A few months ago, if someone had asked me who makes the finest swords in the world I would have replied without hesitation, “the Japanese.” This shows my level of local ignorance.
What if I told you that one of the world’s most talented master sword makers lives and operates in Austin’s backyard?
Don’t believe me? It’s true. Not only that, but this American master sword maker has blown away every single world record in Japanese sword cutting and they aren’t getting the trophy back any time soon. He hasn’t beaten the Japanese by a small margin; he has decimated them. This master owns the charts.
All of them.
Austinot Brittany and I had a rare opportunity to sit with this man, Daniel Watson, for an interview at the Sherwood Forest Faire. We were both amazed by him and his work. Read on, my friend; you’ll be amazed too.
At first glance, Daniel could be your next door neighbor. He is a husband, father and a grandfather, a likable guy with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. Daniel looks like an average guy, but looks can be deceiving. You’d never guess how much information he has running around in his mind, how talented he is, or how influential he is in the sword making world.
Let me explain.
Master Daniel Watson has over 30 years experience as a full-time swordsmith and is trained in Classical, European and Oriental sword making. He personally holds over 20 patents or patents pending in metallurgy, and is one of only ten artisans worldwide who make the toughest steel in the world: Damascus Steel. Edit: The specific type of steel made by Angel Sword is called Wootz Damascus Steel. According to Daniel Watson, this is the historic, true Damascus Steel.
His home for sword creation, which is more like a lab than a shop, is called Angel Sword and it is located right here in Driftwood, TX. Angel Sword is the oldest custom sword making company in the entire United States.
Master Daniel takes great pride in his craft and will boldly tell you that he makes the “finest cutting swords that have ever been made.” To put this in perspective: Besides Master Daniel’s work, the hardest steel on Earth fails at 125 foot pounds. Master Daniel’s swords more than double that figure, failing around the 250-300 foot pound mark!
But “that is just the beginning,” he says with a smile, glancing at one of his creations. “Then we turn it into art.”
And art it is.
Every sword that he makes is unique. There are no production runs. Each sword has between 100-500 man-hours involved in its creation. The blades boast not only the strongest steel in the world, but varying hues of color, ornate handles and etching that are actually a part of the steel that Angel Sword creates. These swords are truly magnificent.
Playfully, Daniel grins as he sits watching his apprentices run his shop and says, “I’ve created a big boys toy shop.”
We sit and talk for an hour or so, his mind quick and his eye gleaming as he adds, “I’m an engineer and a scientist. But I’m also an artist and this fulfills me. Depending on my mood, I might work in fiber optics or alcohol technologies.”
Normally when I conduct an interview, I set the pace, but with Daniel I’m lost as I struggle to keep up. I glance over at Brittany who is feverishly taking notes and continue the interview by asking him about his apprentices. Daniel smiles wryly and somehow I know I’m in for another shocking revelation of who this master sword smith really is.
He tells me that it is a requirement that each apprentice has purchased swords from him, prior to being accepted into his rigorous apprenticeship program. When asked why, Daniel explains that this shows him that they are serious about the apprenticeship and appreciate the quality of Angel Sword’s craftsmanship.
But being Daniel’s apprentice is not for the faint of heart. Regarding an apprenticeship, Daniel states, “The apprenticeship is 12 years long and it’s full-time. Four years in knife making, four years in sword techniques, followed by yet another four years in either metallurgy or artistry. You’re gonna learn what the fire is like and you’re gonna get beat on.”
At this point I’m thinking to myself, it takes 12 years to become a doctor; how many full-time folks can he have that are interested in dedicating their lives to this art? As if reading my mind, Daniel answers my question with the savvy of a seasoned poker player. “I currently have four apprentices: three males and one female. My lead apprentice has been with me 8 years and he is working on his journeyman’s test piece.”
As I wrap up my interview with Daniel, I ask, “Did you ever have one of those ‘Aha’ moments of genius, where you knew this was what you were going to do with your life?”
Daniel responds, “Not really one; there have been a lot of ‘Ahas.’ I believe that most, if not all, people have moments of genius – true insight and true genius. The difference is what happens then. Do you follow through to the test and put your own theories to the fire? I am a hard proof kind of guy.”
The work of Master Daniel Watson and Angel Sword leave no doubt. Daniel truly is a hard proof kind of guy who has not just talked the talk, but has walked the walk. Tested by fire, he is a fascinating man who is perhaps the world’s finest sword maker…and he also happens to live right here in Austin’s backyard.
A friend of mine fences with him – he’s amazing! It’s nice to hear about some of the hidden talent here in Austin.
I couldn’t imagine crossing swords with this guy. I think I’d have to pull some sort of sneaky move to get an edge (pun intended) hehe
Eric have you ment him not a chance. LOL wow is the only word for him.
“He personally holds over 20 patents or patents pending in metallurgy,
and is one of only ten artisans worldwide who make the toughest steel in
the world: Damascus Steel.”
Can you provide a source for your statement about there only being ten artisans worldwide making Damascus Steel? Thanks. In addition, how tough a steel isn’t solely dependent on the chemical make up of the steel, but more importantly, the swordsmith/bladesmith’s ability to quench and temper the steel at the proper temperature to bring out the desirable characteristics of a knife. You could have the toughest, strongest steel in the world and burn it up in the forge or crack it in half when you quench it.
