Need Fencing Equipment

Fencers need to purchase their own equipment to participate in our program. Use one of the vendors listed below, or check out what second-hand gear might be available by following this link.

Or perhaps you want to sell or donate your old gear. Post the information to our online swap meet instead of using Craigslist or dropping it off at thrift store. 

Suggested Vendors

Although there are a lot of vendors online, we tend to use these four.

  • The Fencing Post
    The Fencing Post, run by Saul and Vicki, is our preferred vendor.  Their prices are reasonable and, since they are located in Escondido, CA, they can get you equipment fast -- often the next day, and without additional shipping charges!
  • Absolute Fencing Gear 
    Amanda and Gary, owners at Absolute, have a wide selection of fencing gear at reasonable prices. We have been purchasing gear from them since 2006.
  • Leon Paul USA
    Leon Paul, a London-based fencing supplier, is very innovative when it comes to fencing equipment, especially their clothing.
  • Triplette Competition Arms
    The great thing about Triplette is that all their house brand equipment is made in the good old U-S-of-A. Their prices may be a little higher than Absolute, but I never hear complains about the quality.

Equipment Options

French v. German: What's the difference? And what should you buy?

There are a ton of different options available to you when you purchase gear. Many of those options have to do with the make of the fencing equipment. For the most part, things are either "French" or "German," but there are also British (aka, Leon Paul) and "New German" (a cross between French and German -- aka, Flemish). 

  • We recommend the following tips for buying your weapons:
  • Blade size: children aged 8-10 use a Size 2 blade; Ages 11-12 use a Size 4 or 5; Ages 13+ use a Size 5.
  • Tip type: we recommend buying "New German" points, also known as "V2." These use a German wire. The French tips  are less expensive. But they tend to break more. British points are OK, but only Leon Paul sells them.
  • Pad and Bell guard: the clear, see-through pads are the best. Buy either a rolled-steel or a light-weight bell guard.
  • Socket: get a 2-prong socket.
  • Body cord: the only body cord from The Fencing Post we will endorse is the Favero. From Absolute fencing, the other body cord is called "Prieur." Note that you will need a "Prieur" 2-prong socket, if you get this kind of body cord. Prieur are French; all other 2-prong sockets are German.
  • Handle/Grip: most people at the club use a "Visconte" style pistol grip. Regarding sizes, the orange ones are extra small. Yellow are small. Blue are medium. Red are large. Some people at the club use "French" grips, which are the straight ones that look like traditional sword handles. Some people at the club use Belgian and Russian grips. Ask around; try out weapons; see what you like. When in doubt, get a small Visconte or small Belgian grip. 
  • Blade type: Get whichever blade you can afford. Some blades are rated "FIE" (which stands for International Fencing Federation).  When equipment is approved by the FIE, it is generally held to a higher standard. FIE equipment is required for international competitions. It is not required for new fencers.

    Our favorite blade is the stiff BF FIE Foil. The medium and soft BF FIE foils are also pretty good. The Vniti FIE foils are our second favorite blade type, but they tend to be a little heavier than the BF. The Absolute FIE foil is a good FIE blade for newer fencers. Newer fencers will probably purchase the StM or Linea brand blades.
  • Mask: purchase a 350 Newton Foil mask, with a conductive bib if you fence foil. Also pick up a mask cord. If you fence epee, then get a mask that does not have a conductive bib.
  • Clothing: most people purchase the least expensive, or second least expensive gear from The Fencing Post or Absolute Fencing. We recommend getting whatever your personal budget can handle. If you are fencing foil, pick up a foil lame. There are usually only two choices: one is around $56 and the other is around $133. The $133 lame lasts more than twice as long as the $56 one. If you can afford it, then we recommend it.

A Shopping List (and estimated costs)

Below is a list of equipment with links to The Fencing Post's website. Prices shown are estimates and reflect the low, mid, and the high-end. Sales tax and shipping are not included in these estimates. In most cases, the more expensive items do last longer, but those new to the sport should consider the less-expensive equipment (especially those younger fencers who seem to outgrow their clothes every other month).  Note: the item numbers shown reflect men's sizing. Women and children should use these items as guides.  The Fencing Post has a sizing page to help customers, but if you have questions, just call them. They are happy to help.

High End
Foil Mask (and a mask cord is +$7)

Practice foil for new fencers
(only new fencers need a practice foil, and the club actually has a few practice foils for loan). Anyone fencing for more than a few months should get an electric foil. See below.
Jacket UAPS10
Underarm Protector
Chest Plate
The sport requires all women and girls to wear a chest plate. We have found that many women with smaller bust sizes prefer the men's chest plates. As of August 2018, all chest plates used in competition have to be FIE-rated. You can use non-FIE chest protectors at practice, but you have to purchase a soft-top chest protector for tournaments.

At our club, we encourage all youth under 13 years of age to use a chest plate.

Optional for men over 13.
Electric Foil
Body Cord

We actually have a few spare body cords. If you want to save money, then just borrow one.
Electrical Jacket (aka, Lamé)

Electrical jackets are not required for drills at Presidio, but they are required on those nights when we spar.
Fencing Pants (aka, Knickers)

Optional until attending larger tournaments.
A bag to carry everything
Fencing Shoes (Optional)
More electric weapons and body cords (most fencers have at least 3 of each)

A toolkit (see below)


Armoring and Repairs

Once you have gear, you need to know how to fix and maintain things (i.e. how to armor). Below is a list of tools we recommend all fencers acquire. Many of them can be found at local hardware stores. Also, a quick search on YouTube will reveal plenty of videos on how to repair fencing equipment.

  1. set of small screwdrivers (find at any hardware store)
  2. foil or epee weight test box
  3. 6mm hex key
  4. 7mm and 8mm open face wrenches for sockets
  5. flat-head screwdriver
  6. small crescent wrench
  7. needle nose pliers
  8. wire strippers
  9. small Vise Grip or locking pliers
  10. super glue for wires (we suggest the Office Works glue that you buy at grocery stores. Look for a 2-pack)
  11. miscellaneous parts: extra wires, lock washers, tip tape, tips, barrels, screws, springs, etc.