Many of the major custom saber manufacturers only sell their lightsabers with the blade and few companies offer the option to remove the blade from your order. There are a few exceptions. Generally, if you purchase an empty hilt–a hilt without any electronics–a blade will not be included. In fact, I’ve never purchased an empty lightsaber hilt that included a blade.
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Etsy custom sabers, stands, accessories
Amazon Hasbro Ahsoka Tano Force FX Elite Lightsaber
Ultrasabers includes a blade with all of their functioning (non-empty hilt) lightsabers EXCEPT Grab Bag Sabers. Ultrasabers allows buyers to remove the blade from a Grab Bag Saber order to save $15.
It’s nice to have the option to remove the lightsaber blade from your order for several reasons. You may already have plenty of blades at home, so you don’t need one more. Maybe you prefer the quality or style of a lightsaber blade from a different saber manufacturer. Maybe you want to decrease the size and weight of the shipment to save money on shipping (this especially matters with international orders!). Maybe you want to lower the cost of your order by $10 or $15 or so.
Both Sabertrio (Malaysia) [Etsy AFFILIATE LINK] and Electrum Sabercrafts (Canada) allow buyers to remove the blade from the order, which both decreases the cost of the order and decreases the shipping price. Decreasing shipping costs to buyers is critical to both companies since a large number of their buyers are located internationally in the United States and Europe.
If Ultrasabers and Saberforge, both located in the United States, allowed people to purchase their lightsabers without the blade, their prices could be more attractive to international buyers.
Why do many custom saber companies include a blade? Most first time buyers require a blade and including one with the saber hilt is convenient for the buyer and allows a buyer to wield the lightsaber right out of the box. Also the materials cost of lightsaber blades, which are typically made out of polycarbonate tubing, is low and the markup and profit margin are quite high.
Notably, if you see lightsabers being sold secondhand on sites like eBay [affiliate link] or in different lightsaber forums or groups, many sellers will list a lightsaber without the blade, probably because it’s cheaper and easier to ship that way. Go figure.