Happy Halloween

Sword Buyers Digest

Halloween Edition

Issue #184, October 2023

Trying to keep morale up in the sword industry right now is about as effective as throwing a drowning man a candy bar. Each month brings new record low sales and the wearing down effect has been compounding all year long and there are no indications of anything changing for the positive anywhere on the horizon..

Indeed, it is looking so bad that I am kind of thankful for the break in reality that the Halloween edition of the Sword Buyers Digest, something of a SBG tradition over the years, affords us..!

So without any further ado or moping about the state of the sword industry, let's get into the fun and the madness that is the Halloween edition of the digest 2023.

Horrible Swords From Etsy..

When it comes to Etsy, you really do have to sort through a whole heap of overpriced junk to find the odd gem. But while the gems are worth the search, sometimes we can get just as much amusement (if not more) from some of their more horrible listings..

For example, how about this $171 foam sword described as "let yourself be devoured by its ruinous appearance: this weapon is the pure picture of evil!"

The only thing pure evil about this sword is the price tag - it looks like it was made by a blinded zombie..

But this next piece is guaranteed to cause your enemies fits of uncontrollable laughter - the John Snow replica sword with replica, er, wolfs (or is it a chihuahua) head?

And if that wasn't horrific enough, how about a Damascus steel blade with unique 'screw into the palm of your hand' handle designed to fuse your flesh and the sword as one painful unit!

Definitely some 'unique' stuff to be found. Yet while it is good for a laugh, Etsy also does have some unique sellers and craftsmen on the platform and is a great source for niche items like suspension belt systems, hand crafted stands and many other unique odds and ends sure to be of interest to any genuine sword collector..

But you have to admit, these three picks of the bunch are 'interesting' (and certainly made me chuckle a little).

Swords in the News

4 Roman Swords Found in Cave Near the Dead Sea

Over 1900 years old, Archaeologists in Israel have discovered four well-preserved Roman swords lodged in a crevice inside a cave in the Judaean Desert. Quite a rare and truly amazing sword find.

2 Spatha Roman swords found in the UK

Seems to be the month for multiple Roman sword finds, as a treasure hunter in the UK found not one, but two well preserved Roman Spatha believed to be over 1800 years old. Who knows how many more remain hidden waiting to be discovered..

5 Deadliest Sword Designs from History

The article starts with the age old question 'cut or thrust' and lists 5 broadly classified sword types that were the most successful designs of their era and geography. Far from perfect, it's still thought provoking enough to be worth the read.

New Display of Nihonto in Nikko, Japan

With swords from 5 major collections in Japan and displaying the largest blade in the country, this exhibition is a must see and celebrates 60 years of the treasure museum and the 1,240 year anniversary of the mountain top shrine where the exhibition can be found.

Famous Historical Samurai Photos in Context

You have probably seen these famous 19th century photos of actual Samurai and warrior monks taken just before they faded from history forever. But did you know the backstories to these photos? Find out here!

Police in UK actually looking to re-unite owner with stolen swords..

While almost every UK sword story is about police taking swords away from the public, this rare article has 2 cavalry swords that they are trying to return back to the blades rightful owner (most likely Matt Easton - j/k). Nice to see that they still respect SOME property rights over there..

Roronoa Zoro's Best Swords from One Piece

Best known for pioneering his iconic '3 sword fighting style' (one in each hand and one between his teeth!) One Piece's Roronoa Zoro has been the owner of some of the finest and best swords in the One Piece universe. Here are his finest..

Officially Licensed One Piece Boffer Swords

Perfect for Halloween

(and to support the site)

If you are a fan of the runaway hit Manga/Anime/Live Action series 'One Piece' or if you just like high quality and unique products to compliment your real sword collection, then the officially licensed foam boffer swords are for YOU!

Made to be faithful and official reproductions, not your usual cheap knock offs, these safe for heavy duty sparring and messing around blades come complete with matching scabbards and are perfect for Cosplay, trick or treating and/or simply going at it hard with your friends to knock each other senseless for a while..!

At the special introductory price of $39.95 each (marked down from $59.95) these are a great way to get yourself something fun and affordable while supporting the site in its hour of need.

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Kitestu III

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Wado Ichimonji

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Don't miss out, stocks are limited!

Video of the Month

From Tyrfing in Sweden to Japan's Muramasa, the world of swords has within it many a tale of cursed or 'evil' swords. In this video, popular YouTuber Skallagrim recounts some of these tales in a Halloween Special from last year.

Best Forum Posts

DIY Tatami from Reeds?

With the global shortage of Tatami mats reaching new lows, some members have opted to try bundling tall grass reeds as DIY tatami. But are they getting more than they bargained for? Interesting approach and some useful info about why some plants are really not suitable for cutting as they are essentially filled with glass like fibers!!

Brother Banzai's Most Recent Work

He has been too busy with actually making swords to post much on the forums, but in this drool-worthy feast for the eyes you can see some of his recent amazing designs.

Sharpening an Albion - hands on experiences

From specific hand sharpening techniques to preferred edge angles, in this detailed thread SBG members give advise and share direct experiences sharpening up a dull Albion sword.

Training with overly heavy wooden swords

The Romans did it, and the Japanese have a Bokken (wooden sword) known as a Suburito - what are the advantages of training with an overly heavy wooden sword or similar object (oars, sledgehammers, etc). Find out in this thread.

Cool Stuff from the Store

While we certainly don't focus on Halloween sales, we do have a few items from the store that I think are eminently suitable..

For example, our recently restocked Karambit by DEFCON knives, one fixed and one folder - but both premium quality:

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And then there is the very LAST of the closeout blades from the Ryujin "Art Sword Line" - and as fate would have it, this last blade - with it's black fittings, sinister scabbard and skull themed tsuba makes the PERFECT Halloween gift idea..

Ryujin Akumu - 65MN Spring Steel Katana

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Closeout Sale Price:


Hope you enjoyed the Halloween edition of the digest and will enjoy carving, and carving up some pumpkins this month!

Until next issue, stay strong and happy swordening to you all.

  • Paul