UC Swords Functional?

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by sihotan, Jan 3, 2004.

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  1. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    Never so truer words ever spoken. I am a member of the The Society for Creative Anachronism and have used them as well as my buddies in the sosicet. There many members here that will attest to the strength of these swords and who have also used them for various reasons.
    I really think that this gets under many functional sword purists hides because not only are they beautiful they are sturdy and will take allot of abuse if you choose to use them and abuse them. But make a not here I am not implying they are functional, they are not and were never meant to be. I am just attesting to there strength. They are not only well build but the finest representations of the movie sword props in history!
    And you comment about any swords breaking is so true!!! There is no sword made that is not susceptible to this.
     
  2. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Nobody is doubting that the UC swords are well made. I can spar witha garden rake too. That doesn't make it any safer.

    I work in an industrial environment, I see idiots all the time trying to take shortcuts, using improper tools and getting hurt. Good for them, it's job security for me.

    I just hope that you're not the next subject in a "Idiot of the Week with a Stainless Steel Sword" video.
     
  3. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Connovar... if you and your friends are using $250 decorative replicas for sparring, you're either immensely foolish or have money to burn, or both. And if you have money to burn, why not just buy some real stage steel if you want to smash it against stuff?

    And Swordsman, I'm surprised you would basically condone fighting with these swords. "Oh, they're strong, I'm SCA and I fight with them too!" does not help to minimize potential accidents. The dig at collectors of truly functional swords was also uncalled for. Perhaps you and your wallhanger-banger group would like to be responsible for the next collector who snaps off a stainless blade and jabs his eye out with it? If anyone should be stressing that you shouldn't fight with these swords, it should be a retailer selling them.

    Bottom line... buy something meant for fighting/cutting/sparring if you're gonna fight, cut, or spar with it. Using a beautiful display piece in this manner is like cleaning your bathtub with a bottle of Cristal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2004
  4. Connovar Oakenshield

    Connovar Oakenshield Sun Hang Warrior

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    Guys, guys, guys....accept the fact that they can be used for more than just wallhanging and move on. You have absolutley no proof that they can't be used, while I and others have a heck of a lot of proof that they can. Just dueled today against a buddy using the RW sword, the one he's been exclusively using since he bought it, and had a great time. And by 'smash it against stuff'...I assume you mean swordplay, ie what a sword is meant for? Funny how some people are so aghast that anyone would consider actually USING one. And I'm quite glad another person, Swordsman, spoke up. He is simply stating a fact that I've been saying this whole time, YOU CAN USE THEM, while not functional on paper, they are tough as nails where it really counts. Yes, I'm 100% positive that they will one day break, just as I'm 100% positive that every other blade that is used will as well. And again, if you've never used them, you are in no position to judge them.
     
  5. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    I've never ever been a pedophile, but that doesn't make me incapable of judging them, either.

    I hold no contempt for the LOTR swords, I own the WHOLE collection. I've seen how they are constructed, so if you and your buddies want to take your own lives into your own hands, that's good for you. Hopefully Darwin is on your side.

    However, seeing that a great deal of our membership is under 16 years old, I don't find it wise to advocate using these for sparring to people that are unaware of the risks they're taking. (Swordsman, I'm surprised too.) Yeah, yeah, yeah they don't fly apart easy and I know they're sturdier than the sword in the infamous katana video, blah blah blah. It's not worth the risk when there are equally priced safer alternatives there.
     
  6. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    Ok If I am going to be repramanded by what I say lets try and keep it in context!

    I Quote:

    " I am not implying they are functional, they are not and were never meant to be. I am just attesting to there strength."

    The reason I posted this was to add my personnal observations of the strength of the swords and I still stand behind what I said about them. These swords are well made, they are strong enough to stand up to normal handling. There not going to fall apart at the slightese breeze that comes by.

    I also pointed out that we have, in our group, used them for demonstrations without the slightst mishape or problem. And breakage and bending can and does happen with all types of swords, functional and non-functional.

    My post had nothing to do with endorsing the use of these swords as functional weapons.

    I quote again. "" I am not implying they are functional, they are not and were never meant to be. I am just attesting to there strength."

    And as far as the little vidio goes of the sword breaking...it was funny. And it was also used by the functional sword folks as a candy stick to flame the LOTR swords. Well folks how much do you want to bet if I really wanted to, and looked hard enough, I could find an example of this same thing happening to a functional sword. Any takers?
     
  7. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Alright, this is starting to turn a bit ugly, and I theorize it is because of the long-standing feud between "sword purists" and "SLO collectors." So let's level the playing field.

    I can say with certainty that myself, Sky, and Aaron are not here to in any way put down the LotR line. We've all said on many accounts that we love the swords, own mostly all if not truly all of the pieces, and that they are well-made as compared to many other inexpensive, decorative swords (and that is the bracket the LotR swords fall under). I personally also own many of Kit Rae's other swords and I love them all. So now, that's out of the way.

