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Thread: 1095 folded Kaneie sword art katana

  1. #1
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    1095 folded Kaneie sword art katana

    Hey guys,

    I'm currently looking for a nice traditional made katana with a hada, hamon and not a 10.000 dollar price tag. For display purposes and light cutting only.

    So, I dug into the sites in my area (Holland/europe). So I came across this one. It's listed as a katana from Kaneie Sword art, specs are (pasted from site):
    Overall length: 100,5 cm
    Nagasa/Blade Length: 72,5 cm
    Tsuka: 28 cm
    Weight:1260 gram
    High-Carbon steel (1095)
    Handforged and folded
    Swordbag
    Fully disassembled
    Certificate

    Since I'm only beginning to learn about all the subtle differences that the forging, polishing and fittings have. I would like your opinion about this sword. (link to the site is:http://www.katana-samurai-sword.com/...rts-p-563.html).

    I'm not entirely sure that a 1095 steel sword( which is generally more labor expensive/costly to make), being forged, tempered and hand polished, could cost 500 euro's.

    The next options which I really like are the Bushido katana from PC, or a Bugei blade (Old pine). But I don't have the world to spend and my budget won't stretch more than 1100 euro's.

    Thanks for your input!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    The price seems a bit too low indeed and I don't like the fittings and the fact that there are no closeups of the blade. Kaneie is a decent new company based in China with dealers in the US and the EU. It seems that they have overexpanded lately though.

  3. #3
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    Hello...

    Now, you might not like what I am about to say, but let me say first that I do understand your need for as much authenticity that you can possibly afford... But...

    Looking for a hada in a non-nihonto, mass-produced katana is futile, and definitely will not, ever, bring you even close to the hada of the nihonto... Not even close... And it is only normal, since not only is the material different, but the way it is done and the attention to detail is very, very different...

    The mass-produced katana that starts with homogeneous steel can only, in an attempt for a quick'n'dirty hada-like appearance, end up structurally weaker that at the beginning... While a nihonto made from traditional tamahagane requires folding, with hada as a result, to make the material better and more suitable for it's task...

    That said, you will pay more for a folded mass-produced katana, and in reality will not be any closer to the appearance of a real nihonto than the non-folded mass-produced katana... It will be folded, but it will be very different from a nihonto... IMHO, it's not worth it...

    Now, for app. 1100 Eur, you can commission a custom katana made by the Czech smith Pavel Bolf (26000,00 CZK is about 1100 EUR)...
    http://www.jswords.com/EN/cenik.php
    That is for a 'sunobe' blade, homogeneous modern steel, no folding included...

    But, as I said, mass-produced folded blades are just more expensive, and no where near the nihonto's hada... Mr. Bolf offers a folded katana for app. 2900 EUR that will be closer to the look of the nihonto, but still, not the same... With oroshingane and for about 3500 EUR the katana will still look closer to the nihonto, but not the same...

    So, why not commission a custom katana, with your specs, and maybe even pick it up yourself from the smith... Make an heirloom out of it, give it soul... Mass-produced stuff will always be just... stuff...

    Just m humble 5 Euro-cents...

  4. #4
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    Having shared my opinion on the original question in a PM, I must comment that even a folded mass producted blade is by far closer in appearance to a nihonto than any monosteel blade regardless of how well it is forged, although close resemblance to a nihonto is not a prerequisite here. Japanese swords were made historicaly using and other (imported steels) than tamahagane like wootz or nanban tetsu and sometimes without folding. Not to mention that "traditional" is a term interpreted freely.

    Although a maru (monosteel) blade by Pavel Bolf is a nice choice overall (with the exception of his koshirae which is rather crude for my taste), it has nothing of a "traditional" look and for 3.500 EUR (3 times up his budget) he can get an actual nihonto and not an oroshigane modern reproduction.

    Although folding can potentialy be structural weakening for a blade, just like a badly executed lamination, a renown company like hanwei (and bugei which uses hanwei blades) is a quarantee of a quality forging and a more traditional-like appearance. Getting a folded blade by any low quality chinese company is a quarantee for all those mr Samija wrote.

    In the end it is all about money, needs, tastes and the balance of them.
    Daring beyond power, risking against prudent advice and optimists in danger...
    Thucydides

  5. #5
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    You can look at Red Dragonfly Sword Art: http://www.red-dragonfly-sword.com/index.php
    There should be a review about them on here, they are suppose to have good service, and you can customize the koshirae on the sword you order.

