After Correcting a Quality Control Issue in 2016 Darksword Armory’s Sword Assembly Technique is Stronger Than Ever!
JAN. 3, 2019 – In 2016, Darksword Armory was made aware of a small number of swords that were produced with sub-standard tangs. The swords were recovered from customers and tested. Through staffing corrections and a thorough review of sword production technique, Darksword is confident in the durability and quality of their product.
From March to August 2016, an isolated number of swords were discovered to have poor quality tangs. In most of these cases, the tang issue was revealed when customers altered the product, removing the grip. The tangs in these swords were much too narrow.
To correct this issue, Darksword had the swords with defective tangs returned as soon as possible to be tested.
At first, we were skeptical as this was coming from an individual “maker” who is technically a competitor. But after verification we determined that the assembly did not meet our standards of production. That said, the tangs were inadequate; the tangs were ground down to fit in the throat of the grips. This went against Darksword’s proven production technique, which is to individually craft the grips to fit each tang. The incorrect technique was utilized by two of Darksword’s staff without approval. The staff members responsible were dismissed following the incident.
“Upon investigation, we discovered two of our assembly staff had been grinding down some of the tangs to fit them into the handles instead of individually crafting the handles to fit the tangs,” says Azerad. “This one size fits all approach may have been saving them time in the shop, but resulted in substandard construction”. At Darksword Armory, we treat staff like family. However, this breach of trust was unacceptable. Needless to say, both staff were let go.”
“We understand that people are cautious about where they spend their hard-earned money, and that for swords especially where a structural failure can be a safety issue, proper construction is key,” says Azerad.
Since the 2016 issue, Darksword has thoroughly reviewed their production technique and added additional steps to ensure this would not happen again. Assembly staff receives more training and Darksword has implemented a more rigorous inspection process to ensure each sword meets fully quality standards. With that we have pushed further Research and Development to make our blades structurally sound as well as making the blade edge geometry ideal for a very sharp edge. We now put a convex grind (apple seed edge) on all our Swords.
“I now inspect all the swords myself just prior to assembly and then after assembly,” says Azerad. “Every customer who came forward with a tang issue had their sword replaced. And, if any further tangs of poor quality are discovered, we will of course honor our return policy and replace any defective sword. We acknowledge our responsibility in allowing defective products to go out the door, and we reaffirm our commitment to produce quality products worthy of our customers.”
The swords affected by the incorrect method were sold in April 2016 and (estimated) September 2016, though not every sword, and it is uncertain how many, were affected during this time. Customers with questions can reach Darksword by emailing them at [email protected].
Darksword does not recommend ever taking apart or altering any sword, especially sharpened swords. Only experienced bladesmiths and forge professionals should alter or assembly swords. When handling any sword, use appropriate caution and/or wear tear resistant gloves.
Darksword’s staff consist of six individuals. Staff in the forge work with the blades themselves, working the blanks (flat bars) sourced from Acier Lachine and Metal profusion, in Montreal Canada, into the blades with anvil, hammer, power-hammer, and forge. The blades, from tip to tang, are inspected and only approved if they meet our standards.
Once blades leave the forge they are taken to the assembly shop where the assembly team attaches the guard, handle, and pommel, a process that involves working with each of those elements to fit them perfectly to the blade’s tang. The swords are completed and inspected thoroughly once again before packing and shipping.
“This streamlined, assembly-line style operation allows us to put together a large number of swords quickly, and is the reason why we are able to do productions runs of the size that we do,” says Azerad. “I am confident in the team Darksword has to carry us into 2019. As a team, we are looking forward to continuing to craft the most durable and accurate medieval sword replicas available. “When you purchase a piece from us, we want you to know you’re not only getting a sword – you’re getting a lasting heirloom piece of fine weaponry which can be passed down from generation to generation.”