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Thread: Practical Broadswords ?

  1. #1
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    Practical Broadswords ?

    Hello All.
    I am curious to know anyones feelings on the practical broadswords offered through cas/hanwei. The overall measurement is 33 and1/4. blade 28. handle 5 1/2. weight 1lb 10 0z. I am starting a broadsword form soon and would like a good Dao to use. I don't do Wushu.
    Any experts willing to share the knowledge?
    Much obliged.

    Bshaw.

  2. #2
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    I love them (but I'm biased)

    We call Hanwei's practical broadsword the High-Carbon Steel Kung Fu Broadsword with black scabbard (Sharpened) (I know, I know, that's a mouthful, but I didn't make up that name). It's a very nice piece - something with which you could do some real damage. For a traditional practice, it's a tad on the light side for many - a lot of traditionalists prefer to work with overweight weapons as part of their training. The guard is a light steel and the pommel is hollow light steel, which should make this top heavy, but the blade, despite being real tempered steel, is light too. It's a great misconception that fighting swords were unwieldy. Training swords might be, but it just doesn't make sense for something you're going to use in battle.

    Another nice Hanwei piece for traditionalists - the one I'd recommend for training actually - is the Dao (Kung Fu) sword. It's beefier with a solid brass guard and fatter blade. It also has a nicer scabbard (the practical broadsword has this really odd non-traditional slitted scabbard that I can't stand).

    I should warn you - both of these swords are *high carbon* steel. That means one thing: MAINTENANCE. You'll have to oil these after every use or they'll rust up on you. That can be a real pain in the keyster if you use it a lot. We do sell Hanwei oil, which is good stuff, but the spray applicators have a tendency to break, so I personally use different stuff, unless I'm doing a deep cleaning. Given that, you might consider our Single Broadsword Combat Steel which is also steel, but not as high carbon. High carbon steel will rust if you look at it too long - I think it's the moisture from your eyes. Ok, just kidding there, but invariably, the spine of a high carbon dao will rust from contact from the left hand or being cradled in the elbow crook at the beginning and ending of forms. I love high carbon steel for cutting, but for forms practice, the maintenance can be a significant factor.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #3
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    Thanks

    Thank you Gene for that invaluable information. I will look into those options you gave me and consider the maintenance factor.
    Wow first post ever and I get a reply from the big dog.
    Thanks again.

    bshaw

  4. #4
    Ya Thanks Gene on the write up. I was curious as well on which Dao to get for practice. That Single Broadsword Combat Steel looks like a match for me.

  5. #5
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    the big dog?

    I've made a goodly part of my living selling swords for nearly two decades now so just ask the right question...

    I should note that the Single Broadsword Combat Steel will rust too. Any sword that isn't chromed will rust. Even some of the chromed ones might rust if the chrome job is shoddy. Weapons need to be maintained. On alternative - and I've never done this nor do I recommend it - is to cover your blade with some kind of protective coating. Essentially, that's what chrome is, a protective shiny coating. I've heard of people lacquering their blades with various clear protective products that can be found at your local hardware store. I've also worked with blades that had some clear protective coating back when I used to make swords. We usually took that stuff off because it was nasty. It was also very difficult to take off, so that's a consideration. I've used wax as a protective coating, not unlike how you might use car wax (in fact, Blue Pearl car wax was a decent product for this). I used to use something called Curator's choice, which was designed for antiques. Wax provides a temporary protective coat, more lasting than just oil, but that needs to be maintained too.

    I did an article on weapon maintenance 9 Simple Rules of Sword Maintenance The Basic Care and Feeding of Your Sword in our Sword special, 2005 January/February.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
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    I also want to note that the "Practical Broadsword" is really short. 28" blade, I think. It's the same reason I never got the combat steel broadswords my Sifu started making... too little! But I think those, at least, get up to 31" blades, so they might be good for a normal-sized person, but not me.

    The quality on the Hanwei isn't bad, though I thought the guard was a tad flimsy.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=GeneChing;724505]I've made a goodly part of my living selling swords for nearly two decades now so just ask the right question...

    Sorry 'bout that.
    Thanks again.
    When I have made my choice. I will post updates on my findings.

    Peace,

    BSHAW.

  8. #8
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    A lot depends on if you are truly just starting practice with the Dao or if you have ever done blade/sword practice before.

    If you are a newbie with a Dao, I would recommend you first buy a decent practice sword. Not one with an edge but one that is of good weight and balance.

    Beginners DO MAKE MISTAKES. Even with a good quality edge holding sword, hitting yourself can draw blood or worse.

    Virtually every beginner I have ever known has slipped learning flowers, has poked or stabbed something...and don't even think about two person sets... I am lucky that the beginner I was teaching a two person set to one time had a basic Lungchuan broadsword that was not sharp... They made a mistake, I stopped to correct it after saying Halt... and then I got a cut to the legs almost full force...As it was, it drew blood....had it been a good sword, I would have at the least needed stitches.

    You will also find beginners will drop swords...and slip...so a first sword should be one you don't mind messing up...then later get a good one and pass the first one on to another beginner.

