There are three main types of lightsaber hilts including: factory hilts, modular hilts and finally true custom hilts. The types of hilts are not necessarily mutually exclusive and could all overlap with each other, to a certain extent.
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Factory hilts are mass produced hilts. Some popular licensed examples of factory hilts include the Star Wars: The Black Series Force FX lightsabers or Disney Parks Exclusive Lightsabers. Ultrasabers also produces many factory hilts, like the Dark Sentinel V4 shown in this article and shown in the accompanying video. Some readers will see the Dark Sentinel V4 and say, “Hey, I have the exact saber hilt model!”. In fact, viewer Daniel Patterson wrote in the YouTube video’s comments section, “OMG…I have a Dark Sentinel V4! I’m a statistic!”.
A factory hilt includes several subcategories: empty hilts, static hilts, stunt sabers (no sound), and sound sabers.
Modular hilts are hilts comprised of different ready made components that can fit together. Modular hilts allow a person to assemble their own saber hilt using their own preferred combination of prefabricated parts. For example, you can select your own pommel, body and emitter for your lightsaber hilt. You just pick your favorite pieces, put them together and voila you have a lightsaber.
The most famous modular hilt system, oddly enough, is called the Modular Hilt System (MHS) by The Custom Saber Shop. Modular Hilt System is a highly established and popular system. A few years ago, Saberforge also unveiled its own modular system called Adaptive Saber Parts (ASP). ASP is not nearly as popular as MHS. Additionally, Hampton’s Handcrafted LED Saber (HHCLS) has as modular system in development.
TRUE CUSTOM HILTS
True custom sabers are unique sabers. They are handmade and there’s often a certain level of craftsmanship behind them. True custom sabers are artisan sabers that may feature personalized elements and high levels of detail.
The term ‘custom saber’ is tossed around a bit freely these days. For example, a lot of people will say that Ultrasabers sells custom sabers. Ultrasabers lightsaber are custom sabers in the sense that they’re not officially licensed by Disney, but a true custom saber is arguable one that’s handmade and unique.
FOUND PARTS HILTS (Bonus Hilt Type)
Found parts hilts don’t really fit neatly into the other three categories of lightsaber hilts. Found parts hilts are lightsaber hilts made out salvaged or scrap parts from around the house or garage or from a home improvement store. A found parts hilt could be a one-off design or a hilt sold in multiple quantities. Etsy seller Salt Lake Saber Co produces and sells many ‘found parts’ hilts.
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I used this FX-Sabers thread by Sanjuro as a starting point for the video (although I incorporated my own ideas as well):