Nuts are not the most interesting part of a fencing weapon but they represent a snapshot into the slightly obsessive approach that Leon Paul take to design that flows through into everything we do. We believe our products should be made with little to no compromise and we push things to the limits and sometimes beyond.
Why are nuts so important in fencing?
We make a huge range of nuts and pommels and I want to briefly cover why we make so many, what the advantages of ours are and why this is important to you as a fencer.
Variety is the spice of life
We make a huge range of handles and sell into a large number of different global markets. Catering for different needs and different countries expectations means we have to cover all of our bases.
We make a range of handles that far surpasses that of any other manufacturer and this flexibility necessitates innovation. From our extra reach epee pistol grip to our magnesium pistol grip, cantilever pommeling french grip and ultra light carbon fibre grip each of these awesome products needs and deserves its own specific nut or pommel. You could make do with a standard pommel on each of these handles but the performance would be reduced. So what makes a good nut?
Well lets start with the bad:
Here we have a selection of poor design, sloppy workmanship, poor materials and the possibility to damage the rest of your equipment.
Having an outside hex nut that has a hex on the face that butts up against your handle is just useless. The hexagonal face of the nut cuts into the aluminium of your handle every time you tighten it so that it eventually bores into the handle. They are dirt cheap to buy but they are even cheaper to produce. You can buy hex bar that has a threaded through hole so all you have to do is slice it up and sell it. Even at $1.50 purchase price the suppliers are probably buying these from china for less than $0.10.
Anything that tightens with a screwdriver is madness as you can't get enough torque on the nut to do it up tightly. One of these the slot isn't even near the centre of the nut.
What makes a good nut?
Here is our latest nut which is used in our carbon handle but will also fit in a traditional pistol grip for those who prefer an outside hex nut to an inside hex nut.
You can see from the pictures that there is no comparison in terms of quality. This has been machined in the UK from single piece of stainless steel bar stock. It has a large flat front face to apply even pressure to your handle. The edges have all been radiused to remove sharp areas and the edge of the top of the nut has an angled lead in to make getting your spanner on easier. This is a nut that will last a lifetime completely undamaged and will be a pleasure to use.
So sure you can buy a $1.50 nut that will rip up your handle if you like but spend a bit more and you will have something that will never need replacing and will perform better on your weapon.
I was going to talk about pommels but I think that is enough from me for now.