Category: Weapons

Wall of Swords – Updated

This is the current state of my Wall of Awesome:

Wall of swords

I keep telling myself (and my wife) that I have enough swords. That my Wall of Awesome is enough. But then I always find another thing to want. Since I started this blog, I have two new swords and a new axe. I’m now starting to look into armor. I want to feel what it’s like to wear a full suit of medieval armor.

The table and chair is where I sit to polish, oil, and do any other bits of care for my weapons. As they are all made of carbon steel (not stainless steel), they require upkeep. So when I first get a new item (after playing with it for a little bit 🙂 I sit down and give it a good look over. If anything needs to be taken care of (like a spot of rust), I fix it before adding it to the wall.

Fortunately, even with a very, very light coating of oil, these things will be safe from deterioration for months. Unfortunately, I like to take them off the wall and use them, probably too often. Usually I take them down just to handle them a bit: hold them in fighting guards, take practice swings, etc. But sometimes, every couple of months, I’ll take a few down to go outside and cut/stab water bottles. After a lot of handling, and after any water bottle cutting, I have to clean and oil them again. It may sound like a lot of work, but really, I spend maybe 1 hour a month with upkeep. It’s not much at all.

The mattress and blanket on the floor is where I sleep when I want to snuggle with a weapon overnight. [It’s a bed for our dogs to lie on.]

The Old Adventurer

Gothic Axe

This is my gothic axe:

Gothic axe
Gothic axe

With an early medieval axe (“Viking” axe) in my collection, I decided to add a later medieval axe to it. To balance out the wall layout, you see. I don’t know that this axe is specifically modeled on any particular historical model, but it does have a similar design to some pole axes of the late Middle Ages. This axe head on the end of a 6-foot pole would not seem out of place on a 1500s battlefield.
This axe is 25.5 inches long, and weighs less than 2.5 pounds.

The Old Adventurer

Viking Axe

This is my Viking axe:

Viking axe
Viking axe

I wanted a Viking style axe to go with my Viking style sword. I actually more wanted a bearded axe, but all such axes I could find in stock had laser etched Norse designs on the blade. As cool as the various knotwork designs were, they were all obviously laser etched, and that just didn’t feel authentic. Having said that, I think the leather strap work on this one might not be all that authentic, either. But I do feel there’s a difference between adding real leather straps to an axe handle, and using a laser beam to etch designs. The leather straps could have be added in its historical time period; the laser etching, not so much.

The axe head on this doesn’t look much different from a modern wood axe from the side view. But the head is a bit thinner than a wood axe head to reduce the weight. I may eventually replace this with a more Vikingy-looking bearded axe (if I can find one without the laser etching).

This axe is 24.5 inches long, and weighs 2.5 pounds. This weapon isn’t as nimble as a sword of equal weight. This weight (all at the far end) prevents quick redirection and skillful use. With a shield in one hand, and this axe in the other, yeah, a strong warrior could hack through some enemies, but it wouldn’t take long to really wear out your arm stamina. A bearded axe would probably be lighter, even with the same length of blade.

It seems pretty well made — the axe head is firmly attached, and the leather stripping hasn’t moved or come loose even with quite a bit of handling. I haven’t seen historical images with cross-stitched leather straps like this, but whether historical or not, it is useful. The edges of the leather straps gives me better grip on the handle. I do like it, and I’m fine with it on my Wall of Awesome.

The Old Adventurer


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

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