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Windlass Steelcrafts

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jfirack, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. jfirack


    Nov 6, 2006
    Has anyone owned or have any experience with knives and/or swords made by Windlass Steelcrafts? Just received a catalog of their products from Atlanta Cutlery Group. They look good and claim to be of excellent quality. Just wondering if I could pick your brains about them.
  2. JPD1998

    JPD1998 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    I'm pretty sure they're just wall hangers more than users, I believe they're imported from India.
    I've come close to buying some of the early American reproductions...
  3. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    They're wall hangars, but good quality wall hangars. Not users at all.
  4. FullerH


    Nov 25, 1998
    Actually, they are reasonable users for the money. The problem with Windlass/Atlanta Cultery/Museum Replicas is their spotty quality control. They do have an excellent returns policy, which is a good thing given that spotty quality control. Also, they tend to cut corners in strange ways. For example, their Primitive Bowie is a pretty reasonable knife, but it comes with a sheath that is more in line with a $5 cheap POS knife at the corner gas-n-go mart. Another example is their "historical" costuming. They make it all out of cotton or cotton/polyester when the clothing of medieval Europe, at least in the more northern portions, was made of wool or linen. Of late, they are not telling you the material of which some of their costumes are made. I could go on, but it is mostly a waste of time.

    Bottom line, if you buy from them, be prepared to return the item if there is anything wrong with it and be very picky about that.
  5. Uath


    Oct 25, 2003
    I've had some pretty terrible results from Windlass. First, I bought a Confederate D-guard bowie. It broke the first time I used it (chopping on a log). Their swords feature a rat-tail tang (threaded screw) these are great if you want the sword to break or come loose with the third blow. I never could get used to swords that break. Swords are kind of sacred, if you can't build a good one...don't. I would say cheap and crappy for Windlass.
    Ontario knives made some great swords (swords of the Blackwind) that are mostly now gone. I have one called the Bengal that's the best sword I've ever had, light, but tough American steel and full tang.
    I have a Cold Steel cutlass I like a lot, again, full tang. CAS Iberia makes better swords, but they're heavy.
  6. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    I own one of their medium length swords, and will say that it is not very good in terms of balance or fit & finish; however, it was almost certainly the finest sword anyone could ever hope to buy for $40.

    I've been to their showroom in Atlanta, and got to handle/inspect lots of their stuff. I would say they offer some outstanding deals (I've had my eye on their Qama for a long time now) and offer some things you just won't see anywhere else. I would certainly look to them if I wanted something to play with or beat around on occasion without spending much money, and be prepared to utilize their return policy. If I wanted "the real deal", I would look elsewhere, and expect to pay considerably more.

    Also, keep in mind Atlanta Cutlery markets lots of items that were not made by Windlass Steelcrafts. I was quite impressed by some katana they had laying on the counter; I forget who made them...
  7. FullerH


    Nov 25, 1998
    For those who feel that Uath is correct in his assessment, I suggest that you read what the folks over at SwordFoeum have to say about them. Again, it is that they are very spotty in their qulaity control. I have heard good things about their "Kingdom of Heaven" swords.

    Uath, I would be curious which of their swords you have looked at that have rat-tail tangs as I have read that their more expensive ones are decent designs. It is in the quality control area where they fall down. A friend had a cheapie Viking sword that he picked up at a sale that was made by Windlass. it was one of the ones that they sold for less than $100 and it did have a rat-tail tang and it did break on him during a re-enactment. But his comment was that he had not expected a lot out of a sword for which he had paid about $60. In swords, as in most of life, you do get what you pay for.
  8. DRider


    Jan 8, 2005
    Speaking of imports, I bought a Cheness Japanese style sword some time ago. At about $250 for a Chinese made sword, I expected maybe nice, maybe not (the mail order roll-of-the-dice) but of course, a $250 Katana is a cheap katana. I was surprised by the quality! Very good temper, excellent edge holding and ability to take an edge, very strong. I use it for both iaido and cutting - it "wiffed" through rolled matting like it wasn't there - same with a large piece of pork that got sacrificed to the greater good of blade testing. The only negatives are a cheap grade of sting ray skin on the hande (not that I expected more) and a fake hamon line which I could do without. You can even watch them forge it on the web site. I figure Windlass are wall hangers but the Cheness are advertized as using swords, and I've been very satisfied with mine. (there's some funny YouTube video of some guy chopping whatever he can find with his...)
  9. FullerH