Jason, I’m no metal expert of any kind. Here is a link on the patents however that is fairly well documented. http://bit.ly/KcS2YI As far as D Steel the comment came from Daniel, and I might have missed specifically what type of D steel. Apparently there is more than one. At the end of the day the guy was a fascinating interview and I enjoyed my short time with him. Thanks for the comment!
Something is amiss if he’s making statements like that. I can assure you that there are many, many more makers or Damascus steel knives today. In fact, there are full manufacturing companies such as Damasteel AB of Sweden producing Damascus billets for knife makers and companies around the world. No offense, but as a journalist shouldn’t you verify the information you write? I’m sure he’s a fascinating gentleman but that doesn’t mean that everything he said is accurate or truthful.
In all fairness Jason I did not confirm the Damascus Steel comment and I should have. Though it is possible like I said that he mentioned a specific type of D steel and I missed it. It does sound like you are quite knowledgeable about the craft though, and I appreciate your comments. I won’t even pretend to know anything about sword making. You make some valid points.
The knife industry has a lot of misinformation simply because a majority of people don’t understand the processes that take place. This leads to a lot of inaccuracies being perpetuated as truth.
I don’t know anything about sword making, but I work in the knife industry for ABS Mastersmith Murray Carter of Carter Cutlery.
A small inacurracy in the article is the statement about Damascus steel.Angel Sword makes Wootz steel, which historically is the true damascus steel. Today there are large numbers of people doing pattern welding and calling it Damascus even though that is incorrect.
Thank you for clarifying Daniel. I’ll edit the original post to reflect your comment.
Changing the wording to “Wootz Damascus Steel” would be technically accurate.
Post updated to reflect Wootz Damascus Steel. Thank you!
I encourage you to interview another maker to counter this mans claims. Sorry, but I want proof of his records he holds and how he supposedly got them. And I know there are more than 10 people who can make Wootz. Matt and Kerry Stagmer of Baltimore Knife and Sword can, and from my understanding they have taught a fair number of people how to make it themselves. This article is typical of how I’ve come to view Angel Sword, unfortunately- a ton of hype but next to no evidence to back it up.
Jeremy, thank you for your comment. I can understand you wanting proof. If you are in the Austin area, I would encourage you to take a trip down to Driftwood and ask Daniel yourself. Get to know him. My father who is now deceased used to say, “No contempt prior to investigation.” Wise words from a wise man. I could do all the research in the world and perhaps never to your satisfaction. But maybe, just maybe if you looked into it yourself personally you might find out one way or the other for sure. I’d be interested to hear your findings.
Dude, I know this article is old news, but if you think you wrote anything short of an ad for AS your mistaken. You’re a journalist like I’m the queen of England.
The Stagmers have indeed been working on wootz, but to the best of my knowledge have yet to produce the steel microstructure of wootz, even though they have followed one of the internet “formulas”.
As to records, check out the ninth World’s record for my blades: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVKozx4d4YQ
Judge was the Japanese Consule General to the US.
I saw this cut with my own eyes as well. It was quite amazing.
That’s a lie too. There is no record of any anglesword ever breaking a record in all of JSA. Prove it!
The proof is in the video. The cut was judged by the Japanese Consul General.
it says on the video that it was a nodachi record while the weapon was nagamaki. i would love a clarification though,
but still even if the weapon was mislabeled a great showing by the blade and the its wielder, takes great skill to do that no matter the blade.
A nodachi was defined by blade length and usually had a very long grip. The nagamaki had a katana length blade with a long grip.
and also of the blade quality aswell.
Hi as I material scientist I was wondering if you ever made a wish bone for yield strength testing of your steel or have the young modulus. If you want to say you have the strongest steel those are two tests you have to do. If you have these values and a chart of common steels alloys showing yours is higher it would definitely validate your claims in the article. V-notch testing is for fatigue and reliability properties if I remember correctly which is definitely important for long term use of swords. But you posted a torque which is not a material property.
Also, aerospace metals are designed for strength to weight ratios so comparing them to a material like steel which is use for high strength might not make the best comparison.
I don’t specialize in metals, but these are clear properties that need to be stated to characterize how good your steel is compared to others. Swords are made with hard and soft components so even these tests wont be reflective of quality of your swords, but are needed for steel claims as a whole. Hope this helps, I have a great interest in swords their material structure and composition.
This was an old article, sorry if this has already been addressed.
Dan is a man of many talents, not the least of which is developing a manner of aging rum at an advanced rate. The results are impressive. I have a selection of his experimental rums and they are fascinating. The old saying that you can’t make old spirits quickly may be changing.
this is just a pile of crap.
Ah, Master Frolic, how is it that your statement has nothing to authenticate its merit??? Methinks you just like to see you name up on your monitor.
There are quite a number of smiths making their own wootz these days. It’s not a secret formula, it’s historically well documented in fact. The only way to settle this is head to head destruction testing of the blades. In the end I believe we will find that once again the myth of “super steel” has been dispelled. Modern alloys, when well chosen for the task will always beat the ancient “mystical” steels.
Charpy V-notch impact testing on various steels at RCH 57 and 70F will give the desired information. My wootz tests at 300 ft/lbs. No one in the world currently comes close to that.
