Fencing weapons and kit literally gets quite a beating. To keep weapons light and sensitive to hits means some components are very small and take less kindly to this treatment and even less to bad treatment!
See Sword Cuts for some hints and tips on fault finding and caring for your equipment but if it comes to the crunch then you will have to ask an Armourer to look at the problem. Most often it just requires the point to be disassembled, cleaned and the grub screws replaced. Occasionally a spring and point too if they are worn.
A loose handle can also cause electrical faults as the system relies on a series of dry joints (ie contact only) especially in the guard/handle.
At worst they will need a rewire. This is much cheaper than a new blade which, as of Feb 2013, start at £29 and go to £105! If you already have a good blade (see an up coming Sword Cuts item about blades) a rewire is also an opportunity to fit a new Leon Paul Titanium Nitride (TiN) point which are much harder and, it is claimed, smoother in operation. Or perhaps you would prefer an Allstar German point which are claimed to be more reliable and more sensitive?
Armourers can also advise on and change handle types including conversions from French to crosse or pistol grips, repair bodywires, replace bent bayonet sockets and fit lamé bibs to older masks as required for most foil competitions.
At Blackheath, armoury services are provided by the Club Armourer, Andrew Nisbet, Coach Alan Grafton and member/coach Gary Whelan. Have a word with each for free advice and to get a quote!