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Thread: buyiaito/zhisword Review (many pictures)

  1. #1
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    Wink buyiaito/zhisword Review (many pictures)

    This is my first time here on this forum and is the first katana I bought.

    I went to this website called www.zhisword.com and then I got in touch with them to get further information about their sword's quality.
    I could see that they also had this amazing website called www.buyiaito.com, there you can customize your own sword, starting from $49 and up to whatever money can pay , anyway, I customized a $49 budget katana. If you take a look you will be able to customize quite a few things in budget, if you pay more, you will be able to customize more and more. I choose part by part based in my personal tastes. Ok, I know, tozando you can do that too, but zhisword have more cheap and I think you can customize more things, anyway is up to you.

    One warning when dealing with Zhisword is to use short phrases, and very easy english as sometimes they seems to be lost in translation.

    After I customized my sword I then bought it using paypal, very safe and secure. At first I was worried whether the company was trusteable or not so I shoot in the dark.
    First problem happened, they said were going to do the sword, then I asked if they saw the comments I put in my order and they didn't.

    They gave me an ETA of 2 weeks, one week after I paid they said was done, I was very impressed by how fast it was done. I requested them to do not send the sword to me unless they send me the pictures. And then they sent me, several pictures, I looked the pictures and saw one thing was wrong, my Tsuba was not the one I ordered, sent another mail, and they changed and shipped it to me. So the pictures you will see here with white background have the wrong tsuba, the pictures you see at my house have the tsuba i ordered.

    A little description of the sword:

    Blade Material: Medium Carbon Steel 1045
    Blade Length (Nagasa): 2.35 shaku (71.2cm)
    Bo-hi (Groove): Single Full Bohi
    Hamon: Mock Notare
    Hand Polishing: 8 stages traditional hand polished
    Hand Sharpening: blunt
    Saya: Dark red lacquer
    Sageo: Blue
    Sageo Tying Style: Full Sageo Wrap
    Seppa: Alloy Seppa
    Tsuka Length: 8.5 Sun (25.8 cm)
    Same'gawa (rayskin): Artificial White
    Menuki Placement: Common (right-hand)
    Mekugi: Bamboo Double
    Ito: Synthetic silk blue
    Tsuka Ito Style: Standard
    Mei Signature: My name in Chinese

    Either Yokote and hamon are fake, but is very well done for a fake yokote and hamon, I'm impressed.

    Everything on that list I chose by myself.

    After I bought it, the waiting process started. I bought on 05/14, they shipped to me 05/28. It took quite long as I was asking for more pictures and change of the Tsuka, but the sword was ready in one week. After that the sword got stuck in my country's customs for one month and then I got it. .

    I'm kinda impressed by its weight and performance, I feel safe when I do katas. So for sure, this company is well recomended and the price really worth it. The Tsuka was not hand maded but for the price I paid, it's really good, the material used in everything may last a lot of years if I take care of it, very well.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
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    Check the hamon and yokote on those pictures, you will see they did a good job, even though is fake.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  3. #3
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    The box they shipped is very good and the sword will endure the long trip. And I also ordered the cleaning kit.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  4. #4
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    ah, brings back memories.. how is Zhang doing?

    I'll comment more later, but first I'd like to know if you are actually using this sword for iaido (or other sword art), or is it just for display?
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  5. #5
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    Yeah, he is doing fine, the customer service is good, but sometimes they are not good in English, but it's ok.
    Before I buy I was reading several posts on the internet, I read all the posts about them here then I decided it was time to give them a try. Everybody I show is impressed, my sensei said "This sword was free, so amazing quality for such a good price? congratulations for it" And also my friend that is 2DAN in Iaido said the sword is really good, has nothing to complain about it.
    Yes, I'm using it for Iaido training.

  6. #6
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    The reason I'm asking because you wrote that the tsuka was not hand-made. ZhiSwords, like all mass production companies, use pre-made tsuka on the budget models and the nakago-fit ranges from poor to horrible. There is no way for you to know how yours is unless you take the sword apart, but I would advice you not to do that; instead keep a close eye on the mekugi, and if you notice any movement appearing to come from the inside of the tsuka stop immediately. Also, if the seppa and tsuba start to rattle around (assuming they don't rattle now?), it could be a sign that the tsuka-core has failed. I know because I have a zhi-iaito myself, and it's tsuka did fail.

    That said, you got what you paid for, Zhang's steel iaito are pretty good blades. I still prefer mine to my Japanese alloy iaito that cost me twice as much as the Zhi. They make great-looking fake hamon's (your hamon is fake, and the yokote is only cosmetic) too.
    Last edited by Timo Qvintus; 07-24-2011 at 02:02 PM. Reason: being more specific..
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  7. #7
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    Olá Ezequias!

    Vou responder em inglês já que estamos falando em um forum:

    I think Timo is right on his concern about cheap Iaito. Please be safe and check mekugi and tsuka.
    Find someone experienced that can unasamble the whole thing...
    The perfect fit of a blade and tsuka is not an easy thing, it´s a time consuming task and requires experince.

    But then again, you won´t know until you see the whole thing unpacked.
    Just my opinion!

