How to take care of your battle-ready sword

So pflegst Du Dein Schaukampfschwert

A battle-ready sword, no matter what classification, is still subject to wear and tear. It is used in medieval combat and is exposed to high impact forces. Therefore, it is understandable that even the best sword will not look like new after some time of intensive training. A nicked blade, a loose grip – these are very typical traces of usage. Nevertheless, there are a few tips and tricks on how your battle-ready sword can still be fully functional after a few years of use. Maintenance is the magic word.

Maintenance due to proper use

Like the subsistent swords from the Middle Ages, battle-ready swords will be exposed to impact forces. When parrying another weapon, the two sometimes meet with enormous force. That’s why it’s important to never block blows with the edge, but always with the broadside of your battle-ready sword. The answer here lies in the physics of it all: the impact forces will be distributed much more evenly on a wider area than on a narrow surface. Nevertheless, it may happen that, as a beginner, you don’t react fast enough and still parry with the edge. But over time it will become your second nature.

Furthermore, you should avoid wanting to strike blows with brute force alone. With defter sword handling, you can incapacitate your opponent easier than with raw muscle power.

How to care for your battle-ready sword

Not only during medieval combat but also before and after, there are a few things to consider. Above all, you should pay attention to the correct storage, because this is how you prevent the beginnings of rust.

  • Keep your battle-ready sword in the driest possible place. Not near the bathroom, not in the damp basement, not on the balcony or in the car.
  • Sweat is very aggressive and attacks the steel surface, so the sword should only be taken in your hand when it is really needed. Maybe it would make more sense to put on gloves.
  • After each training session, the sword should be oiled, including the pommel and the cross guard. For this purpose specifically there are special care oils (e.g. Ballistol).
  • If you do not have any care oil at hand, you can also use normal household oil. However, it is not recommended for general use on a regular basis.
  • An oiled sword is slippery and leaves unsightly stains on your clothes, so the oil should be wiped away with a rag before the next session
  • Tip: If your cross guard has loosened, then you can retighten it depending on the attachment. You could also fill a gap between the guard and the handle by means of a length of fishing line, which you wrap tightly around and into the crevice.

Removing rust from a battle-ready sword

Sometimes it happens: the care of your sword has been forgotten and ugly traces of this corrosion appear on the blade. But now you must work decisively to remove it!

  • Polishing wadding (available in the DIY store). with which you can polish the rust away, is best suited
  • Also possible is the use of various metal polishing pastes. Put them sparingly on the sword blade, let the whole area dry and then carefully polish it up again
  • Please avoid abrasive methods such as chemical cleaners or sanding paper. You can scratch the steel with it and give the rust more attack surface
  • After polishing you should always grease your sword as usual to protect the finish

How to remove nicks in the blade

In training, you usually learn very quickly that the swords for medieval combat should not impact on each other along the cutting edge. Nevertheless, during intensive training, it can happen that over time, nicks can appear on the blade edge. If even small nicks in the blade stand out, you should definitely do something so that your training partner cannot get hurt by them.

To remove the nicks, take a steel file and carefully file the affected area, working from the cross guard towards the sword tip.