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Thread: Disappointment with Generation2. (Includes amusing photos)

  1. #1
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    Disappointment with Generation2. (Includes amusing photos)

    My brother had wanted to make a post regarding our long-term unsatisfactory experience with Gen2 much sooner than this, but due to Internet connectivity issues he has been experiencing, he's been unable to do so. It's for that reason that I'm sharing this story with the board in his stead. Considering the passage of time, I may be slightly off on some of the specifics of what happened, but I'm sure he'll post to correct any mistakes when he gets to a computer during the weekend. Please excuse me for being long-winded...

    It started after reading many positive experiences and reviews from various sources about both their blades and the quality of their customer service, thus we were quite eager to try them out. By all accounts, these were extra-durable, yet well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing weapons. So, some months ago, following a bit of deliberation, we made nearly simultaneous purchases of a Black Prince (for him), and an Elven King (for myself). I was especially interested in the King sword; not only because it's pretty, but also to snag one before they were discontinued.

    His Prince arrived fairly soon. We excitedly opened the box and de-mummified the sword from its vast amount of foreign newspaper. At first glance, everything seemed fine. The sword's hilt was solidly constructed, it felt very wieldy, the scabbard was more than adequate -- everything looked to be in proper condition. Our first impressions, however, were quickly shattered when the blade took a set after a mild flex-test!

    With some phone calls, it was decided that my brother would send the faulty sword back in exchange for a Lucerne, which is very similar to the Black Prince. It comes some weeks later, and we repeat the same lengthy unpackaging ritual, assuming that the last flaw was a fluke, and this one would be fine... how wrong we were. This sword's problems were far more apparent. Both the blade AND the scabbard were severely bent a couple of inches from the tip. Especially disappointing, as this sword was supposed to have been inspected. At this point, we're both shaking our heads, wondering if perhaps it's rough shipping that's at fault, considering Gen2's good track record. Over the phone, he's assured that could very well be the case, that instances like these are exceedingly rare, and it's agreed to exchange Lucerne for another Black Prince.

    Around this time, my Elven King is finally delivered, after an extended wait. Hesitantly, we work to liberate the sword from the usual thorough packaging, hoping that everything will be okay this time. Wrong! The first sign that something is amiss is the damaged scabbard, which has a section near the middle were the inner wood is totally crushed. In order to fit in the scabbard, the blade is forced to bend. Not good, but everything about the sword itself seemed to be more than satisfactory...

    ...Until we started cutting. A few milk jugs were all it took to make the sword begin warping, and a mere soda bottle sent it over the edge into a full bend! By now, we can't help but laugh at the absurdity of three flawed swords in a row. Another call, and this time we're encouraged to try a do-it-yourself re-tempering, involving the kitchen oven and a quench in the bathtub. With this, we manage to straighten the blade, and we hang it up for another day. More about this sword later.

    Eventually, my brother tells me that the new Black Prince had came in, and to his surprise, everything appeared to be in order for once after examination and testing. He even performed a few cuts, which he said resulted in no issues. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm would not last through our next cutting session.

    That day came sometime last month. We decided to have a field day cutting the stockpile of various bottle types I'd saved up, using most of our swords (John's Zwei included, of course). Everything was going well until we began using the new Prince and the 'fixed' King. Disaster! Somehow, the things practically turned themselves into pretzels on just a few soda bottles!

    That's when the photos were taken. I regret not also snapping pictures of the swords that we returned, but we simply didn't think of it at the time. These will be thumbnailed, so click for the full size:












    Several days later, my brother informed me that he, once again, spoke to someone from Gen2 over the phone. After explaining what had happened, he was told that the Black Prince was intended for thrusting, not "prolonged cutting of plastic bottles," or something to that effect, and this is why the swords were damaged. Excuse me?

    I'm sorry, but that's beyond ridiculous. First of all, the Black Prince is a cut and thrust longsword, not a rapier. Besides, that excuse doesn't even apply to the Elven King, which is definitely more suited to cutting. Secondly, these are sharpened, supposedly 'battle-ready' swords, not wallhangers. Am I expected to use it only as decoration? Certainly not. I cut various targets with real swords, just as I shoot various targets with real guns.

    Not only that, but I've seen reviews of Gen2 swords where the blades were apparently put through heavy abuse (like wood and cinder blocks) without damage. Standard targets such as milk jugs or soda bottles shouldn't result in what you see in the above pictures. They certainly haven't in the case of any of our other weapons. It's really a huge shame, because I liked everything else about the swords. I wouldn't imagine the tight hilts ever loosening up under normal use, and the balance was great, resulting in easy handling and cuts, despite the progressive blade warping. That isn't to mention that the swords were pleasing to the eye for the price. I especially like the spiral grip on the High King. If only the tempering was equally good. And what on earth is going on with those broken scabbards?