    I do not like to consider myself a "sword purist", simply because there is a negativity that comes with that. I do not like to use the term "SLO" or "sword-like-object" unless I really get riled up, and after that I feel bad about it. Elitism is not my thing. I prefer to consider myself an educated collector and enthusiast. For many, MANY years I collected inexpensive swords and although I knew there were better swords out there I did not know the varying degrees of how much "better" a sword can be. Through the years I have educated myself and only now do things make more sense than ever. Honestly, there is no comparison between the strength of a properly forged, heat-treated 1075, 5160, A2 or L6 bainite sword made by a skilled smith and a 420 or 440 stainless or Inox sword pumped out by overseas labor in an assembly-line setup. To draw a direct comparison between the two is a blantant disregard for the swordmaker's art.

    Either way, stainless or carbon-steel, I have not and will never take one of my swords... all of which I am very proud of... and smash it against something else. Call it swordplay if you will, or call it "beating"... I cannot see myself damaging something beautiful that I paid a good bit of money for. Now, if I ever -had- to trust a sword to hold up, I would certainly not trust my life to a stainless steel sword. Doing so would be akin to a stuntman replacing the airbag he's about to fall on with a few air-filled Glad bags.

    Being a member of the SCA sadly does not make anyone anywhere near an 'expert' anymore. I've seen SCA members who know their steel and will only combat with specifically approved weapons and armor, and then there are SCA members who will carelessly bang two crowbars or lead pipes together to "practice" and think nothing different. You're welcome to do either... but how is the latter professional in any way? It isn't, and I know SCA's rules do not call for it.

    Bottom line... are the UC swords functional? No. Yes, they're strong for what they are and can take a whooping in most circumstances. That alone does not make a sword functional or battle-ready, two terms that are thrown around too liberally nowadays. The UC swords are, however, well constructed for their price-point and intented use and are all fine United products.
     
  8. swordsman

    swordsman New Member

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    I know you guys are not here to flame the products, both of you have been exceptional members here and have added some excellent opinions on concerning them, which I see no reason for that to stop. As a matter of fact without you my job and work would be doubled. Not to mention you help keep me in line here as with any member. I am in no way arguing the point of functionality here at all or calling any one out for there opinion. Pleas do not get the wrong idea. And if you will notice I have not made many comments here in this section much at all. So don't worry I will not let this elevate into something that it is not. All I was pointing out was that these swords will not fall apart in our hands as some here have implied. And I am not point fingers or nothing of the sort. I am just trying to disprove the idea that just because these swords are not functional they are not cheap, rip-offs, or counterfeit junk as some would have others to believe, simply because they are not functional. With that said I highly respect everyone's opinions and discussions here and just because I added my two cents doesn't make that the gospel either. That is why we are all here, and that is do discuss things like this openly and truthfully as adults. I find your & Sky's statements or comments above very truthful, I hope you view mine the same way.
     
  9. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    No problems here, Larry :)

    Just lookin' out for the other guy. With four kids of my own (three boys) it's all I can do to keep them from killing themselves or each other before they leave home... ;)
     
  10. Connovar Oakenshield

    Connovar Oakenshield Sun Hang Warrior

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    I am well aware that they are certainly not the strongest swords out there. Never said they were. It just annoys me to no end when I see people saying that these swords will fall apart at first contact or even dry handling, because I know that is just not true. Breakage is something you have to deal with...over the years I've had many 'functional' swords break, as well as non. If one chooses to simply hang their swords on the wall, thats fine...but others actually use them. You say 'call it swordplay, if you will'.....uh thats what it is. Thats what swords are meant for. Its the difference between 'sword collector' and 'swordsman'. But I digress. They CAN and WILL stand up to normal handling and use.
     
  11. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Actually, I would argue that a true swordsman would never, ever spar with a stainless sword. So, for someone who DOES do that, many dedicated enthusiasts and practicioners would not consider them a 'swordsman' despite their skill level.

    I'm pretty deft with a length of rebar, but that doesn't make me a swordsman either. But I digress.
     
  12. Meldawen

    Meldawen New Member

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    I am very new to the whole topic of swords but not to the love of them. And I may be a bit naive, but I'd like to give one woman's perspective on this topic.

    The LOTR movies and swords inspired me to do something I've wanted to do ever since I was 20. I decided to take Kung Fu weapons fighting, and Tai-Chi w/weapons. So I began doing some searching on the web for functional swords to see what my options are.

    I came across a site with wooden swords and at first it struck me as being a silly thing to use- like I'd be embarrassed, but then the realization struck me that if you really want to learn how to fight for real, this is the way to learn. You take away the danger of using a real sword so that you can gain the technique and confidence needed to really wield one against a skilled opponent who is really trying to kill you. You can give it your all and maybe have a mishap where you break a few bones or smash some fingers, but the learning won't kill you this way. right?

