Timothy Matthews - 30 Aug 2009
I ordered the Swept hilt model of this. It is WELL balanced, and though it is called "Economy" that only applies to the price.. Well made, all my friends are envious of my darkwood. I plan to order more from these guys soon!
Dimitri Vladescu - 04 Nov 2009
I love it!! I picked one up a couple years back, and I'm planning on picking up a second.
David Ito - 14 Jun 2010
This rapier has paid for itself many times over. I ordered mine with a Pappenheimer guard, Cylindrical pommel, and oak handle; and it point of balance is about 2 inches above the guard. It is a joy to handle this rapier.
David Herold - 21 Nov 2012
I ordered the ring style guard from this line. Although these are listed as economy they feel anything but. It moves fast and smooth and feels very solid in the hand. Overall this is an absolutely beautiful weapon for the price. I would also like to say that Darkwood's customer service is absolutely second to none. They are very responsive and friendly. It is nice to see a company that still believes in the concept of customer service. I recommend them to anyone that ever asks me where to go for the equipment that they carry.
Steven Janus - 30 Oct 2013
I have purchased the two ring/ swept hilt version. The finish was rough but did polish up well. Blade handles well, guard and rings are solid. Has withstood much abuse. I purchased mine with the heavier DAPR2 bated blade. Handles fairly well with the 39 inch blade, takes a beating, and keeps going.
Philipp Selman - 14 Feb 2014
I've been a fencer and fencing instructor in the SCA for about a decade, and the Darkwood Economy Hilt Rapier is hands down THE baseline rapier I recommend. Here's why. For starters, the only thing "economy" about these rigs is the price tag. Sure, they're a bit simpler than other Darkwood models, but the craftsmanship most certainly isn't lesser in any way. Scott and his crew put the same professional quality of work into these inexpensive guards as anything they do, so you know you aren't playing metallurgy roulette with the stability and durability of the guard itself. Speaking of which, you get a great selection of guard configurations to choose from, so you can find a guard that truly fits your style and persona. Next up is the handling of the sword itself. Balanced with the appropriate pommel (I love DW scent stoppers myself), you'll get the feel and response you want from one of these swords. Then there's the blade. It's the same practice or bated blade you're going to get with any Darkwood rapier, and that alone is worth the price of admission. And don't overlook the fact that when you buy one of these swords, you're paying for Darkwood's amazing customer service and warranty (something these guys don't hype nearly enough). I could go on at length about that from personal experience, but suffice it to say that these guys take care of you. So, why do I tell my students to save a few extra pennies and buy a Darkwood Economy Hilt rapier instead of some budget model for maybe a hundred bucks less? Because these swords handle better, last longer, are covered by Darkwood's legendary warranty, and if you buy one now, five or ten years later you'll still be happy you picked up this rig.