If you decide that HEMA is for you, at some point, you will need gear.
Below is listed the most common kinds of gear and swords and where to find them.

The order of the list is Masks, Gloves, Gambesons/Jackets, and Swords
If you need advice on something specific, please scroll down to the appropriate category or ask us in class. 


Basic AF (Absolute Force) 3W mask - Pros: black, sturdy, usable for all weapons of HEMA, really the only good mask people use. You can find them on the Absolute Force website. They are located in New Jersey and their shipping is incredibly fast. 
Blue Gauntlet Coach's Mask - an alternative to the AF masks, also reliable. They can be found at Blue Gauntlet Fencing
Protective HEMA MaskPros: A padded version of the previously listed mask, hardy, sturdy, very protective. Cons: if you have bad hearing, you won't be able to hear anything. Also, can be very warm. They can also be bought at the Absolute Force site


The right gloves can save your hands and make fencing a whole lot more fun. Below are listed the major glove
manufacturers and providers. Each one has minor differences that affect protection, mobility, comfort, and size. 

If you are unsure of which to buy or simply want to "handle the merchandise", ask around at class!
Chances are, at least one person will have the gloves you want to buy. 

The gloves below are all acceptable for steel fighting. 
Lacrosse gloves are not acceptable for steel, but are suitable for nylon use. 


Visby Gauntlets, Type I

Sparring Gloves

AF Deluxe Fighting Gloves

SPES Heavy Gloves 


Very well made, very protective, best mobility of gloves on the market.

Well made, custom orders available, different varieties of mitten and glove, can order in different colors, fairly mobile, very protective

Incredibly protective, cheap, insanely fast shipping, now comes in small. 

Unbelievably protective, mittens, comes in XS sizes, thumb issue resolved. 


The fingertips are not well protected. Modification is necessary.

More expensive, longer shipping time, maysacrifice some mobility for protection.

Limited mobility, inconsistent size control, limited long term use. 

Bulky, on the more expensive end, trades mobility for protection

Where to Buy:

They ship from Age of Craft in Ukraine. You can find them on their website

These ship from Poland. They can be bought at the Sparring Gloves website.

You can find them at Absolute Force.

Buy them from the SPES US website. 


AF HEMA jacket - Pros: cheaper than most, extremely protective, super fast shipping. Cons: back zip, restrictive, lack of arm mobility. They can be bought at Absolute Force
PBT HEMA jacket - Pros: inexpensive, comes in very small sizes (useful for kids), not bulky, removable inserts, comes in men's and women's. Cons: back zipper, synthetic material (has a tendency to hold smell). They are imported from Hungary and can be found at PBT Historical Fencing
SPES AP jacket - Pros: fairly inexpensive, very flexible, front zip, comes in different colors, custom is not too expensive, modern cut, there is also a women's jacket. Cons: lighter padding than some may like, the shoulders may be too big for some. Find them at SPES USA
SPES Fechtschule Gdansk jacket - Pros: cut more generously for hips and chest, cut more historically, multiples colors. Cons: tied with leather laces. These can also be bought at SPES USA

Any of the SPES jackets are acceptable for steel fighting as along as you are aware that
the lighter the jacket,  the higher a possibility for serious injury. Please be aware of this when comparing jackets.


Swords are an investment, but a worthwhile one. If you have questions on the various swords listed, there is most likely one in
class for you to hold and play with.

Nylon Longswords

Nylon/plastic sword options are either the Purpleheart Pentiis or the Black Fencer nylons. 

They are both inexpensive options to break into HEMA with. 
You can buy the Pentiis at Purpleheart Armory and the Black Fencers at South Coast Swords.

Steel Federschwerts


Regenyei Armoury


Castille Armory

Aureus Blades

Chlebowski Feders

SIGI Forge 


The Regenyei line of feders have been a standard in HEMA for years. They are reliable blades forged by a reliable smith. 

Like Regenyei, Ensifer feders are a standard in the HEMA community. These blades are often a little more tip-heavy than the Regenyeis.

Castille blades are a rising star in HEMA. All their feders are CNC made. These feders are very quick in the hand and prone to winding.

Aureus feders are relatively new, but are quick, well performing swords marked by their distinctive S-curve crossguard. 

Also a name long heard in the HEMA community, these feders are famed for their quality and ability to weather anything. However, they are nearly impossible to get your hands on, so when they appear, grab one. These feders are the heavyweights. 

New to the HEMA scene, these lightweight, fast moving blades are making a splash. Be aware that the blade flex is greater than most feders, but this blade will hold up well to all other comers.  

Where to Buy:

They are imported from Hungary. You can either buy them directly from Peter Regenyei or at HEMA Supplies

They are imported from Poland. You can buy them from the Ensifer website or from Purpleheart Armory.

You can buy them directly from Castille Armory

These import from Poland. Buy them from Bloss. 

Buy them from HEMA Supplies the few times they're in stock. 

Buy them through SIGI Forge's Facebook page