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Thread: H&H Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Hersham, Surrey, UK
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    H&H Advice

    Hi to all,

    Im still very new to WMA and have just begun training in the Foire dei Liberi system.
    I realise im jumping the gun a bit here by even thinking of purchasing a steel training weapon but I have the oppertunity to purchase either a Hanwei or Paul Chen practical H&H for what seems a very reasonable £70'ish.

    Going on the basis that I have the cash availible now (and may not have the oppertunity again for some time) and that either sword will need to stand up to a good deal of abuse through training and possibly sparring (though not likley any time soon) does anyone have any knowledge or experience with either of the above and would anyone care to make any recommendations?

    Im looking at this as an investment for the future but am unsure as to how these blades will stand up to full contact - especially when the web resources ive seen state they "provide the level of safety required by many of todays re-enactors"!
    Again being new to historical swordsmanship im running blind with a lot of the terminology but am under the impression (and I apologise in advance if through mis-information I offend anyone) that re-enactment does not use the same kind of force or dish out the same abuse as full contact historical fencing.

    Oh and I have to make up my mind by tuesday or the Hanwei will definately be gone.

    Many thanks in advance, Col
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  2. The Hanwei Practical Longsword found at Revival.us is a good value for the money. I've had 8 of them in service for about four months at the university and they're holding up well for beginner's-level drills. My guess is that at this level of use they will last several years, and I recommend them for that. How they will hold up for higher-level drills and sparring I can't say, but someone else may have insights.

    For higher-level drilling and high-level, carefully controlled bouting I use the Arms & Armor Spada da Zogho and Scholar's Sword. With proper maintenance (filing, sanding, oil) these swords will last years of hard use. I fully expect my 8 year old daughter and 4 year old son to inherit the A&A swords when they're adults, and in the meantime I'll keep using them.

    Sean
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    I don't know if Paul Benett has seen this thread yet, but he has one at Leeds EHCG/KDF and he seemed very happy with and it was very very well used.


    That was until he got his Mark Vickers...but thats another story.


    I've got a Paul Chen Practical Knightly (comparable in quality) and that has been very well used and there is nothing bad about it as far as I can see. The edges could do with being a little more rounded, but that can be solved with a file and some elbow grease and then they stand up very well.

    You could do a lot worse for a beginners sword and a first sword at that, my first one was the PCPK, but be aware there are far better out there
    My Mark Vickers is miles better, both in quality and feeling, but if the Paul Chen is your only option for now, its a pretty decent one.
    SG6 - Bradford Chapter

    Übung macht den Meister

    George: The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire building.

    Edmund: George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think that we can be entirely absolved of blame on the imperialistic front.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2004
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    I have a pair of the Practical Hand and a Halfs and for the 200.00 bucks I spent I am very impressed with their quality and durability. They stand up to full contact very well, they are well balanced for blunts (relatively speaking, of course) and I would highly recommend them for a beginner, or even advanced practicioner to use in practice. The only complaint I have so far is the metal along the edges has a tendency to sliver a bit, which means I get those lovely metal splinters when handling the blade (half-swording, grappling maneuvers, etc...) without gloves. As they are used and the edge sanded, this problem has dissipated. The fact that they come with scabbards is a plus, you really can't beat the price on these things.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Manchester UK. covered in sawdust
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    Thanks for the heads up Colin.

    A lot of people say that the Paul Chen is good "for the price"

    I am of the opinion that it is a good training sword at any price. I have had mine for 2 years now, and it has stood up very well.

    The only thing wrong with it is that the glue on the leather is not that strong. Just get some araldite on there when it starts to come away and you will be fine.

    There are several people who actually prefer my PC to my Mark Vickers H&H.

    It is cheap, well made, well balanced and durable.

    There is simply no other compettitor at the price, and it outshines some other "off the peg" swords that are more expensive.

