New Sword Reviews, Videos, Specials and Much More in this issue of the Sword Buyers Digest, the final issue for 2016
Issue 109, December 2016
Your Monthly News & Updates
Well, it is hard to believe it but it is that time of year again..

2016 has come and nearly gone and while it has been another tough year for the industry (and for many of us personally, including me) we are still pushing on and hoping for a brighter start to 2017.

So with this in mind, let us get into the final newsletter of the year with a ton of new sword reviews, our Christmas sword buying guide, a special feature article just in time for Star Wars: Rouge One, and the usual mix of SBG goodness including an exclusive deal for Sword Buyers Digest Subscribers!

Hope you enjoy. :-)
New Sword Reviews!

As a follow up to last months issue, last month I finally found/made the time to complete and upload not one but 4 new comprehensive sword reviews based on swords I tested and reviewed during my trip to Australia a few months ago, bringing the total number of swords reviewed during that time to 6.

The first was perhaps the most detailed - a hands on review of 2 prototype Forge Direct Custom Katana - and was perhaps the most fun of them all to test. These swords really do cut like the proverbial knife through butter, and as a result of these reviews, we added a ton of new options to this line.

One of the 2 Swords from the Forge Direct Custom Katana Review

The second and third were both swords by Darksword Armory - the stunning Sovereign Sword, and the Two Handed Sword from the Herald Series, their entry level made in India line..

The Sovereign sword was very hard to put down, the handling and styling of this sword fit me to a 't'. The Herald Series - not bad, but not without its problems..

Finally, I completed my review marathon with the Global Gear G-1100 Mangalloy Katana. I had mixed feelings about this one too, and the review is an interesting demonstration on why a paper cutting test is not the decider or a deal breaker when it comes to how well a given sword will cut light targets..

Only one more review from the trip to go, and it will be a total change of pace and genre - the BCI ( Blade Culture International) 'Panabas' - a Filipino blade that proved amazingly durable and frighteningly effective.. I will save the juicy details for when the review is complete, but to the right you can see a teaser pick.

All in all, it was a blast testing all these swords - so when you have a moment check them out - I would especially love to hear from anyone who has purchased one of these swords to see if their opinion on them is the same as mine or not.

Always good to be open minded when it comes to sword evaluation..!
Video of the Month

Whether it is to be a hand made gift, or a cool project to do over the holiday period - nothing beats making your own wooden waster. This video shows you how, and has a pdf link with step by step instructions.
Best Forum Posts

A collection of four of the best and most recent posts and threads from the SBG Sword Forum

Zelda Master Sword Inspired Sword Art by Fable Blades
Brenno has done it again. A truly stunning interpretation of the Master Sword from Zelda. Is there nothing that he cannot do?

3D Printer handles for Tinker Swords now open source
Lemuel the Lemur from the printed armory has now made his 3d printer templates open source, and even includes a tutorial on how to fit the tang if it is slightly irregular (as, being hand made, they often are). Great work and very generous to share with everyone.

Currently active sword polishers in the USA?
I get a lot of questions from people asking about who can polish/restore/sharpen their Japanese swords. Here are some facts and recommendations from the forum..

Where to get translations of historical fighting books?
A very long and detailed thread with many recommendations on where and what to get for translations of European sword fighting books.
Everything Lightsaber!

There can be no doubt that the ultimate sword would have to be the lightsaber. It is lightweight, incredibly fast, can cut pretty much ANYTHING that gets in its path (except another lightsaber of course) is indestructible - the list goes on and on..

Unfortunately, it is not 'real' - but that doesn't stop some companies making 'functional' replicas..

Not functional in terms of being able to actually cut stuff of course.. But functional like, well, kind of like this..

For fans of the franchise looking forward to the release of Rouge One this month, here are some reviews and an interview with two of the leading producers of 'battle ready' lightsabers by Dan Dacombe.

Saberforge Review (second review)
Kickstarter Kyberlight Review
Interview with Shon from

The silly season is upon us, and we have updated and re-released our useful guide with tips and ideas on what to get for the collector who has everything, some major mistakes you need to avoid to prevent making it a Christmas to remember for all the WRONG reasons, what to do if you have - like many of us - left it to the last minute. And our top 10 recommendations for Christmas 2016 from the SBG sword store.

Send it to family and friends as a friendly 'hint' and don't forget to do a wish list or two. You never know what Santa may bring..

SBG Store Christmas Special: The Ryujin Musashi Tsuba Katana!

This offer is a stripped down version of the $249.99 Ryujin Custom Katana. Same T10 blade with real hamon, but we took away the expensive gold plated tsuba options and the more expensive saya so we can offer it for just over cost price at $199.99. But ONLY from now until the 7th of December (so you can get it in time for Christmas, as they take a week to assemble and ship).

Click here to get your Ryujin Katana
But before you do... Something just for Sword Buyers Digest Subscribers..
10% Discount Coupon Code: TENOFF

This one is just for SBG subscribers, save an ADDITIONAL 10% off the price of the Ryujin Musashi Tsuba Katana by using the coupon code above! Merry Christmas..

Offer Expires Midnight EST December 7th, 2016
The easiest way to use the coupon is to simply select your customization options, add the sword to the cart and then click the link on the coupon code above and it will be automatically applied to your order.

If you prefer to manually add the coupon codes, instead click on the 'Coupon Code: or Gift Certificate' link, enter the coupon code and click 'recalculate' bottom left hand side and see the discount applied to your total before checking out.
Well, that is all for 2016. As is the tradition, I will be taking a break from writing the digest over the new year period, so talk to you all again in February 2017.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and a sword shiny bright start to the new year (and happy swordening too!).

- Paul
Paul Southren | Sword Buyers