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What makes a good sword

With the advance of technology over the past 100 years, swords became quaint curiosities from the past and the knowledge and know-how of how to make real functional swords was almost lost. Modern copies had no longer been required to actually function, and the emphasis had switched to nice appearance at the cost of functionality. Luckily the knowledge and skill was saved and real swords are still made today! At Irongate Armory we appreciate a sword which looks like the original, feels like the original, flexes and balances like the original, and finally, can actually cut like the original! You get a strong sense of awe and respect for the power of these weapons, unlike from a sword which is mainly meant as a decoration.


When grabbing a sword, sometimes for the first time, the most common first reaction is surprise at how light they are. Warriors used these all day long in battle, and quickness saved lives – their swords could not be heavy. Swords were made as light as was possible.


Tang is the part of the blade which is hidden, and around which the handle parts are constructed. If the tang is too small, it can break easily. In our swords the tang is always hand forged as a part of the swords blade. The tang comes under a lot of stress in combat and it plays one of the most important parts in swords durability.

Heat treatment:

If a blade has been poorly heat treated, its flexibility suffers, and once bent, it will stay that way. To check a sword’s flexibility, simply bend it out of line 7cm (3″), and see how well it returns to true. When hardening a sword it is important to find the right composition of rigidness and flexibility. The sword needs a hard surface for the cutting edge and a softer heart for flexibility and durability. Utilizing modern metallurgy we can offer swords that are correctly hardened and heat treated every time; something that during medieval times relied solely on the smiths experience, luck and superstitions.

Making historically accurate and functional swords takes research, many steps during manufacture, hand labor, good materials, plus obviously quality control and testing. Luckily all this effort is shown in the good results.

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