    Granted, some may not like the design, or find wheel pommels uncomfortable. For a "workhorse" training sword though, I would say the only reason NOT to get a PC is if you want either, an individual sword made to your specifications, or a precision engineered wondersword(tm).
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Histor...75879815764007
    www.historicarts.co.uk

    If the student does not understand, it is the teacher who has failed

  6. #6
    Honestly having handled the chen H&H (I think that's what it was) I don't understand how people cope with the size of that pommel. It is so much larger than any other sword of its size I've ever handled.

    I really would not recommend purchasing it without being able to handle one first to make sure you don't have the same reaction.

    -andy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Alexandria, VA, USA
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    2,925
    Some of my students have them. I agree that you can't beat the price, and that they're an acceptable sword for training.

    Are they fantastic? No. They're adequate, and I'll even go as far as saying you get more than what you pay for with these. But they are too stiff to do a full on safe thrust, the edges are not very wide (which is fine for drilling and very controlled bouting, but I'm not willing to bout with a stranger who is armed with one), and I've found that the quality control is splotchy (as seems to be the case with many of the Hanwei swords). I've seen quite a few have hilts that became very rattly after only moderate use, though I've also seen several that have shown no sign of loosening up after a lot of hard use.

    So my best advice is that if this is all you can justify spending (and not everyone can justify dropping $400 USD for a sword, which is fine), then this is your best bet. If you think you can save up for a little more, I'd recommend a higher quality trainer (my personal favorites are any of the trainers from Arms and Armor, but those are definately more expensive).
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
    --German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hersham, Surrey, UK
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    Many thanks for all your replies and good advice,

    Having weighed up the cost (which is about the height of my budget for the foreseeable future) and the feedback from yourselves I am going to go with the PC H&H.

    I managed to get some feedback from one of my trainers which i was not expecting until the weekend and now just hope (as it seems with some of you) to get a training/light sparring sword that will pass the tests of time and use.

    Once again thanks for all your help, i now just have to stop myself comparing it too much to my cold steel H&H sharp
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  9. #9
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    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hersham, Surrey, UK
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    Warning to UK buyers interested in this sword!

    Just to warn anyone thinking of purchasing one of these swords cheaply in the UK I carried out a google search for "paul chen hand and a half uk" and the first link showed the web address www.swords.org.uk/detail.asp?productID=140 - this re-directed me to a site/company named sports equipment UK and has details of this and other swords which they no longer stock, that however did not stop me from being able to go through there checkout system and pay for the item.
    I later recieved an email that they have not stocked this for some time and a refund is being arranged today but they cannot work out how i was able to pay for it at all.
    I think it is a link to their old website but the checkout system is still active and I wouldnt want anyone else to experience the same problem.

    Cheers, Col
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  10. #10
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Manchester UK. covered in sawdust
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    http://www.medieval-weaponry.co.uk/a...alf_Sword.html

    cheapest UK dealer of paul chen on the web

    The dealer you list above has it £10 cheaper, but if you buy it from medieval-weaponry.co.uk, they do a refund on the difference. Also more or less guaranteed to have some in stock.

    You could always come along to the reenactors market in coventry this weekend and handle a range of swords
    Last edited by Paul Bennett; 10-24-2006 at 01:54 PM.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Histor...75879815764007
    www.historicarts.co.uk

    If the student does not understand, it is the teacher who has failed

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Stockport, UK
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    Originally posted by Andrew Shultz
    Honestly having handled the chen H&H (I think that's what it was) I don't understand how people cope with the size of that pommel. It is so much larger than any other sword of its size I've ever handled.

    I really would not recommend purchasing it without being able to handle one first to make sure you don't have the same reaction.

    -andy
    I have one of these, and I like the pommel - it gives me no problems at all and I don't have massive hands!

    For the price this is a fine sword. If you can justify spending more do so (I would), but if not I do not think you will be disappointed.

    Neil.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2004
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    Sonoma. CA
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    I was first a little annoyed by the pommel size on the PC HH blunts, with my small hands I obviously couldn't grasp the pommel as I like to do, but I quickly adjusted and even though I find the grip a little short for a hilt where you can't grasp the pommel (unless your hands are big enough) I honestly don't even notice anymore.