Hmm. Bad time to remember the nickname I gave for this account. In that case, take to the isle of fantasy swords. Is your swordsman ship great enough to recreate the swords of fantasy and videogames in perfect likeness?
I’d like to see you try to make those weapons.
I’d rather not see the skill to make formidable weapons wasted making crap to hang on a basement wall.
You’re calling his craftmanship crap?
re read my comment. I’m saying he has the skill to make formidable weapons, and that the “Swords of fantasy and video games” are crap. Make Kratos’s swords, or Cloud’s Buster sword, or something of that sort from tempered carbon spring-steel, with a full tang, peened pommel, and a razor sharp edge, and it’s still just as useless in a real fight. It’s still just something to hang on the wall. Those are best made from stainless, in a factory. At least then you can afford to buy them just to sit there.
That depends on preference. They may be just as formidable as weapons not inspired by fantasy/videogame designs.
I do get that one from people a lot. experts agree that most fantasy weapons suffer from crippling side effects of “Function follows form” syndrome. Movie and game studios don’t want a lethal design. They want a cool one. I suggest not letting wishful thinking get the better of you. Too many gamers do that. not to say all swords from movies and games are crap. the good ones will be very similar to historical designs. Best example of the top of my head is the Master Sword, from the Legend of Zelda series. But then, that’s why there are a few battle ready replicas of that one already, though only one, I believe, is commercially available. the others are custom, and really good for cutting. A few others might be the iron steel/fine steel swords, from the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, though they are a bit dodgy.
Huh. Still, I doubt they’d be solely hung on a wall if this guy is everything people say he is. I think there’s a fair number of fantasy swords capable of being reproduced into functional weaponry.
No. there are so many things that show up on fantasy weapon designs that would be problems for the wielder in combat, that it’s ridiculous. This is common knowledge amongst swordsman, Honestly, you’re preaching to the choir on this one, and preaching heresy to boot. My point being that you’re claiming something that I know from experience isn’t the case. Fantasy weapons aren’t designed with real fighting in mind, and it’d be foolish to expect them to function any better than their design intended. I’ll cut you a break, though, as people have little opportunity to learn this without specifically training in historical combat techniques. So, even though it’s common knowledge for historical armed martial arts experts, it’s apocrypha for everyone else. Thus I won’t fault you for not knowing this one.
Well, I haven’t actually claimed too much. Not only that, but we haven’t agreed on the range of what counts as a Fantasy Weapon. Can a fantasy weapon count as a historically accurate looking weapon that’s been customized a little? Maybe someone colored on it, and they put that into a videogame?
Or are we just talking the very outlandish ones? Like Cloud’s sword. What about a Lightsaber?
I count anything which has a non-historic design element, and instead draws that element from the aesthetic of franchise it appears in, or the franchise or franchises that inspired the designer. By-the-way, I did say that there are designs that would work, and I did say that they’d be those that draw heavily on historical designs, and more lightly on the fantasy stuff. The Master Sword, from The Legend of Zelda series was an example. On retrospect, Narsil/Anduril, from The Lord of the Rings (The movie version, at least. Don’t know about the books) is another decent example. better than the Master Sword, in fact. But both J.R.R. Tolkein and Peter Jackson used the Oakeshott Type XVIIIb as the basis for the design. If you’re curious, Oakeshott was a guy who classified a lot of the sword designs of the time based on the similarities and differences of different weapons of a certain type.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I kinda wish you’d use fewer sentences. Can you simplify your points, please?
No. Then it’d loose it’s meaning. If it’s too much trouble for you to read my sentences, it’s not worth my time to continue. I’m not speaking any languages you don’t know, and there will be know hiding from that point. Ciao!
Clearly this is over your head anyway.
It is true though that plenty will try to use them. Of course, sword experts already favor historical designs, so most fantasy blades that erroneously claim to be battle-ready end up in the hands of people who don’t know any better. I’ve seen the gruesome medical stories that can follow.
If you want fantasy swords there a dime a dozen at your local fleamarket
You, sir, are a legend.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence, Mr. Watson.
Both the independent testing from UT Austin and the cluster of world records are extraordinary proof of my steel. But if you referring to no one else matching that please see the steel specs from Crucible steel as point of reference.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Is this the independent testing you’re referring to?
The only numerical data that I can see here is from the Rockwell type C indentation test, which produced a hardness value “within the range of hardnesses expected from quenched-and-tempered tool steels produced by standard heat-treating practices”. The study’s determination that the blade was true damascus steel does not itself prove that the steel has properties superior to those of modern steels.
No, the Charpy impact testing was another event entirely. At RCH57 and 70F the Techno-Wootz tested at 300 ft. lbs. While most modern steels test below 20 ft. lbs., S7 with aerospace level quality control tops out at 125 ft. lbs. The combination of my patented thermacycle technology and proprietary carburization/heat treat techniques effectively double that to 250 ft lbs in the Bright Knight series of blades. Not as good as the Techno-Wootz but still strong numbers.
I don’t mean to offend, but without independent verification that particular claim is extremely dubious. Were there any papers published on this?
The tests were acceptable to the U.S. Patent Office. Just because you do not like the results does not make the tests dubious.