    Their "tamahagane" swords range from around 1,250(one is onsale)-2,900 USD. Most of them are priced at 1,700.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Coris View Post
    Having shared my opinion on the original question in a PM, I must comment that even a folded mass producted blade is by far closer in appearance to a nihonto than any monosteel blade regardless of how well it is forged....
    I would not agree... Some custom modern katana by western smiths made from modern steel have attributes and artifacts in the steel that look sometimes very similar to tamahagane-folded nihonto... The folding done by mass-production companies produces something entirely different, not only because how it is folded, but also how it is polished...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Coris View Post
    Although a maru (monosteel) blade by Pavel Bolf is a nice choice overall (with the exception of his koshirae which is rather crude for my taste), it has nothing of a "traditional" look and for 3.500 EUR (3 times up his budget) he can get an actual nihonto and not an oroshigane modern reproduction.
    Yes, I would also say that folded katana from Pavel Bolf would not be my cup of tea, weather with or without oroshigane. However, the folding is done by hand, as a custom job, and thus probably with less chance of any problems due to the folding process. And, his koshirae can be much better that can be seen at the moment, on his old web site there was a gallery with some beautifully executed koshirae...

    But, buying a decent quality nihonto, antique or newly-made, from a reputable dealer for 3500 EUR might be very hard, although not impossible...To illustrate, there is an antique in shirasaya for 2700 EUR, with an old polish partially polished anew to remove light rust spots, rather short, and any buyer should consider the cost of the full koshirae and maybe a full polish by a reputable togishi...
    http://www.ksky.ne.jp./~sumie99/sword30.html

    As an alternative, there is a newly-made fully mounted katana that is not considered top quality for a nihonto, with a mediocre polish and koshirae, but the cost is 4500 EUR... So, no extra costs for koshirae or polish, but... I believe it has been posted long ago, so maybe there would be some room for haggling...
    http://www.ksky.ne.jp./~sumie99/sword13.html

    Or, you can buy a freshly-made bare blade, and than get it mounted (but it will cost you), maybe something like this for 5400 EUR (discounted )...
    http://www.ksky.ne.jp./~sumie99/ns3.html

    There are other reputable nihonto dealers, other offers, but I must also point out that, especially with antiques, we should be careful not to ruin them by not properly caring for them, or by any intervention from non-specialized people... If we own a nihonto, we should regard ourselves as custodians of that nihonto, not just owners... It is not a 'cheap sport', so to say... That is why I personally prefer modern mono-steel and western smiths...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Coris View Post
    Although folding can potentialy be structural weakening for a blade, just like a badly executed lamination, a renown company like hanwei (and bugei which uses hanwei blades) is a quarantee of a quality forging and a more traditional-like appearance. Getting a folded blade by any low quality chinese company is a quarantee for all those mr Samija wrote.

    In the end it is all about money, needs, tastes and the balance of them.
    Yes, a reputable company will be a guarantee, up to a point, of a job well done... But, I must ask, what is the attraction of folded mass-produced blades...? Their 'hada' is really not even close to the nihonto norm, or visual appearance. And yes, the folding doesn't have to weaken the blade, but is totally unnecessary for modern steel... And yes, you do get a pattern to show, sort of, but nothing that is close to a nihonto...


    And in the end, of course, as with everything in life, I would agree that it is all about money, needs, tastes and the balance of them.

    Take care and God bless.

  7. #7
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    @ Hrvoje Samija

    Your honesty is certainly appreciated. Thing is that I am actually looking for a production sword and not a nihonto. I know that I won't be able to buy a real nihonto for the next decade or so, since that's when I'm hoping to earn the big bucks . So the heirloom is, I hope, a real nihonto with my specs in 10 years time.

    My current idea of being traditionally made is not to have a massive machine spit out large amounts of swords by the hour, like those sub 100$ katana's. I just thought it would be a good deal for the money if it has all the specs stated on the site.

    I have also asked for a few clear pictures of the hamon and hada from the owner of the shop, I'm waiting for a reply.
    Last edited by B.Hazemeijer; 10-27-2010 at 04:04 AM.

  8. #8
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    In fact I think mr Samija and I agree that nihonto although by far more expensive have more to offer. Logical. You get what you pay for.

    Modern smiths and monosteel blades although performance wise might be by far better than any production sword, they still have little to no activity compared to a folded production blade.

    I personaly have shifted my interests to custom made for martial arts use (waiting for my first Rick Barret) and nihonto for appreciation. But I can afford it and nevertheless have already decided to keep a small part of my previous collection for practical use selling the rest in order to be able to fund my new interests.

    I don't know if it means anyhing, but I have kept so far a kaneie 1095 daisho, a DF trifolded and 2 bushido, which interest mr Hazemeijer) planning to hold on to the DF and one of the bushidos.

    It's all a matter of money after all
    Daring beyond power, risking against prudent advice and optimists in danger...
    Thucydides

  9. #9
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    I'll catch a great deal of flack for this but..

