Matteo Udina - 28 Feb 2012
First of all I must say that I bought the rapier without blade. I had a spare Del Tin blade at home but I really liked the style of this hilt so I decided to buy it together with a chestnut handle and an acorn pommel. The orderd was shipped very fast and I recieved it in 8 days only (in Italy). When I opened tha package I must say that I was very impressed by the quality of the hilt. I ordered the hammered (economy) version as to have a more historical look. The welding is very well done and the shell and ring are very regular. The weight is perfect, less than 0.5 kg. The pommel is perfect too and it matches with the pommel of my left hand dagger. They mounted easily and smoothly on the blade and the overall look to the rapier is awsome. I am completely satisfied about this item and the service of everyone at Darkwood.
Paul Bengtsson - 29 Jan 2013
I bought the Shell Hilt Pappenheimer and the Shell Hilt dagger to match, and they are a very beautiful couple. Although there was some initial trouble with the shipment (of which at least partly DHL is to blame), the problem was handled very satisfactorily and with an impeccable sense of service, which stopped it from becoming an actual issue. I got the pictured configuration with two 42 inch blades, bated and practice. I find that the sword balances very well with both these blades and the round pommel, though I think that a lighter pommel would make it a bit top-heavy (not necessarily a bad thing). The bated blade makes it easier to control your opponents sword, but it is also considerably heavier. The hilt offers excellent hand protection and looks absolutely gorgeous. To sum up, I couldn't be happier with the sword. It is everything I hoped it would be and it has served me well for the past year. The way the shipment error was handled did nothing but to further reassure me of the quality and dependability of Darkwood Armory. If I ever have to replace this sword, and don't think I will ever need to, I will almost certainly buy it from here.
Raymond Wang - 30 Mar 2013
I got this December 2012 as my first practice rapier based on recommendations from my fellow fencers and instructors. Since then I have subjected the DA2BR blade, the shell hilt, and s-curved quillions to hundreds of line taking (and losing). The entire weapon is holding up superbly. The weight is extremely well balanced, and the double wire wrap handle is definitely worth the extra $25. Darkwood's customer service during the order is also superb. One of their employees wrote a personal email to me the day after I submitted my order to confirm my specifications, offer advice, and ask if there was any further customization or requirements that I had. This was during the height of the Christmas shopping period! Shipping was fast, tracked, and painless. In fact, my fellow fencers were so impressed with my personal Christmas present, one of them went ahead and ordered his first rapier with Darkwood as well! To summarize, if I or my colleagues ever need a practice rapier, DA would definitely be the first and probably only place we'd look.