Lightsaber Hilt Kit vs Empty Hilt: What’s the Difference

Empty lightsaber hilt kits and hilts are more versatile and affordable than lightsabers installed with electronics. Some lightsaber enthusiasts get an empty hilt or an empty hilt kit for a static display piece or cosplay accessory. Others get an empty hilt or empty hilt kit in order to install electronics or commission a sabersmith to install electronics in the hilt. Let’s compare the features and benefits of empty lightsaber hilts and empty lightsaber hilt kits.

Empty Lightasber Hilt Kit
A lightsaber hilt kit contains many of the necessary components to complete the external look of the hilt. Hilt kits DO NOT arrive assembled and require assembly by the end user. A hilt kit does not typically include internal electronics (speaker, sound module, wiring, etc). An empty hilt kit may occasionally include a heat sink, tactile switches, or other electronics install related components.


Some hilt kits, like some Korbanth Sabers hilt kits, may include extra pieces so that the buyer can configure the hilt in different ways. For example, Korbanth Graflex 2.5 includes grips, clamps, and other components so that a lightsaber enthusiast can construct the kit into an ANH, ESB, TFA or TLJ configuration.

A lightsaber enthusiast may need to glue some of the pieces together during the assembly of an empty hilt kit.

Empty Lightsaber Hilt
An empty lightsaber hilt is an entirely assembled or mostly assembled lightsaber hilt without electronics. Many empty hilts make a fine display piece or cosplay piece right out of the box. Like hilt kits, an empty hilt may occasionally include a heat sink or other electronics install related components.

Some empty hilts feature open activation switch holes, though. An open switch hole may detract from the look of the hilt, if it’s intended for display or cosplay use, unless the hole is covered with a switch of some kind. Many Ultrasabers empty hilts feature an open AV switch hole or guarded switch hole, for example. Saberforge, by contrast, typically installs dummy switches on their lightsaber hilts to complete the look of the hilts. Before purchasing an empty hilt, make sure that you know whether the hilt will include an open switch hole.

Empty hilts rarely include extra pieces in order to configure the hilt in a different way. Empty hilts are typically designed to accommodate an electronics install as well.

In Summary
Both lightsaber hilt kits and empty hilts can be used for display pieces or cosplay accessories. Both lightsaber hilts kits and empty hilts can often be installed with electronics. The main difference between the two is the empty hilt is mostly assembled and ready or nearly ready to display out of the box. The hilt kit requires more assembly and may include more extra pieces.

COVER IMAGE: Korbanth Graflex 2.0 Hilt Kit (left) aynranfan Graflex 2.0 Empty Hilt assembled (right)

EMPTY SABER HILTS AND HILT KITS (DIY) CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS
List updated: 5/28/2019
7 Chambers (Facebook) United Kingdom
89 Sabers China
AtomSabers Spain [also on eBay]
aynranfan (eBay) United States
contehmorgan (eBay) United States found parts cosplay hilts 
The Custom Saber Shop United States
Dark Force Custom Sabers United States [also on eBay also on Etsy]
Force Relics Belgium [also on Etsy]
FutureSabersLLC (Etsy) United States
GreatLakesSaberCo (Etsy) United States
HighCouncilSabers (Etsy) United States
Illuminated Saber (Etsy) United States
Kaizen Sabers Canada
Korbanth United States
KR Sabers United Kingdom
Lazersabers United States
One Replicas (Etsy) United Kingdom [also on eBay]
Phoenix Props Germany
PropMakerFrance (Etsy) France
Roman Props United States
Saberforge United States [also on Etsy]
Salt Lake Saber Co (Etsy) United States
Solo’s Hold United States
Starfall Sabers (Etsy) United States
Ultrasabers United States
Ultimate Works Hong Kong
Volt1987 (Etsy) United Kingdom display prop hilts
WarSabers Russia
Watto’s Junkyard (Facebook) Germany

One comment

  1. Also Salt Lake sabers, Blair Maynes. He made a very nice steel empty that I’m experimenting with creating an interior. Old Jedi Jim.

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