Fencing Equipment

Personal equipment for competition fencers consists of a mask, glove, jacket, and a plastron - a half jacket worn under the jacket covering the sword arm and chest. Fencers traditionally also wear breeches and long socks.

Weapons are connected to the scoring system through a bodywire inside the jacket. Foil fencers also wear a metalic target jacket over the top of their main jacket. This jacket is also connected to the scoring system. Ladies also wear a plastic breastplate.

The club provides Epees, Foils, masks and jackets for beginners and intermediate fencers, but after you complete the beginner’s course you are encouraged to start buying your own gear, if you intend to continue (we hope you will!).

Initially consider purchasing:
  1. Glove
  2. Weapon & bodywire (electric and with FIE blade, anything else is false economy, as FIE blades tend to last a lot longer than standard blades.)
  3. Weapons sleeve (to carry your weapon in)
  4. Mask (ideally an FIE 1600N one, but whatever you prefer. It’s only your face/neck/eyes/jugular at stake)
  5. Chest protectors for the ladies in your size, these must be worn.​​​​​​​

  • Plastron 800N
  • Jacket 350N or 800N
  • Lame (electric jacket) & mask wire

  • Breeches 350N or 800N
  • Fencing shoes
  • Socks
  • Fencing bag
  • Additional weapons / body wires / misc.
  • Groin protectors for the men if you desire. Not obligatory, but recommended for obvious reasons.

The Newton rating on the clothes gives an indication of the level of protection they offer. A higher number is better, obviously. If you plan on fencing overseas, you will need 800N gear. The chances of being seriously hurt while fencing are very very low, but as we are hitting each other with metal weapons, it is better to be safe than sorry. Buy the best you can!

Fencing shoes are worth getting, but you don’t have to go too crazy. Even squash and badminton shoes are fine.

If you plan on competing, you will need at least two weapons and bodywires.

If you are considering purchasing your own equipment, please feel free t
o talk to your coach, or another senior fencer.

Equipment Vendors

There are a few equipment suppliers you can choose from.

Most people have either Leon Paul or Allstar gear, but you will see brands like FWF, Uhlmann, Negrini, PBT, Jiang, Absolute and others.

Leon Paul equipment is excellent. Very easy to order. They always chose fast courier delivery, so check shipping costs.  They also offer complete sets for people wanting to kit themselves out in one go.

All of the German brands (Allstar/Uhlmann, FWF) are very good, excellent products at pretty fair prices.

The Italian brand Negrini is great, but pricey. Not as easy to get hold of either.

PBT from Hungary do some excellent equipment, not too expensive, but durability is questionable on some items from some reports.

Jiang from China do some ok stuff for club level fencers, but again durability is questionable.

Absolute from the USA do some good stuff, but not seen that often in NZ.

There is a local vendor as well, Mainland Fencing.  Certainly convenient for things, especially if you need them in a hurry.  Excellent service if you have an issue with your delivery.  Will come to some of the national competitions.  Also do repairs.

At the end of the day most of the equipment we wear is to protect us from being seriously injured, so buy the absolute best you can afford. This is to keep you alive and fencing, and also save you money in the long term.
All of the top level fencers will most likely be wearing Leon Paul, Allstar/Uhlmann, Negrini, or PBT.

Links to some of these vendors can be found in the Useful Links page.

Equipment Maintenance

You have to maintain your equipment as well. Please read the washing instructions on your items of clothing, and never use bleach.

Lame jackets need to be turned inside out and allowed to dry thoroughly. These have metal threads in them and corrode in contact with sweat. You can hand rinse most of them (not frequently), but read the instructions that come with whatever you buy. Ideally hang them up inside out. Don’t fold them up, roll them if you must. Please don’t leave them with damp sweaty clothing, or they won’t last long at all!

Keep your weapons and your clothing separate, you don’t want rust stains on your nice white fencing jacket. Nearly all fencing bags have two compartments for this reason.

You will need some consumable things too, most often duct tape for the blade of your foil (not needed for epee). This is because of the way the electrical scoring system works. If you have no tape, you often get no point due to the blade grounding out on your opponents’ lame.

If you’re not sure about how to look after your equipment or fix it, feel free to ask one of the more senior club members.

Ordering Equipment

Often it is best to talk to your coach or with senior club members about ordering things. Most of the time someone has an order pending, and it can seriously save on the shipping costs to order things as a group.

If you do intend to order equipment from overseas, please be aware that you may incur GST and MAF charges upon import. This can be a bit hit and miss, but technically you are liable to pay GST etc. on any shipment valued at $400 or more (including shipping costs).


  • Mainland
  • Allstar
  • Uhlmann
  • Leon Paul
  • FWF
  • Jiang
  • Negrini
  • ONTC
  • Absolute
  • and others...