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Rittersteel Swords & Weapons

If you have any interest in medieval swords or weaponry, then you have probably already heard of Ritter Steel. Ritter Steel sells affordable swords that are ideal for reenactments and festivals. Learn more below about the company as well as the varied swords and accessories they offer.


Company Origins and Overview


Today, Rittersteel blades come in many other forms, including samurai, ninja, and Viking swords. As a company, Ritter Steel is now known for this varied collection of specialty swords and weaponry, which includes modern design twists on traditional classics. With such a diverse selection, the company caters to a wide range of sword collectors and enthusiasts, from professors and causal historians to gamers and those interested in reenactments.  


Historical Background: The Age of Honor

The Western history of the world can be divided into three periods: Antiquity, Medieval, and Modern. The Medieval period, or Middle Ages, lasted ten centuries and was comprised of the Early (5th to 10th centuries), High (11th through 13th) and Late Middle Ages (14th and 15th). The idea of knighthood was at first purely honorary, bestowed on a squire for his military service to the king. Knights became members of the nobility during the High Middle Ages, and, by the Late Middle Ages, were associated with a deeply-revered code of conduct: chivalry.


This code was not a formal set of rules to be strictly adhered to or punished for disobeying, but rather a guiding moral system for the knights and all true gentlemen of the Middle Ages. It became deeply engrained in the culture of the day. In the late 11th century, an unknown poet (possibly named Turold) wrote the Song of Roland, a battle narrative that includes a code of chivalry. The poem became wildly popular and inspired multiple songs, poems, ballads, and stories about the valor and chivalry of knights. The virtues to be upheld included things such as speaking the truth, obeying those in authority, respecting women, protecting the weak, providing for widows and orphans, and guarding the honor of themselves and other knights.


In addition to the rise of knights and chivalry, the Middle Ages brought forth many people, developments, and events which continue to captivate us to this day. There are endless topics to study and explore, such as Viking explorations, religious crusades, feudal lords, and the lives of kings. Perhaps daily life in the Middle Ages is so mesmerizing simply because our modern life is so different it was. Since that time, our society has developed exponentially in terms of artistic, musical, political, scientific, medical, and technological advances. We are constantly surrounded by the new and innovative, which may explain why we are still so fascinated with the idea of antiquity. It is no wonder, then, why medieval, samurai, ninja, and other historical swords are so popular for collectors and hobbyists alike.


Medieval Swords and More
Ritter Steel offers a wide range of medieval swords and weaponry, which come in several different lines or series. All swords are solidly built and designed with historical aesthetics in mind, to immediately project the idea of a noble knight and his trusted blade. The Rittersteel Crusader Sword features a high-carbon 27” steel blade. Using the same technique as sword making in the Middle Ages, the blade has been tempered over hot coals. The handle is made of wood, with brass guard, spacer, and pommel fittings.


Another sword offered by Ritter Steel is the Great German Landsknect Sword, which is over six feet long from tip to top. Despite the jaw-dropping length, German and Swiss soldiers wielded these long swords in the front lines of battle. Rittersteel Landsknect swords are replicas of an original sword that is currently in a private collection.


In addition to selling a variety of steel swords, Ritter Steel manufacturers swords specifically for use with costumes or in live action role-playing (LARP). These are lighter and much less expensive than steel swords, without the danger of injury due to accidental stabbing. In addition to gaming and LARP, many people enjoy attending or participating in medieval and renaissance festivals. A large number of cities host festivals throughout the year as a way to explore and celebrate similar food, society, sporting events, and entertainment as what those in the Middle Ages enjoyed.


Whether you are avid about history, collecting, or reenacting, you may wind some of Ritter Steel’s accessories enticing. In addition to spears and daggers, you can purchase a spiked flail, or ball and chain. No outfit or collection would be complete without a bit of chainmail armor, which is why Ritter Steel offers both a chainmail shirt and coif, or head covering. Chainmail covering is a tight mesh created with interlocked circles of metal. The term byrnie refers to a waist-length shirt, haubergeon to a mid-thigh length, and hauberk to a longer, knee-length shirt. The coif is an invaluable protector, as it covers the entire head, neck, and shoulders.


Heavily utilized during the Middle Ages, chainmail was eventually replaced by plate armor and, ultimately, bulletproof vests. The chainmail manufactured by Ritter Steel is made of riveted aluminum, which is less weighty but much more wearable. Ritter Steel also offers arming caps and helmets to complete the look.


Aged Look for Apparent Authenticity

Ritter Steel offers many lines of swords, including the Stage Steel, Ritter Steel, and Valiant Arms collections. The Rittersteel Authentics Collection, however, has an especial aim to reproduce early weapons by using some of the same swordsmith techniques and adding antiquing touches. The company aims to create pieces that appear to have come directly from a castle or museum, making them ideal for a historian or collector. The swords feature blackened and seared wood handles with darkened blades.


Other weaponry in the collection includes halberds, which are long, two-handed pole weapons with an axe blade and spike on the top. You can also purchase flails, maces, war hammers, clubs, and large double-headed axes. The designs are simple completely functional and great conversation pieces, which means you could really have some fun the next time you need to clear brush or host a dinner party.


Samurai and Ninja Swords

In addition to medieval swords and weaponry, Ritter Steel manufacturers a wide variety of samurai and ninja swords, including the ever-popular katana. These blades are sharp, powerful, and durable, built to be fully functional and battle-ready. Their braided leather collection gives each handle a comfortable and attractive grip, while other, single swords are made with a variety of aesthetics in mind. Most include a high-carbon spring steel blade with brass or steel fittings (guards, spacers, and pommels), and are quite affordable.


The Rittersteel Samurai Katana features a 27” blade, full tang, with an overall 37” length and 2.5 pound weight. This is a traditional two-handed sword, with brass fittings and a leather-bound wood handle and scabbard. The Rittersteel Ninja Katana has identical fittings but has a much straighter blade. This sword is the same length, although traditionally some ninja katanas were shorter than their samurai counterparts.


You can also buy a reverse blade katana, which puts the sharp cutting side on the backside of the blade. The usual cutting side is blunt, for striking and stunning (rather than cutting or killing) an opponent. If this type of blade sounds familiar, it may be thanks to its popularization by the manga character Rurouni Kenshin, or Samurai X. Both samurai and ninjas valued this type of sword thanks to its ability to wound and disarm opponents. The sword sold by Ritter Steel has a 27” blade and 38” overall length.


For anyone interested in martial arts, the Rittersteel Japanese Swords Competition Katana is sleek and simple, ideal for daily use. With a 28” blade and 38” overall length, this katana weighs 3.3 pounds. The full tang is pinned three times between two pieces of dark wood. If you want a “just for fun” option, Ritter Steel also offers a katana decorated with a skull-shaped guard and pommel.


Oversized swords are still popular, too, with multiple styles to choose from. The Great Katana Odachi is a massive samurai sword based on oversized Japanese swords used as offerings, in battle, as a status symbol, and in ceremonies. The Rittersteel Odachi weighs 5.6 pounds, with a 40” blade and 67” overall length. If you prefer a lighter but equally impressive weapon, the Rittersteel Great Katana also has a 40” blade, but is only 54” long and weighs 4 pounds.


Other Products

A quick overview of other products reveals a Viking Chieftain sword, symbol of bravery and fierceness, as well as a Classic Deux Rapier, used for thrusting and fencing. Overall, Ritter Steel strives to create fun, varied products with historical ties and high-caliber craftsmanship.