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Lets talk katanas!

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by Huntinfool, Aug 23, 2010.


  1. Huntinfool

    Huntinfool
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    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Or Samurai Swords if you will!

    I know there are many, many out there to choose from anywhere from 50 bucks to thousands of dollars.

    I'm interested in finding something of decent quality for a reasonable price. I'm somewhat open as far as how much basically I'm looking for education on these items.

    Anyone consider themselves knowledgable on Kantanas fill me in on who makes some reasonably priced but still good quality blade.

    ~HF~
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock
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    What are you planning to do with one? Training begins with a wooden sword.

    As a beginner, you will not work with a live sword. How much is your budget? The higher price goes into the quality of steel, level of ornaments, and work going into a scabbard. The highest level of quality comes from Howard Clark, whose unfinished blades cost about $5k. A finished sword is in the $12k range. These tools require great respect since an error is deadly. They must be cared for since they can rust easily.

    http://www.swordsoftheeast.com/theanatomyofajapanesekatana.aspx


    http://www.handmadesword.com/forging.html

    Here is a company that has a wide variety to review.

    http://www.handmadesword.com/

    I bought my Katana locally.

    Wilkinson Swords out of Germany make high quality swords but they run in the $2k range.

    Paul Chen makes various levels of swords but the Practical Series is a solid value for swords. The Practical Plus is a good starting point around $250.

    There are many makes but a high carbon, hand forged folded sword is a solid start. The core is flexible and the blade is stiff and sharp. It should have a full tang. Anything less is of dubious quality.
     

    #2 CDR_Glock, Aug 23, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  3. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock
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  4. ronin.45

    ronin.45
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    Stay away from anything cheap. They are for decoration only. If you want anything to actually use you will spend at least a few hundred. You can decide if you want to go with a traditional tomahagane, folded steel, or a solid high carbon blade. Cold steel makes some functional swords. Also look at Paul Chen's higher quality stuff and Bugei Trading Company.
     
    #4 ronin.45, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  5. Huntinfool

    Huntinfool
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    Yelp, I been lookin' at most of what you guys listed. I found part of them by google and the SBG is giving me some education of what to look for.

    CDR you say you bought yours locally is there a bladesmith in the neighborhood or did you just find one?

    I'd love to have one the high dollar blades but in reality I'll probably settle for something between $300 and $1500 maybe even $2000.

    I just want to have one I'm not going to train to be a master swordsman or anything. But I don't want a stainless steel piece of junk just to display on the mantle.

    I'll probably settle for a functional but not fancy blade. I do want something that will sharpen up to be dangerous. LOL!

    Thanks for the info.

    ~HF~
     
  6. ancient_serpent

    ancient_serpent
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    I have a hand forged, folded steel blade that I rarely use. It's a thing of beauty, and I probably paid too much for it, but still. Has a good, distinctive hamon and the balance is just right.
    For mat cutting, I bought a Cold Steel Warrior Katana. It's a touch blade heavy, but not bad at all for the price. It has has a decent edge (being a zero grind, and not an angled edge) and is full tang. The furniture is attractive and very durable.
    All that being said, get some training swords first and then some training, if you've not already done so. Thousands of years old or not, these are potentially extremely dangerous objects and require training, same as a firearm.
    Hope that didn't come across as preachy!
     
    #6 ancient_serpent, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  7. CDR_Glock

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    1) I was actually looking on Gun Auction sites and bought a Paul Chen Practical Plus Katana from a guy locally for $130 (it retails for $400 but most sites sell them for as low as $220 to as high as $280). It weighs two pounds and is comprised of hand forged folded High Carbon Steel. For $130, I have a real fighting sword with a HRC60 edge, HRC40 back. The hardness is the same across all of their lines. The ray skin is real (white part under the weave). For me, it looks great, it is razor sharp and can be used for fighting - that is all I need and for $130 ($400 MSRP), it's all I need.

    As you go up in the Paul Chen hierarchy, the scabbards are polished and lacquered/glossy with more intricate Tsubas (guards) and oranamental accessories.

    -If you want a higher end sword with a higher price, the L6 Steel is as good as it gets and this one is made by Paul Chen for $1000+:

    http://www.swordsofmight.com/paulchenl6bainiteonikatana.aspx

    -If cost is no issue, then I would recommend Howard Clark L6 Katana "Japanese Style" sword for $12k ++++:

    http://swordforum.com/summer99/howardclark.html

    -You can go to a higher grade steel like 1065 high-carbon, 1090 High Carbon or K120C powder steel blade, if you don't "need" an L6.

    2) Stainless steel is strictly ornamental. Most fighting swords (katanas) are about 2 lbs.

