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Ursa Major HEMA Academy

Messer review - Krieger Historical Weapons

This striking little piece was provided to me for review by Krieger Historical Weapons. I’ve used it for a few months now, in both drilling and sparring situations, as well as handing it around to some of my fellow fighters to get their opinions on it. In short; it’s a very interesting value proposition and a well-positioned training tool for those looking for a more durable, affordable, industrial training sword. Let’s get down to some details:

  • Weight: 745 g (1,53 lb)
  • Length: 900mm (35,43”)
  • POB: 13 cm (5,12”)
  • Blade geometry: Flat bar, like a feder - folded tip

Krieger messer

My initial impression of this messer was that it felt great to use. It’s light and fast, but still has reasonable bind presence. It’s capable of cutting around deftly and can be accelerated significantly, thanks to the handle shape (more on this later). It performed well against other messers, arming swords, and sabres (though with a significant reach disadvantage), and could be used equally as well with a buckler or without.

Things I didn’t like about this blade

  1. The blade geometry is very basic
    No distal taper, which means the bend profile isn’t great (bends across the whole length, not just in the top third)
    Corners of the blade are around 90deg, meaning they have a tendency to wear a bit faster and cause more pain than if they were rounded like so many ‘feder-style’ blades

Krieger edge condition

  1. The durability of the furniture
    Or more accurately, its fitting. The crossguard became quite loose after only a few bouts and there is now significant rattle & play.

Things I like about this blade

  1. Performance is great, handling is great
  2. No frills utilitarian design appeals to me
  3. Durability is great, except for the loosening of the crossguard
  4. Price: 185 euro. Great value proposition for an entry level, utilitarian training tool

There is however one caveat… this blade hits deceptively hard. Having been on both the giving and receiving ends of this blade as it was passed around for review, I can safely say it hits harder than you would expect. I think this has to do with the balance, weight, and handle geometry; the downward curve of the base of the handle lets you accelerate the blade considerably. This is something to be aware of when sparring with this blade.

Krieger handle

Would I recommend it?

At this point it’s a hard sell. While it has some great specs, a good price, and is great to use, the looseness of the crossguard after only a short time is a slight concern. This isn’t a huge problem as you can shim the furniture to stop/reduce the rattle, but definitely something to keep in mind. I think I would recommend it with two caveats; buy it as long as you don’t mind addressing a loose crossguard, and with the awareness that it has the tendency to sting.

I’m excited to see what Krieger comes out with in the future!