The Majesty of the Great Sword

[Video link]

Thanks Brian!


  1. I once was at a bar, talking to some guy about how I wanted to get myself a two handed flamberge (a.k.a. greatsword). He was all like, “those things are too big and slow. They are only good against armored opponents, and no one wears armor any more.”.

    To this I replied, “I know exactly what you are thinking. You are thinking that if I was like walking through a dark alley or something, and I was assaulted, I would be much better served with a lighter blade, like a rapier.”

    “Yeah, man. That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

    “But I am not planning on walking around with a sword and getting into street fights. I’m just going to swing that thing around in my back yard, looking like a fool, no doubt, but having fun, and getting a little exercise.”

    1. Have you seen the powered exoskeletons in development right now?

      The only thing preventing us from swinging swords the size of guitars around right now is the horsepower of our muscles. I bet with a strong enough exosuit and a well balanced sword it could be wielded one handed with the speed of a rapier.

  2. Sword = impressive.

    Spending lots of time hacking apart dead animals in effort to sell sword = a bit creepy.

  3. Watching this is supposed to make one feel inferior – and what the hell, a great sword is far less expensive than a Lamborghini, hair implants, or a Glock.

    But it does make me want to jump in my VW beetle wearing my hipster fedora and shoot them with my Daisy air rifle. Y’know – because they’d be smarting and I’d be long gone before they could cut off my toes.

  4. If they weren’t going to dress up in period-accurate armor, at least they could’ve worn heavy metal getups.

  5. @3:10 – The exact reason why the bamboo forests disappeared from Germany in the 16th century.

    They do some things with the sword that make me cringe, safety-wise and in respect to damaging to the blade and edge geometry. Cutting cinder blocks ice and soft targets against unyielding wood, ouch! And the first guy has barely any control. But he does have that Landsknecht mustache and physique you see in some of the woodcuts.

    But it’s still FREAKIN’ COOL to see what the sword can do. I can’t wait until my pumpkins are done growing so I can go at them myself this fall. It’s actually scary as to what little effort it takes to slice through something with a sharp sword.

  6. At the top of their website is a video of a meat bicycle. “If you’ve got some meat and a Great Sword, you can make my cool bike at home!”

    Seriously, these guys must spend more on meat than they do on metal.

  7. Good against pig carcasses is one thing. Good against the living – that’s something else.

  8. I do think that two handed swords are way impressive, this video demonstrates why they where a force to be reckoned with.

    But I can’t stop thinking about that joke (originally about knife fights), while I’m watching this:

    Q: Who brings a gun to a sword-fight?
    A: The winner…

  9. Swords: they’ll fucking cut you wide open.

    For zombie apocalypse purposes, I’d rather have a spring steel o-katana (basically an extra long katana). Lighter weight means more swings before exhaustion. 6 lbs is a lot even by great sword standards, but then, cold steel is known for making their weapons too heavy. Still, seeing that pig get split the long way was awesome.

    I bet these guys have epic BBQs after making their promo videos.

    I still think the best melee solution for zombies is riot shield plus aluminum baseball bat. If your sword gets stuck, you’re fucked. Riot shields are pretty light and often clear plastic so you can see what’s happening. Baseball bat is heavier enough than nightstick that it’d be a lot easier to get one-blow kills, without being so heavy you need two hands to swing if you’re a big guy.

  10. Bah. Cold Steel is crap. I’m married to a sword geek so I have absorbed a lot of sword knowledge over the years. You want a good sword, get an Albion. Handmade, historically accurate, fully functional and beautiful.

  11. I tell you one thing, whomsoever it was that beat these guys up on the playground when they were kids better get some platemail and boots of escaping +2 STAT.

  12. “TheViolentVicar

    Sword = impressive.

    Spending lots of time hacking apart dead animals in effort to sell sword = a bit creepy.”

    Did you get to the bit near the end where the start pitching it as a ‘home defence’ weapon? now *thats* when it seriously gets creepy o.O

  13. cold steel are known for making decent blades at decent prices. they’re also known for being run by a bunch of complete freakin’ maniacs.

    odd how some of the best small companies out there seem to be a little like that. i buy fountain pen ink (yeah, another archaic affectation with little use in the modern world) from what amounts to a one-man operation wholly owned by a raving libertarian loony. best fountain pen ink ever made, quite possibly. never talk politics with the guy, though — free advice.

