This is my rapier:


Although the rapier is usually considered a Renaissance weapon (outside my normal medieval range), I wanted to own one. I mean, it’s an iconic sword known and recognized by most anyone. It was generally not a weapon of war, but was a personal defense tool for city streets. (Yes, some men did take them onto the battlefield, and yes, they were seen outside of cities.)

This sword is 40 inches long, and weighs just over 2.5 pounds. It feels good and nimble in the hand. I had KoA sharpen the edges, but it’s not mean for cutting. The point is deadly sharp. I’ve stabbed many water bottles with it, and it slides in and out very easily. I can imagine how dangerous this weapon would be in the hand of a skilled duelist.

The Old Adventurer


This is my cutlass:

This is the first curved, single-bladed sword I bought. A cutlass is an iconic style sword — Pirates! — and I want a variety of styles in my collection. This sword is pretty cheap (half the price of the cruciform styles), so I grabbed it just to have.

This cutlass is named an “Anix cutlass,” but I haven’t a clue what “Anix” is or means. It’s just over 30 inches long, and weighs less than 2 pounds. It’s light in the hand, so it’s nimble to maneuver. It’s short, presumably for easier use in close quarters like on a ship. Both of these factors make the blade safer for in-home wielding — less danger of nicking furniture, or a wall or ceiling (or a family member or a pet).

I had KoA sharpen the blade, and I’ve cut a few water bottles with it. It cuts . . . decently. I can’t say there’s anything wrong with the sword, but for me, it’s just a bit, meh. But it was inexpensive, so it was easy to add to my collection. It’s something different from my other swords, but it’s nothing special among them.

The Old Adventurer

Arming Sword

This is my first arming sword:

Arming sword

I wanted an arming sword because it’s the quintessential, “normal”, sword of Dungeons & Dragons fighters. The one-handed, double-bladed, cruciform, straight sword has been as common in D&D art through the editions as it is in historical medieval art the centuries. In fact, when most people think of “a sword,” this is the type of weapon that comes to mind.

This is another sword made by Deepeeka (bought through Kult of Athena). At the time I was looking for an arming sword, KoA was running short on the type (a lot of things were out of stock in 2020). I had some idea of what specs I wanted in a sword, and this sword was at the upper weight limit that I wanted. But the design was interesting, it was a good price, and it was in stock. So I ordered it.

This sword is almost 38 inches long, and weights 3 pounds. It’s on the heavy end for a one-handed sword, and with a point of balance over 8 inches from the hilt, you feel the heavy. Plus, the grip is diamond shaped (not square), and tapers into the pommel. That’s uncomfortable and exacerbates the heavy feel in hand and in use. I had KoA sharpen the blade, and this sword cuts decently. But it just doesn’t feel comfortable or agile. It’s a hack-and-slash weapon (like the Viking sword), and can probably work well with a shield. I just wouldn’t be able to fence with it (in one hand) because of the strange grip.

The Old Adventurer

Longsword/Bastard Sword

This is my first longsword:

My knowledge of swords began with Dungeons & Dragons. In D&D nomenclature, a “longsword” (sometimes called a “normal sword”) is a one-handed sword of around 36″ long. In historical nomenclature, a longsword is a two-handed sword around 40″ long. The D&D longsword is better identified historically as an “arming sword.”

This sword, by Balaur Arms (bought through Kult of Athena), is named a longsword, but knowing a bit more about swords, now, I’d put it probably in the bastard sword category (having a grip length just under 7 inches). Granted, there isn’t a definite line between longsword (two-handed) and bastard sword (hand-and-a-half), so calling this a longsword isn’t certainly wrong. This sword is 44.5 inches long, and weights just over 2.5 pounds. I had KoA sharpen the blade.

This sword is a great cutter. I’ve cut water bottles, milk cartons, soda bottles (thicker plastic than water bottles), and even orange juice bottles (thick plastic). It cuts very well, and is a joy to use in that way. It’s weight and balance feel comfortable in my hands, so this sword is my favorite to cut with (though it isn’t my favorite sword, overall).

The Old Adventurer

Viking Sword

This is the very first real, carbon steel, battle ready sword I bought:

Viking sword
Viking sword

This is a Viking sword made by Deepeeka (and bought online through Kult of Athena). I was still learning about real sword specifications when I picked out this blade. I wanted something real and battle ready, but also as inexpensive as I could get. Since buying this, I’ve heard/read that Deepeeka is considered generally low quality stuff, but this (and other pieces) seems fine to me. I’ve found nothing quality-wise to complain about with this or other Deepeeka swords and gear I’ve bought. I’m satisfied that they are as described, with no construction issues.