But the real tests are shown in what we have done with these steels. The videos of our various world record cuts are up on Youtube.
I know nothing of patent law, but aren’t the relevant patents still pending…?
As far as the YouTube videos go, it’s not as if the blades would have snapped in half had they been composed of “normal” S7, so I don’t see how these videos are relevant to the claim regarding their toughness.
These are my relevant patents. All were granted; otherwise I would have said “patents pending”. You can find the patents at USPTO.gov: 7,163,595, 7,459,038, 7,459,039 7,459,040, 7,763,130,8,388,774.
The videos are relevant because they are world records. If the metallurgical characteristics were not far superior to normal S7, then someone else would be able to beat those records.
Patents care nothing of what the product claims to do, patents protect the product from being copied by 70-80%. Ant they require no tests at all just a list of ingredients. I would know grandson of the founder of house of stainless steel which held the most patents on steels for 32 years till it merged with US steel in 1984.
Do are speaking of a different type of patent. Your grandfather’s patents were material patents. Mine are process patents. I might suggest that you follow the above links and read the patents.
I’m seriously considering apprenticeship. How much does a commission cost so I know how much to save?
I don’t suppose any of you trolls saw the independent testing on mythbusters where machines pushed Mr. Watson’s under two pound katana against a .50 caliber machine gun barrel….the machine gun barrel was damn near bent at a right angle. The pair of you come off as small and petulent. If true damascus was so easily done someone would have challenged Mr. Watson’s Art directly with a product of their own. As opposed to trolling an honest inquiry. I look forward to owning an heirloom piece someday from one of the worlds greatest bladesmiths. Until then maybe one of you might break ONE of Mr. Watson’s records……if you have the stones that is….
I live on ut and your a lier
Dear Mr. Daniel Watson ,it’s a honor too greet you, I’m am an admirer of your work. I’m a very interested in your style of Sword making sword making/blacksmithing your dedication is admirable and extrodanary , to believe we still have masters of your skill and of your caliber in this day and age ,and I thank you personally for continuing this tradition ,now I’m sorry if this might be rude to ask all of a sudden but forgive me for asking but do you take personal request to make swords for anyone ?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m new to swords, as something recently woke up my desire to connect with my ancient Visigoth heritage, going from modern Germany, to the Norman’s, and Norse Vikings..
The first thing I learned, that showed me how little I knew, was my Girlfriend’s Renn Faire bought fantasy pieces, hand& half, and two-hand swords that never rusted, and had nonsense guards message for looks, not practicality, were definitely NOT ‘battle ready swords’.
Upon research tho, I’ve learned even some advertised as battle ready, are dangerously not. Depeeka’s 5 pound brick, the Sword of Charlemagne, seen on YouTube falling apart from two bottle tests, is a fine, and scary example of that. Of course it looked like that guy hit the bottle like a baseball bat hitting a bottle, instead of a sword.
I’ve done one test cut So far, with a Windlass steel version of the Ulfberht sword, and on first try, I cut the bottle completely in two, without knocking the bottom half over, nor splashing a drop. That had me hooked.
I found this article regarding your blades, after looking for the best blades, to see if any were better than Albion.
I don’t even mention Asian blades, because from what I’ve understood in my reading, Asian sword makers are pretty grandiose in their belief their blades are mythic strong, while western sword makers were always bringing new metallurgy sciences back home from their travels East, like my Ulfberht sword, while today it contains even better steel, when it was first crafted during the Viking era, other Viking swords were still made using ‘pattern welding'(if my memory serves correct, regarding the article I read), while the Ulfberht blade was made using crucible steel.
If I could ever learn to make swords, I would love to learn the ENTIRE art and science behind metallurgy.
I know my friend made a hook out of titanium and it held some ungodly amount of weight, like 6k pounds before it bent. What do you think of l6 bainite katanas?
We make a series of katanas in L6. The edge is martensite, The spine is bainite. Since bainite has a max hardness of 48RCH, full bainite is impractical.
We also use our patented Therma-Cycle technology on these blades, which effectively further DOUBLES the impact resistance beyond other bainite blades.
Brian, you sound like you have done some homework on that. But this whole “best” thing. Best for what? The quality of steel itself is a very, very ethereal thing. I liked your reply.
Sorry….its all a bunch of hype…smoke and mirrors. And Its giving real makers a bad name…First and foremost,if you didnt make it in a crucible,its not wootz ! I could write a novel with all the other things that are incorrect….But I will stop there.
A steel is defined by its microstructure, not the way it is made.
i would like to possable look to purchase a sword, i would like to kno how much a specific sword would cost to make. my email is Legendofzelda1996@yahoo.com please send me a message and ill be happy to send u pictures of the sword i would love made.
Hey @facebook-100001517771589:disqus, I recommend you contact Angel Sword directly through the company website: http://www.angelsword.com/. All the best!
Unfortunately most of his European pieces are historically inaccurate.
yep his viking pieces look more like dwarven swords from Elder scrolls lol which is not bad lol But i do admite i like historically accurate my self, aleast there to be some in the offer.
not even worthy of being called a +ULFBERH+T because look at the tapir not coming even close to a 45 to 23 degrees of an angle and is curved so not viking. NO VALHALLA FOR YOU!