    Even the customer service was up to par, until that last phone call where the nonsense reason for this stage of the problem was given. Everyone is fallible, but four swords in a row with issues -- two of which were supposed to have been personally inspected for flaws before shipping -- is next to inexcusable.

    Still, I'd be willing to give Generation2 products another shot if I could get a representative of them posting in this thread to straighten the whole mess out. Mostly, though, we'd enjoy reading the opinions and comments of the populous here, which hopefully will include some additional, more positive takes on Gen2. As for my brother's take, I'm certain he'll be able reply as well within the next few days. He dealt directly with them over the phone, so I'm sure he'd be able to offer more detailed info than I on that aspect.

    At least, I hope you got a kick out of the pictures of Bender and Gumby, as we've come to (un)affectionately call them, and I extend my appreciation to those who bother to read all of this.


    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    wow, sorry to hear about all your troubles, after seeing Paul's review over at SBG i really wouldn't have expected this

    I am looking to buy one of these in the future so keep us posted on how it all plays out.

    good luck!!

    Paul. C
    'There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.' - Commander William Adama.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Andrew Albano View Post
    ...this time we're encouraged to try a do-it-yourself re-tempering, involving the kitchen oven and a quench in the bathtub.

    This really made me shake my head. It doesn't sound like temper is the problem, it sounds like the steel either doesn't have enough carbon in it to be hardened or wasn't hardened properly. If you take a file lightly to the edge and it cuts the steel easily then your sword was not hardened. Tempering actually makes your steel softer but more resilient, (springy), but the sword needed to be hard in the first place.

    The Gen2 representative should never have asked you to try that oven/bathtub thing. In my opinion either the blades where supplied to them unhardened or their advertising is misleading. BTW "battle ready" and "carbon steel" don't mean much anymore.

    Sorry about your luck, getting a bum sword really sucks, and you've gotten a few in a row.
    Of course it's hot! It just came out of a 350 degree oven!

  4. #4
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    Ouch. Owie. Etc.

    I really would have expected better given the positive reviews that these swords have recieved! At least communications have been pretty good. Battle-ready indeed- if all of your enemies are hiding around corners? You have to learn to read the fine print: "All of our swords are Battle-Ready*"

    *If duct-taped to an M16.



    Sorry for your misfortune- glad that you can at least approach it with a sense of humor!
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  5. #5
    FWIW, I had a similar temper problem with an Irish style longsword of theirs about four years ago.
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  6. #6

    Buyer Beware? I am now!

    Thanks for the information. This is certainly going to give me pause. I was about to purchase a Gen2 but now I think I will hold off.

    Interesting, but if I am not mistaken, this is the first time such a detrimental review has been posted about Gen2. I certainly hope that someone from Gen2 steps up to deal with this one. Otherwise, seems like they might get the reputation of just being overpriced wallhangers!
    R. V. H.

  7. #7
    Swords in that price range should not take bends like that on water bottles. Those last few pics look like something you would see after using a Pakistani .99 cent ebay special.

    Thanks for the review and warning.

  8. #8
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    Not the first time, but the first bad review in a while.

    I suspect that a bunch of swords probably bypassed the heat treat phase, or possess insufficient carbon content to even taker a heat treat.

    Of course tempering the swords such as tghe oven to bathtub routine could...maybe...do, would do nothing to solve the issue since the blades are already too darned soft. The need to be normalized then hardened, then tempered back.

    The other possibility...that normalization would solve, is that these swords are made from reclaimed/recycled steel tbhat was all twisted up. Such steel would really need to be thoroughly normalized to remove those stresses from the steel before forging to shape, otherwise further stress from cutting, even after hardening and tempering, would tend to persuade the steel to return to its previous shape.

    In any event, it is clear that probably a whole batch of these swords received faulty heat treat or were made from deficient steel to begin with.
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  9. #9

    Question In Defense of Gen2

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    nevermind
    Last edited by mikejarledge; 09-14-2007 at 06:02 AM. Reason: thinking too hard
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    Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


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  10. #10
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    Yikes, that's pretty terrible. I'll consider myself forewarned from here on out - not that I'll take this as an absolute, but it's always good to hear about potential problems in advance.
    -John

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tinker Pearce View Post
    Ouch. Owie. Etc.

    I really would have expected better given the positive reviews that these swords have recieved! At least communications have been pretty good. Battle-ready indeed- if all of your enemies are hiding around corners? You have to learn to read the fine print: "All of our swords are Battle-Ready*"

    *If duct-taped to an M16.



    Sorry for your misfortune- glad that you can at least approach it with a sense of humor!
    Maybe "Battle Ready" refers to an army of vicious pool noodles...

  12. #12
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    Thought I'd chime in here, as I've reviewed some of the older models of Gen2's swords (including the Black Prince) and found the older ones to be as tough as nails.

    BUT...

