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Thread: Darksword Armory Scottish Claymore (new model) Review

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    Darksword Armory Scottish Claymore (new model) Review

    Today I'm reviewing the Scottish Claymore from Darksword Armory, which I recieved new from the factory.

    I paid full retail for this item. I am not affiliated with DSA. All photos were taken of my new sword with my Windows phone and have not been retouched.

    Darksword Armory is a company in transition. Last year they switched to 5160 steel for their production swords, redesigned the majority of their models, and began dual-tempering their blades to 60 Rockwell at the edges and 48-50 at the core, suggesting greater sophistication of their tempering process. They are also in the midst of moving their factory to a new location. Hopefully Eyal or Robert will visit eventually and tell us more about their new digs.

    Most of their designs feature appropriate distal taper from what I've heard, and I know that this one does. Their sharpening abilities have improved dramatically, as we shall soon see.

    Many historical Claymores were extremely large and don't look particularly easy to wield as swords, at least not for the non-heroically muscled. However, DSA wisely decided to reproduce the resonable proportions and graceful profile taper of this sword in the Museum of London.
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    The sword arrived with no issues, damage or problems and was well packed and wrapped.
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    Moving on!

    From the moment I first held it, I was so pleased, overjoyed really, at the way it felt in my hands. The balance is superb. It does indeed feel graceful and nimble for a larger sword. The weight and balance is such that I had no problems articulating my wrist in all directions holding it with one hand. In two hands, the feel and balance was even better, and in dry handling the sword is eager to get moving and not difficult to stop; I was really surprised at the maneuverability. Theres a wee bit of counter-motion felt from the long handle but on the other hand, the handle length allows you to spread your hands apart and get some powerful leverage. I don't foresee a problem chaining multiple quick moves together.

    I was also immediately taken with the overall quality. Before I get into specifics, here are the stats:
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    Weight: 3 Lbs 1.45 oz
    POB: About 4.5 to 4.75"
    Blade length:35 1/8" to bottom of guard
    Handle assembly: 12.25" from bottom of guard to top of peen block
    Blade width at base: 1.98"
    Width @17.5: 1.47"
    Width @3.5" before tip: 1"
    Blade thickness, measured by bridging the fuller with digital calipers: 5.15mm @ base, 4.12mm @17.5", 3.67 @ 6" before tip

    Lets get right to the edge. I paid for factory sharpening. The edge is functionally sharp with no rude looking secondary bevel. There is the faint ghost of one, but it feels parabolic to my fingers and the polish really helped blend it in. I was extremely pleased with the sharpening and recommend it. Sharpening is important to most of us backyard cutters and for a long time I was stuck on the reports of poor sharpening jobs. I don't feel this is the case any longer.
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    In fact, the polish overall was very well done with minimal grind or swirl marks. I gave it a go with metal polish for about 30 mins and cleaned the black stuff out of the quatrefoils. I'm now a fan of this level of polish!
    The fuller runs the length of the blade to about 5" before the tip. It is centered and straight on both sides, although there are very small variences as the result of hand crafting. The blade is perfectly stright, and the guard, handle and pommel are all well aligned and proportioned.

    The pommel is a utilitarian wheel with a pronounced peen block. DSA states that their pommels are fastened by both female threading inside the pommel and peening, most likely cosmetic, but what do I know? I like female threaded pommels so I'm fine with this construction.
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    The handle is really well done from top to bottom. It's grippy with just a little bit of 'cushiony' feeling. The leather is tight over little risers the whole length and secured with a tight double row of stitches. The ends of the leather are clean with no gaps or overlap with the guard/pommel, and there's no glue or crud visible anywhere. Its just the right thickness for my hands and totally comfortable. This particular guard shape I find extremely ergonomic and kind to the top of my hand. It feels tight and solid all around. Excellent work!
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    Now for some minor nits:
    The tip grind could have used a few more moments on the last half inch. A minor nit indeed as Im fine with its symmetry and it is perfectly pokey. Tips are traditionally hard for production swords. However, Ive learned recently that tips are often this way to help reinforce the most fragile part of the sword.

    I'm struggling here... I really love this sword!

    Oh! The scabbard. Attractive looking, I like the belt, and the sword fits snugly in the throat and can be shaken upside down. But, it rattles alarmingly in the lower half. Would I pay for this scabbard again on a redo? Sure, I like having a way to attach it to my body, its charming and attractive looking. Just not perfect.

    If I had any creative input on future incarnations of this model, I would recommend longer langents on the guard. Nothing says 'Scottish' like a nice long langent, amirite?

    Listen, I was on the fence about Darksword for a long time, there's a lot of negative crap out there. But this new stuff, and this piece in particular, is handsome, elegant, and extremely high quality all around. I would buy it all over again and be even more impatient to get it.

    And now, the gallery! Enjoy!
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    Last edited by michael granovsky; 06-13-2015 at 04:10 PM.

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