David Kelly - 26 May 2009
This is my first Darkwood. I have a Hanwei Vasa rapier. The Hanwei is quite elegant, to the point that it handles more like a small sword; the blade is ahistorically lively. I wanted this sword to be a solid late period full guard fighter. Elected to use the 45 inch bated blade, double wire wrapped grip, and was persuaded to try the barrel pommel. Visually this is a magnificent piece. It is 50 inches tall without the point plug. Balance is very good, but at this size the sword is also very slow. Price of all the boiler plate. As I have become more familiar with this site I found out I missed a few options. I could have got a fullered blade. That would help in downsizing. Also will probably experiment with a smaller pommel. Darkwood had very generously offered a cylinder pommel to try. Biggest problem with the barrel is assuming a fencing grip that draws the wrist into the sword. I've called this wonderful rapier a 4star ranker because of some technical issues, however it is a very realistic and fencible weapon. Has a great "wow" factor when you show it off also.
Jim Mearkle - 20 Aug 2009
I bought an ancestor of this model a dozen or more years ago, when epees still ruled the list. It has since been fitted with a schlager, and continues to serve me with durability and style.
Peter Overstreet - 08 Oct 2009
The folks of Darkwood have been kind enough to provide good customer service... The proof of this is when I received this model to replace my very hilt-heavy rapier. This Ring Hilt floats like a hummingbird, and is an incredible piece to pit against any blade. It moves well. I'm using this sword in the role of "Aramis" in a production of "The Three Musketeers", and it suits me to a "t". Thank you, Darkwood!