You’ll have a chance to impersonate a character you admire on October 31 without fear of social ostracism and, in support of that, here are a bunch of high-quality replica swords and knives you might want to equip yourself with in order to increase your authenticity.
Plus, you know, giving anyone a katana automatically makes them cool. (Just ask Neal Stephenson.) And by the way, “replica” does not mean “not sharp.”
The sword was the most important weapon in the world for thousands of years. Some people still swear by it — you don’t have to re-load a sword and, if you can master that cutting-a-bullet-in-half trick, you’ve got an edge over firearms.
I want to highlight three outstanding places to get swords and knives online, both replica and real (by “real” I mean you can use it as a serious tool in battle — should you ever find yourself in a battle). All of these retailers offer good prices, exceptional customer service, and large inventory.
In my opinion, the best source for swords online with respect to the above criteria is True Swords.
A close second is BUDK.
All three sites are enjoyable and informative to read and to shop, and all stand behind their merchandise.
Following are some of the most iconic swords and knives to appear in films and on television shows. They are all well-made and reasonably priced. If you don’t have at least one sword, why not? Every guy can use a sword at some point. Even if only on All Hallows’ Eve.
One of the most stylish, dynamic, and enjoyable modern martial arts films, Kill Bill is appropriately reverent when it comes to the katana. And exuberant in portraying the mayhem it can cause. Pictured at left is “The Bride’s Sword,” used by Beatrix Kiddo to implement her lethal “To-do” list.
This sword is a replica of the sword made in the film by Hattori Hanzo (played by Sonny Chiba, at his best), with a stainless steel blade, 12-inch handle, and multiple engravings. Newegg has it now for under $100.
On the other hand, maybe you liked Bill’s “Demon” sword, also made by Hanzo. You can get that one, too, and for less than $60, which is a great price for this well-constructed replica.
Or you can get the two swords (both the Bride’s Sword and Bill’s Sword) as a set by clicking here, made of stainless steel, with a wooden stand.
Of course, when it comes to movie swords, we couldn’t leave out a movie with a title like Blade. Here’s the Sword of the Daywalker (Wesley Snipes). Yes, it’s got that secret dagger in the handle. Doesn’t come with the wooden stand, though.
Another iconic movie franchise that featured cool Japanese and Chinese edged weapons is The Matrix.
A movie that didn’t achieve quite the popularity of those above, but still had some pretty cool swords, was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Pictured at left is the katana used by “Snake Eyes,” who took a vow of silence when his master was killed by his arch-enemy “Storm Shadow.” This replica is a faithful reproduction of the sword used in the film. It has a high-carbon steel blade, a rayskin and leather grip, a wooden scabbard with full detailing, a display stand, and a certificate of authenticity. Each one is individually numbered, so this is definitely a collectible. And you can also get the Storm Shadow katana, with its distinctive white handle and scabbard (not pictured).
And finally to round out this collection of cinematic katanas, we should include the only notable TV katana of late, and that’s Hiro’s sword from Heroes. The blade is hand-forged carbon steel, the scabbard is hardwood with a glossy piano-paint finish, and it comes with a display stand. Yatta!
For a sword from a little older TV show, well, movie, well, animated series, that’s sort of a Scottish katana, check out the Highlander Sword carried by Duncan MacLeod, a beautiful 1st generation version of the sword from the popular saga (not pictured).
From Asian weapons, we’ll now move in a westerly direction. Thankfully for political freedom everywhere, William Wallace was pretty good at swinging a blade, as well as leading troops. Here is William Wallace’s sword from Braveheart. The sword’s overall length is 51 inches and the blade is stainless steel. It comes with a scabbard.
Entertainment Earth also offers a high-quality reproduction of the William Wallace sword that is quite popular and sells out from time to time, but click here to check it out — this is about as good as movie prop replicas get.
A sword that gets heavy use in films is the rapier, a gentleman’s sword that came into wide use in Europe in the 17th century. This is the kind of sword you see in movies such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Princess Bride (both notable for their excellent dueling choreography). The rapier at left is the Black Knight’s Silver Spiral Rapier. This is a nice replica sword from True Swords that’s only about $60.
If you want a much high-quality rapier, try the Cup Hilt Rapier from Knife Depot. This is a pretty serious sword made by Cold Steel. This is the kind of sword you grab when you want to buckle some swash.
Another famous sword with a western heritage — western fantasy, that is — is the sword Anduril from The Lord of the Rings. This is the sword that was re-forged for Aragorn, heir to the throne of Gondor. This is a beautiful replica with 24K gold fittings and it comes with a wall plaque.
And as long as we’re talking about Lord of the Rings swords, you may also want to get hold of Gandalf’s sword Glamdring (another very nice reproduction from True Swords) and Sting, the sword carried by Frodo, the Elven-forged blade that turned blue when orcs were near.
For more swords from The Hobbit, see my post on the best current replica LOTR swords you can get.
Of course, one of the more badass characters in Lord of the Rings was Legolas, who didn’t carry a sword. He was pretty handy at puncturing things with arrows, however. And equally as handy with his two elven knives. So let’s progress to some knife action and offer Legolas’s twin blades for your weaponry consideration. These knives feature full-tang construction and sharpened stainless-steel blades. The handles are oak with elven designs and they’re nicely displayed (when not busy eviscerating orcs) on a handsome wooden plaque.
Now that we’re on famous movie knives, I should mention one of the most well-known movie knives in history — the “hunting” knife that Rambo used to take on the town of Hope in Rambo: First Blood.
Get the Rambo First Blood Signature Edition Knife from Knife Depot. The blade is stainless steel and it includes a compass and survival kit. Get this knife and you, too, can take on prejudiced, backwater police.
We’ll wrap up our tour of cool fictional edged weapons (that have become real), with the instrument used by one notorious fellow: Sweeney Todd’s razor (the movie version with Johnny Depp), with which he dispatched his unsuspecting victims.
The swords and knives reviewed here are some of the best of all movie and TV replicas. But there are many more available from a variety of productions, from The Prince of Persia to Predator to Pirates of the Caribbean. Continue exploring at True Swords, BUDK, and Knife Depot.
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