I have encountered a rather odd and persistent problem with the practice blades I have ordered from Blue Gauntlet. So here is the lengthy account of it
The first blade was an electric BG epee. After short while of use, one attack left my blade with a perfectly natural bend... right up until 3 inches from the at which point the direction of the bend switch and the tip end of the blade was now aimed upwards (away from the thumb) at a 30 degree angle. This was cause for more than mild concern so I straightened it which made it appear quite fine and tested it several times on a padded target (not a person). Surely enough one extension abruptly caused the blade to repeat the anomaly. My initial reaction apart from it being a defective blade was that my attacks had become so horrific that my blade had given up on life. However this had never happened in all the time I had used blades belonging to my club. So I called BG, they said to send it back in for a refund and didn't have any explanation to offer.
It turns out that dismembering this blade for parts for two other blades turned out to be more profitable than sending it back. So I went ahead and ordered a second blade hoping the first to be an anomaly. This time I ordered an SG blade from them in case it was an issue with their BG blades. I also didn't fence with it myself. For the first two weeks I made sure that other fencers in my club used it but not myself to control for the possibility of my style being the problem. Surely enough the same thing occurred but this time it was courteous enough to last just past the warranty.
The final annoyance came when two other fencers who used BG practice blades ended up with the same problem. About 3 inches from the tip the blade just bends abruptly either up or down, and when straightened will repeat it without necessarily getting the violent bend in the same direction.
So, what could cause this? How are two different brands (I assume SG is different) showing the same defect? Is there some sort of incantation I don't know about that needs to be performed when using new blades? I don't plan on ordering BG or SG blades again, but I am quite curious as to how this happened and concerned for other fencers I know who use these blades.
Thanks in advance for your ideas.