Checked Swords:Below are the sword I've had experience with, or have found some sort of a review of. Please, keep in mind: just because a sword is checked, it doesn't mean it's good. If it's not, it will probably say so in the description or the review...
Currently, this is probably the most popular swordsmith for feders. His work is very functional, affordable, and roughly polished to keep the price down.
|One of the Trnava models by Regenyei|
My review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-kCalffnkE
Roger Norling's (HROARR) review:
HROARR review (warning: this is a review of the older model)
Regenyei changes his feders according to demand.
Now that I've handled a few, I can say that these are far superior to the regular feders. The weight distribution is much better, and they are less stiff than the sparring blades on regular feders, surprisingly - or at least the ones I've tried were. Also, the point is wider so the stabs are slightly more comfortable. Very good swords. Do recommend.
This is actually a trick entry. Some like these feders, most run and hide at the sight of one. My own opinion: don't fight with it, don't fight against it.
|One of Ensifer's feders|
The guy that first made a feder worthwhile. His feders are still good. They might be slightly on the stiff side, but handle quite well. He can have some long waiting lines, so inquire first. I would recommend the long feder (135 cm).
Another polish smith, he makes full swords that flex enough to be safe in the thrust. I've had a mixed bag of experience dealing with him, one very good and one pretty bad. It seems the general concensus is that you'll have to wait longer than the set deadline. The sword are decent, especially for the price.
Great looking, nicely handling federschwerts with plenty of flex. The weird part here is that they're floppy, but it's not that bothersome because the first half of the blade is nice and stiff. There are two things, though: they are quite expensive and HUGE (at 140+cm). Appropriate for tall folks. Which I am not.
Martin Fabian's preview:
Albion (Meyer & Lichtenauer)
I believe these were made to be as close to the original feders as possible. Well-made, on the expensive side (not entirely sure how much, i think around the 300 eur mark). The one I had the chance of handling had flex similar to the Moc feders. The PoB was very close to the guard (4 cm), something that didn't sit too well with me, but might be a plus for someone else.
Arms & Armor
|A&A Fechterspiel sword|
Roger Norling's Fechetrspiel review:
|Heron Armoury custom feder|
read it here
Not yet checked swords
These are the swords I haven't had the chance to try out yet. Again, this does not mean that these swords aren't good. I just haven't held them, nor do I know of any reviews of them.
A promising new smith. Haven't tried his feders yet, but from talking to people who have, it seems he's on the right track and willing to participate. The price is very affordable. Someone to keep an eye out for.
Again, I have only briefly handled his feders. Nothing special, but decent. Also, very affordable.
The HEMA Shop Feders
|HEMA shopr/red dragon feder|
UPDATE: They are not made by Regenyei, but by a small company located in China. This is not necessarily bad if the QC is good, and might provide a good entry-level feder. Still haven't had the chance to try them.
Darkwood Armoury www.darkwoodarmory.com/
Most known for their rapier blades, they also offer practice longsword blades. Sadly, I can't comment on them, as I've never seen, much less held any.
UPDATE: Tried it out briefly. Handles very nicely, good flex. VERY pretty, very well made. Also, very historical - which means the point is wide and thin. Only handled them briefly, but was very impressed.
And one more American company that I never tried. The meye model seems interesting, as it has a removable schilt. Actually, the whole thing seems pretty customizable, with a pommel that has a pommel in its pommel (so you can pummel while you pommel) which you can take out to change the balance. The weight seems a bit much (1,9kg) for full-on sparring, but that also depends on other things (flex, PoB etc.), so I can't really comment until I try it out.
One of the many Czech smiths. This one also offers feders which seem to have decent stats. Sadly, that's all I know about them. There is a flexibility rating, but again I've no idea what it means... On the pricelist it says "swords from 4500 CZK onwards, which means 175eur. So this might be a decent feder for a low price.
So, Danelli, the guy who makes absolutely amazing rapiers, also makes feders. So far they're under the "custom" section, and I know not how much they cost. I can say that the listed weight is really, really low - too low for my (personal) preference. The meyer light comes in at 1,2 kg. The regular meyer doesn't have its weight listed, but I would guess it's somewhere between 1,3-1,4kg, which is still rather light - somewhere in the Regenyei light area. I will say this, though: if his longswords are half as good as his rapiers, they are well worth a look.
There sure are a lot of the czech smiths out there... Another one who makes feders here. Also other types of HEMA-appropriate swords, it would seem. I've found a video online where he shows the flex of one of his swords, and it seems pretty darn good, but is again one of those swords I haven't had the chance to try out yet... Here is the vid.
This one's for the folks in Canada (and by extension, the USA) - you guys don't seem to have all that much choice there. So here's a Canadian maker of feders. I was given measurements for this one, and since it's for you guys, I'll put them in imperial and metric units. Here goes:
weight: 4.08 lbs/1863 gr
overall length: 54 .75 inches / 139 cm
handle length: 14.75 inches / 37,5 cm
PoB: 3 inches / 7,5 cm
The steel used is 1045 HT'd at 48-50 HRC. I've never tried a feder from 1045, I really wonder what it handles like. The stats are decent - it's quite long and consequently a bit heavier, but nothing that would be truly problematic, especially if the flex is good. The basic model is 450$. Oh, and the webpage isn't completely up to date yet. For that, check out the FB page here. If anyone gets to handle it, remember to write up a review of some sort!
EDIT: here is a short review on the manufacturer's FB site.
So Darksword have just released a new feder. The design looks very much like the Albion Meyer, but a bit longer. The stats seem good, the steel used is good, seems to be a promising sword. I've never handled anything at all by Darksword, but I do hope this is something I will get my hands on sooner or later. Seems like a good alternative to Albion Meyer for less money.
A Spanish store that also offers a few models of feders. Very mysterious feders, I might add. Noone seems to know much about them. They're very cheap, and the stats seems OKish. One thing that does worry me slightly, however, is the large difference in the weight of the same model - 300 grams! Now, if this is so that the customer can choose the weight, that's OK. If it's not, that a really big margin there... Anyway, I've not heard much about these swords. If you have info, contact me or leave a comment below. With the price these are going for, I'm hard pressed to believe noone gave into the temptation of buying one...
Right, so that's it. If I ever get into any other weapons, I might make a similar list. Or perhaps get a guest to make it. But since I don't train any weapons besides longsword, I'm not familiar with how they should handle and thus don't think I'm qualified to make a list of appropriate ones. If, however, you are willing to donate/lend me any longsword/federschwert, I'll be happy to review it. Seriously. Give me swords. Hope you'll find this useful!