    More recently - yes, there are quite a few threads on my 'SBG Sword Forum' about the issues you experienced. Most seemed to have occured around May this year if memory serves correctly (around May anyway) - and were laregly limited to the second batch of thinner, more historically profiled blades on hand and a half swords and up (I don't feel it would be appropriate to post links to my forums here)...

    Obviously, it was a quite a set back for Gen 2 - especially as they were really trying to improve the handling characteristics of the line in response to feedback here, on my forum/site and My Armoury. And as you can imagine, for a small forge like Clydes, an entire batch of problematic swords would put enermous pressures on him financially and cause a corresponding amount of stress.

    Anyway, I'm curious - for clarification so we all know what is going on - when did these issues occur? Was it around the time of the problem batch or more recently?

    - Paul
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  13. #13

    Questions

    Jason...I would like to chime in here with another question or two.

    Just to be clear: was the ONLY history of those swords, whose pictures you show above, is that you hit them with water jugs? Or did they go through other tests before you tried them on the jugs? I ask because you mention earlier of having perfomed a flex-test. And I assume you were trying to "cut" the jugs, not thrusting or slamming into them with the flat of the sword?

    The reason I ask is because those bends have the appearance as if the swords were placed in a vise and bent (I'm not saying that you did); both bends look like very clean bends. Also interesting is that both swords appear to have their bends in about the same place. Finally, I am confused as to how the blades would both bend in the direction they did if that resulted from cutting - with the edges. The bends make more sense if they occurred by thrusting attempts.

    Please don't misunderstand my questioning. I am only trying to make sense of the damage. I'm trying to understand if prior flexing weakened that part of the sword where the bends occur during cutting or thrusting.

    I would still consider these swords problematic if all you did was a few flex-tests and cutting exercises. You would like to believe that a well made "battle ready sword" should be able to stand the rigors of various stresses one might easily encounter during an actual battle.

    Thanks again for your time in showing these results.
    R. V. H.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Southren View Post
    Thought I'd chime in here, as I've reviewed some of the older models of Gen2's swords (including the Black Prince) and found the older ones to be as tough as nails.

    BUT...

    More recently - yes, there are quite a few threads on my 'SBG Sword Forum' about the issues you experienced. Most seemed to have occured around May this year if memory serves correctly (around May anyway) - and were laregly limited to the second batch of thinner, more historically profiled blades on hand and a half swords and up (I don't feel it would be appropriate to post links to my forums here)...

    Obviously, it was a quite a set back for Gen 2 - especially as they were really trying to improve the handling characteristics of the line in response to feedback here, on my forum/site and My Armoury. And as you can imagine, for a small forge like Clydes, an entire batch of problematic swords would put enermous pressures on him financially and cause a corresponding amount of stress.

    Anyway, I'm curious - for clarification so we all know what is going on - when did these issues occur? Was it around the time of the problem batch or more recently?

    - Paul
    Yes Paul, they were purchased around that month as we had to wait for few weeks before they were in.
    I'm aware of the new thinner designs they're using as well.I can only assume that they have bad steel/tempering as my Brother and I are both well experienced in cutting with various blades such as Windlass,Albion and Odin blades.None have ever given any sign of bending at all.The only test medium we use to test our blades are on water jugs/bottles.
    They do look like they were put in a vise and bent,but I assure you that this is from normal cutting only.They could not take the shock of hitting a water bottle and recover without taking a major set.
    My Brothers post mentioned above pretty much nails it on the head.
    I hope this will be cleared up eventually with the guys at Gen 2 ,as I have seen other cases of bending problems by other owners as well.
    Thanks.......AA


    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben V Hernandez View Post
    Jason...I would like to chime in here with another question or two.

    Just to be clear: was the ONLY history of those swords, whose pictures you show above, is that you hit them with water jugs? Or did they go through other tests before you tried them on the jugs? I ask because you mention earlier of having perfomed a flex-test. And I assume you were trying to "cut" the jugs, not thrusting or slamming into them with the flat of the sword?

    The reason I ask is because those bends have the appearance as if the swords were placed in a vise and bent (I'm not saying that you did); both bends look like very clean bends. Also interesting is that both swords appear to have their bends in about the same place. Finally, I am confused as to how the blades would both bend in the direction they did if that resulted from cutting - with the edges. The bends make more sense if they occurred by thrusting attempts.

    Please don't misunderstand my questioning. I am only trying to make sense of the damage. I'm trying to understand if prior flexing weakened that part of the sword where the bends occur during cutting or thrusting.

    I would still consider these swords problematic if all you did was a few flex-tests and cutting exercises. You would like to believe that a well made "battle ready sword" should be able to stand the rigors of various stresses one might easily encounter during an actual battle.

