Hanwei Tinker Pearce Longsword Review Apr 29, 2015 13:09:55 GMT
Post by Huer-Ta on Apr 29, 2015 13:09:55 GMT
Hanwei Tinker Pearce Longsword Review
By Steven Huerta
I’m a big fan of the Hanwei Tinker line and while I love their bastard model, I thought I’d like something a little more substantial. I do prefer later period cut and thrust swords over earlier type cutters, so I opted to go with the Longsword model over the Great sword of War. Did I make the right decision? Let’s find out!
*Disclaimer - I've never done any type of sword review before, so hopefully this one isn't too much of a train wreck ;)
I’m not an expert by any means on sword typology, but I have a pretty basic understanding of different sword types and their typical characteristics. The Tinker Longsword is based off of an Oakeshott type XVIIIa from my understanding, a model which is Albion’s website describes as:
Profile: somehwat slender and tapers gracefully to a sharp point
Cross-section: flattened diamond, often with pronounced
mid-rib, some hollow-ground
Average Blade Length: 36"- 42"
Fuller: some have a narrow, short fuller
Grip: single-hand to hand and a half, 5"+
Primary purpose: cutting and thrusting
Period: between c. mid 14th c. to early 15th c
Based on those characteristics, this blade can fall into the XVIIIa type in my opinion.
I received this sword as part of a trade with Kult of Athena, I have no other connections, interests, etc with KOA or Hanwei other than being a loyal customer.
The sword arrived with Kult of Athena’s usual well packaged and protected care. The sword was well wrapped in shipping paper and the box was tightly packed to avoid any damage during shipping. Out of the box, the sword arrived in excellent shape with no scratches or damage to any of the steel or leather components.
The sword fits snugly in the mouth of the scabbard but does have some rattle towards the tip. The scabbard is the typical type for the HT line which I will describe in more detail further in this review. Dry handling this sword is an absolute pleasure. I was able to handle it very comfortably in one hand or two, with the sword being lightning fast in two hands. While this sword is listed as a bit heavier than the Tinker Bastard, I honestly felt like they are equally as lively in the hand.
Stats are taken from Kult of Athena’s site:
Overall Length: 46 3/4'' Blade: 34 15/16''
Weight: 3 lb 2 oz
P.O.B.: 3 7/8''
Thickness: 5.4 mm - 2.3 mm
Width: 54.3 mm
Grip Length: 9''
I’ll try not to be too wordy here and let the pics do most of the talking. I’ll try to point out anything that I thought was significant for better or worse.
The blade has the typical Hanwei satin finish and has a nice even finish throughout. The small fuller is nice and straight and runs about 1/3 of the blade. As you can see in the pics, the blade goes from a rather wide base to a very narrow point but I think it has a rather visually appealing shape with a pretty nasty looking pointy tip. The edges have a very slight secondary bevel and since Hanwei tends to be so-so on their edges, I had KOA touch the edges up a little. I think they did a rather good job and the edge is paper cutting sharp.
The 9” grip has plenty of space for two hands and then some. The pommel shape allows you some extra grip room if needed. The middle of the grip has a slight swell to it which feels nice in the hand, but I do feel that the grip overall is just a touch too thin. I would describe the overall grip shape as somewhat octagonal which I think would tend to help with edge alignment. But that’s nothing a couple of risers and a little better quality leather can’t fix
The 9” guard is nice and solid with no hard edges that may make it the sword difficult to wield. The finish is a bit too shiny for my taste and some may find it a little plain, but like the grip there will be a little work put in to that as well.
I would describe the pommel as a scent stopper type, and like the guard is a bit shiny. It is a bit more visually appealing though and allows a little extra grip room if needed. The hilt as a whole is secured by the typical HT recesses sleeve nut which holds everything nice and tight with no rattle in the hilt parts. The nut also allows for easy disassembly of the sword to exchange blades, inspect the tang, or even to customize the fittings and grip. The blade rings like a bell also which tells me that the construction of this sword is nice and solid.
If I had to knock points off of this sword for anything it would be the scabbard. While it certainly gets the job done as far as storing/protecting the blade, it is rather plain and the core is made of fiberglass rather than wood. The chape and throat are well made but like the grip and pommel, a little too shiny for my taste. As mentioned earlier, the sword fits snugly at the throat but rattles quite a bit towards the tip. The thin leather wrap is well stitched along the backside.
As stated previously, this sword handles quite well in one or two hands but really comes alive in two hands. I was able to control my swings rather well one handed, but using this sword in two hands reminds me of watching a snake strike. It’s just so effortless to swing and thrust with. I think anyone who handles this sword will likely have a similar experience.
Alas, I have not had the opportunity to do any test cutting yet aside from slicing paper to test edge sharpness. It did very well in the paper test
Overall, this is a great “base package” sword in my opinion. The overall construction is flawless and the blade handles like a dream for a sword of this size. If you’re looking for a good, budget friendly basic “no frills” long sword that can easily be customized to a real beauty, this is the sword for you. If you want something that is a bit more polished in terms of leatherwork, scabbard, and fittings then maybe spending a few extra bucks on a Valiant Armoury piece may be the way to go for you.
- Solid overall construction
- Very agile sword for its size
- Very budget friendly and lends itself well to customization down the road
- edge sharpness can be inconsistent
- very shiny and plain fittings
- very basic scabbard
The Bottom Line
The Hanwei Tinker Pearce Longsword is a great starter sword for anyone looking to begin learning Longsword techniques or just wants to add a solid good handling medieval sword to their collection. While the blade itself is of a fantastic quality, the fittings and leather work do leave a bit to be desired. As stated earlier, for those looking for a very basic sword as an entry level medieval or for those that like to customize, this is definitely a sword for you. If you’re looking for something a little more “polished” out of the box, then this may not be the sword for you. Did I make the right decision to purchase this sword? For what I wanted for it, absolutely. Would I recommend this sword to someone else? Why, yes I would!