STRONGBLADE SWORDS AT A GLANCE
Strongblade originally started out as a group of sword enthusiasts who became a small retailer. They offered products from manufacturers of battle-ready swords such as Musashi and Paul Chen, as well as decorative wallhangers from places like United Cutlery. Because they were interested in various aspects of sword history and construction as well, their store soon swelled from a small retailer to a large, very attractive website with many articles on sword history, construction, and use. They even have a small section called the "Sword Buyers Guide" (sound familiar?)
Strongblade also began designing and manufacturing their own swords. They in some cases changed already popular designs, created new ones, or improved on what they were offering. What they came up with was a range of carbon-steel full-tang swords that are offered at very low prices. While the first models were not tempered or sharpened, these swords are overall much cheaper than similar swords from other, larger manufacturers. They have recently begun to temper some of these models in response to customer demand - proving that, like many smaller manufacturers, they are very interested in giving their customers what they want. They also buff and polish each sword before it goes out.
They have a 14-day money back guarantee (although they occasionally accept returns as late as 30 days), though there may be a 15% restocking fee. This fee was added as they discovered that some people were using them to "rent" swords for parties and Halloween, then returning them a few days later. Their prices are generally much lower than the rest of the sword market, from about 139$ for their most expensive item to 70-80$ for their lower items.
MAIN PRODUCT LINES
Strongblade does not separate their products from other manufacturers on their website. A quick way to find all of their products is to search for the prefix "SBA" which is on all of their swords.
They have 4 of their swords available in untempered and tempered with a technique called "Brimstone Tempering", with 5 more on the way.
Their eventual goal is to have all of their line available in tempered and untempered versions, with the tempered versions more expensive but still cheaper than the mean of the sword market.
Obviously, with untempered blades the majority of Strongblade's products are not considered 'battle-ready' by most standard. But with the improvements that they are making to this area of their construction, they will be a manufacturer to watch in 2008.
Other issues have revolved around complaints made about some of their terminology. On their website they equate full-tangs with "rat-tail" tangs, a term commonly used to describe tangs that are welded to the blade. However, this turned out to be a misunderstanding, and what the Strongblade staff were describing as "rat tail" would actually be classified as full-tang.
As they are a relative newcomer to the scene, not much is known about them. But their willingness, even eagerness to pursue customer service and improve their line based on requests bodes well for them as their line of tempered swords begin to enter the market.
INTERVIEWS WITH STRONGBLADE
Interview with Strongblade, March 2008
Sword Buyers Guide.com Reviews
Reviews of Cheness Swords by our sister site:
Click on the image for the full review.
Click on the image for the full review.
WHERE TO BUY
Currently Strongblade swords are only distributed at their official site, though there does appear to be provisions for expansion to other retailers as time goes by and the word gets out about the seemingly excellent value for money of their products.
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