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Some Tips before buying your first sword

You are most likely reading this article because you want to get a sword but don't know much about them. Maybe you have been shopping around online and you are confused by a whole lot of questions like the types of swords, the lengths of them, the types of steel and all kinds of other things.

Well, this article is going to help you a lot. It will teach you a few things and it will give you the information and the confidence to make a good purchase.


Me Buying a Sword

Ask yourself some questions first

Why do you want a sword? Do you want to practice a martial art with it? Do you just want to be able to swing it around a bit and have some fun with it. Is it something you are just interested in aesthetically? Will it be hung on the wall and be taken down so you and other people can look at it and admire it?

All these questions are important. They help you find the sword that is right for you.


First Thing -

This might not be possible for you but get your hands on some swords. Is there a way for you to do that? That would be best. Are there any stores local to you that sell them? Do you have friends or know somebody that has a sword or a sword collection?

Nothing can replace an actual hands-on experience with a sword. So, you should make that a priority if you can do it.

If there is no local stores that sell swords and you don't know anybody that owns a sword that is ok. I have some suggestions for you.

Try the SCA - It is an organization that practices Creative Anachronism! They are the people that stage medieval battles and do other things like that. It is a very active organization and they have chapters that meet all over the country. Here is a search tool to see if they have a chapter near where you live: Search for a kingdom at the SCA

If they have a club that has meetings near where you can live you can show up and check out their weapons and armor! And you will find people with some sword knowledge and experience.

Try HEMA - This is another organization. They promote Historical European Martial Arts and are very big on various types of sword and fencing arts. Lots of swords with this organization. Check their website to see if they have a group that meets near you: HEMA Alliance


If that is not an option for you - Second Thing

That is ok, the online world is very responsive and helpful when it comes to buying things. For example. If you want to buy a sword from amazon you will be able to read lots of reviews from people who have bought that particular sword. And chances are good there are also questions and answers attached to that product. That is all very helpful. And of course the online world is very friendly when it comes to returning a product if it isn't what was expected. So, you can buy with confidence from established and known sellers like Amazon.

So, that is my second piece of advice for you. Find something on amazon that you think you might want and read the comments, read the reviews and read the questions and answers.


Third thing - Make up a mock sword

A cardboard swordThis is a really good idea for several reasons. First off it will give you a really good feel for the size of a sword. If you have been shopping online for a sword you probably have a few favorites. And chances are good that all the stats are clearly stated for the sword. Things like the blade is 35 inches and the handle is 14 inches. That's perfect because you can make up a sword with those sizes. Then when you swing it around you can get a good feel for the size and feel.

And the size of a sword is important, particularly when it comes to your size! Are you tall, short? How much do you weigh. All of these things are important. Making up a mock sword can give you a comfort level when it comes to subsequently purchasing a sword.

The sword you see in the picture is a foamboard replica of the Iron Sword in skyrim. You don't have to get that elaborate with your home made sword. You can just make something with pieces of cardboard. Just keep in mind the dimensions. That's important. I have a tutorial on how to make a basic foamboard sword right here. It also applies to using cardboard: How to Make a foam board sword

One more thing about making a faux sword just so you can get the feel of it.

The weight of a sword is also a very big factor. It makes a big difference. You might want to consider weighting your home made sword with something so you can get a feel for swinging an actual sword. Typically a sword, depending of course on a lot of factors, will weigh 3-6 pounds. So that gives you a little bit to go on.


a PVC Sword

Another alternative you can do is make a sword out of PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) plumbers plastic pipe. It is very cheap and easy to work with. And it will give you a durable sword with some weight to it. You can actually hit things with it. I have a tutorial on how to do it right here: How to Make a PVC Sword


Your quest to buy a sword is a fun one! Hopefully I have given you some good ideas and advice that will make the quest a bit easier.


What about the steel of a sword?

It can be a bit confusing. But continue on to Part 2 and learn everything you need to know about the steel of a sword:


Price of a sword

This is a bit of a tricky question but I will answer it best as I can with: it depends!

It depends on a quite a few different factors how much you should expect to pay for a sword. You can get actual swords for twenty to fifty dollars. But, typically they are not useable as a sword. They are typically of the wall-hanger type. They are something to look at and hold but not swing around! And they will often not be of optimal steel quality. This is because the right kind of steel for a sword is expensive. Whereas cheaper steels can be quite a bit cheaper in price. But hey, they are swords! (I have a tutorial here on steel in swords)

Once you start getting into the range over $1oo then you start to see swords of quality and use. From there you can spend upward of a thousand dollars. But, my guideline for buying a quality sword would be to look for a company that has a good sword making reputation and start at the $100-200 dollar plus range of price.

The steel of a sword katana

The Steel of a sword

If you are looking to buy a sword you might be wondering about the steel. There are a lot of types of steel, 1060? 1065? What does all this mean and is it important? I explain it all, what the numbers mean and what a good steel is for a sword. About Steel and Swords


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