ERIK STEELCRAFTS Type H Viking Sword - BR-109 Jan 15, 2023 15:34:17 GMT
Post by Barahir on Jan 15, 2023 15:34:17 GMT
The Type H Viking Sword by ERIK STREECRAFTS
A 46-year-old Canadian, I have been collecting swords since 2003. I own all sorts of weapons… ranging from movie replicas, historical replicas, fantasy weapons and a mix of all of these at the same time! I am by no means a weapons expert, nor a historian, nor a time traveler who thinks I know everything (like some folks on internet). I'm just a fan who likes to add shiny steel items to his armory. I am not used to making very elaborate reviews, but I am launching here to present this magnificent sword which had piqued my curiosity. Here is the Type H Viking Sword from Erik Steelcrafts.
This is one my first OTC / Erik Steelcrafts sword. In fact, I discover at the same time as you this new collection of swords which seems very promising to me. Knowing my great interest in swords in general, Shahzeb Ansari (owner of Erik Steelcrafts) sent me this sword so that I could also review it. We concluded that I would do an honest review. I was not asked anything specific. I therefore have no affiliation with them and I am in no way an expert in weapons, as mentioned in my introduction. So, let's start.
Erik Steelcrafts is the new project of the workshop of Shahzeb Ansari of Overseas Trading Corporation (OTC) in India. Shahzeb has been in the business of making swords for several years for several companies around the world based on the research and patterns made by his 3D developers. We particularly knew him as the first manufacturer of the Balaur Arms brand.
Shahzeb chose the name 'Erik' because it is an old Norse name referring to Vikings. It is from 1060 carbon steel that they will manufacture a whole new line of swords for collectors and HEMA fighters. The main focus of Erik Steelcrafts will be for the moment to produce swords of as good quality as Albion for example, but offered at a better price range (300-500$ USD). They have a vision to also produce military weapons for the future. These swords will soon be available at several online retailers or recognized stores around the world.
From the mouth of the owner …
''Erik Steelcrafts produce best quality swords in India and even competitors of our country cannot compete with our quality''
We're excited to see how far this line of swords goes.
Owning several Norse type swords myself, Viking period (or whatever name the Viking Sword Police give them), I have already a very similar Type H model sword made by Deepeeka. I was curious to compare Erik Steelcrafts version with mine. It is a fairly simple type of sword, but worthy of a warrior. It should be noted that Del Tin (Italy) and also Albion (United-States) made similar swords. This reproduction by Erik Steelcrafts is therefore not really different from the others in terms of design. It is also not a museum specific replica. It is a most refined assembly of several Viking sword features. The 29 3/4-inch blade is nearly 57mm inches wide with fuller. The blade is wider at the guard and narrows towards its upswept point. These swords were terrific cutting swords with a useful sharp point.
This sword produced by OTC/Erik Steelcrafts was first part of the Balaur Arms Collection in 2020. Erik Steelcrafts have changed the leather grip on the new design. I've heard good words about this one through the collecting community, I look forward to examining in more details the various components as well as the craftsmanship, if its similar to my recent other Erik Steelcrafts blades. With that, let's get started.
I received this sword along with 5 other models all wrapped up in a big box full of shredded paper which kept the swords safe. Yes, I needed the vacuum cleaner to pick it all up afterwards! Each sword was wrapped in very tight film paper. It is very tedious and difficult to remove all that. I have to use a knife being very careful not to damage the leather of the grip or scratch any other surface. So the swords are very well protected and well oiled in the package!
I am at first sight impressed with the quality of this sword. I was roughly expecting to find something similar to Windlass Steelcrafts. It seems to be, and maybe even a little more refined. It look more refined than my Deepeeka version as well. Everything seems fine at first sight and no major flaws jump out at me at first glance. We will discover few defects later in the review. I had concerns about some past problems with the gap between the guard and the blade but it's very good, no worse than other manufacturers. The craftmanship seems to live up to my expectations. So let's start the deserved analysis of this beautiful sword.
Blade Length : 29 3/4’’
Overall Length : 36 1/2’’
Handle: 6 3/4’’
Grip Length : 3 3/4’’
Weight : 2 lb 14 oz
Edge : Unsharpened
Pommel : 2 pieces - Riveted and Peened
Width : 57mm
Distal Taper : (Thicker Side – back of the edge ) 4.5 mm – 4.2 mm – 3.8 mm
Sweet Spot (Centre of Percussion) : 9’’ from tip
P.O.B.: ’’ Below hilt
Petersen Type H is the most prominent hilt type found on swords from the Viking Age and spans a time period from late 8th Century to late 10th Century. As mentioned before, the hilt is very beautiful and refined. It is solid, peened (2 parts riveted and peened) without any scratches. Not so comfortable though, but that's due to the design, not the craftsmanship. The lines are smooth,
The blade is a Type X, according to the Oakeshott Typology. The blade is made of 1060 carbon steel. 1060 carbon steel is good because when it is properly heat treated it becomes resilient. It is quite tough and can keep its edge fairly well. Since I'm not a metallurgy expert, I can't verify if this is really what Erik Steelcrafts used in the India forge. It sports a high level of resistance to fatigue, has high ductility, and has good spring qualities useful for applications where flexibility is desired. In order to lighten and help a blade perform, it is often said that there must be a distal taper. Distal tapering refers to a blade's cross-section thinning from its base to its tip. I measured using a caliper and indeed, there is indeed a distal taper on this blade, a small one but its there. The thickest part of the blade (the back of the single edge) is 4.5mm at the guard, reaches 4.2mm in the middle and ends at 3.8mm near the tip. The blade of this sword comes unsharpened from the manufacturer.