  8. #8
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    So you guys are saying will not be a good idea to disassemble it?
    I just took it now, gave a lot of hits on the tsuka and I couldn't hear any noise, I was moving the sword and also I hit the tsuba and seppa to see if would rattle but it's very safe. After I post here about this sword, I took it to my dojo and 3 well experienced people saw it, did they tests, and they approved the sword. My sensei really liked of the good quality of it, but I will not be surprise and won't complain if something happen to the sword, like tsuka breaking, tsuba starts to rattle, I got for what I paid for.
    I will disassemble it in my next Iaido training, so then I will know more about it.
    Timo, what would you suggest me to do in order to test it for its quality?
    When did you buy your zhisword? How many zhi do you have? Do you think it might not be good for Iaido?

  9. #9
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    I would recommend against disassembly. It is quite possible that if the core wasn't damaged before that, it will be after you take it apart and put it back together again. If nothing feels loose now, then I suggest you leave it be and keep an eye on it when you use it. Unless you know someone who can make a new tsuka for you?

    I bought mine way back in 2006, and I've ordered a few more for friends. I know it is good for iaido (now that I made a new tsuka for it), my instructors have said they like it's balance.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the information, but I think from 2006 up to today maybe they got better in the art of making swords, tsukas etc...
    I will take the risk and take it apart, they also sell just the tsuka so if I see anything unusual happening I will order another, or my sensei can do one for me, he has working on a tsuka for 2 swords and said can do one for me in the case mine breaks or something.
    I agree, the balance of it is good.
    By the way, what do you mean by the core of Tsuka?

  11. #11
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    By "core" I'm referring to tsuka-shitaji, the wood itself.

    If your sensei is prepared to make you a new tsuka and you understand that you may have to be a long period without your sword, then go ahead. Please take pictures and post them here, I'm sure many (myself included) would like to see how Zhi's tsuka-cores are built these days, and if there's improvement over the old ones.

    Whatever you do, do NOT ever buy "just tsuka" from any place, it is going to be worse than your old one.
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  12. #12
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    After reading Timo´s post, I have mixed feelings about taking it apart...
    If it´s "about to break", it may break upon putting the tsuka back again. I did that to a Cold Steel sword once.

    On the other hand, Im not confortable using a sword I can not unasemble, but that´s me.

    It is good to know your sword got a positive review at your dojo.

  13. #13
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    Hi, Timu
    Thanks for the reply, I will take it apart and post here some pictures, so you will know if is good or not. You are right, I won't buy just the TSUKA, it might not fit or will be bad for my sword.

  14. #14
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    Wow, I'll say, for that price it's a great looking iaito. It's nice that finally, someone out there is mass producing a decent carbon steel iaito. A few years back I couldn't find any, other than Cheness. I bought one from SwordnArmory about a year ago, a Munetoshi brand, and it's actually awesome. Same $100 spent, cheap furniture, but is holding together very well. Ito hasn't budged one bit. It's well balancedand feels nice in use. But sadly they don't sell them anymore. I have had a coupld newer students at my dojo ask where to get a decent steel iaito and I wasn't sure where to send them. I'll do some more search into this place and maybe I'll send people here. Please let us know what you find when you take off the tsuka. Mine was surprising well fitted and intact when I removed it.

    How did you get customization of the iaito? Did you just contact them and ask, because I didn't see a place on the site to choose your own parts for the iaito, only the shinken.

  15. #15
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    http://www.buyiaito.com/8-custom-katana
    This is the link, pick one, I picked budget. You will see various with the same price ($49) the difference is just the koshirae set.
    Then, when you choose between the category, click view on the sword and you will see a huge list of things you can customize.
    But is not as big as Custom Deluxe, there you can have a bigger list of things but the price is higher.
    Last edited by Ezequias Farias; 08-08-2011 at 03:32 PM. Reason: adding more stuff

  16. #16
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    I'm updating here to say that now I see that the tsuba ratles a bit. It is true what you said there, but so far I haven't heard any sound coming from the tsuka.
    I haven't found time to disassemble it, but I see that the tsuba has started to ratles a bit and this will keep going until it becomes useless. BUT, the good news is that my sensei knows how to fix and here it goes the tips for all of you who face the same issue.

    Disassemble your sword, and put two rubbers, thicker than rubber bands between each seppa. It will be like this, Habakki | seppa | rubber | tsuba | rubber | seppa | tsuka, etc
    That will keep the tsuba tight for a long time. He did with senpai sword and it is great, he has been using the sword and it is been great. His sword was ratling now it is ok and very tight.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezequias Farias View Post
    I'm updating here to say that now I see that the tsuba ratles a bit. It is true what you said there, but so far I haven't heard any sound coming from the tsuka.
    I haven't found time to disassemble it, but I see that the tsuba has started to ratles a bit and this will keep going until it becomes useless. BUT, the good news is that my sensei knows how to fix and here it goes the tips for all of you who face the same issue.

    Disassemble your sword, and put two rubbers, thicker than rubber bands between each seppa. It will be like this, Habakki | seppa | rubber | tsuba | rubber | seppa | tsuka, etc
    That will keep the tsuba tight for a long time. He did with senpai sword and it is great, he has been using the sword and it is been great. His sword was ratling now it is ok and very tight.
    Dental floss works too, and you don't need to disassemble the sword to do that. Personally I've used "extra seppa" made out of transparencies, works great but requires disassembly.
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

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