    My Albion Mercenary gives me a similar problem, I can grasp the pommel there but my bare hand tends to slip on the steel, so maybe some stickum would help or just wearing a glove. I am tending more toward letting the back of my hand rest at the base of the pommel these days, rather than actually grasping the pommel itself. That way it provides a resting point for the back of my left hand and keeps it from slipping off when making cuts against targets. I seem to have butter fingers sometimes with weapons, I am known for dropping them in freeplay! This could be the oversized sparring gloves we use, or just my clumsiness!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    belgium, leuven
    Posts
    2
    hello let me first introduce me

    i'm patrick from belgium and we started a fighting group in november last year (after about ten year's of training )
    our website is SwArta
    there is also text in english
    we use swords from the tjech republique and the swords are of good quality.

    how did historical fighting mature me.

    it matured me in many ways first of all discipline and certainly respect for everything that lives.

    for the rest i hope that I wil enjoy this forum and that I can meat lots of simular people
    the mind is mightier then the sword

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    7

    Sparring with Hanwei

    I have been using my Hanwei hand and a half for sparring as well as drills. A year on it is still completely functional if a bit battle-worn. The cross guard is a little loose because the leather spacer has been cut aways and the leather handle wrap has required re-gluing several times. I heard of only one break, which occurred after approximately two years of "heavy" use. I am uncertain about exactly what was meant by heavy use or what "generation" of hand and a half it was.

    The older Hanwei models had much softer blades. I once saw an older model practical (with the lion crest on the pommel) used against a newer Hanwei (plain pommel). The older sword took substantial damage with some gouges as deep as a quarter inch / seven millimeters. The other sword sustained only minor nicks. The moral of the story is by a new Hanwei from a supplier that has a healthy turnover.

    Also, the Hanwei hand and a halves vary a fair bit in weight and balance. If you can actually go to a shop that sells them rather than ordering them online, I would suggest trying several to see which you like the best.

    I am very happy with my Hanwei. I feel it has stood up well and when I decide to retire it, I will certainly have received my moneu's worth.
    Donald Duncan

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    62

    Heimrick's Swords

    Hi,
    I can't recommend Heimrick enough for a well priced H&H. It's also made in North America, for those who care.

    Check out http://heimrick.netfirms.com/indexanglo.htm for his catalog and options.

    I bought a longsword with an MK5 blade, and I loved it. (I paid about $250CDN for it, with some options)

    In fact. the club where I trained, (Ottawa Sword Guild) and AEMMA also use his gear.

    Cheers,
    Neil
    Last edited by Neil Selden; 10-27-2006 at 04:00 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hersham, Surrey, UK
    Posts
    21
    Hi to all,

    Well the Hanwei/Chen practical H&H arrived a few days ago and i have to say im impressed.
    Although the pommel does seem large compared to others ive handled it doesnt seem to restrict my grip or hinder use in any way.
    The blade isnt as flexible as i had imagined but isnt completely solid/stiff either so I will have to wait till my next training session to get a proper feel for its handling.

    I have had a brief practice with a friend going from posta to incrossada (although ive probably spelt that wrong) and noticed a few small nicks and burs which were to be expected but I have no idea on the correct way to remove/treat them - anyone have any thoughts?
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Manchester UK. covered in sawdust
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    693
    stone+elbow grease. the obsessive sword care is for the JSA people.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Histor...75879815764007
    www.historicarts.co.uk

    If the student does not understand, it is the teacher who has failed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    near Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    1,698

    Swordcare in a nutshell

    After every use, smooth out nicks and burrs with a small mill file, go over the filed spot with some 3M -type abrasive Pad (fine grid), burnish the edges with a couple of strokes with the smooth sides of the file, coat the metal parts with a thin film of WD40, done.
    Member of Ochs

    "It is a bad teacher that does not allow his student to become better than himself" (Sixten Ivarsson)

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