There is no visible wave in the blade, no forging mark, and it is fully straight. Maybe some minor traces of grinding but nothing more. The finish is on the satin side, not too mirrored. Just perfect like that. there is a fuller (well centered) running from guard to 26 1/2’’ from the tip. On my sword, the fuller is not 100% well centered but its hardly noticeable. Really nice looking finish overall. It’s also more of a satin than mirror finish. The length of the blade is 29 3/4'', point of balance at 7'' below hilt and *center of percussion is 9'' from the tip.
* Center of Percussion: the point where a perpendicular impact to the blade will produce rotational and translational forces that will cancel out at some other point of interest, causing the blade to pivot about that point. Usually this other point of interest is taken to be the location of the hand on the sword
When you play with the sword a bit, you don't find the blade sturdy. Unfortunately, I don't know how the tang is, but when hitting the blade on the flat against my knee, I don't hear any rattling at all. The sword is solidly built. There is also a relatively good flex to this blade, I bent it in both directions and it went back to true. The tip is perfect and pointy, nothing bent. The blade is about 57mm wide at the guard. I like wide blades but it's a personal taste and not necessarily always historically correct on all Scandinavian / Vikings models.
There is Erik Steelcrafts maker's mark on the blade (OTC India). It is very well made and well placed. I am not against manufacturers putting their mark. I think it gives character to the sword.
The Handle (Pommel/Grip)
The hilt is not one of the components that attracted me the most when I first saw this sword. There is nothing really special. A beauty in its simplicity. Petersen Type H is the most prominent hilt type found on swords from the Viking Age and spans a time period from late 8th Century to late 10th Century.
Well, the pommel is type H, either triangular, riveted and peened. Which is historically correct. The guard is straight, relatively small with short quillons. On the other hand, the guard is a bit off-center with the blade, which is a bit annoying. The quillons are not the same length. It's still minimal at 2mm (15mm on one side vs 13mm on the other) but it's visible to the eye. Between the two parts of the pommel there is a beautiful decorative copper wire.
The grip is rocket shaped (wider towards the guard and shorter towards the pommel) which usually gives a good grip. The grip is rather flat too, so the sword won't tend to roll in the hand because the grip is too round. The length of the grip is little bit under 4'' (3.75''). Unfortunately, it is not comfortable. It's essentially a triangle & the bottom corner bites my hand at my wrist when I hold it. Doing more a handshake grip & letting the pommel slide past when casting the sword works but I have shorter fingers & don't really feel as much in control of the blade as I'd want. If you look at some pictures of historic single-edged swords that you can find online or in museums, you can see that some have the base of the pommel cut at an angle instead of square. But since I don't have a raid planned soon, I guess it's not too bad.
Surely this sword would be comfortable to wield if that were the case here. However, the hilt fit nicely to the blade with not much gap. Higher priced swords don’t either, so this is better than I would have thought. The leather finish is very well done, too. he core is made of Indian teak wood (quality and durable material), leather wrapped and cord wrapped. Everything is tight and well decorated. The seams of the leather are hard to noticeable.
As of this writing (January 2023), there has yet to be an official Erik Steelcrafts scabbard that comes with this sword unless you buy it as a Cold Steel product. It's a prototype for now. Rest assured that Erik Steelcrafts will come to decorate this beautiful sword with the scabbard it deserves. To be continued.
Honestly, I did not do any cutting or strength test with this sword. I know that many collectors like to see water bottles waltzing into pieces in the air, but it is often only the sharpening of the blade that we analyze in these cases in my opinion, which can be very different from blade to blade for the same model. Also, I treat my swords like oeuvre d’art, and I don't see the point in testing for destruction. There are other ways to analyze the handling of swords than trying to destroy them. That's my personal opinion.
Now concerning the OCT / Erik Steelcrafts Type H Viking Sword, as we saw earlier in the review, despite the relatively light weight (2 lb 14 oz comparing to 3 lb 4 oz for my Deepeeka version), I find it doesn't handle very well. The way the handle is made, it is not 100% comfortable. It's similar to the single-edged... it might be missing a 1/4'' in the length of the grip so that the base of the pommel does not fit into the wrist. The blade is still sturdy and not whippy. I don't find that the sword feels unbalanced. Anyway I couldn't do any test cuts because I received this blunt sword. It is also to be believed that all swords forged in India are sold dull, as Erik Steelcrafts offers some factory sharpened models (also the case for Windlass). Nevertheless, overall, I enjoy wielding this popular but cool design sword.
Overall, I love this sword. The Quality/Control is better than I would have imagined. What I like less is that it is not very comfortable to handle. The pommel is embedded in the wrist and it quickly becomes painful. The design is so done. Still, it's a very nice model.
This sword will be available soon from your favorite retailer on behalf of Erik Steelcrafts, all over the world. For the moment (early 2023) this sword can still be purchased everywhere under the Cold Steel brand at a price of around $260 USD.
Do I recommend this sword? Yes, without any hesitation. For the quality of the craftsmanship, the materials, the relative historical representation, and above all the price. And you will have for your port a quality sheath for the accompanied. What I didn't get haha. Nothing too flashy with this sword. Simplicity at its best. A sword worthy of a Viking warrior. A plus for the viking in you who wants to go on a raid or integrate a shields wall! Because nothing is perfect in this world, I give a nice 4 stars out of 5 for the Type H Viking Sword by OTC/Erik Steelcrafts.
To see more images and video of this sword, follow this link :
To see more images and video of this sword, follow this link :