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All About Wooden Wasters
1. Choosing a Waster
  The Martial Arts scene has been seeing tremendous growth. Due to this, there has been an increase in the number of inferior and dangerous wooden training swords on the market. Luckily, we have a select vendor list of approved distributors around the world. Some makers have made copies of our swords -- they look similar in a picture, but use inferior wood and joining techniques. Our Wasters are the finest on the market, and you will not be disappointed!

Before purchasing a training sword from any company:
  1. Ask if it is made of high quality Impact Grade Hickory from select species. Often Pecan or some lesser quality species of Hickory are mixed in. Hickory and some select South American and African exotic woods have been used for years in martial arts equipment.
  2. Ask if the wood has been selected and dried for use in martial arts equipment or for use in kitchen cabinets. Cabinet wood is too dry, made of varied species, low grade, and unacceptable for martial arts use.
  3. Ask how the guards are attached ot the blades. Purpleheart Armoury is the only company that has a three point solid lock on the shoulder of the blade and a holding pin through the guard and blade. Our guards cannot be pushed back onto the user's hand unless you absolutely destroy the blade and guard. If they use a 'wedge method' of tightening the guard to the blade, it will come loose very soon. Do not purchase training swords made like this.
  4. Ask if it is a Purpleheart Armoury training sword!
2. Materials used for our Wooden Wasters
  Our Wasters are made from crop grown American Hickory, the best wood for martial arts weapons. Hickory is used to make axe and hammer handles, so it is known for toughness and durability. The hickory that we select is hand pulled in a very select region of the United States. It is sorted for highest quality by the lumberjack, inspected by the sawyer, then inspected at 5 different operations during manufacturing. Sometimes called 'Impact Grade', it is also used in the press beds of steel forming machinery. It has a good weight that gives the weapon fair balance when compared to it steel counterparts.

There are many other tropical hardwoods such as ironwood, bloodwood, purpleheart, cocobola, etc, that can make excellent wasters. Due to the cost, time, and questionable origins of these woods, they are not available.

Our Wasters are solid wood weapons made to withstand the rigors of serious martial training. They are designed after actual weapons in the same manner as historical wooden practice-swords ("wasters"). They are ideal safe, practical, training tools.
3. Wooden vs Synthetic Wasters vs Steel Trainers
  Historically, training was done with inexpensive wooden swords (wasters). Training and sparring were also done with more expensive steel feders. They had much less protective equipment than what is available today. Because of this, we believe participants practiced with significant control and precision, and moderate force and speed. Today's modern sparring only requires moderate control and precision and allows for heavy force and speed. Our synthetic weapons are perfect for this style of sparring. They have the advantage of bending on thrusts as well and lower cost. The steel is similar at a higher cost.

  • If your club is practicing for competitive sparring (HEMA) purposes that require protection such as a jacket, gorget, mask, and heavy gloves, we recommend using our synthetic weapons, or steel feders, which can withstand high intensity sparring.
  • If your club is practicing for historical purposes in order to learn historical martial moves (WMA), then wood is perfect as long as you are engaging at a low intensity level that requires no more than a mask and light gloves. The impact grade Hickory can withstand moderate hits and is very strong, so we do NOT recommend sparring full force with them. Our steel techniques line of swords is also perfect for a more realistic training, in a controlled setting, and light to moderate protective gear.
4. Caring for your Waster
  Caring for your Synthetic Waster
  • The main issue with the synthetic is blade warping. Keep out of heat like enclosed cars or your garage. If you do, lay the blade flat or hang it from a string.
  • Areas of high humidity can affect the blade as well. Keep your blade inside and A/C environment as much as possible.
  • If your blade does develop a slight bend, then use a hair dryer to heat up the blade at the worst point. Heat it all around the blade, straighten it, then let it lay flat to cool down. This should make the blade straight again..
  • Cleaning can be done with hot soapy water.
  • The guard is an alloy spring steel. That prevents it from bending, but it is prone to rust, so you may need to oil or sand it.
  • The Stainless Steel pommels will be fine forever. Steel pommels may rust, but typically hand oils eventually stabilize the pommel with a nice patina.

Caring for your Wooden Waster

Your waster will be coated with a mixture of Boiled Linseed oil and Mineral Spirits (about 50/50). This creates a barrier between the environment and the wood to prevent it from from drying out and becoming brittle. You can not over-oil them! Let the oil sit on the wood for 15 minutes then wipe the excess away with a clean cloth. If the wood is very dry, there may not be much to wipe away. The oil will provide superior protection to the wood and extend its useful life. Tung oil can also be used with much the same results and give a shiner finish. Its just a little more expensive.

Caution: Please be careful with Linseed oil. Wet rags can spontaneously ignite, so follow all safety precautions.

An old North Country English saying is Once a day for a week, Once a week for a month, Once a month for a year, And once a year for life. Well, that's a lot, but it will last forever. However, one of our best customers has not oiled his wasters for 10 years and he still regularly uses them with no problems.

