungTaoist
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well rounded sword

Post by TienLungTaoist » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:11 pm

Hello, Im new to the forum. I found this site by searching sword reviews. I Practice Gung Fu, TaiChi, Baguazhang, and some Karate. So far my favorite fencing style is the TaiChi Jian. I own a training wushu steel as well as a big heavy generals style jian but I am looking for a serious well rounded Jian. I want something I can cut with, use for practice and were I ever to use it its not going to fail. I go hunting alot and id rather have something like a sword that I know how to use than a machete. I would like something that looks good too. So far my favorite Jian is the Paul Chen Damascus Taichi Jian http://www.wle.com/products/1013GT.html But after researching damascus steel, I know this is not the real deal but I wouldnt mind if its functional. I like it mostly for the look because it feel very much like it suits me. I enjoy the Taijitu on the guard. But if this is not going to handle a little abuse I dont want to spend my money on it. I would like just something that I can use for practice, cutting, woods, is well balanced, and not too bad looking. If perhaps someone could advise me I would be most grateful. Im new to sword of good quality and I only have one good sword and I dont use it its just for show.

Nik
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Re: well rounded sword

Post by Nik » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:40 pm

Depends on what you want to do with it, and how long your interest holds up. For the occasional form, a wooden sword (Graham, ~$60-90 ?), or a cheap, well balanced steel jian like the Adam Hsu series would be perfectly appropriate. If you want to practice strikes on training objects like chains wrapped in leather etc., daily, and for some longer time, or want to do partner work (safety equipment !!!), you need something that is durable, while not really sharp.

The new cutting jian sold here may be sufficient for his if you simply make it a bit dull so your object survives this. Me personally, I also don't like the tendency of todays chinese makes coming somewhat fat in the region of 900g and above, which is not really the typical weight range of a Qing or Ming era single hand jian. So you probably want to also make it a bit lighter with careful grinding, whichs needs some knowledge to not have it suffer from de-hardening. Later this year I could offer you such lighter blunt make of the 700-800g (by choice) region handmade personally by a Solingen area swordsmith with +35 years experience, but not at the very moment (which is frankly going on my nerves meanwhile).

For cutting purposes, there is at this time probably Scotts Hanwei sword your best guess, especially if located in the US (tax, transport). For obvious reasons, I have a hard time favoring my own make over his here, so at the same price tag, buy his. ;) I will probably offer something made at a slightly higher price made of a harder, more durable steel ( 55Si7, or highest duty car manufacturing steel like CrMoV4 which is very hard to get, or very high hardening industrial tool steels ) with differential hardening later this year (also with historical weight and balance, i.e. not 950g). Also in the planning are more sophisticated twisted core / layered constructions (sanmei), but that would be prohibitively expensive for the casual player with limited financial resources.

You can find other makes of the Huanuo brand also on Scotts main page http://www.sevenstarstrading.com at better prices than they have on their own website, including Sanmei makes.

One warning regarding the "good looking" cheap swords - very often, the stunning damascenian pattern is only PRINTED on the surface of a monosteel blade of cheap steel quality (too soft). Looks very, very good, but you can wash it off with TOOTHPASTE. Or even simple soap. So usually, there is a reason like this if you find very cheap "pattern welded" swords in the $200 region. If you want that plain as a wall-hanger, you can safely use that cheap makes with some good looking pattern and nicely made antique looking fittings on ebay, like this this one or this or this. Be aware of the shipping costs scam, they often charge you like $95 for sending, which is what they make their real profit from. These are all fake antiques, but good enough to place over the doorstep or chimney.

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by TienLungTaoist » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:15 pm

I would really like it to cut but I also want it to be affordable. I would feel bad using a $1,000+ sword for anything other than display and the occasional tournament/demo. I would really like to find a good review on the Hanwei, Paul Chen Damascus Tai Chi sword SH1013. http://www.hanweishop.com/proddetail.php?prod=SH1013 I'm very Taoist and I feel this sword is beautiful and represents alot for me but if it wont make it through a bamboo pole without bending and losing its edge then its not worth my time even if it had the Tao Teh Ching ingraved on the blade.