    ..personally I think antique Japanese tamahagane blades are garbage if you plan to use them.Granted there were some master smiths who created incredibly beautiful artifacts.They should be cared for cherished,stored properly and perserved.
    But most blades were mass produced during wartime and by now are tired shadows of what they once were.Tamahagane was a very poor source for iron.(iron bearing sand,dredged from rivers!)Being volcanic islands,the Japanese being industrious had to use what they had at hand,There were no thick viens of iron ore running up the side of a cliff like we have here in Connecticut.Hell,you can see the rust running down over the quartz and granite staining these cliff faces as you drive by.
    The very nature of creating hada is a by product of trying to create a Homogenous steel.They did the best they could.But lurking just below that pretty exterior may be a blister or grain opening waiting to be brought to light during the next polish.No thanks.
    Not my cup of tea.I started with production blades,destroyed a bunch while learning and on purpose and have moved to American custom work.I want to count on my blades during use.And as for Japanese Custom,they are so expensive because of the restrictions put on the smiths.The market is controlled just like DeBeers controls the Diamond market.These things are just pieces of steel,just as diamonds are pretty rocks,if shaped correctly.The 'value' is created and manipulated.
    It's nice that the Japanese Smiths are keeping the tradition alive but they must work under strick imposed guidelines(most have to make steak knives to even survive!),The Americans don't.They have the freedom to make whatever the hell they want.I'd pit my American made ,Homogenous steel against a Japanese (new) blade any day of the week as far as use as a weapon.Go ahead and bend a brand new traditionally made Japanese tamahagane blade across your knee before it takes a set.Do the same with a good American blade.I rest my case.

  10. #10
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    Although new modern steels are good and take abuse, a good pick of tamahagane by a master Japanese smith with dense tight hada could produce the same effects. But you are right Tom As many Japanese swords became inferior as time went on as they became mass produced for war efforts. Much information to this is noted that after the koto era the quality going into the middle shinto era became less. As many sword making centers flourished so much production was made that many were breaking on the battle field. But we can not forget that the modern sword movement would have never came if it were not for the original japanese swords created. In any case they were experimenting with new metals when trade opened and if others steels were available earlier who knows what the Japanese smiths could have produced.

  11. #11
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    Hey guys,

    I've received a reply with pictures. They look actually pretty good. It's not near a nihonto hada, but it does look beautiful (see attachment). And for the money with those specs, what do you guys think
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by B.Hazemeijer; 10-28-2010 at 04:44 AM.

  12. #12
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    I missed the part about...

    ...what you are spending on this blade but from what I gather, this is an affordable blade so that you can save for a Nihonto later?
    Judging from the pics,it looks like a nice Chinese forge folded blade,with a acid ectched finish and a machine polish.Don't get me wrong,I have no problem with acid etching a blade,and is a part of how I do my own Hybrid polishing.Acid etching is not a bad thing if done correctly.
    The machine polish evidence is most apparent looking down the length of the blade in the bo-hi.See the wobbles?
    I hate to dis-illusion you guys but almost all of these 'New" forges springing up in China are all basically the same forge with different wrapping.Namely Huano forge,with Fred Chen behind all of them.They are all blades made in the same place with different store fronts and websites.
    However,I do think it is kind of cool that I can sit here and have a 'conversation' relating to swords with enthusists from all over the world thanks to SFI.
    I'm old school, not a fan of Facebook or all the rest of the new tech coming out.I'm an old man: (46 yrs old) who remembers the good 'ol days when there were no cell phones,hell not even calculators,but I do like this tecnology...!
    Nice talkin' to y'all...

  13. #13
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    You get what you pay for tom and for 500 EUR it's not that bad a deal...

    PS I like it too when there were no cell phones but there was no internet as well...
    Daring beyond power, risking against prudent advice and optimists in danger...
    Thucydides

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom geusz View Post
    ...what you are spending on this blade but from what I gather, this is an affordable blade so that you can save for a Nihonto later?
    Judging from the pics,it looks like a nice Chinese forge folded blade,with a acid ectched finish and a machine polish.Don't get me wrong,I have no problem with acid etching a blade,and is a part of how I do my own Hybrid polishing.Acid etching is not a bad thing if done correctly.
    The machine polish evidence is most apparent looking down the length of the blade in the bo-hi.See the wobbles?
    I hate to dis-illusion you guys but almost all of these 'New" forges springing up in China are all basically the same forge with different wrapping.Namely Huano forge,with Fred Chen behind all of them.They are all blades made in the same place with different store fronts and websites.
    However,I do think it is kind of cool that I can sit here and have a 'conversation' relating to swords with enthusists from all over the world thanks to SFI.
    I'm old school, not a fan of Facebook or all the rest of the new tech coming out.I'm an old man: (46 yrs old) who remembers the good 'ol days when there were no cell phones,hell not even calculators,but I do like this tecnology...!
    Nice talkin' to y'all...
    The cost of this blade would be about 499 euro's, almost all the other blades that I've seen in this category would be at least 100 bucks more. I know I said earlier that I'm willing to spend up to 1100 euro's, this is certainly true, but with the crisis and being a student, less money is better at the moment.