      1. Nathan Tardif’s indeed the somewhat wacko person who makes the ink for my fountain pens, yes. :-) i’m very happy with the bulletproof black, but i don’t talk politics with him.

  14. While that sword certainly can cut, I’m inclined to say that the only thing it’s really good for, here in the 21st century, is fantasizing. In that regard, it’s no different than a cowboy hat or a Fleshlight.

    1. T’Pau #40, I too disliked the demonstration against the mail. Mail is designed to protect against slicing, not a pointed impact like that. For a good demo, the Cold Steel folks should wrap the mail around one of those pig carcasses and then see what a chop would do. I’d bet they’d at a minimum lose most of the penetration.

    2. I was about to post the same thing. All of cold steel’s videos show their swords being used to pierce chain mail. Even my thin Wusthof knives could pierce through a chainmail shirt.

      Probably chain mail would do little against a slashing attack from such a big sword, though, since it would crush bone pretty well. So any robbers that want to rob a greatsword owner should probably invest in a good set of platemail armor. Or, y’know, a gun.

    3. T’Pau,

      Why does everybody think that chainmail sucks against thrusts and stabs? That’s bullshit, if you think about it. Making wire, bending it into rings, riveting it shut…that was an awful lot of work, and chainmail was used quite a lot by cultures (like the turks) that fought with, and against archery all the time. If it sucked, they wouldn’t have done it.

      Yeah, you can go to youtube and see videos of arrows punching through chainmail, but what is that made of? Butted links made of mild steel. If you’d try that same experiment on real mail- hardened wrought iron links, riveted shut…you’d see a very different result.

      1. I have participated in that experiment, and I can tell you truly that both riveted and welded chainmail are not proof against period spears or bows firing pile-points at close to medium range.

        Now, against swords, and light weight slashing polearms, riveted chain mail is remarkably effective. Well worth wearing, even though it won’t stop a spear. Spears go through everything, pretty much, even 12g plates… but they get stuck really easy and are really easy to hack through, so if you make it past the initial clash there won’t be many functional spears left to worry about.

        Axes don’t get stuck as much as spears, chop through armor better than anything other than a spear, but are slow and unwieldy.

        Experiments done at least 20 years ago, probably at Trollshaws, and a decade later at some Scadian even with the same results.

  15. Yeah, the “rude” poses of the guys are funny.
    Anyway, this convinces me that most of the skinny guys who attend medieval festivals could not wield an actual sword (me neither, for that matter :)

    1. Actually a properly made sword is not that heavy and is very well balanced. Surprisingly so, compared to the myths surrounding European weapons and martial arts. A well made longsword of 47″ overall with a 35″ blade 2″ wide at the guard should weigh around 2.5-3.25 lbs and balance at 4-5″ out from the guard. It will feel quite lively in hand contrary to what you might think.

      Swords just have something undefinable about them and can be fun and rewarding to train with, like any other martial art.

      People who enjoy them and use/collect them, tend to get lots of snide comments, funny looks and derision from folks though, as some of the comments shows. Marketing such as in the video above, does nothing to help this situation …

  16. More like The Majesty Of Ron Swanson.

    Which, really, doesn’t diminish the awesomeness at all.

    I want a sword. Collection.

  17. Yes! Now make one about a great axe! But they’ll need something with more hit dice than pig heads and ol’ meatyboots, of course…

  18. “Bah. Cold Steel is crap. I’m married to a sword geek so I have absorbed a lot of sword knowledge over the years. “

    The quality of Cold Steel products varies from item to item. In this case it looks like they are just one of many resellers for the same indian made version of a landsknecht greatsword that that has been available at many other retailers over the years. I’m not sure what “made by Cold Steel” means given that identical looking swords to the one show were sold by Museum Replicas for years. Seems more like they import existing products from India, in many cases. Still, cutting through *two* pigs at once is impressive, and impressively wasteful.

