We used Cold Steel's training bowies and other hard rubber training knives for years, and after several rounds of begging, Lynn Thompson of Cold Steel made rondels for us.
The blade offers a high level of flex near the tip while remaining strong near the hand. Most HEMA rondel techniques work great. A few techniques that require stiffness along the whole blade will not, but that's the trade-off for having the safety of the flex.
Some people find the decorative points on the hilt to be a little scratchy (the wooden prototype had rounded points but this got simplified in the computer model for the mold). One minute with a file will soften these a lot though.
Cold Steel Rubber Medieval Training Dagger
If you are looking to simulate the cutting edges and blade width of a "knightly" style dagger -- also called the "sword-hilted dagger" -- this is a great alternative to the rondel trainer. Although both the point and the flex are slightly less friendly than the rondel, they are within range for similar knife and dagger trainers. Padded clothing is recommended, and of course eye protection is a must.
Arms & Armor
Based on Original: Sword Circa 1560, Deutsches Klingen Museum, Solingen
Overall length: 12.6"
Blade length: 8.25"
Blade width: 1.1"
The German and Swiss Landsknechts were considered the elite troops of their day. Their weapons were designed for the close-in fighting of hand-to-hand combat, being light and quick in action. We have created this matching dagger to accompany the #149 Katzbalger Sword. The unique hilt of these weapons consists of a figure-eight shaped guard and a grip and pommel of a unique shape. They are very comfortable in the hand and well suited for the style of combat.
Arms & Armor
Based on original: 14th C, Kölnisches Stadtmuseum.
Overall length: 17.25"
Blade length: 12.3"
Blade width 1"
Grip length: 3.5"
Guard width: 3"
Weight .9 lbs
A dark hardwood grip accents the deadly steel of this stout knife. A piece that would have been contemporary with rondel daggers, this messer would have been the equal to any in knightly hand to hand combat. Strong enough to use as a lever against an armored opponent it could also slice with deadly intent when meeting a softer target than armor.
A solid steel butt and stout guard offer a feeling of power when held in the hand in either grip. This dagger would work well for such combat systems as Liechtenauer or Fiore.