I've always had high regard for the Cold Steel brand but this one frankly surprised me with the level of quality and design at this price level. They know how to manage offshore manufacturing -- assembly and finish are right up there. The balance is superb, and the sword can be wielded comfortably in one hand if need be. When I ordered it, I had reservations at first about an entirely blackened finish but can now appreciate it from the maintenance standpoint. If there's one downside, the only one I can think of is that although it came sharpened and with "decent" functional edges, it was not as sharp as I like swords to be. Not a problem, it will be an easy job for me to hand-hone it to where I want it to be. In terms of design, the blade is a very credible rendition of the Oakeshott Type XVIIIb, and the present hilt creates a point of balance 5 in. from the crossguard, so that it's responsive and points naturally. The blade fits very well in its scabbard, which is made of thick leather with a sturdily-stitched seam, and a steel throat that matches the crossguard perfectly.
February 02, 2018