Getting started in Messer is my most read article to date and where much of my current passion lies within HEMA. While you can practice Messer with a good wooden stick, I find that my enjoyment and appreciation for a system greatly improves with a good steel trainer.
Long story short, I love the VB Messer sold by Purpleheart Armoury and have been using it for months. The sword has the long handle needed to perform handle wrap techniques found in Lecküchner. The blade is light and flexible enough that I feel confident in my ability to spar at speed without injuring my training partner. The handle has an aesthetic that leans into the “Long Knife” construction that gives the sword it’s name. I have wrapped my handle in the pictures below but this is more to protect the wood from stray hits than any need.
My only real complaint about the sword is that the crossguard and nagel are made from softer steel and have taken some dings in sparring (the blade is still like new). This is easy to fix with a file, but I wish the guard was a bit tougher. Perhaps future revisions will address this one flaw.
If you are considering a steel messer, the Messer Version 1 by VB sold by Purpleheart Armoury is an excellent option at a fair price.