Question: Is a Kingston Arms federschwert worth buying?
My verdict: No, probably not.
These have not been on the market for very long, less than a year at the time of writing this article, and there are several stories of them exploding into two (or more) pieces during competition, normal sparring, and just training in general.
They are not so much cheaper than a good feder from Regenyei Armory, so you are not really saving much money – especially if it snaps and you have to buy a new sword anyway.
If you buy a training tool that has a history of snapping, then is this fair to your training partners, who might be on the receiving end of a thrust from a broken blade? You have a duty of responsibility to your training partners, which includes not stabbing them with broken blades if at all possible, so you should probably not take the risk with a training tool with this kind of history and reputation behind it.
Motivation and transparency
I do not have one of these swords myself, although I have had just a couple of opportunities to handle them and to see them in the flesh. I would be hesitant if one of my students brought one of these swords to my club, although I might be inclined to give more recent batches some benefit of the doubt to see if heat treatment and general quality control has improved since the first batch.
(Edit: this “motivation” section was added on the 9th of March 2019, as part of an effort to improve the transparency of the various reviews on this website.)
Keith Farrell teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events (why not hire me to teach at your event?), and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. I teach regularly at Liverpool HEMA, and help behind the scenes with running HEMA in Glasgow at the Vanguard Centre.