Thanks Hans for this report! I would like to make it clear to everyone that I am not trying to create bad publicity for Hanwei here. Their feders are basically good, but it seems as if the quality control and manufacture has been a bit uneven. Some clubs have had three out of four breaking in the same manner, during light sparring. I have talked to Hanwei about this, but I am uncertain if they take it seriously enough.
However, one fencer has reported that the replacement sword he received was considerably better in many ways. Right now, we do not know if this is a change in the design/production/qc or if it is just coincidence. I have sent another email to the people I talk to, so let's hope I get a proper response.
Here is the full report right now:
During the 1st International Hammaborg Seminar one blade broke in sparring at the absolute last part without the fencers noticing it. The spectators alerted them and fortunately noone was injured.
During the International Open Championships 2009 three blades were broken in hard contact during the competitions. Another one was taken out since the damage was so great that there was concern that it might break as well.
During a tournament I Lublin, Poland two years ago 2 out of 4 feders broke.TOTAL: 6 FedersGen 2.
During what is described as 15 light sparring matches 3 out of 4 broke for Gesellschaft Lichtenawers.
Another three broke in a competition held by the same club.
TomÃ¡Å¡ SirnÃ½ of the same club has reported seeing a couple more break during sparring.
2 out of 2 have broken for Swedish fencer Andreas stÃ¥hlberg. One broke in a moderate thrust against a static object, the first time it was used. The second while practicing zornort against oberhaus.
Belgian Bert Gewaert has reported seeing another break.
Shaunn M W and W.T. Heinz of True Edge Academy have at the Hema Alliance forum reported 5 out of 10 breaking. Three in the last part, one first bending at the cross the first time it was used and later breaking completely at the cross. The last broke in the same spot, but after active use from aug/sept 2010 â€“ Jan 2011. One of the blades that broke was a replacement for a broken sword, so one member thus had two breakages. http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... a&start=40
Axel has heard rumours about a breakage in the US as well.
Central Phoenix Group. â€œPulpheroâ€ reports 2 out of 4 breaking in light sparring. The breakage happened in the last 2-3 inches.
Heiko Meckbach of Schwertfechten Nordhessen broke his one year old sword in 3 pieces. It broke in the last third. http://translate.google.com/translate?j ... 2%23p33112
Jon Wolfe of Knights Melee reports a 3-day old feder breaking about 10â€ from the point under â€œnot evenly real heavy useâ€.
Hans M reports having broken a feder that had only been used against other Hanwei feders. The strike was hard edge-on-edge with the weak against the schildt. The feder was one year old and Hans was not surprised that it broke from this, both considering how it happened and the kind of use it had seen during the year preceding the incident.TOTAL: 21+ FedersComments.
These are the known incidents thus far. In common for most of them is that the break occurs in the last third, often in the last three inches. This makes the risk for not noticing the breakage in intense sparring higher and with bad luck a thrust or cut can become lethal. Also, a small and pointy knife-sized bit flying several meters is of course dangerous to anyone within this distance.
Most incidents appear to have happened with two Hanwei feders used against each other.
The construction of Gen 1 and Gen 2 differs in that the first had a thicker point which caused wobbling. The newer are thinner, at about 1mm and wobble less. But, with what seems random and not properly controlled flaws in the steel and blades, this thickness is not enough.
One owner reports that he thinks one cause for problems may be if the hilt is not tightened enough and as a result the cross is loose. Disassembling it and reassembling it with a tightened nut can help.