  19. I bought a kukri from these guys (Cold Steel) years ago to clear brush from a trail behind my place. Works great and it even cut into a steel pipe that was hidden in the brush sticking out of the ground. It only left a small nick in the blade.

  20. Bad form on the wielders’s part. Always forward leaning on the strike. Off balance for any defensive move.

  21. The cutting power is fine. Technique sucks. They know they are cutting something that doesn’t fight back. They’re fighting bacon?

    1. No man, clearly sword collectors often lose the fight against bacon, if this video and my personal experience with such count for anything…

  22. This sword totally breaks AT THE HILT! under use on the Tosh.0 show, it’s hilarious too. Angel Sword used to have the same issue, two piece construction on a blade (not full tang) or not tempering the entire length of steel, cutting it narrow for sword guards, all bad all dangerous. And what’s more, should just never even happen on properly made blade.

    Also, this blade was not meant to be used this way. There’s plenty of historical evidence on this blade. It was a finesse weapon that one used an intricate system of constant contact, movement, and long continuous cuts. It was designed for trapping, clinching, stand up wrestling, and of course killing. It was perfect for the old German approach as well. All perfectly documented in old texts.

    It was also a dueling blade and used to settle disputes in court cases if both involved agreed to it’s use. There was a whole school of use with this blade and it was never intended for hack and slash baffonery.


    1. If you swung this thing like a baseball bat its weight and moment of inertia would carry it so far that you’d be very vulnerable until you could get it back into position.

  23. Great Ghu…I’m thinking Percival Dunwoody could totally reshape European history by travelling back to Hastings and pumping Harold’s troops full of Heavy Metal (instead of letting William’s boys do it with the lowercase version).

  24. Yeah, seriously, I got a major itch to play some AD&D after watching this video. It even looks like it was filmed in a LARP gameroom.

  25. The animal heads were a bit much. Must everything be metal? Safety glasses? really? Why didn’t we get to see the cute pullup guy cut? And what other cool Extreme Restraint “toys” do they have in their “dungeon?”

  26. Any sword is only good for two or three hits on flesh: the fatty tissue starts to stick to the blade and gums it up. This would happen with a katana, sword, blade, or anything. You’ve got a couple of good whacks, but you’re going to need to stop and clean/wipe that thing off before more Zombies get to you.

    For me, the best zombiepocalypse weapon would be an asphalt smoothing truck (the big roller from the road runner cartoons). Zombies don’t know shit, they’ll just walk/run toward you. As long as I’ve got a strong metal cage around me (with some A-Team welding before I go out), I’ll just drive around town and smush those ghouls. Give me gasoline and an air horn to get them a-comin’, and I’ll have your town zombie free in a few days.

  27. Ahhhhhhhhhh, did anyone see the guy doing pull ups? (2:00 – 2:15). At 2:09, that sword is BENT! Notice the cut at 2:12/2:13. Ooops!

    1. What doesn’t bend breaks, what doesn’t be-e-end breaks.

      That said, it did look a little lame to me too!

  28. It was cool and all (despite the clear lack of swordsmanship) but this video was the antithesis of “Majestic”.

  29. At first, I was like :-D
    And then they said “No-one is going to be able to take advantage of you when you have a great sword in your house (built by Cold Steel).”
    And then I was like :-|

  30. 4:48 5:12

    Hilarious. He’s talking about it like you’re seriously gonna use it in a brawl.

  31. Having trained for 10 hours with a bokken for a friend’s star wars fan film, I feel thusly qualified to expatiate upon the technique of everyone in that video: Experts at swordplay not, are they. I could probably take them with my fighting-prop light saber. Master Obiwan sheds force-ghost tears.

  32. And the wind up…and he slices…meanwhile a good kendōka has cut every tendon is his sword arm and opposing leg. The only thing keeping this by your front door will accomplish is an interesting icebreaker.

    If those blades were a quality alloy well stressed and folded, they wouldn’t be trashing them left and right like that. Anyone can take a bar of carbon-steel and sharpen it until it will slice through a rope once, then it’s back to the grinder.

    The bearded dude has better control, but he flinches on each strike.

