When you start out fencing choosing the right kit can be very confusing. To help you get started here is a glossary of basic terms that relate to equipment.

 

350 Newtons
Sometimes written as 350N this is the short term for the CEN European level 1 standard of protective clothing for fencing. It means that the clothing has been tested to withstand at least 350 Newtons of force and complies with European safety regulations. All of the protective equipment that we make is at least 350 Newtons.

800 Newtons
This is also sometimes referred to as 800N or FIE (see below for a definition) and means that the clothing has been tested to CEN level 2. 800 Newton or FIE clothing is even stronger than 350 Newton clothing and is mandatory for international events such as A grades, Grand Prix, world Championships and the Olympics.

FIE (Fédération Internationale d'Escrime)
This is the international governing body for the sport. The term FIE is also used to describe 800 Newton or CEN level two clothing and Maraging (see below) blades.

Electric or non-electric
This refers to whether or not an item is suitable for fencing with an electric scoring apparatus.

Lame
Pronounced La-may not lame, as in duck! This is the conductive over jacket that is used for electric scoring in both Foil and Sabre.

Manchette
A cuff made of conductive material that saber fencers wear over a non-conductive glove cuff. This is used for the scoring systems to identify a hit to the forearm. 

Plastron
Also sometimes called an underarm protector; this is worn under your jacket on your sword arm and gives extra protection to the most commonly hit part of your target area.

Breeches
This is the name given to the short trousers worn to just below the knee.

Maraging
This is the name of the type of steel most commonly used in FIE weapons. FIE blades are tested to withstand a very high number of bending cycles so they break less often but are more expensive than standard blades.

Bodywire
This connects your electric weapon to the scoring apparatus and is worn under your jacket.