    And then as I was reading the 4 pages of this thread my previous realization showed me that I would NEVER consider using any collectibe sword (especially LOTR, which I love to death) to learn sword fighting with nor would I "play" at sword fighting with them. I kept asking myself why someone would... to what purpose? Swords were not made for sword play as someone in this forum mentioned... they were made to kill. In real life- dead! So when you're sword "playing" are you playing or are you trying to kill someone or learn how to kill someone?

    So the two questions I put forward to everyone here are:
    1. Are you sparring/sword "playing" because you want to learn how to sword fight (or to practice the skills you already have) so that if you lived in a world where swords were used instead of guns, you'd be able to keep yourself and your family alive and safe? (or even for displaying your skill at tournaments and such?)
    2. Or are you sparring with the sword to show off the sword and how cool it is to be sparring with Strider's sword, or Gandalf's or maybe pretenting you're in Middle-earth?

    If you're sparring to learn and to increase your skill, and be counted as a master swordsman/woman, then what are you doing using your LOTR prop reproduction to practice with? Yes it's real, in terms of being there in the physical universe, but it's a real copy of a movie sword- clearly it's not a real sword in the world of serious sword fighting. It is a collectible, whether or not it is well constructed or poorly constructed, whether it is made of strong steel or brittle. It's a toy... it's a fantasy sword. It wasn't made to fight with, it was made to hang on a wall and look good. And being what it is, it's a dangerous thing, moreso if the metal was not made strong enough for real sword fighting.

    Anyway, so if you're using your LOTR sword to learn with, consider putting it down and not leaving yourself or someone else open to serious harm. There are sites that sell the wooden swords and staves that a serious swordsman/woman would really be using to learn their craft with and to increase their skill- get one of those and do it for real.

    If you're "playing" with the sword because you're pretending that you're in Middle-earth, I see nothing wrong with that- but then be true to the tale. There is no way you could have possibly gotten a hold of Strider's ranger sword or Glamdring unless you stole it. You wouldn't have won it from them in battle so what honor would you have if you really had it in your hands? In a real sword fight against then, odds are that you would have been dead.

    So even in the fantasy world of Middle-Earth, if you were there, you would have had to make a copy in order to pretend that you have their sword- it still wouldn't be the real one. So forget the fantasy that you actually have their sword and that you are wielding their sword. Even in the Middle-Earth fantasy it's a fantasy. No way would you have bested them for it. So why use a collectible copy of a fantasy sword that belonged to another in order to engage in swordplay here now in the real world?

    Instead of trying to be like like Strider (or whoevery) by having a copy of something desireable that they owned in a pretend world... hone your own skills for real so that you would be a peer of Strider's. And when you feel you're at that level, get, buy or make a sword that is worthy of your skill... gaining that skill with serious practice with a silly wooden sword.

    So now whether you're sword fighting in the real world or that fantasy world, you would fit in as yourself, with your own sword, wonderous to others... your magic would be contained therein in either world you choose to fight in.

    And hang the reproduction back on the wall where it belongs.

    There was another thread that asked what character from the LOTR people would like to be if they could go to Middle Earth (something like that). When I read that, even though I love and respect the qualities of all the heros and would want to go to Middle-Earth for real, I would not want to go as any one of them. I'd want to go to Middle-Earth as me... as one of their equals... and maybe my future skill with a blade would earn me that place if somehow I got transported to ME or any other similar world.

    The way I see it is that once you truly have the skill, having learned on the wooden, then spend the money and get a really well made functional sword that you make your own through it's use with your skill.

    If you want to do it real, do it real and don't swordplay... learn how to really fight for your life, and do it with a wooden sword until the time comes when you could win the sword fight of your life- then honor yourself with the real thing.

    To me, the props are simply inspiration... something that makes me want to be more than I am but also be more as me, not as a fantasy character or as anyone else. Tolkien directly gave us so much to live up to and Jackson gave us physical representations of those things we can look up to and strive to be.... something physical to see and to hold.

    So I can't comprehend why anyone would do anything more than look at them and hold them, and hang them on the wall in honor. Then go out into the real world and kick ass- the way it's really done... whether it's some form of bettering this world, helping others, or sword fighting- don't pretend at it- and if you're not pretending, then use the real tools that go along with the task you've undertaken.

    Swords, whether real enough to sword fight with, or not, they are dangerous objects and should be respected. My feeling is that these swords especially should be treated with honor, not battered and broken in "play" or "pretend" fighting.

    I hope this didn't come off as a lecture... that was not my intent, so I hope nobody got offended. These are just my uneducated views...
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2004
  13. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Connovar, I feel you are doing a disservice to this thread. Not only are you saying these swords can be used, you are referring to them as if everyone should use them.

