After reading about judicial duels around the time of I.33, I decided to experiment with leather and wooden bucklers for fencing. The leather buckler I bought the Hardened Leather Buckler by Grommets Leathercraft. I decided it was a safe buy because if it could not hold up in a fight, it was aesthetically pleasing enough for a decorative sidearm at a renaissance faire. After a healthy amount of abuse, this buckler has really shined as an exceptional fencing tool.
The version of the buckler I will be reviewing is their recommended I.33 leather buckler with the mild steel boss.
I have had this buckler over six months now and I am still surprised at how well it has held up. Even after a ton of sparring and drilling, the buckler handle is still tight and there is no looseness to it.
One of the wear and tear features my buckler is showing is a little warping around the edge of the buckler. This was likely caused by hard impacts that warped the buckler’s edge. While the leather may be misshaped now, there does not appear to be any strain or risks of cracking even in the impact spots.
The other sign of use my buckler has is a few healthy cuts taken out of the boss itself. These required a bit of filing but other than that, the boss has held up exceptionally well.
This buckler is absolutely gorgeous! Even after use, this buckler is still a beautiful tool. The craftsmanship really shines and Grommets Leathercraft should be proud of their work with this buckler.
I suspect that when the buckler is ready to be retired from sparring, the wear and tear will just help make the buckler look unique as a great decorative piece for costume wear.
Who I Recommend It To
I recommend this buckler to any intermediate sword and buckler fencers who want to mix and match different types of gear to expand their fighting prowess. I also highly recommend this buckler to anyone trying to add a buckler to a costume!
Unfortunately, I do not recommend this buckler as someone’s first buckler.
For fencers, steel bucklers still provide a better defense in sword and buckler fencing and allows for new sword and buckler fencers to hide behind their bucklers which is an effective technique in fencing. Steel bucklers also can take all sorts of abuse with minimum maintenance to maintain. So if you are only planning to purchase one buckler to last for tournaments, training, and everything in between, this buckler may not be for you.
I absolutely love the Hardened Leather Buckler by Grommets Leathercraft! This buckler has been an incredibly pleasant surprise and the durability and functionality of it pairs nicely with the aesthetic beauty of this buckler. This buckler has become my favorite buckler to train with and while I will likely still use a steel buckler for tournaments, this leather buckler holds its own while sparring and looks great too!