    3) Cold Steel is an excellent company that makes a strong fighting sword that already comes sharpened. They even sell double edged swords but I don't recommend them unless you know what you are doing (I use the dull side of my own sword to resheath the sword which cannot be done with a double edge). Even experts have cut their tendons and have had cuts to the bone with single sided swords. Cold Steel Swords are the heaviest but that is a disadvantage if you are working on working on your speed/technique.

    4) For your purpose, which is EXACTLY like mine, a Practical Series Paul Chen will serve your purpose. The money you save you can use on a new pistol. A pistol in my hands will still win against a sword.
     
    #7 CDR_Glock, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  8. Huntinfool

    Huntinfool
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    Hey Thanks CDR.

    I've been studying up on the subject read last night till my eyes hurt! LOL!

    I was thinking about getting custom built sword from SBG. At least that way I could get the colors and other personal things I like. Sounds like a good entry level sword for $333 bucks.

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

    http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/custom-made-swords.html

    ~HF~
     
  9. CDR_Glock

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    It looks like a great sword for the price point. I would recommend reading up on the company who makes it. The problem with custom swords made by a lesser known company is the resale value. As long as there is more than one person reviewing the sword, you're ok.

    Blade Forums is an excellent resource, as is jerzeedevil forums for swords.

    Also research the BBB on the company who makes the sword. Most swords are made in China and Europe.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  10. 357ruger

    357ruger
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    I have several cold steel warrior series katanas and think the chisa katana is a very good length.All came sharp out of the box and seem very well made.I think you can still get $50.00 off your first order from Poor Fish website and free shipping.
     
  11. Huntinfool

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    This place is more than 50 dollars cheaper than Poor Fish.

    http://www.trueswords.com/cold-steel-battle-ready-warrior-katana-88bkw-p-1949.html

    ~HF~
     
  12. CDR_Glock

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  13. Lotiki

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    That cold steel katana is a huge POS, dont waste your money.

    Musashi swords has a great line of differentially hardened katanas right now for less then 100$.

    Before you pooh pooh it away because of the low price, this sword is constantly voted the best entry level kaatna on the market by Sword-buyers-guide. I have 2 and they are easily the best handling and best cutting swords in my collection. They are easily the lowest cost swords to offer actual differential hardening , resulting in a real and beautiful hamon (temper line). They have the traditional "teardrop" cross section and come razor sharp ( And I mean friggin SHARP! IF a razor needed to shave, it would use this sword) in 1060 high carbon steel. These features are missing from most of the pricier swords above.

    Pics of one of mine;
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, you can pick them up at Trueswords.com for less then 80 bucks right now.
    http://www.trueswords.com/musashi-by-price-60-to-99.99.html
     
    #13 Lotiki, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  14. Huntinfool

    Huntinfool
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    I read it, man there is so much to learn about this stuff! LOL!

    I like the Masashi Bamboo Lotiki is referring too.

    But I like this one better... Musashi - Kobuse Folded - San Mai Handmade Sword - Harmony for $350.00! Any comments on this one.

    http://www.trueswords.com/musashi-kobuse-folded-handmade-sword-harmony-p-4734.html

    What can I say I have Champagne taste and a beer budget! LOL!

    Of course I don't really need the real high dollar swords $1,000.00 to $12,000.00. That would be ridiculous but $350 I can handle.

    I will probably only buy one sword (I hope) for now so I'm going to sleep on it for a while and research some more before I drop my dimes!

    Keep the posts coming guys.

    Thanks,
    ~HF~
     
  15. CDR_Glock

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    Very nice! I did not see a weight. How much does it weigh? I'd get it. Good price for a nice sword. No need to go over the top.
     
  16. Huntinfool

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    I couldn't find the weight it might be a little heavy. It doesn't appear to have a Bo-Hi blade the main thing is it's folded two types of metal and it's a little harder. 57/40 compared to just straight 55 on the Bamboo Warrior.

    Hardness is the only thing that kept the $80.00 Musashi Bamboo Warrior from getting a 4 or 5 star rating on SBG! I might be better off with the cheaper one as I don't plan on abusing the blade at all.

    Not sure which way to go! I'll finger it out! LOL!

    ~HF~
     
  17. Magnus2131

    Magnus2131
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    I've had a couple cheap ones for some time now just for show.
    First one is a Furubushidoo handmade folded Katana.
    Second is a Masahiro MA-008
    I'd like to get a better one some time.
     
  18. Magnus2131

    Magnus2131
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  19. 357ruger

    357ruger
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    I bought the Cold Steel because they seemed a little more sturdy from the thicker blade.Wanted something that could take abuse if need be and not looking for a beautiful blade with hamon.I wouldn't exactly call them a huge POS.The one's you listed look very nice and might be tempted to order one for that price.Still think the CS will hold up better if you had to beat the h** out of it.Like one article said,they're just overbuilt choppers.ETA-to what Lotiki said.
     
    #19 357ruger, Aug 26, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  20. Huntinfool

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    Looks like a great start to me!

    ~HF~