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:12 pm

You might like to see this thread: Hanwei Cutting Jian?
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=795

I think this might be the jian you are looking for, but I might be a little prejudiced since I designed it...

Link to directly to purchase this jian form my site: http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/html/h ... gjian.html

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:15 pm

TienLungTaoist wrote:... review on the Hanwei, Paul Chen Damascus Tai Chi sword SH1013.... it wont make it through a bamboo pole without bending and losing its edge...
None of the swords in the Paul Chen series can be used for test cutting, they were not designed with cutting in mind & would be dangers to use for cutting.

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by TienLungTaoist » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:15 am

Scott M. Rodell wrote:You might like to see this thread: Hanwei Cutting Jian?
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=795

I think this might be the jian you are looking for, but I might be a little prejudiced since I designed it...
I like this one and its affordable. this might be the one I go for. Thanks alot Scott.

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by TienLungTaoist » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:30 am

Wow after a lot of research I learned a lot about swords, sword making, and how much of a noob I sounded in my first post of this thread.lol Well im still a major noob but i know much more than I started out with.lol I ended up trying to decide between the Cold Steel Gim and the Hanwei cutting Jian. honestly I never really decided which one I wanted most. I actually want to have both but I ordered the Cold Steel sword based on only one thing and that was the length of the handle. Im a short guy and though I have good sized hands it seemed that it was a bit long for me. But that is based on the pics Ive seen and the vids with someone holding it. I will probably end up getting the Hanwei in the near future but I really hope to one day go for the Royal Peony. I would like to know though, if anyone knows of a good martial artists review on the cold steel Gim. I have read things on its balance but nothing major. The only review I found on it was on SBG but he sais hes not a martial artist so he cant comment on the martial arts use. If maybe someone on here has one and can tell me of anything I should watch out for or anything you really like about it. Just a quick review on the performance in Gung Fu and Taichi application. Im like a little kid with a new toy I cant wait for it to arrive. :mrgreen:

Thanks in advanced

B.Ko
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Re: well rounded sword

Post by B.Ko » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:23 pm

The cold steel Gim does NOT have a historically accurate clamshell profile on the blade. It's flat diamond.

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TienLungTaoist
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Re: well rounded sword

Post by TienLungTaoist » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:16 pm

I really dont mind if its not historically accurate since I'm going for function and durability, not looks or for a collection item. I actually like the New hanwei cutting jian alot more when it comes to looks and its probably better balanced etc. The cold steel is kind of strange looking but I hear in person its different. however since im going through some hard economical times I wanted to buy something I was sure that would be compatible with me as far as training and developing my skills went. again I wasn't too sure about the whole long handle thing and I once tried my form with a katana and it didnt work out too well. I hope that perhaps I can see one of those hanwei jian in person to try it out then see if the handle is no big deal but pictures and videos are not a good source of what it would feel like. The Cold steel actually has the same length grip as my Display Wu Jian so I know I can handle it.

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Re: well rounded sword

Post by Nik » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:41 am

I'll be able to ship perfectly 6" balanced high performance steel jian of ~760g and ~840g in near future. I have the parts, the only problem is in the pricing negotiations with the smith, as I did not want to exceed certain limits as a service to the enthusiasts scene. As of now, it would be difficult to get below 330 euro, although my target price originally was 250 euro for the entry level. Each sword forged by a master smith with an airpressure hammer, and each one individually polishable within certain limits, also polished from the head of a family being in the polishing business since the 1500s. That means, sharp, not so sharp or blunt, round edges, clamshell, whatever you like.

BTW, would there be an issue with how to set up an information paper shipping, to avoid getting sued to death from someone who thought a sharp bladed weapon magically does stop at the skin when hitting an unvoluntary test specimen with full force ?

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