  9. #9
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    good points GLW

    Good points there GLW. I will keep that in mind.
    I have some limited experience with blade/sword practice so I'm not a complete newb. I will take into account the usage I would get out of a practice sword possibly saving the better Dao for more intensive training.
    Last edited by banditshaw; 12-07-2006 at 11:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Okay, so chime in on these .... what recommendations do you have for ( name, type, source) :


    1 ) Beginner dao - with good balance and weight for initial learning and practice

    2 ) Advanced level - for practice - with good weight, balance

    3 ) Advanced level / experienced ; practical use ( c'mon - no jibes about "practical" use - you know what I mean ); combat ready


    Feel free to offer details if you like (weight, length, material, felx, balance point, production method, temper, et al ...) but I was just looking to keep it simple and to the point.
    "The moon is not affected by the baying of wolves" - TenTigers 6/29/06
    佛山

  11. #11
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    ATTN: Gene

    As you are rather well informed regarding broadswords, I have a question:

    What weight and thickness would have been considered battleworthy back in the day, and is there anything of comparable heftiness currently offered on the market?

    Did some people favor a lighter sword for its quickness (as some Westerners would have favored a rapier, etc.), sacrificing sturdiness, and heft, etc.? Or, were they generally standard? Their shape seems to be pretty standard.

    PS: this is really only a question about the Chinese broadsword, not a straightsword, or anything like that. Thanks in advance, if you manage to get to this post.
    No, no, no. You're not thinking. You're just being logical---Niels Bohr

    Oh yeah!??!! Well, my dad could beat up your dad!--Lineage-Haters

    For all nonsense there is an equal and opposite nonsense---Wook

    My Youtube Channel

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    We call Hanwei's practical broadsword the High-Carbon Steel Kung Fu Broadsword with black scabbard (Sharpened) (I know, I know, that's a mouthful, but I didn't make up that name). It's a very nice piece - something with which you could do some real damage. For a traditional practice, it's a tad on the light side for many - a lot of traditionalists prefer to work with overweight weapons as part of their training. The guard is a light steel and the pommel is hollow light steel, which should make this top heavy, but the blade, despite being real tempered steel, is light too. It's a great misconception that fighting swords were unwieldy. Training swords might be, but it just doesn't make sense for something you're going to use in battle.

    Another nice Hanwei piece for traditionalists - the one I'd recommend for training actually - is the Dao (Kung Fu) sword. It's beefier with a solid brass guard and fatter blade. It also has a nicer scabbard (the practical broadsword has this really odd non-traditional slitted scabbard that I can't stand).

    I should warn you - both of these swords are *high carbon* steel. That means one thing: MAINTENANCE. You'll have to oil these after every use or they'll rust up on you. That can be a real pain in the keyster if you use it a lot. We do sell Hanwei oil, which is good stuff, but the spray applicators have a tendency to break, so I personally use different stuff, unless I'm doing a deep cleaning. Given that, you might consider our Single Broadsword Combat Steel which is also steel, but not as high carbon. High carbon steel will rust if you look at it too long - I think it's the moisture from your eyes. Ok, just kidding there, but invariably, the spine of a high carbon dao will rust from contact from the left hand or being cradled in the elbow crook at the beginning and ending of forms. I love high carbon steel for cutting, but for forms practice, the maintenance can be a significant factor.
    Well one thing that has always bothered me about the Chinese broadsword(as well as the straight swords) is the fact that the steel from the blade does not go past the hand guard. There is a threaded dowl from there to the end of the handle where the nut tightens all the pieces together.

    This could not have been the way they were made back in the day. I understand there are various reasons as to why now they are not half or full tang. I was wondering if the Hanwei swords are made with this same sorry construction??

    I also noticed that people that make them this way say it is the authentic and traditional way, which would be impossible. As soon as these swords made contact with something solid they would break at this point.

    So what is up with this???

    And is it true ,for the most part, that until modern times that Chinese swords did not even have a handguard/ blood cup??

  13. #13
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    Yeah....I have a combat steel broadsword, and after 4 months some kind of connection between the blade and the handle came loose, and now when I move it, I can feel it either rotate in the socket, or wiggle a little back and forth, and I can swivel the bloodcup a centimeter or two. It's just not solid anymore.

    The first kwan dao I bought (before getting a heavy duty combat steel one that's like 15 lbs.) came loose, and hte blade could literally shift back and forth an inch or two, so I had to retire it, just in case it came loose and went flying towards someone's car when I practice outside, or hit someone in the school (plus, there's a s-load of mirrors there).

    Bought 'em both on MAMart......do you guys have any solid swords that won't get all ****ed up?
    No, no, no. You're not thinking. You're just being logical---Niels Bohr

    Oh yeah!??!! Well, my dad could beat up your dad!--Lineage-Haters

    For all nonsense there is an equal and opposite nonsense---Wook

    My Youtube Channel

  14. #14
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    Wow I totally forgot about this thread.
    I did finally learn a broadsword set and I'm on the verge of purchasing a sword.

    I'm looking over some options and will still post my results.

    The Han Wei Forge stuff still looks solid.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by banditshaw View Post
    Wow I totally forgot about this thread.
    I did finally learn a broadsword set and I'm on the verge of purchasing a sword.

    I'm looking over some options and will still post my results.

    The Han Wei Forge stuff still looks solid.
    looks can be deceiving.

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