Absolute Fencing vs Alliance Fencing Equipment

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by JCrafton, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. JCrafton

    JCrafton Rookie

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    In our fencing club, we primarily use Absolute Fencing equipment due to its relatively cheap prices. However, we have also had issues with Absolute Fencing gear. In my quest to find an alternative that we could afford, I found Alliance Fencing Equipment. For the gear we are looking for, their prices seem reasonable. If anyone who has used both Absolute and Alliance gear, specifically their blades, could tell their opinion on the quality of the two, and which they believe to be superior, that would be pretty great.
    Thanks,
    Jonathan Crafton
     
  2. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Unlike Absolute, I don't think Alliance makes blades...the ones sold under their name look like rebadged StMs.
     
  3. piste off

    piste off Podium

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    I buy from both, but only Alliance at tournaments. I've found their shipping when buying online to be absolutely absurd so I now don't even try with them that way anymore.
     
  4. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    Piste: Did you really mean "Alliance *only* at tournaments"? I agree it's best to purchase any equipment in-person. Blades' variance even within supplier merit personal testing. I'm spoiled having one within 15 minutes' drive and another three within an hour's.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  5. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    I would also look at Blue Gauntlet. I think their whites are better quality than Alliance's.
     
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  6. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    I'm a big fan of my Alliance FIE jacket but last I shopped for knickers (many years ago) Blue Gauntlet non-FIE was by far my fav. Although tbh I haven't loved them, but they've been sufficient that I haven't replaced in so many yyears.
     
  7. piste off

    piste off Podium

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    I like the people and selection at Alliance, but the couple of times I tried to order online the shipping cost was crazy. And I mean crazy, so I stopped even trying.
     
  8. Nakita

    Nakita Made the Cut

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    I use a lot of PBT stuff.
    I have a Blue Gauntlet jacket.
    Absolute pants. Absolute foil lame.
    And an Uhlman foil lame too.
    As far as blades, I think other than certain manufacturers most are made in China. Is that not true? ( obviously not ones that state otherwise) but if it doesn't state it, I'd always assumed they were made in China.
    Probably all from the same place. They probably switch the stamp every couple of days. :)
     
  9. JCrafton

    JCrafton Rookie

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    Do you know if StMs blades are better than Absolute? I'm just trying to find an affordable option for our club, but also descent quality. If a blade is withing $5 of an absolute blade, but is better quality, than I think we should get that blade.
     
  10. piste off

    piste off Podium

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    I think STMs are better. At least for epee. What weapon is your club?
     
  11. JCrafton

    JCrafton Rookie

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    We use all 3 in the club. Most of our members tend to prefer epee, but we use all and need new equipment for all. Mostly blades, but our uniforms are trash too. We usually use Absolute Fencing but we aren't a huge fan its just the cheap option. I'm our club's treasurer so thats why I'm trying to find an affordable, yet better, option than Absolute.
     
  12. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    There's not many. AF and BG are the least expensive options on the East Coast. When shopping around, check the vendor's shipping rates, and ask if they also have club or coach discounts. The Univ club I work with gets a discount from AF, and sometimes BG.
     
  13. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    For uniforms I think BG is a little better than Absolute. Not a lot, but I like them a bit better.

    For epee blades I have stopped going super cheap and now plan to pay about $100 per blade. This gets me up to the LP non-FIE or Vniti FIE or StM FIE range. The cheapest house-brand made in China blades you can get are about $40 wired. All of the LP/Vniti/StM cabal last at least three times as long as a cheap blade; Vnitis seem to be nearly immortal. For the best cost/durability curve probably you should just use all Vniti. With a club discount from Absolute they're $100, and they'll legit last about three fourths of the way to forever, you're likely to retire from coaching before they break. They're heavy and floppy, which will inspire the little buggers to buy their own epees.

    If you have eleven year old kids learning to fence, though, a Vniti can be heartbreaking just because they can't hold it up very long. So, LP non-FIE are good too. Light and quite durable, wired it's $89 and LP doesn't give me a club discount so about the same price.
     
  14. JCrafton

    JCrafton Rookie

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    Unfortunately, as much as we would love to get the Vnitis or LP blades, even though yes it might be cheaper long run, we cant afford to spend $100 per blade. As a college club, our income is VERY limited and right now, quantity is more important than quality. And also being a college club, we don't have to worry about 11yo fencers. I can try to talk to the other officers about trying for the better blades, but I highly doubt they would be up for it. Thank you for the input tho, I'll definitely keep this in mind for my next personal blade.
     
  15. brianz

    brianz Rookie

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    If you don't mind wiring blades yourself, you could get the LP Standard Epee Blades unwired which goes for $70. I'm not a fan of wiring/rewiring that blade but it's a good sturdy blade. German wires goes for about $5 and if you don't care for competing in NACs, you could reuse the tips and barrels from previously broken blades.

    I have better experience with the LP standard than the entry level Chinese blades or StM (non-FIE). The only caveat is, the V-shape design makes the blade very stiff and it's not easy to flick.
     
  16. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    It sounds like you have a college club. If you don't care about using the scoring machines, I like to get unwired blades and put a tip on the end. It gets people used to the weight and feel of an electric foil / epee, you'll never wear down a metal tip, and if you do want to convert the weapon it's nearly done for you (add socket and wire). Cost isn't too much different either.
     
  17. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Better yet, stick to sabre and avoid the whole controversy. You can get sabre blades for ~ $20 and no wiring issues. :)
     
  18. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    But you get to deal with saberists. I'll take the wires. :D
     
  19. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    But sabreists (especially teens) are hell on cords.
     
  20. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    He can just use bayonet cords, my coach declares that those ( and bayonet sockets ) never fail and are immortal. :D
     

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