Hilts for Rattan Wasters

I most often fight with a sword and shield when doing armored combat in the SCA. The majority of fighters use what we call a basket hilt. It is a cup over the handle that completely covers your hand. There are solid steel and aluminum basket hilts, welded steel openwork ones, and even solid molded plastic. Once I got full finger gauntlets I no longer required a basket hilt for hand protection so I sought out options. Below are a handful (no pun intended!) of styles available to the fighter who wants a more medieval looking stick.

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Two of my “swords”. Just a couple options shown of the many available on the market.

Separate Aluminum Crossguard & Pommel – $75

Windrose Guard   Windrose Pommel

This is what I primarily fight with. Shave down your rattan grip to shape, drill a hole in the end of the handle, slip the crossguard on, pop the pommel on and bolt it in place. I’ve also drilled a hole in the guard and set a screw to help hold it in place. Looks as close to a medieval sword as the SCA allows.

Pros:

  • Stylish medieval shape
  • It’s metal
  • Separate components allow for different grip lengths and shapes

Cons:

  • Reliance on rattan for structural support
  • Pommel mount is a circle so it spins around easily

(Optional) Pommel Taping Fork – $7.50

Windrose Fork

This may help with the pommel spinning or the bolt working loose from the rattan. It is on my list now.

Rubber Crossguard – $18

Fight Club Rubber Guard

If you like the shape, size, and style of the aluminum crossguard from Windrose but don’t like the hassle of shaving your rattan to just the right size, this one is for you. Get it close enough and shove this onto the blade. I’ve used it a couple times and it works well.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Medieval cruciform shape

Cons:

  • Not useful for as a counterbalance
  • It looks like gray rubber once you get close enough
  • No matching pommel that I am aware of

One Piece Welded Hilt – $50-75

By My Hand Designs Facebook Page

The “Tea Cosy” model is my new favorite rattan accessory. I used it at practice this week and I have zero complaints. Shave the handle section to wedge between the bars, tape it up and you are good to go.

Pros:

  • Once piece construction means it’s not going to go anywhere
  • Due to the shape and spacing of the side bars, I have a profile which helps me throw shots properly on edge
  • It’s metal
  • Great weight for sword balance

Cons:

  • One piece means limited options for grip girth and only one option for length
  • Fairly snub nosed quillons make for a less than perfect medieval profile. Great for earlier periods though

Note: It would appear they offer separate crossguards and pommels with welded forks. You will sacrifice a little rigidity for a much greater gain in versatility. Definitely an option.

Stainless Steel One Piece Handle – $300

Anshelm Handle

I’ve never used this one but it is desirable due to the appearance and the way it’s constructed. If anyone has one or has used one, I’d love to hear how it handles.

Pros:

  • Custom options
  • It’s metal
  • Once piece construction means it’s not going to go anywhere

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • One size

 

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