Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 140

Thread: Zhi. Zhang sword Opinions!

  1. #1

    Zhi. Zhang sword Opinions!

    Hi Gents! (and any ladies)

    i was curious about Zhisword, i may by one soon. this will actully be my first and only Japanese stlye sword, i do want it to be a good one. i wanted to get all thoughts and opinions wheather good, bad or ugly about these swords

    this'll make or break my puchase! allso if you have a another maker in this price range please let me know!

    are they good quaility? can they take a beating? how are the fittings? which price and type is better?

    thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Iowa (corn not potatos)
    Posts
    89
    reading around will help lots. It seems with Zhi, you can pay as much or as little as you like. If your going to use it to beat on and dont care about looks, check out sword-buyers-guide.com or anything that sells cheness, ive read there great for beating on. I just ordered and Oni forge, a factory second, you may want to check them out (oni-forge.com), there a bit more but i havent seen an ugly one on there site. just my .02

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,904
    Hi Trent,

    Welcome To Sword Forum International

    I think it unfortunate that you would consider that "your one and only" Japanese style sword should be good at taking a beating. I do know folk have different expectations from sword ownership. I honestly think that if you are moving from a Gus Trim saber to any economy katanaesque sword, you are going to be dissapointed.

    As far as the source you are asking about, there are a good many threads about them in the beginners section here. Some folk buying them consider them a good value. If you browse through a few weeks of posts there, you will see some of the recent threads. There is ample mention of other possibilities at a wide price range as well. The reality is that if you are looking for more than a disposable sword, you should do a bit of shopping around. More katana have been discussed in the Beginner's forum than anywhere else on this site.

    Nail down how much you are willing to spend, instead of approaching it from the "how little can I spend and get a beater" train of thought. I'll admit I bought (at the time) what was considered a minimal katana (Hanwei Pratical katana). I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. That was four years ago. It is not a sword that sees a lot of use, aside from an annual cutting session. The cost was $140 to my door. I'm sure if I was handling it every day and beating on it, the wrap would be long gone. They are, though, still considered adequate and the company has a track record and support. Someone is expecting a special order from Zhang in a couple of weeks. It might be worth waiting for a few more to jump first.

    The overall quality of the Zhi-Zhang swords looks pretty pitiful to me but others are finding some value. You should check out their thoughts and justifications. Figure on spending at least $200 as a starting point but there are swords that cost less.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; it is usually a get what you pay for hobby
    Last edited by Glen C.; 12-14-2006 at 09:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Posts
    234
    Hi Trent

    I own 2 swords from Zhang and I am very happy. I have pictures of my 2 swords and also a set of pictures of my sharpened one.

    I bought both, including sharpening, sword bags, sword stand, cleaning kit, shipping, everything for a TOTAL of around $280.

    I have used my sharpened one for extensive cutting on some pretty tough targets and it has held up brilliantly. The blade remains sharp, unscratched and able to cut a piece of A4 paper cleanly.

    Check out Zhi Sword on eBay and email them. You can buy from them direct or from eBay. They will also customise your sword as far as your wallet stretches. Yes, there are better swords out there, but they cost more.

    In the end the choice is yours. My sensei is happy for me to use my sword in iaido - and he's not the only one. Timo Qvntus bought an iaito from Zhang and his sensei also allows him to use it. Like I said, yes you can buy better, more expensive swords. But if you get a sword from Zhang, you'll get a proper blade and if you take silk ito, you'd have a good looking sword for a fraction of the price of others.

    My opinion? Go for it. It's cheap enough that if you do decide it is rubbish (VERY UNLIKELY), you wouldn't have lost much. Good luck and please PM me if you want more input!
    Last edited by Nico Weyers; 12-15-2006 at 01:33 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Stevens View Post
    Hi Gents! (and any ladies)

    i was curious about Zhisword, i may by one soon. this will actully be my first and only Japanese stlye sword, i do want it to be a good one. i wanted to get all thoughts and opinions wheather good, bad or ugly about these swords

    this'll make or break my puchase! allso if you have a another maker in this price range please let me know!

    are they good quaility? can they take a beating? how are the fittings? which price and type is better?

    thanks guys!
    My opinion: you should be patient and save up more money to buy a better quality sword than Zhi. Even if it takes a couple of years. Save, learn as much as you can, then spend. It'll be worth it.

    Honestly, to me, swords like the ones from Zhi (or Zhang or whatever) represent the bottom-of-the-barrel.

    Don't fill up on junk food. Don't settle for "Ms. Right now" and wait for "Ms. Right" and so on....

    In the meantime, invest in a quality bokken.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    119
    Considering what you are looking for, Zhi may not be the place for you.

