About Custom Lightsabers

I build custom lightsabers in a variety of different ways. It can be as simple as buying a piece of sink tube from a hardware store, installing an LED, switch, and battery pack, and calling it a day; or as complex as using high-quality aluminum parts from thecustomsabershop.com, cutting custom parts out of aluminum, painting, engraving, and everything in between. A custom saber can run anywhere from $40 to over $350, depending on the parts used, the complexity of the design, and the type of sound board used. Let me break down what essentially makes up the saber:

The Body

The body, or hilt, of a saber is made up of three or more parts, but always includes an emitter, or blade holder, a main body, and an endcap, or pommel. A simple saber can have all three of these components made from sink tube or even PVC pipe. A more complex saber can be made up of more parts. I encourage anyone interested to play around with the MHS Builder tool on thecustomsabershop.com, as it is a great resource to envision saber designs and to find out what is physically and economically feasible. A hilt can also feature overlays, or shrouds, which are custom-cut pieces of aluminum or sink tube that slide over the main body to give a layered appearance to the saber. For a better idea of what this looks like, visit the photo gallery.


The LED is what will supply light to your blade. I use high-power Luxeon or Seoul P4 LEDs, each of which provides enough power to fully illuminate a three-foot blade, and do so more brightly than the 64 LEDs found in Force FX lightsabers. The LED is stored securely inside the hilt which means it won't get damaged during battles or routines, and also means that the blade is fully removable, if you want your saber on display or if you intend to wear it with a costume.

Accent LEDs are also an option. These are smaller, low-power LEDs that are used to adorn the hilt. They can serve as power indicators, and can also be used to illuminate crystal chambers and pommels (again, for examples of these, visit the photo gallery).

The Battery Pack

The battery pack supplies power to the saber. Most often, it will be accessed by removing the pommel, and sliding the battery pack out. Most basic setups will have 4AAA battery packs, though some sound boards function better with higher-power rechargeable batteries.

The Sound Board

The sound board is an optional piece of the saber that supplies sound effects to your saber. There are a number of boards available on the market in a variety of prices. I'll list them out here in increasing order of price:

Economy Hasbro Sound Board ($22): These boards are taken from the cheap, telescoping sabers you see at Target or Wal-mart. They feature power-up and power-down sounds, as well as swing and clash sound. There is also a flicker effect when the clash sensor activates, which causes the blade to blink on and off rapidly. Unfortunately, these boards cannot support Accent LEDs.

Force FX Sound Board ($35-$50): These boards are taken from the higher-end Hasbro or Master Replicas FX lightsabers. They have crisper sounds than the cheaper alternative and come in two flavors: Jedi and Sith. They can also support multiple accent LEDs for use in crystal chambers and pommels.

Ultrasound Boards ($60-$100): These boards, in my opinion, provide the most bang for your buck. They are easy to install, feature over ten individual sound effects, as well as support for several accent LEDs. One such LED will serve as an indicator and will blink once every few seconds to indicate the board is getting power. The blade has five programmable flicker frequencies. In addition, one push of the switch activates a blade-lockup/cutting through metal noise unique to this sound board. Price depends on availability, as these are becoming harder to find.

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