Preferred OAL of your Longsword


New member
I'm interested to see the over all preference in length for synthetics, feders, and cutters as far as longswords are concerned. The competition style feders tend to be longer than the surviving swords in museums that were used in medieval battlefields and combat.
Though the shorter end of the longsword spectrum may have trouble with some techniques in the KDF system, out side of the competition scene a sword slightly below 50" does provide maneuverability and better point control, especially while in close, or when the wielder is not particularly tall. The longer swords, 52"+, obviously have reach, allowing for maneuvers while in the bind that a shorter sword would not.
Please share your opinions, thoughts, ideas, personal experience/preference, or complete disdain for the topic (lol).


Staff member
Generally, the best length for a long sword is going to depend on the wielder. The pommel coming to the armpit is the general rule of thumb for ideal blade length according to Philippo di Vadi, and this is usually what people go by. If a sword is too long for you then you are prone to striking the ground accidentally. The other disadvantage to a longer sword is that it does take more time for the point to travel from one place to another, such as when defending.

In terms of tournaments, more important than blade length is the point of balance of the blade itself, and some feders are balanced closer to the hilt than the average surviving historical long sword would be. This provides an advantage in bind work, and can off-set some of the disadvantages to a longer blade. A sword with a point of balance closer to the crossguard makes the sword less effective for cutting, but since cutting is not done in tournaments with feders this becomes an advantage. This is one ahistorical quality about modern HEMA gear that is good to be mindful about.

Another ahistorical quality is the length of the handles. We tend to see feders produced today with longer handles to accommodate the widespread usage of SPES heavy gloves as hand protection. This alters some of the handling characteristics of the feders when the pommel is used as a lever, and does increase overall length of the weapon, too.


New member
That is a very text book response, one that I have heard or read many times from many different sources. I was hoping for a bit of incite on a more personal level from current enthusiasts, what those in the community "Prefer" for personal training, practice, and study. I will endeavor to be more clear in my inquiries later on, and chalk the response above to: Undecided/Indifferent.


New member
My personal preferences and excuses are as follows.

Short answer: between 46" and 52" (not very helpful or specific)

Medium answer:
Sparing sword: around 50"
Cutting sword: around 47"
What I actually use:
Sparing sword: 51.5"
Cutting sword: 46"

Long answer:
Well, why is there a difference between preference and actual use?
Why is there a difference between sparing sword and cutting sword?

Well to be honest.... for me..... size is one of the last things I look at, for a training weapon.
And my priorities have changed through the years.

Availability is probably one of the strongest driving factors.
Value is a close second.

I use a Purpleheart Berbekucz feder for a sparing sword because its with in useable size and handling.
And the fact that the components can be replaced independently drives the value through the roof.

I use a RK Euro model 2 for a cutting sword because I got it second hand for a great price.

on to the second question......

Even if I could easily get what ever size I wanted for a good price why would I make my training sword and cutting sword different sizes?
Most of it is due to hilt length, I prefer to have a longer grip to accommodate the bulk of protective equipment.
I have seen people use short grips with protective equipment with 0 issues and I'm sure I could get used to it, but I prefer the longer grip.
I also find long grips on cutting swords to be annoying, I have to fight my inclination to use the extra grip and chicken wing my strikes and if it's really long I tend to jab myself in the guts with the pommel. Not all the time, but enough that it sucks.
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