The Ulfberht swords were distinct because of their wootz metallurgy. I made a modern version of that steel for this blade.
Japanese swords aren’t the best cutting sword because a blunt flamberge can cut the same or even more
Wrong!!! A blunt might get through 1 mat but I doubt even that. But the proof is in the doing, not the saying. Prove it by doing it and send in the video.
Daniel you are wrong. Take a peak at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXbLyVpWsVM
at about 3:35 Clements uses a dull (dull is a relative term aswell but not in this as he runs his palm over the edge) edge medieval bastard sword and cuts the mat cleanly
i agree with Daniel though, the bastard sword wouldnt cut 5 mats, but if it were people he woulda bashed them to death with that blow lol but quinn is right in another thing without knowing it, katana is a brilliant weapon as a piece of metallurgical engineering (traditionally made, although this doesnt take away from your skill Daniel, but its a monosteel) and esthetics, how ever its design is not best for either cutting or piercing (although it trys to do both, as sort of a multi purpose sword). ill give an example of a turkish klij which has a better cutting properties, and western swords like viking swords that have a better piercing properties (and probably a greater bashing force in there aswell when swung lol). I dont think it would do well vs european metal clad (no matter in what shape) soliders. Katans lack toughness to the edge. (japanese armour was primarily leather with some lamellar armour here and there, but appearing late in more numbers)
hey dan your techno is cryrogenic thermalcycled d2 right?
amazing HT setup man. love the nitro tanks and the salt tanks. also edge geometry people, Dan’s good at it. damn good.
I’m sorry, but just look at the size of the blade he’s using – it’s bigger than a nodachi, and the handle is also much, much longer than a typical sword. Also, these “record shattering” cuttings are only done at ren faires at the behest of A.S. – why doesn’t A.S. go to sanctioned tameshigiri competitions and use their (closest thing they make to a regular katana) swords to task against traditionally made Japanese swords/swordsmen?
Angel Sword blades not only hold the word’s record for most massive cut with a Nodachi, but also the records for most massive cut with a tanto (6 mats), wakasashi (10 mats), and with a katana (19 mats). I would really like to see a film of anyone beating ANY of those records.
I must say, that we met met many years ago, and if I needed a sword that contained both mystic and quality, you are the one I would purchase from. I hope to acquire one from you some time. Glad to see you are still in the business of making wondrous swords!
For you “Nay Sayers”, I would like to add, that anyone can make a Sword. I can take an old metal bed frame, cut it to length, bang it into shape, add a sharpened edge, a point, wrap duct tape around one end for a handle, and call it a sword. Technically, I would be right. Plus if I needed to defend myself with it, it could kill satisfactorily. After all, dead, is dead.
But, comparing it to an Angel sword, would be like comparing a golf cart to a Lamborghini, or a Rolls Royce. My point is that many makers can make a sword. What Mr Watson can do is make a “Naming” Sword. The ancients used to add names to certain “special” swords, even Axes, and they were famous in their time. Everyone has heard of the Sword, Excalibur. James Bowie’s knife, also had a name.
Any sword can cut, and to simply delegate value of worth to how “well” such an item can cut, is no more a value of worth than judging a man by how much money he has. I know of some homeless people in New York that I respect more than some of those that walk Wall Street.
If you want a sword, then simply go somewhere else. If you want a sword with essence, one worthy of naming, then seek out Mr Watson. This, is what sets a true sword master, apart from many of the others.
Indeed… It’s not the sword that’s dangerous, it’s the operator. I’m confident in my ability to defeat 95% of the “King Arthur wannabes” with your bed post⚔
I have seen all your videos on your site and I dont see any proof in your claims. Why not do some real destructive tests on your swords at lengths of 29 inches or longer? And damascus the toughest steel?? Somebody has been watching too many fantasy cartoons.
Toughness is a highly measurable quality using standard engineering tests. The relevant test is Charpy Impact testing. My TechnoWootz Damascus (tested at 70F and RCH57) shows 300 ft. lbs. That is the highest showing in the world at high hardness.
I’ve been a fan of Daniel’s works since I saw them at a NY faire about 16 years ago, when I was 15. I’ve been following them ever since. I’m not an expert of any sort, so I’ll just say that I’d love to own a piece or three. I probably would already if I hadn’t had the bad luck of trying to purchase a few from Darryl, who worked their booth at TRF a year I visited. Trusted him, since he was a moderator on the Angelsword forum, but still ended up paying money and never receiving anything.
how could one become his apprentice?
@tristan_turner:disqus, I’m sure it’s quite a process. But I would recommend starting by seeing the swords in person and meeting Daniel. He’s usually at the Sherwood Forest Faire every weekend, so check that out.
Please come see me at any of our shows. Since a full apprenticeship is 12 years, It’s best to see if we can stand being around each other.
Article said you had to start by liking his swords well enough to buy one first.
My names Vincent hassing and I would be tremendously horned to have either buy or ask how much it would be to have three unique blades made by angle sword
Angel has good steel. Not the best. His swords lack grace to the fittings and are generally not historic.
You should meet the painter Darren Wenzel. Incredible artist who is hired all over the world to paint.