    Thanks again for your time in showing these results.
    In reply to your post.
    Yes these were only tested on water bottles/jugs as you can see in the images included.My third sword {black prince}was personally inspected{including flex tested there} at Imperial weapons for any flaws before I received it.Flex testing is not a good indicator of quality or tempering as I'm sure many sword users are aware of...AA

  15. #15
    My apologies if I missed it...who makes this Gen2 ?
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    I got one too

    Hey guys. I have a sob story too, but rather than bore you here I'll just say that my sword was a one off order that was supposed to be specially personally checked. I ended up recieving a blade with a thin section which weakened it. Sure enough it bent, not unlike the above.

    Clyde was nice enough to offer a replacement, so I ordered the Celtic Anthropomorphic, which is short wide and thick. Surely that wont bend so easy. These issues have really hurt Clyde and it's super frustrating for all, but he does stand by his principles of customer satisfaction which is more than I expect from the other bigger companies in the lower price bracket.
    Last edited by Brendan O.; 09-16-2007 at 01:48 AM.

  17. #17
    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Sweet View Post
    My apologies if I missed it...who makes this Gen2 ?
    Gen2 in this case is a brand name. A nice gentleman named Clyde Hollis retails swords made in the Phillipines. These problems came about because Clyde listened to comments on myarmoury on what it would take improve.......

    Call it a rough learning curve.....hope it all comes out well soon......
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  18. #18
    Quality control is really important, particularly when dealing with overseas suppliers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben V Hernandez View Post
    The reason I ask is because those bends have the appearance as if the swords were placed in a vise and bent (I'm not saying that you did); both bends look like very clean bends. Also interesting is that both swords appear to have their bends in about the same place. Finally, I am confused as to how the blades would both bend in the direction they did if that resulted from cutting - with the edges.

    Hey Gus-
    I was wondering about this... I remember reading something from you a while back where you talked about 3 of a new design coming back to the shop with bends in almost the exact same location. You attributed this to issues with harmonic balance. With the swords shown above, besides the obviously lacking heat treat and/or materials, do you think harmonics would help explain why all the blades bent in this particular manner?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post
    Hey Gus-
    I was wondering about this... I remember reading something from you a while back where you talked about 3 of a new design coming back to the shop with bends in almost the exact same location. You attributed this to issues with harmonic balance. With the swords shown above, besides the obviously lacking heat treat and/or materials, do you think harmonics would help explain why all the blades bent in this particular manner?
    Not Gus but...

    Same material.
    Same design.
    Same manufacturing process.

    Same "failure" is not entirely unexpected.

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    Angus Trim swords are made with the
    Same material, Same design, & Same manufacturing process as Generation 2 Swords?? I think we're having a miscommunication here. I was referring to three of Gus' swords (as I recall) that were promptly bent by three different users. He said the bends all occurred within like a tenth of an inch of each other on the three swords, since they were all located right on a demi node or something.

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    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post


    Angus Trim swords are made with the
    Same material, Same design, & Same manufacturing process as Generation 2 Swords?? I think we're having a miscommunication here. I was referring to three of Gus' swords (as I recall) that were promptly bent by three different users. He said the bends all occurred within like a tenth of an inch of each other on the three swords, since they were all located right on a demi node or something.
    Hi Justin

    I can't tell anything from a couple of photos, and really can't see publicly speculating over something I haven't actually seen or witnessed. I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't Alex' point......

    The incidents you mention, the swords all came back to poppa, so I was able to inspect then..... use another blade {same thing} and experiment. And come up with my own conclusions.......

    This is different. A different maker, not my own, and I certainly do not want to get sucked into anyone else' controversies.
    For Good or Ill......

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post


    Angus Trim swords are made with the
    Same material, Same design, & Same manufacturing process as Generation 2 Swords?? I think we're having a miscommunication here. I was referring to three of Gus' swords (as I recall) that were promptly bent by three different users. He said the bends all occurred within like a tenth of an inch of each other on the three swords, since they were all located right on a demi node or something.
    Justin,

    Without examining the bent swords, i.e. the Gen2s, we have to go with the information we have. It is impossible to judge the harmonics, nodes, etc. from photos.

    What Gus said.
    Euthenist, Exorcist, Utilitarianist

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B. View Post


    Angus Trim swords are made with the
    Same material, Same design, & Same manufacturing process as Generation 2 Swords?? I think we're having a miscommunication here. I was referring to three of Gus' swords (as I recall) that were promptly bent by three different users. He said the bends all occurred within like a tenth of an inch of each other on the three swords, since they were all located right on a demi node or something.
    Justin,

    Without examining the bent swords, i.e. the Gen2s, we have to go with the information we have, i.e. what they have in common. It is impossible to judge the harmonics, nodes, etc. from photos.

    As Gus said, he had the opportunity to examine HIS swords and determine the causes. This is not the case with the Gen2s.
    Euthenist, Exorcist, Utilitarianist

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