Smallswords are intriguing as a system, but I have not been a fan of most of the lower-cost training swords on the market because they tend to use epee blades. I understand that epee blades are a light, safe, and economical way to produce a smallsword, but I don’t like the look of them. They just don’t say “HEMA” to me. Until the Castille model came out, the non-epee bladed smallsword options were quite expensive. It is worth noting that Castille produces two versions of their economy smallsword, one with and one without an epee blade. If you don’t have the same hangup as me, then you can save yourself $75 by choosing the second option.
- Castille Smallsword (the one I have that is pictured) – https://castillearmory.com/product/complete-economy-small-sword/
- Castile Smallsword with #2 Epee Blade – https://castillearmory.com/product/complete-economy-small-sword-epee/
Given the pandemic, I have not had a chance to fence with the sword so this is an impression article rather than a review. I love the feel and balance. The large screw-on pommel keeps the weight in the hand making the blade feel almost weightless. The tip is flared (something that is hard to determine on the Castille website) and the blade has excellent flex when I stab my pell. I did stain the wood handle red as I found the default color to be a bit boring, but that is personal preference. The hilt is sturdy and has no rattle. A leather washer between the handle and the pommel controls vibration and keeps the entire sword tight.
I am very happy with this sword and can’t wait to use it when my club reopens. I am currently using Domenico Angelo as my source material but there are a number of other excellent options. https://smallswordproject.com/ has some great information if you want to learn more.