714 Chestnut St # AT
I just came across this article. There was an older guy, who had been making swords quite a bit longer. He started during the Korean war. He passed away February 28th 2012 at 90 years old. His name was Jess Roe, and he was “Prose & Steel” Facebook memorial here: https://www.facebook.com/MrJessRoe
I have a sword manufacture spec that I think think this man would find challenging. If he would contact me and make me 3 or 4 for free, I would give him the specs. Nobody has ever thought of swords this way. 240-439-7129
There’s a knifemaker in Austin name Travis Weige of Weige Knives.com that you might want to meet as well.
Guys, all the doubt about Mr. Watson’s claims comes with one problem. It’s pretty probable that none of you have the expertise to refute him. just as an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof, so too does, as I like to say, “an extraordinary counter-claim require extraordinary counter-proof” My point? At least Mr. Watson has some benchmarks! I can make no statement to the validity of the tests, but they’re more than any of you have done, considering none of you likely own one of his swords to test. Ultimately, too, you won’t disprove the claim by tests on other peoples’ steels. You’ll have to test an Angel Sword to be truely empirical in your disproving of Mr. Watson’s claim.
As for my statement to you, Mr. Watson, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this pseudo-scientifically-minded lot, but you’re probably wasting your figurative breath with them as much as I am. Disqus has no real moderation features compared to other services, and thus idiots and asshats come here, because they know they won’t get banned as easily.
On average what does one of the swords cost? I am very interested in buying one, maybe two.
Swords start at around $2000; most are under $3000. Contact us at email@example.com
interesting reading here. Mr. Watson….all I know is that I went to renfest in Houston this season and held a lot of cheap crap swords. Replicas and half ass decent but still poorly crafted blades. Anyone who is a lover of blades whether knife or sword can tell quality when they see it. I also found Angel Sword shop at renfest and the guy put one of your swords in my hand…..it was by far the finest blade I have ever held. I was instantly a believer and am currently saving money to buy one at the next renfest. The sword he let me hold was perfectly balanced and felt like I was born holding it. The quality and craftsmanship were self evident. I would say to all like null that you should actually hold and feel one of these blades and that alone will dispel your doubts. I’ve held a lot of fine blades in my life but that sword at renfest captured my imagination and I won’t rest until I own one.
Mr. Watson, would you consider helping someone create a sword? I would like to make one rather than buy one because I have always wanted to make a sword and the only one i hope to create is very tricky to make, and who better would it be to learn from than the best.
It takes years to train someone. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow…from what I have seen in the comments, there is alot of jealousy and undeserved hatred directed at this man and his art. I don’t know what more proof anyone needs besides video evidence, other than being there in person. But since several of the whiny children that want to have a hiss fit will probably never go and meet the man or see the equipment in person, this resorts to trolling and not very good trolling at that. For every little whiny complaint or demand that you have thrown at Mr Watson and his works of art, he has managed to keep composure and respond back with quotes, patent numbers, and video evidence of his claims. I know nothing about Mr Watson, or swords, or metallurgy, or any of this, but I find it highly disrespectful that people are whining and trashing his hard work simply because they don’t like the fact that he has the records, the video evidence, and apparently has crushed the work of some of these whiners “favorites”. At least show Mr Watson the respect for his art, his hardwork, and the obvious passion and ingenuity he has put forth to perfect and improve his craft. Leave the jealousy and trolling for high school.Kudos to you Mr Watson. I wish I had known about you back in 2005 to 2007 when I was stationed at Ft Hood. I would have happily made the 45 min trip to Austin to see your fine workmanship. Keep it up!
I agree with you, Kevin. Mr. Watson is obviously a master artist and extremely knowledgeable about sword making and creating. I am in awe of anyone who loves what they do and gets to do what they love.
Jealousy is so unattractive. It’s like your best friend getting a new car and you trash it’s make, performance or style. Pure envy, mean spirited and definitely a debbie downer. Who needs them?
I respect Mr. Watson. I may not know anything about swords, but I would love to own one. That’s how I came across this thread and I would feel confident purchasing one from him.
I don’t live in Texas, but I sure wish I did as I would love to see his craftsmenship in person. I’m certain he is very interesting as well.
Hi I’d like to know if angel sword is still in business because the store website doesn’t work anymore and I’d like find out more about their products as this article peaked my interest in their works
I believe it is out of business.
It either was a scam the entire time so it got shut down or they closed for some reason and aren’t informing anyone.
I have researched of a lot of swordsmith shops as I am an enthusiast but I myself had never heard of angel sword until recently when a friend mentioned to me that he read about a sword maker with amazing claims on this page and suggested I check it out and get one if the claims were true. Reading this article made me wonder why I had never heard of it so I researched it more and all I came up with was a small website which tells you about their supposed wares and another store website which doesn’t work.
Sorry Frank but I suggest looking elsewhere for a more reputable swordsmith which is still in business.
Angel Sword has been around for years. I have a couple of Bright Knights I bought in 2001. And they were around long before that. Perhaps your research abilities aren’t all that great.
I would agree on his research abilities being subpar, especially considering that his friend who I hope I can guess correctly is not a collector but had heard of it first, but I would agree with his assumption that Angel Sword has closed down without any proper explanation as I have frequented the website a while back but never contacted them as I live in Seattle and have never had the opportunity to come out to Austin as if I did decide to order from them I would want to discuss the design personally with the staff. Hopefully the owner Daniel Watson if he still is active on this website could shed some light on that.
