The terms hand-and-a-half sword, bastard sword, and longsword all refer to the same general class of weapon: a sword with a blade light enough to wield with one hand and a grip long enough to provide extra power from a two-handed stance. Learning to use one of these swords is easiest if you begin with something not quite so dangerous as a sharp steel blade, and the Cold Steel Hand-and-a-Half Training Sword provides that option.
With realistic balance and weight, the Cold Steel training sword provides a traditionally shaped weapon in relatively harmless polypropylene. Edges and point are rounded to cause less damage, but in practice, the feeling is much the same as a genuine sword. The 44-inch-long Cold Steel training sword weighs a respectable 31.7 ounces with a blade length of 34 inches. No sheath is provided. Some owners will want to soften edges even further, which only requires sandpaper and elbow grease.
Unlike wooden training swords, the Cold Steel Hand-and-a-Half training sword won’t break, split, or splinter. The polypropylene construction is vulnerable to warping from improper storage and over-heating. Don’t leave the training sword in the back window of the car on a sunny day. Some swords have arrived with slightly curved blades, possibly from shipping stress. Some owners have had good luck straightening the blades while heating the stock with a hair dryer, but cold straightening hasn’t been effective. Slight bends often work themselves out in use.
For a durable practice sword destined for battering, punishment, and being left behind, the Hand-and-a-Half Training Sword seems like a good deal.