Durable, Quality Foil Blades (at a reasonable price)

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Fencer1023, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Fencer1023

    Fencer1023 Rookie

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    After converting to foil and sticking with Blue Gauntlet brand blades for about six months, I can't keep on using them. They're prone to terrible bends, break frequently, and are generally low quality. Now that I'm starting to fence more, it's just not worth it to keep on trying to get them fixed at such a fast rate.

    I want to get two durable and quality blades to replace them, but I can't bring myself to spending FIE prices of $100+ per blade yet. As long as the blades are a reasonable step up from the Blue Gauntlet ones, I'd be content. Any suggestions (with explanations)? Thanks!
     
  2. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    You might try STM, but realize that you're only going to get so much use out of any non-FIE blade. Assuming you have gotten past the stage most beginners go through where they have NO sense of distance (and can destroy just about any blade, even a Vniti), you probably will be better off in the long run investing in FIE blades (which are made from maragin steel, an alloy which resists crack propogation much better than regular carbon steel, and therefore tend to last much longer).

    Also bear in mind that the only way to prevent a blade from breaking is to never use it.
     
  3. Fencer1023

    Fencer1023 Rookie

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    Obviously blade life differs by fencer, but how long would you say it takes an STM to break compared to an FIE?
     
  4. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    <insert>And have stopped competing against Jersey teenagers who have no sense of distance</insert>
     
  5. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    My experience is that FIE blades will typically last 5 to 10 times as long as carbon steel blades, which means that once you make the switch to them you will end up saving money in the long run.
     
  6. fenceart

    fenceart Made the Cut

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    A couple of years ago, it was time for some better blades, and needed FIE for the Vet Worlds anyway, so my Coach suggested I try the Absolute brand FIE with German barrel. I have to say, for the money - compared to other FIE blades, I really have no complaints. I have a Golubitsky from LP which I also like - that's not an inexpensive blade - it's different from the Absolute, so I'm not comparing apples to oranges here, that's a nice blade, but I'm talking for the money, Absolute offers a good blade - just under $100 with a German barrel. As the others reply - yes the only way to avoid breakage is to just look at it and not use it; (and avoid Jersey kids?) that said, properly broken in, I really liked these blades. There's a choice in stiffness but of course, the best way to pick is to do it in person.I'm sure the staff would be helpful over the phone as well. I'm going to add that last fall, I needed to get different blades (not because of any dislike for the Absolute) and did a little research on the Italian blades from Swordmasters and treated myself to two of them,with the Italian barrels and wire. (in for a penny.....) Though I will admit that sometimes, it's a little like lipstick on a pig when I fence with these, I love them. No, they are not inexpensive, and I bought two, so it was a little painful, but other FIE blades are easily well over $100 by the time you put a good tip on etc, so if you compare how these are made and their dependability (I can use all the help I can get) they really are a value. I know my foil will work well so I can focus on my fencing.
     
  7. Emfuser

    Emfuser DE Bracket

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    On the average, an FIE blade will substantially out-last a non-FIE blade and make up for the difference in price and time spent wiring and rebuilding weapons. They are simply more durable. Trying to be serious about fencing foil but insisting on non-FIE blades is ridiculous and needlessly cheap. Buy FIE blades. The best deal I know of off the top of my head is Alliance with their 3-blade deals. 3 BF blades for $279: https://alliancefencingequipment.com/product/3-bf-fie-foil-blade-bare-bundle-with-free-blade-covers/
     
  8. St.Meow

    St.Meow Made the Cut

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    Horribly biased, but I absolutely love a Vniti, and comparatively to other FIE blades, they're dead cheap. Get one with a german xtra barrel and a nice titanium guard and this thing will not dent or bend.
     
  9. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    You have to be precognicent to know where the tip will be. (YMMV)
     
  10. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    I do prefer the Vniti Max blades because they're a bit stiffer. But yeah, they can get pretty wobbly eventually.
     
  11. Archerlite

    Archerlite Made the Cut

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    Is there a real difference between non-FIE maraging blades and FIE ones ?

    In what do you say that Absolute is different from Leon Paul or Vniti ?
     
  12. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    What non-FIE maraging blades are you referring to? For the most part, if manufacturers are going to the expense of designing and manufacturing maraging blades, they are going to get them homologated because otherwise they're missing out on much of the market (while US Fencing does not require FIE foil and epee blades for competition, quite a number of other national federations do). The one exception would be sabre, where there is no FIE homologation of blades, but a few manufacturers make maraging sabre blades anyway.

    Once in several blue moons you will come across a vendor who has some maraging foil or epee blades without the FIE stamp- in that case, what almost certainly happened is that there was a batch of blades that for some reason could not be sold with the FIE homologation stamp (be it due to a manufacturing process or administrative issue).
     
  13. Archerlite

    Archerlite Made the Cut

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    There's many resellers in my district who sell maraging BF non FIE blades. Those are around 20€ cheaper than FIE ones, so it can be nice to know if the FIE stamp adds useful things for non-FIE fencers.
     
  14. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    I don't know what they are selling, but BF does not list a single non-FIE maraging foil blade on their website. They are all listed as FIE. http://www.blaise-freres.fr/index-famille-189-lng-fr-ID_MS-341.html
     
  15. Archerlite

    Archerlite Made the Cut

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    There :
    IMG_20180212_211935.png I hided the thing which are useless to translate. "Acier" means "steel" or "iron" (I don't remember). It's exactly written "Blaise Freres Non FIE" (equals "BF non-FIE). The blade just under this one is written "Blaise Frère -FIE"
     
  16. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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  17. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    As I don't see any on BF's site that are listed as maraging and non FIE, it may just be that some didn't get submitted, failed, or whatever. Regardless, it's entirely possible that the FIE blades are different from the non maraging blades in some way that's not advertised. Blades vary enough within a given manufacturer or even run that comparing apples to oranges is really kinda silly.
    Go pick some up, play with some, buy a few, test them out; that's how you'll find out what you like.

    Me, I really liked the Scaroni blades, but they're getting harder to find, and I've had two break right below the barrel; I like BF ok, but they vary a great deal so I tend to pick them out in person. I also like Vniti as a backup, but they are substantially heavier (and I don't mind the flexibility), and have a very different feel. I have one Golubitsky Pro from LP, I like it (but it's not cheap). I'll probably try one of the Esprit blades at some point.
     
  18. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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  19. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    Why can't you explain it to the forum as a whole or the people interested in buying them?
     
  20. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    Because Gary is an International Man of Mystery... :)
     

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