Or maybe since you have ordered from them before you can help answer Frank’s question.
I’ll post photos of a couple of recent creations here next week.
That would be nice as I quite enjoy your work and this would be good to show Frank and other people who are interested your amazing work.
Where’s the pics?
You said next week and its been 2.
That may be true but that still doesn’t explain it pretty much dropping off the map. If someone can I would love to know why if this place is so great and reputable why I can’t find anything recent about it.
And in my defense I was just trying to answer the question to the best of my abilities.
You may have not heard of it as you are into different kinds of swords than the ones Angel Sword makes so maybe that is why you have never run into it while researching or maybe you don’t live anywhere near it but I have heard of it before and researched it and can confirm that up until recently it was working. As for what is going on with it now is anyone’s guess.
I have been in business as Angel Sword for over 30 years. I vastly prefer spending my time making swords rather than web posting.
I’m sure you can understand how fraudulent your company seems considering one of your websites doesn’t work and this is the one which collects money from your customers and the other one hasn’t been updated in 8 years
Also no one on the entire internet that I can find talks about you or your swords and considering that you so boldly claim to be the best I find that shocking
if you can provide some proof of you and your company’s authenticity I will gladly take back what I have said about it but until you can I will continue to advise others to steer clear of you and your company
Sorry to point this out Frank but maybe you should have directed your question to Daniel Watson the owner and head smith of Angel Sword as I am sure that he could promptly answer your question.
Yes Angel Sword is very much still in business. My apologies for not have the websites updated more frequently. There were server issues that knocked out and lost most of our web pages. We will eventually get them back up. But in the meantime please follow us on Facebook.
Thanks a lot for answering my question Mr.Daniel Watson. I was extremely intrigued by this article and your prompt response is really helpful as I would like to own one of your swords as soon as possible hopefully I can see some of your swords at an upcoming Renaissance fair and maybe if I find time I could come out from Dallas to meet you at your workshop to have the makings of a personal sword discussed.
Yes Angel Sword is very much still around, but I spend most of my time building blades rather than taking care of my websites or posting on the internet. Angel Sword is more than a full time job, I have put in 60-70 hours so far this week and will put in another 12 hours today (Sunday 6 September 2015). We had server issuers on our websites with a large number of pages lost. I spoke yesterday to a website developer about getting them updated. But in the meantime please
follow us on Facebook.
Hello Mr.Watson I am interested in purchasing a katana and a rapier from Angel Sword. I would like to know how I would contact you to discuss the possibility of having them made. If possible I would like them to be made out of your Wootz Damascus steel and to undergo your patented thermocycle technology. Could you please let me know about the approximate price range for swords with these specifications or link me to a page that has it or a way to contact you. Also I’d like your opinion on the swords as from my personal experience and research the katana is one of the best slashing swords and the rapier is one of the best thrusting swords which is why I would like them. I would greatly appreciate your highly experienced opinion on this.
I hope you will respond as soon as your schedule allows it.
angel sword has been banned from may fairs for being dishonest they rip people off their blades are acid etched 440 stainless they tell you its woots, they are worth a few hundred a piece and sell for tens of thousands. they have even forged certificates of authenticity for pieces in the past. DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY!!!
I too believe it to be a scam but your claims seem to be a little outlandish
For one I myself have never heard of them being banned from any fairs that is something I think you could find on the internet if they were if you could would you mind posting a link to a website of a fair or other such which elaborates on this
I personally have been unable to find any real information for them on the internet except for unworking and unupdated websites which make me have a very fishy feel about this company
Two I am unsure that someone would be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars on a sword without having a third party appraise it even if it has a certificate of authenticity
it also in a older post from Daniel Watson the owner and head blacksmith stated that most swords he makes cost around 2000 to 3000 dollars so what you said doesn’t really add up
The last thing is that this seems to be the only post or activity you have on your account I can understand if you only created this account to warn people about Angel Sword’s dishonesty and I don’t mean to insinuate anything especially considering the fact that I am just commenting as a guest
If you could please provide some evidence that I could look at I would be grateful as would anyone who might be duped by this scam and I would tell as much people as I can about it so they can be weary of this huge scam and fraud
I keep trying to reply to you but my replies keep getting taken down
I looked into it and your claims were correct and I suggest that if anyone wishes to know for themselves of this scam they should look it up themselves as I have continually tried to leave links to websites which supports your statements but they keep disappearing
Anyway thank you for making me want to research more on this so keep warning people about this scam
@Chris, no one is taking your comments down. The only reasons we take comments down is for spam, foul language, or malicious personal attacks. However, I would caution you about calling something a scam when many others have seen it with their own eyes, including my husband (who wrote this article) and me. Not every company has a large online presence, especially companies that have been around for decades and haven’t taken the time, or don’t have the resources or expertise, to maintain a website, Facebook page, Yelp account, ad infinitum. Research is a wonderful thing, but don’t believe everything you read on the Internet (for or against anything). Even in our connected world, sometimes you just have to see it for yourself in person.