    Reminds me of the story I heard about a hobo in a train yard. He was urinating on the railroad tracks. Another hobo told him, "Don't pee there!" The first hobo says, "Don't worry, I'm keeping away from the third rail! (which is electrified)." Then he was hit by a train.

    The moral? Don't tempt fate. Stay off the train tracks altogether. You are fighting with swords not designed to take combat stress.

    Do functional swords break? Yes. Do well made functional swords break? Only after a hell of a long beating.

    The UC swords have cast metal handles (most likely zinc). Why is that bad? The tang of the sword takes a huge amount of shock. A wooden handle helps reverberate the vibration, absordbing some of the shock. Metal will not do that, thus effectively weakening the tang. Some day that blade won't break, but the tang will snap and the blade will become a missile. Not to mention the htang rubbing against the metal handle will cause the tang to become loose in the grip, and therefore rattle. The more the tang moves, the more it will loosen and therefore break.

    The UC swords have everything going against them as far as functional swords go. wrong steel, wrong fittings, wrong handle, no distal tapering profiles, incorrect weights, no tempering, not harmonically, and it keeps going. They are meant ONLY for display. I can give even more reasons why they shouldn't be used, and other than "I've used them and they don't break" you cannot give any reason they should be.

    If you are so certain these swords are fine to use, then try posting that over at www.swordforum.com . Such statements WILL NOT be taken so lightly.
     
  14. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    And very good views they were. I spend a lot of time practicing drills with my swords whenever I can. Then after holding my UC swords I know I shouldn't put them under the same stress.

    It's like when you know something is wrong with your car, you can feel something different with it. Whether it be a slight vibration or a new creaking sound, once you get a lot of use out of something you can sense problems.


     
  15. Connovar Oakenshield

    Connovar Oakenshield Sun Hang Warrior

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    *sigh* The arrogance of this board astounds me. Meldawen, in my lifetime I've gone through more wooden swords than I can count. I fight with wood. I fight with swords. I fight with LOTR swords. Heck I've fought with a broom and dustpan. I have several swords that I have made 'my 'own'. The LOTR swords are simply a few in many. Yes I spar with them. Do I do because I think I'm Gandalf, the Witchking, or Aragorn? Not bloody likely. I use them because they're darn tough and fun to use. A swordsman is someone who is skilled in the art of swordplay, as I greatly am. Seems to me most people here ( at least in this thread) are skilled in the art of 'sword-looking'. Its okay to watch from the sidelines, but as long as you are, leave the judgements to the people who have bothered to get out there and try....












    But I digress...
     
  16. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    It's not just arrogance, it is like a parent who knows better warning their child. You refuse to accept these swords were not designed for conbat stress, REGARDLESS of your swords holding together. Having owned 50 + functional swords I know what a combat ready sword feels like as opposed to a decorative sword.



     
  17. Connovar Oakenshield

    Connovar Oakenshield Sun Hang Warrior

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    No, I'll be the first to admit that there are better swords out there to use, and that these are certainly not the best made. I am simply pointing an observation of mine...that despite thier specs, they seem to hold up remarkably well. Take that for what you will. I too have owned (and fought with) MANY swords, and LOTR ones are certainly not my favorites to fight with. But when I want to, I can. Some don't, others do. *shrugs* To each his own.
     
  18. Meldawen

    Meldawen New Member

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    Connovar- I think I understand a bit more... at first I was surprised that someone so experienced would use these swords to fight with... but then I realized that you're probably so experienced that you trust your own experience, knowledge and skill with all types of swords and so can better weight the risks you take by using them than the average collector of these types of swords- and I respect that. And you simply like these swords for what they are and not what they represent. And so, from your extensive personal experience and skill with swords, you have weighed the risk to yourself (and others) in their use and have exercised your power of choice, knowing full well what you're doing.

    This helps make the point others are making though... Since most people purchasing these swords don't have the same level of skill and experience, they would be better off using these swords simply for what they were intended... as wall hangers.
     
  19. NateDogg2

    NateDogg2 New Member

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    Meldawen; you say that you take Kung-fu and Tai-chi. You also say that these techniques are learned so as to kill someone. I have known several people who have taken martial arts, and not one of them has said that they did it to learn how to kill people. I think that it ridiculous. Only the crazy schools would tell their students that. Martial arts are an artform. They are meant as a means of physical exercise, self-discipline and self-defense. Not for killing people. Unless you are living in a third-world country, there is almost no practicality to learning to kill people with a sword.
     
  20. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    You don't take martial arts to learn HOW to kill people, but eventually you do learn. I have taken Judo, Aikido, and Kenpo, and within each one instructors have warned me that taking certain moves too far can possibly kill someone. Even hitting someone in the face too hard can kill them.
     
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