Hanwei Cawood Viking SwordHanwei Cawood Viking Sword1
Functional Replica based on an actual 11th century Viking sword discovered near Cawood Castle, England. MSRP $440
The celebrated Cawood Sword, named after its discovery location near Cawood Castle in England, is regarded as one of the finest and best-preserved examples of an 11th century Viking sword in existence. Preserved in the mud of the bed of the River Ouse for almost a millenium, the sword has now found a permanent home in the Yorkshire Museum, where it is a leading attraction. What is almost certainly a “sister” sword was unearthed in Norway in 1888, giving a valuable clue to the Cawood Sword’s origin.
Hanwei’s version of the sword replicates the lobated pommel and steeply downcurved quillons of the hilt perfectly, while the wide-fullered blade is reproduced in 5160 high-carbon steel. The weight and balance provide for a very usable sword. No details of the original scabbard are known, but the styling of Hanwei’s leather-covered version is typical of the period.
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
This sword was well worth the time it took to get to know it. I'm very pleased. It's a faithful recreation of the original. But it was not purchased for looks.
The metal work is nearly flawless. The blade is nicely sharp. I was concerned the grip may be a bit small, but it fits big hands perfectly. The opposing radii of the pommel and quillions allow the sword to rock back and forth in ones grip quite nicely. Not sure if that would work as well for smaller hands. It is a handful. The leather grip was initially a little slippery, but broke in very nice.
The 'decorative' pommel seems to be more than decoration. I've found the pommel is easily hooked with one or two fingers of the free hand to facilitate powerful chops in tight quarters where a full swing is not an option. The heel of the free hand is also useful on the pommel.
The down-swept quillions are interesting and functional as well. In skilled hands they can snare and twist an opponents blade. But be careful, they can also catch ones clothing if making a thrust originating close to the body.
The scabbard, while very nice, had a functional issue when sheathing the sword. The sharp tip can dig into the wood and fail to fully seat if not inserted very carefully. Since this is a rating of the sword and not the scabbard, no points were deducted.
Bottom line, outdoors no sword can beat a longsword in my humble opinion, but indoors this sword is what I reach for when there's a bump in the night. Top marks in all criteria. I'd expect to pay a lot more for a sword of this quality.