James Faine of the CFA provides a brief review of the Blaise Feres, or BF, foil blades. This is the second in a a five part series on FIE foil blades. Their are three, arguably five, of the most common "high level" foil blades on the market. Only a couple of which are really well known in the US. They all have certain strengths and attributes.
Blaise Feres: Blaise Brothers forge in France is arguably the most well known and widely used high level foil blades around.
The BF FIE foil blades are fairly light, have very good balance and offer a good lifespan. They come as the BF white foil blade, which tends to be a bit on the stiff side, and BF blue fie foil blade which tends toward being more flexible but is more expensive.
The main thing the color gives you is a resistance to tarnishing/rusting which even an FIE blade will have problems with if it is not taken care of. This is a good all around generic blade that does everything well and does not have any glaring weaknesses. It would be hard to go wrong with one.
The main downside is the price which is very expensive and that all of the BF blades can vary a good amount from batch to batch with regards to thickness, weight, flex and lifespan. As such it is best to know exactly what attributes you want in a blade or pick it out yourself. Many companies private label BF blades as their own including FWF, Uhlmann/Allstar, Triplette and PBT.
James Faine is the Director and Coach of the Charlottesville Fencing Alliance, Head Coach of the Buford and Grymes Middle School fencing clubs and Vice Chair of the VA Division, USFA. Coach Faine fences competitively in Division 1/Open USFA events and is also a Referee and Armouer.