This sword is almost 37″ long, and weighs a bit over 3 pounds. As a broad-bladed Viking sword, it’s made for hacking and slashing. The wide pommel (common among Viking and Norman swords) takes getting used to (it tends to interfere at the wrist). I had KoA sharpen the blade, and I’ve done some water bottle test cutting with it. It cuts well, but at 3 pounds weight, it’s heavy for a one-handed sword. If you aren’t already strong in the arms, using this a lot will definitely get you there. I’ve learned (through experience) that I prefer a sword that weighs under 3 pounds (whether one-handed, or two-handed).

But even if I don’t use it for cutting, I do like having at least one Viking style sword in my collection.

The Old Adventurer

Small Tizona

This sword was given to me by my mom:

My mom gave me this sword several years ago. I think she bought it during a trip to Italy. Like my oldest sword, this is apparently also a [smaller] reproduction of Tizona, one of the swords carried by Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid (circa 1470). Like the older sword, it is a stainless steel decorative item, with no sharp edge. But, as it’s smaller than the other, instead of being mounted above my desk, it has always sat in the window sill behind me so it’s easy at hand when I want to hold a sword (which has been fairly often).

It is 29.5 inches long, and weights 1.4 pounds. I’ve never cut anything with it, but I like just holding it while sitting at my desk while watching videos or waiting for a game to load.

The Old Adventurer

Tizona, Sword of El Cid

This is my oldest sword:

Tizona - sword of El Cid

This sword was given to me by a very good friend back in the mid 80s — I was around 18-19 years old. I loved getting this sword, and I felt so cool just to own a sword. It has followed me through many moves, through college, through multiple homes with my wife, and is still mounted above my desk in my home office.

I didn’t know it when I received this gift (only learned in recent years): This is apparently a replica of Tizona, one of the swords carried by Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid (circa 1470). This is just a decorative wall hanger, but I didn’t know that; I knew it was “A SWORD!”

It is 40.5″ long, and weighs 2.8 pounds. As a decorative sword, it’s made of stainless steel, and the blade is not sharpened (though the tip is sharp). The dark discoloration is from age; until recently, I’ve never even tried to clean it other than dusting it off with a cloth. Recently I did try to clean it with Bar Keeper’s Friend, and that is the white residue you can see on the hilt. BKF barely did anything to clean it — the blade is very slightly lighter than it used to be.

Even though the blade is not sharp, I have whacked small tree limbs with it a couple times (many years ago). It successfully cut the limbs (less than 1 inch in diameter) clean off the tree, and it didn’t break. So, considering it is only a decorative object, that’s pretty good (and lucky for me).

This sword has a special place in my heart.

The Old Adventurer

My Wall of Swords

This is one of the walls in my home office (it’s really a nerd-man’s play room):

The swords on the table are old wall hangers I’ve had for several years (on the left) and a few decades (on the right). The other weapons, mounted on the wall, are new and real, battle ready and sharp. I’ve collected the new items over the past year (2020), but just recently decided how I wanted to display them. I want to be able to see and show them, and I want to be able to pick them up and hold them (“play” with them). The map in the middle of the display is a fantasy style map of the U.S. The round, blue shield on the floor is something I made and painted myself.

I’m happy with this display, and I plan to expand on it. (I call it “My Wall of Awesome”.) I want to have at least one of each type of medieval weapon (not just swords), and I’d like to have a suit of plate armor, as well.

A note on the history of swords:
Swords have been in use for a very long time — multiple thousands of years — with a wide variety in forms depending on the technology of the times. My main interest in historical melee arms is the medieval period, or Middle Ages. But the Middle Ages is a very broad range: from around 500 CE to 1500 CE — 1,000 years/10 centuries. [Between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the European Renaissance.] So, in real historical settings, some of these swords would never have been used against one another, or even be seen at the same time. For instance, the sword on the left bottom (a “Viking” sword) and the sword on the right top (a cutlass) are separated by hundreds of years with no overlap in time of use.

Plus, not only did swords (and other melee weapons) change with technological improvements (in material and design), but they changed depending on their intended use. For instance, the sword on the left top (a longsword/bastard sword) was mostly a war weapon used on a battlefield against armored soldiers, and the sword on the far right (a rapier) was mostly a personal weapon used on city streets against unarmored civilians — yet these two swords were in use during the same time period, and could even have been used/owned by the same person.

The Old Adventurer