    Nov 25, 1998
    Uath, other than its POS sheath, I would describe my Primitive Bowie as an acceptable piece for the money. The brass strip is well attached to the spine and the blade is firmly and strongly attached to the hilt. No, it is not as nice as the Imperial Weapons or the Hanwei historical Bowies, but it is not anywhere near as expensive.
  10. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Lusted after one for about 2 years before pulling the trigger.

    Pretty good F&F, ordered sharpened, and hey, for $20.00(sharpening), it actually came paper-cutting sharp.

    Have not thrashed on it yet, but probably will this weekend.

    As a swordsman, visually, handling quality-wise, it has exceeded expectations, and I was prepared to hate it.

    The comtemporary Khukuris that they make suck so bad as to be laughable.

    Best Regards,

    Steven Garsson
  11. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005
    Picked up a Primitive Bowie a WHILE back,paid the 10 extra for sharpening,it arrived a little sharper than a butter knife. :eek:
    Agree with Hugh about the sheath,had primary edge hollow ground about 5/16",very toothy,put a micro-bevel on edge,a little less toothy.
    Blade hasn't chipped or rolled but haven't done any real chopping.

    If the PB isn't the Jason Patric/Jim Bowie knife in The Alamo movie,early in the movie before it grew furniture,I'll be a monkey's uncle.

    Mine's a weed whacker,really WOULDN'T trust handle attachment if chopping.
    INDIA! :barf:
    Weed whacker. :thumbup:

  12. FullerH


    Nov 25, 1998
    I noticed elsewhere that Museum Replicas will be selling Windlass replicas of the Reaver's axe and two swords from the film, "Serenity." Does this have anything to do with the origin of this thread?
  13. goldie

    goldie Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2000
    atlanta cutlery used to sell great knives from europe,u.s. & from seki japan. In the last 6 years , they have completely switched to cheap junk.3/4th's of their offerings are windlass steelcraft,the rest is mostly cheap fury & master crap. what a shame.:thumbdn:
  14. Cornelis Böhms

    Cornelis Böhms

    Jul 12, 2006
  15. Whoever Wherever

    Whoever Wherever

    Nov 17, 2006
    NEVER EVER use a sword that isnt not made for combat. Many of you have seen the funny video of the QVC salesman stabbing himself with a broken wana-be katana. Many of you do not know a simmilar accident in japan killed a little girl in the audience when the katana came apart mid demonstration. Not caring if you hurt yourself is one thing, but always wory about other peoples safety when it comes to sword play. As a student of Nakamura Ryu Batto-Jutso I have used real shin ken in close quarters sparring and drills. The first step of this is examination of both weapons by a well versed swordsman or smith to confirm not only that they are combat worthy but that the blade is secure in the handle. Please do not test out Replicas or cheap swords. If one breaks ala QVC style and the broken piece severs something its not supposed to you may not get help in time. OK, I'll stop preaching now.
  16. ahgar


    Jan 4, 2005
    years ago i bought a kukri from them and it served me very well for about 15 years. somewhat crude but serviceable. i agree with an earlier post in regards to quality control it does seem to be spotty, however it seems i remember that their customer service is pretty good. later,ahgar
  17. S. Brown

    S. Brown

    May 16, 2006
    Couldn't have said it better
  18. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    This may have something to do with Windlass Steelcraft having bought out Atalanta Cutlery/Museum Replicas.
  19. BePrepared


    Aug 26, 2010
    The qama is made of 1085 steel and heat treated to 56-58 so it should be a very practical blade...

    I would say that there is little to indicate that they are "wall hangers"
  20. Sword and Shield

    Sword and Shield

    Apr 3, 2004
    Ia! Ia! Thread f'tagn!

    Seriously, how did you even find a thread from five and a half years ago?

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