    Indeed, I am looking in the long term for a nice Nihonto. But I think this would be a great place to start en learn from this blade (to take good care of it, it's characteristics etc.). Sword appraisal 101 you could say :P


    *update*

    I've ordered the katana, for a very nice price I might add, with some extras like oil/maintenance kit. As soon as I've got it, I will post a review of the blade.
    Last edited by B.Hazemeijer; 10-28-2010 at 12:40 PM.
    Rise and rise again

  15. #15
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    Hey, don't get me wrong..

    I wasn't bashing your sword.I was under the impression that this blade cost a lot more and that the point being made is that the blade you bought is as good as a modern Nihonto with out spending the big,big bucks.
    My misunderstanding,I apologize.
    I started out collecting all manner of production stuff because I couldn't yet afford a Custom American or high end production blade.I wanted to learn how to mount my own stuff and these early models are what I bought and practiced on..Have fun with her!
    And John,that's the point I was making at the end of my first post.Namely because of all this high tech stuff,we can all sit comfortably at home and literally have a chat about swords amongst people from all over the world who all share the same interests(or illness,which ever you prefer!)
    Thanks guys.

  16. #16
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    Tom, we agree in general. I should have figured out the misunderstanding as well as your point. My apologies
    Daring beyond power, risking against prudent advice and optimists in danger...
    Thucydides

  17. #17
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    I know you were just giving your honest opinion, and you've pointed some things out that I did not see. So I even learned something from it.

    Maybe it's my fault in the intro of the thread to make a comparison to a nihonto. But as I said, the only thing you can get from posting here is a great learning experience.

    I expect the blade to be in my possession somewhere this/next week. I'll review it when I got some time on my hands.

    Thanks for your input!
    Rise and rise again

  18. #18
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    Now, here is a last part of a very interesting post about damascus steel in antique nihonto, but it touches very nicely the subject I was talking about... I hope the original poster doesn't mind me using his words to clarify mine...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Wallace View Post
    ...snip...
    The Japanese process involved doubling and drawing out the steel until it consisted of a very large number of very thin laminations of what was virtually the same steel. Perfection in the work seems to have consisted of making the layers practically invisible. In the modern pseudo-damascus two different types of steel are often used, of quite contrasting colour or texture. It amazes me, sometimes, to see that plenty of people believe this can give as good physical properties as a well-chosen homogeneous blade steel. Even the Viking and Celtic pattern-welding situated the edge in the harder of the steels used. But even if modern "damascus"starts that way, it may be the opposite after sharpening.

  19. #19
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    While waiting for the shipment to arrive, I was looking for other sites who were listing this sword in their catalogue. After some time I've found this one: http://www.kaneiesword.cn/?product-132.html . While most of the site is obscure to me, because I don't know any Chinese, I was able to make out that the price at which it is listed (7580.00 Yuan) is in fact 850 euro's! Which made me a happy man, considering I bought it for a considerable less amount of money (less then 500 euro's).

    It also has a few nice pictures on it, so if you're interested how the sword looks there's a sneak peak. The hamon doesn't look etched or fate to me (but I'm not the best person to tell).

    Enjoy, I'll review the blade as soon as I get the opportunity.
    Rise and rise again

  20. #20
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    Hey guys,

    I've got the sword, and the blade is beautifull, just what I wanted. Because of my exams and some problems in the family, it will take some time before I can post the review.

    But in short, the dealer was great, quick replies and very personal service. I think the blade has been tested, I don't know if this is done regularly, but mine had a few scratches at the point were most cutting is done. But to be fair it the blade was displayed way beyond the normal price for this katana (see above for chinese dealer site).

    I'll do the review when I have the time!
    Rise and rise again

  21. #21
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    Nice.

    I hope you can solve those personal problems with big hassle, and then be able to do a review on your new katana.

    As for those scratches... doesn't seem to normal to have them, post some pictures of that on the review.

    By the way... having a katana becomes somewhat addictive no ? heheh

  22. #22
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    It definitely does

    Unfortunately, I don't think I have much time to spare until the holidays, so the review is certainly comming, but having 2 jobs, a study and a problems at home takes up a bit too much time to properly review the blade

    Take care and the review wil be done soon!
    Rise and rise again

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