Cold Steel Chinese Swords series – Battle Gim, Jade Lion Gim and Gim Sword
A lot of people are now looking at the three Cold Steel Chinese swords and trying to find out which one fit them the most. As always, the best answer is “get them all” but that cannot happen most of the time and so we must know which one is better or which one fit you more to make one final decision to start with! You might not even find an answer on the internet because not many possess them all like I do! Here, as a martial artist, let me do a brief comparison of the three for you!
The overall look of the sword area all good but in different ways. From the top – Jade Lion Gim, Battle Gim and Gim sword. They are all about the same length but here you can already tell the difference. Both the Jade Lion Gim and the Battle Gim are expensive and high-end, the materials used are totally different from the Gim Sword as well. If you like a lighter blade, Jade Lion Sword is great. If you like a heavy blade, the Battle Gim fits you more. The maintenance is also very heavy on the Battle Gim too because it have a nice rosewood scabbard and handle which require oiling from time to time to preserve it and prevent it from cracking. The scabbard of the Jade Lion Gim is made with a coated rayskin cover and so there isn’t much to do with it for maintenance except for dusting or rubbing it with a very thin coat of orange oil on top to keep it shiny. The fittings on both high-end swords are really maintenance-free too. The Jade Lion Gim’s fittings are made with silver and nickel alloy which will not rust or tarnish. The Battle Gim’s fittings are made with blackened iron, which have no chance of rusting too. Great, these high end swords really don’t need much care! The GIM sword is different, the wood will need oiling and the brass fittings will dull in color with time and you will need to do some brasso job on them too, more maintenance to do!
The handle is the main concern for a real sword fighter. These three do have a very nice handle but they are all nice in different ways. The Jade Lion Gim is better for small handles because the small handle give you a nice grip and it feels “just good” for your hand. It’s very controllable and steady. The Battle Gim will require more power and strength to grip because the handle have zero cord wrap and so it’s all up your own own grip power to hold the sword. Its not too big though, just good for a single hand sword! The guard on the Battle Gim is excellent for sword movements too! At last, the GIM sword – this sword have a longer handle than you think and you can use it as a hand and a half sword too! the long handle is because of the fittings, especially the guard. If you like a sword that allow two hands sword movements, this GIM sword might fit you well while the other two can’t.
The wideness of the blade determine it’s cutting ability and style. The Jade Lion Gim is the narrowest and then the GIM sword and finally the Battle Gim. Now, just knowing how “wide” the blades are won’t give you enough information on making a decision. Let’s take a look at the thickness of the three blades!
Jade Lion sword, the thickest blade of the three but the narrowest. Forming a durable cutting edge.
The Battle Gim, thicker than the GIM sword but not as thick as the Jade Lion Gim. This is the widest blade of the three, which means it is meant to be a good cutter blade and it’s sharper too due to the more acute angle of the blade. It should cut through large meaty targets faster and easier.
The GIM Sword, a moderate blade in between the two, with the blade a tiny bit wider than the Jade Lion Sword, but not as thick as the two. This explains the reason why this sword felt lighter in the hand!
The Jade Lion Gim and Battle Gim are both made with folded Damascus steel which is tough and artistic. You can see the subtle pattern in the blade and that is a lot of fun to maintenance these folded steel blades. They are not only a piece of art but also like a treasure of the house! The GIM sword is made with a 1055 carbon steel blade which is great for cutting and casual use and you don’t feel as painful when it is scratched! Carbon steel’s score is ranging from 1045 to 1095, all the numbers in between shows how much carbon content there is in the blade. The higher the number the more carbon there is. The good thing about carbon steel is that they can chip, nick, bend, twist but not snap! Stainless steel will not bend but only snap apart which is super dangerous for a real sword. That is why there are no real swords made with stainless steel. Knife are fine, because stainless steel are okay under 12” but if anything over that length, stainless is not a good choice unless you want a blade that can break easily and stab yourself somewhere random when the blade flies toward you! 1045 Carbon steel is softer and 1095 is tougher but then 1045 is better in flex while 1095 is rigid but can be abit brittle. Therefore, 1055 is just good combo of the two extreme. Nice choice for a sword!
Okay, so now what is the conclusion?
Jade Lion Gim
Great for small hands, agile and faster movements, narrow and lighter blade have a great feminine or “soft” side to the blade. It is classy and look great in most modern home with the jade like color scheme. Great for thrusting and stabbing, razor sharp edge, very little maintenance to be done.
Great for power training, heavy and sturdy, rock solid style. It’s blade is great for slashing, cutting and chopping and less ideal for thrusting. The wood will require a lot of care and maintenance as well. Great for those who like to maintenance sword from inside to outside.
Great for a general starter sword that is build for cutting and forms. The weight and edge is just right for almost everything and every styles. The weight is the lightest of the three and is easy to manipulate as a beginner’s sword that can actually cut. The edge is razor sharp and will require more maintenance on the wood and brass from time to time. Brass fittings is the most problematic stuff because of the high-maintenance. The more you use it, the more they get dull and tarnish. You will need to brasso them from time to time which is a lot of work. But this is a sword at least 1/2 or less the price of the 2 above, what do you want? Compare to most other swords on the market, this one is pretty good deal! It also have a bamboo peg that goes through the handle and the tang (just like the other two) which gives it a good secure construction for heavy duty cutting!
Which one should you buy?
Cold Steel’s three and only three Chinese swords as of 2012 December – Jade Lion Gim Sword, Battle Gim and Gim Sword are all nice functional real swords. If you are looking a beginner to sword, start with the more affordable GIM sword would be your best buy. If you are into collecting and decoration, the Jade Lion Gim look the most classy. If you are into real power training and cutting, the Battle Gim shall impress you far more than the other two. Just a note here though, do not get the Battle Gim if you don’t have experience in swords over 2lb because this thing IS heavy for most people to weld. Doing a few movements of course won’t hurt, but if you cut with it or do a form with it, that is a real big difference. If you are not prepared for it, you will hurt yourself and get injured by the weight.