    Please don’t waste your money on this crud. If you’re gonna buy a sword, spend a little more and get a individually handcrafted one with a decent hilt.

  33. ahh, i love this guy’s demonstrations. Cold Steel was at a recent convention in Pittsburgh, and they used every trick they could think of to bring people to their stand…including sending the booth babes after people with freebies.

    other half came home with a kukri-style machete. for $10, it was worth it.

  34. I’m sure it’s a nice sword, but couldn’t they get someone competent to d the demonstration? Or is the point that even a clumsy idiot like him can handle a sword like that?

    Also, the demonstration suggests it’s mostly for pompous butchers in a hurry. Though two pigs is definitely impressive. But they lose points for suggesting people use this as a real deterrent.

    By the way, Cold Steel isn’t all bad. My sword teacher likes their plastic training knives.

    1. what exactly is so bad about properly regulated, licensed big game hunting? provided the licensing and regulation is done correctly, it controls animal populations and brings in hard currency, whether it’s done in Africa on dangerous game or in the U.S. midwest on whitetail deer.

      granted, if the licensing and regulation system breaks down or becomes corrupted, all manner of bad things can happen. that’s not normally any fault of the hunters, though.

  35. This sword turns clumsy, short, fat guys into posers. It must truly be great.

    But I heard somewhere that it was forged.

  36. Paging Indiana Jones…

    But seriously–a lot of those hacks are taken with a running start. Doesn’t seem that practical.

    Having said that, these guys probably have spectacular barbecues. And it would be entertaining to see a supermarket butcher use one of these in the meat department….

  37. I’m sure this sword performs well in imaginary fighting.

    I’ve been attacked, for real, by for-real crazy people (presumably the only group of people who would attack a person carrying a Great Sword, though I haven’t done the experiment). As a rule, they don’t stand two arm-lengths away and wait for you to hit them with something big.

    <Bruce Lee>Dead pigs don’t hit back.</Bruce Lee>

  38. Ok so for the person who wanted to see this Benny Hillified…your wish is my command:

    (It was made in about the amount of time it takes to download the video, slap it into final cut, overlay the sound and render out. Not particularly polished but amusing nonetheless!)

  39. “THIS is what the great sword is about: deep penetration.”

    Penis extension, anyone?

    Video was compulsive viewing because of the little guy. I love small, tubby old men with a lot of testosterone, you just wonder what they’re going to get up to next. Like kittens!

  40. I have loved swords since I was little. I finally have 2.

    One is my grandfather’s dress sabre from the Coast Guard.

    The other is a replica of a 16th century Spanish rapier with main gauche.

    Cold Steel – as others pointed out – is so-so.

    I have been impressed with Paul Chen katanas, and their sister company Cas Iberia, which makes European and US swords.


    Check out your local Ren Fair. A lot of times you can find very well made blades that are also affordable.

  41. What Anon #55 said.

    To be fair, the video only shows part of what the weapon can do. The greatsword can be effective in close quarters, with proper training. The ricasso lets you use it like a short polearm. You can chop or stab with the blade, or turn it around and use the hilt like a club or hook. The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts ( has a lot of manuscripts showing various dirty tricks and nastinesses with the greatsword.

    (Ultimately, it comes down to the skill of the fighter. I used to fight heavy weapons in the SCA, and I’ve pwned and been pwned by greatsword fighters.)

  42. “Only Porthos could invent a new way of disarming himself.”

    Unnecessary posing and throwing/thrusting nonsense aside, the use of tatamis, bamboo, swinging ropes, and livestock carcasses to measure cutting power, efficiency, and style has a long and honorable history. These are accepted metrics.

    The cut away from the pull-up implies that the sword was permanently bent, though, unlike a properly tempered sword.

  43. Probaly not a good idea to be catty towards a guy with a sword but isn’t a tie supposed to come down to your belt-buckle, not end mid-belly?

  44. As both a service provider and a client, Ned Stark would agree that the great sword is the the way to go when something needs to be chopped off very, very quickly.

  45. That thing cuts through pigs like nobody’s business.

    If you have a shitload of pigs to slice in half, you NEED this sword!

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