Question: Is a Tinker Pearce longsword worth buying?
My verdict: Yes, if you are interested in using them for solo practice; unfortunately, for practice with other people, probably not.
These have been on the market for many years. The initial batches seemed to be good, but more recent batches seem to be prone to breakage.
They do handle quite nicely, they have an attractive shape, and they come with a scabbard. For solo work, these would be perfectly acceptable.
However, I know of several clubs and schools that have gone through more than one Tinker Pearce longsword (some schools approaching double figures of breakages), without the intensity of practice being particularly heavy. These will probably end up being a waste of money when the end up bending or snapping, and you will have to buy a better training sword anyway.
The sharp Tinker Pearce longsword, however, is quite a decent entry-level cutting sword for people on a budget. This is quite probably worth the expense if you cannot quite stretch to an Albion!
Motivation and transparency
I do not have one of these swords myself, although I have had several opportunities to handle them over the years. I would probably suggest to my students that there are better longswords available for HEMA purposes.
(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.