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So what's everyone's opinions on Cold steel swords?

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by AshesFall, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. AshesFall


    Jul 16, 2019
    They seem nice, but are they really? Is the quality good? Anyone have one and think that they are well worth the money? I like their knives, but am still unsure about the swords. The European swords in particular, but am open to opinions on their Japanese swords as well.
  2. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    CS swords are made with decent steel (1050 and above) and are heat treated to good temper. They will flex and not break but still return to true. This is about all the good that I can say about them. First of all, they are terribly overpriced. As many are made by the same factory that produces Windlass Steelcrafts' swords, they cost as much as three times a fair retail price. Second, CS swords are about one and half to two times as heavy as they should be, particularly their sabers (in comparison to their historical counterparts). This is largely due to their lack of a distal taper. Without a distal taper, they carry too much steel at the point and besides being too heavy, they have terrible balance. In this respect, CS swords are sharpened crowbars. On the subject of sharpening, CS grinds the edges of their swords to resemble axes. I suspect the grinders are ignorant of what a historical sword edge should look like, but I also suspect they grind their over heavy swords this way because customers will use them to cut pallet wood, boxes, bottles, and ice blocks as CS themselves do in their videos. Swords are for cutting human flesh but the swordlike objects CS produces are marketed to destroying inanimate material. Swords are not for going up against armor, either, but CS would lead us to believe they are.

    So, if you want something that will cut and do not care about overpaying for an overweight, unbalanced, and poorly ground edged object with a handle on it, buy CS. Otherwise, save your money.

  3. AshesFall


    Jul 16, 2019
    Thanks for the info and advice! Appreciate the reply, and In light of what you just told me, I think I'm gonna stay clear of Cold steel swords and look elsewhere. I'm really leaning on a European long sword of some type. Any suggestions?
  4. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    I picked up a bagua dao and jian at a CS parking lot sale in the mid 2000's, factory seconds due to sheath problems for $60 each. The fit and finish was good on them, they had received a final polish but not a finished sharp edge. The weight on them is unreal. I use them as training swords so the weight is fine for that, but I can't get over how heavy they are. They don't need an edge to be dangerous, they are heavy enough to be bludgeoning instruments. It reminds of how cavalry sabers sometimes don't have a fully sharpened edge, they figured a mounted man would be doing enough damage to put a human out of commission without one.

    So yeah, they sell sharpened pry bars. They can look nice enough, you don't have to worry about breaking them, and boy do they commit to a swing. Just don't expect to use the words "nimble," "light in the hand," or "well balanced" when you use one.
  5. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Piease take a look at the neighboring thread about Viking swords. My recommendation would be the same for medieval style swords.
  6. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    The market has grown a great deal in the past twenty years or so and that hasn't exactly meant positive improvements from many of the producers.

    Some of the sabres are popular and the 1796 light cavalry is not horrible but somewhat better with some grinding. There are also variances from example to example but the one I had handled both before and after rework were both still in the ballpark of originals, as far as handling goes. Kult of Athena lists stuff such as distal taper.

    The one hand&half medieval I handled was not ungainly so much as not particularly comfortable for my grip. I have quite large hands and even then, the bulk and contour of its grip was a bit bulky (imo).

    I do own one of the English Backsword model and aside from the finish, I rather like it. One fellow has collected near a half dozen of them and has found the wide variance in blade thicknesses some have complained of. One case of blade breakage but mostly the posted thickness by CS never being met (touted as 6mm). Mine was right around 5mm at the hilt.


    Shown there with a Hanwei Mortuary sword . The CS is a bit of a modern styling and finish but otherwise, to me, not a horrible sword.

    Many of the other CS offerings also have a problem in the aesthetics department but as far as the early modern stuff, an outlet for those wanting a ready (somewhat sharp) sabre. I'll save a debate on cavalry and sharpness for another day but can point out that no producer I am aware of gets the sabres quite right. An exception being the Windlass US m1906 cavalry sword, which is quite close to the original and the US ACW light cavalry sword model.

    The CS medieval swords are by and large produced in China and share traits of the Dynasty Forge swords,

    As diverse a selection as CS offers, it can really boil down to regarding a specific model but there are some generalities that can be made. The more one looks and reads, the more prepared one will be in making a decision.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    tomswift, BlackKnight86 and The Zieg like this.
  7. Gary Hastings

    Gary Hastings

    Jan 5, 2020
    Who would you recommend for a katana made just as tough as CS? For less money?
  8. cannelbrae


    May 5, 2019
    Can you qualify 'good'? What are you looking for in a sword? A historical replica for display? Use - and if so, what sort of use?
  9. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    I don't think I can recommend a katana just as tough as a CS sword because theirs are the toughest you'll find for that price. But if you were to handle a historical katana, the word tough would not come to mind. They are stiff, hard edged, but they are also fine, sometimes delicate, cutting machines. They are not built to cut blocks of ice or solid inanimate objects. They are meant to pierce and slice open human beings. That is why they handle the way they do. CS katanas do not handle this way. Their toughness guarantees this.

    So you have to decide what you're looking for; a sword, or a sword-like-object.

    Sorry to be such a pig about it, but it's what they are.

    John F. and DocJD like this.
  10. YagyuShintoRyu


    Apr 15, 2020
    Cold Steel swords are generally thick, heavy, and completely unbalanced; which makes them sturdy, but awkward if not unwieldy.
    DocJD likes this.

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