A light sanding with the 220 grit sandpaper can also be used to removed dirt and grime that builds up on the handle area. It will also make the blade nice and smooth. Regularly check your waster for any splinters that may appear. These should be sanded out with 120 grit sandpaper and then smoothed over with 220 grit. Re-oil the spot as required.

  • Do NOT leave your waster in direct sun, heat, or water. This include leaving them in your car. This will cause the blade to warp and will not be covered by our Warranty.
  • Do NOT use wasters against steel weapons or steel armour. Wasters hitting a round surface is typically OK, but any sharp edges such as on a rim of a helm will gouge the wood if their is sufficient force. This is also not covered by our Warranty.
  • Do NOT use beeswax, varnish, polyurethane, or paint on your wasters, this makes the weapons look pretty, but does not penetrate and preserve the core of the wood. Some beeswax applied in the handle area to keep the dirt away is OK, but not on the blade section.
  • Do NOT neglect oiling your sword. The wood moisture content in the wood will change just like your skin. A dry air conditioned house to a humid workout room will cause the wood to warp. Oiling can prevent this. Also without oil, the wood will dry out and splinter with contact. This is not covered by our Warranty.
With proper care and maintenance your waster should last many years to come.
4. Disenfecting your Equipment in COVID times
  If you need to disinfect your equipment between users, like loaner equipment. Here are some ideas.

Synthetic Waster

The grip area is of concern. I'd use a non-alcohol cleaner. Alcohol ones may break down the glue on the grip. For extra protection, I'd probably put some coats of polyurethane over the grip. Just goop it on and let dry. Then you can be more aggressive cleaning it. About 20 minutes in the sun will kill COVID. Do both sides. Just don't leave it in hot sun over an hour, it will start to flex more and be prone to warping.

Wooden Waster
I think any alcohol disinfectant would eventually dry out the wood. I don't know how long, like maybe a year, maybe 10 years. So it may not be a big deal for a quick wipe. The non-alcohol ones, if its a wipe-on-wipe-off quickly, should be fine. But wood doesn't like moisture at all. What I probably would do, is put a 2-3 coats of polyurethane on the grip guard and pommel. Not so much the blade, it will just get chipped off. That will give you a plastic/glossy smooth finish to work with. then you can probably use any cleaner on that, and it would be easy. About 20 minutes in the sun will kill COVID as well. Do both sides. Just don't leave it in hot sun over a couple hours, the wood will dry out and start to warp.

Steel Swords
Anything will be fine. Don't let liquids sit on the steel or it would rust. I'd oil afterwards. Again, the grip is at issue. If its cord wrapped, see the synthetic above. If its leather. Stick with the non-alcohol cleaners, spray on wipe off.
Put a 2-3 coats of polyurethane on the grip guard and pommel. Not so much the blade, it will just get chipped off. That will give you a plastic/glossy smooth finish to work with. then you can probably use any cleaner on that, and it would be easy. About 20 minutes in the sun will kill COVID as well. Do both sides.

Clothing and masks.
Hopefully everyone has their own by now, but a good spray of disinfectant. Leaving in the sun for 20+ minutes will kill COVID as well. But getting all the hidden spots in fabric products will be more difficult. Check if alcohol cleaners will bleach the fabric. Wash clothing according to instructions here...
5. Warranty
  These weapons are called Wasters for a reason. Eventually they will get Wasted. They are designed to hit other Wasters, scrape the ground, hit Pells, and hit your opponent. However, just like everything else, depending on their use/abuse, they will eventually be too torn up to use anymore.
  • If you think they are too beautiful to spar with (we understand!), and you hang them on your wall or only wear them to Renaissance Faires, then they will last forever.
  • If you do contact drills or techniques with them three times a week, they will last awhile, but just like steel or any other material they will not last forever.

Our Warranty on Wood Wasters:

  • Every blade made by Purpleheart Armoury has been handcrafted to exact specifications. We take great pride in making the best wooden sword on the market. From the raw wood, to the final product every blade is thoroughly inspected by our production team to ensure there are no defects or blemishes. Due to the nature of the game, hitting during training and especially pells, a natural piece of wood will occasionally result in breakage. For this reason there is no warranty on wood swords.
  • We will repair or replace a Waster with a defect in the wood or manufacturing process.
  • We will refund your money if you are not totally satisfied with the quality or purpose of the product. This Warranty is good for 30 days after receipt of your Waster.
    • Virtually all breaks occur within the first month of use, due to cracks in the wood that were missed during manufacturing.
  • Contact us at to report a Warranty covered issue and have it addressed.
  • The Warranty does NOT include damage due to use against a Pell. This includes steel pipe and wood posts, tires, solid, hollow, padded, foam or free hanging. Hitting does not absorb any impact meaning it goes straight to the blade.