Chris I think you should just cool down with the whole scam talk. Angel Sword is Mr.Watson’s life and livelihood. He’s poured over 30 years of his life into it so you can’t decide if it’s a scam or not with 30 minutes of Internet surfing. Don’t be that guy who only believes something that is on the internet. Do everyone a favor and head down to his workshop if you can and see for yourself what’s going on and how good or bad his swords are. Once you’ve been there you can give everyone your honest opinion of their craftsmanship but please reserve judgment till then. That way you can be satisfied and give everyone your first hand experience and the opinion you’ve formed. Just make an appointment and visit if possible. I’m sure everyone would love to know what your opinion on their work would be considering you say that you’re a sword enthusiast. Do yourself a favor though and don’t use the name Chris. XD
Anyone else wondering why Daniel Watson doesn’t defend himself and give these people some proof to shut this argument up.
Amongst real sword collectors there is actually a rule about Angel Sword which is,
Don’t talk about it.
in reality they are nothing special and not worth anyone’s time.
to summarize it best and simplest they are a scam.
I speak from experience as I had bought a sword from them a while ago for about four thousand if I remember correctly and it was shody at best.
the only reason I keep it is to show other colleagues who ask me about Angel Sword and I want to substantiate my claims with proof.
Avoid at all costs.
I have a Angel Sword and have done everything humanly possible to break it….No can do. A number of pipe railings and wrought iron steel workings have nicks and my blade still looks new. Is Angel Swords still up and going. Their website isn’t responding so I widened the search and found this site.
No they arent. Though his steel is very good, the fitting of his swords i find to be subpar compared to many other makers out there, and the design of some of his swords feel like they came out of Skyrim than actual history.
Because of this, i find makers such as Albion, which, though its steel might not be as good, is superior in practically every other catagory, and i personally believe it would be more fitting of the title “best sword maker”.
I respect the metallurgy involved, and assume the materials are tested and represented accurately. Artistically though, I am not overwhelmed. the image attempting to represent the ornate hilts seems rather bland. I still have respect for someone who had dedicated so much to their art. From everything I see, the blades are a work of art, I am simply no as impressed with the hilts.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was just expecting something along the lines of fine scroll-work as opposed to a notched knuckle guard with a matted black finish.
I must admit, I find it hard to criticize the work. It is far and above what I can even attempt to create.
Good lord! Proof of this proof of that. The man is a sword smith, with a reputation for being the best. I would feel privaliged to suck up the fumes from the mans furnace. you don’t gain a world reputation by filing the teeth off of a bloody hack saw blade and calling it a sword.
Golly, Wally, there was a “Best Sword Olympics” and I missed it! What part of Japan was it held in?!
What do your swords range in price? Especially for katana and wakizashi?
This is a farce simple research shows this is crap
Oh; all the argumentative hate in here… Most of you don’t even know to wheel a sword making it’s metallurgic properties irrelevant. I’ll gladly take up a madox hangle against anyone that has spent their hole life making them? There are swordsmiths and there are swordsman… I’ve met very few that are good at both⚔
Can anyone tell me anything about this sword who made it what the name of it is or maybe the worth?
Looks pretty, might be sharp, but the sheen of the metal makes me think it’s very hard and brittle as hell.
How do you judge who makes the better sword. I’m very curious. Before it would be the swordsman that judges the balance, handling, performance, and durability. What is the standard today? Very curious. Thanks.
What piqued my curiosity was reading Louis La’Mour’s The Walking Drum. Toledo and Damascus steel were referenced countless times. Amazing book as well.
Thank you Mr. Watson for keeping this tradition going. Not just the sword making, but the whole art of studying and learning by apprenticeship.
Typically the harder a steel gets, the more brittle it becomes. I developed and patented a series of techniques that allow Angel Sword the greatest combination of both hardness and impact resistance. That allowed us to create a better edge profile, which let us break so many world’s records for most massive cuts with knife, katana, and any human powered blade.
I bought an Angel Sword, a Bright Knight, back in the late 1990’s. Although I’ve kept it cleaned and oiled, it shows no wear, no rust or aging. This sword is the best of my collection, and had actually appreciated in value since I bought it. Angel Sword is one of the few makers I can say produce heirloom pieces that can be passed down as treasures.
Claims for or against the quality of a blade are made facile with facts and opinion (maybe more so). Why argue or kiss * and not just do research and be an adult?
I can say the patents are compelling and I am intrigued.
Also, millennials, baby boomers, what have you, there are bad and good. Generalizing, I think, is mental laziness and rude.
i dont know why this guy comes up number 1 no matter what you type. you can type ” best sword ever made” and you can type hardest blade ever made with modern tech” you can type anything in any way ultimate sword ever made and this guy comes up number 1 every single time ….but i cant find a single video of him making a sword or any documentary on him ……am i missing something or does he not have any proof? i just wanna see cuz im curious….id think if he was the best in the world in all of history hed have some kind of video or documentary….something ? id even pay to see it. but i just cant find anything about him but a single youtube video of him cutting straw.
I wonder what ever happened to the blade shown in the article.
One thing I will say is the man stands behind his work. The 2011 wildfire in Bastrop County turned my Sky Marshal into a twisted, blistered, gray hunk of junk. He took back to the forge and restored it to like new condition including a new sheath under the lifetime warranty.
This is garbage a simple fact check and research show no records in Japan are blown away good try tho