    I have a Zhi/Zhang sword on custom order, but I consider it to be an experiment. I'm hoping it will be better then a Cheness, but I won't be surprised if it is nothing more then an expensive wallhanger. Since you are looking for "first and only" I would not go this way. I plan to own quite a few swords in my lifetime, moving on from on to another as my tastes and budget change.

    I agree with Glen C. in that if you are looking for a "one and only" Japanese-like sword, then the Hanwei Pratical Katana is probably a better bet right now, if you are looking at the "lower end" of the market. Make sure to take a good look at Last Legend (not the "Pro" swords) and Bugei as well, just to see what is out there.

    If you have your heart set on a Zhang sword then at least wait until some more of his swords show up here as reviews. I know that myself and at least one other person here have been quoted shipping dates of Dec 20th. Being that mail from China is not exactly fast, I would expect to have it reviewed here on SFI sometime in the first half of January.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Hi Folks,

    I was recently gifted one of these swords (via my eldest daughter) and can affirm the example I have has been crafted to a standard suited to both iaido and light tameshigiri practise (It has shallow well crafted bo hi). It's saya has a reasonably pleasing profile and the silk wrap is nicely executed on a well shaped (Single pegged) 10" / 254mm poplar or magnolia core.

    The same' is low - medium grade and in the form of panels.

    Wrap = Silk

    Blade:

    Kobuse

    Hira zukuri with small degree of niku and balanced slightly forward.

    Nagasa = 28.5" / 725mm

    Sori = 0.75" / 20mm (

    Moto-kasane = 7.5mm

    Saki-kasane = 4.5mm

    Differentially heat treated with natural (Clayed) hamon, which can deform to approx 50 degrees (Reduced due to shallow bo hi) and return to true.

    Hamon = Notare (With ashi, nie and nioi)

    Kissaki = Chu-kissaki

    Boshi = Ko-maru (Only brought to light during a current re-polish)

    Yokote = forged in during crafting

    Nakago file pattern = Katte agari (Which my daughter has asked for)

    Nakago length = 8.75" / 223mm

    Habaki = Well fitted and made from solid cast brass


    Weight:

    Bare blade = 1lb 15oz / 890g

    In koshirae = 2lb 3oz / 1kg

    Complete = 2lb 10oz / 1.21kg

    Rc Mune = 42

    Rc Ha = 59 (Carried out by friend at local steel manufacturers and heat treatment plant)


    Fittings:

    Cheaply made cast zinc alloy


    Overall a useable and serviceable blade, which could be worked upon to enhance it's initial appearance.

    IMHO A good overall DIY / improver project for those who wish to practise upon a decently priced package (More to do with the quality of the fittings used) and a soundly crafted blade which can be used to serve it's intended purpose.

    As Nico has rightly stated they do more than cater for entry level enthusiasts and price is reflected by package content. Price? You're basically dealing direct with a manufacturer / team of craftsmen who's pricing is dictated by costs peculiar to the region from which they operate, but also missing out the middle man, his profit margins and operating costs.
    Last edited by Sean Stonebridge; 12-15-2006 at 04:39 AM.
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

  8. #8

    wow guys thanks!

    thanks all for replyin' to this post its really made me think.


    there obviously a plethura of Japanese swords out there. im now even a little more confused. ive only ever been into the western swords.

    i dont like paul chens stuff from past experiences. so i wouldnt by another one of them.

    i may wait on the Zhi sword for the moment, it sounds like a decent sword. but im looking for a great sword. price range will depend on my obsession with the katana i like...

    is there any makers of Japanese blades that are equal in quality to atrims?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Posts
    3,241
    If you know what you want and Zhang's swords are it, go for it. If not and you are seriously only going to buy one sword ever I think you might want to go for something else. Don't get me wrong, I like my Zhang iaito and would happily buy another sword from him, but your situation seems to be a bit different..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Stevens View Post
    thanks all for replyin' to this post its really made me think.


    there obviously a plethura of Japanese swords out there. im now even a little more confused. ive only ever been into the western swords.

    i dont like paul chens stuff from past experiences. so i wouldnt by another one of them.

    i may wait on the Zhi sword for the moment, it sounds like a decent sword. but im looking for a great sword. price range will depend on my obsession with the katana i like...

    is there any makers of Japanese blades that are equal in quality to atrims?


    Hi Trent,

    "Great sword" is very subjective at best, because it all depends upon which level of appraisal you're at. Beginner / novice? Improver? Experienced? Skilled? Highly skilled?

    A number of questions - if answered - could provide a base line on which you can qualify any future choices / decisions. I'd advise you to wait and research as much as possible about the Japanese sword (eg. Buying or reading books) if you find you can't clearly answer the following questions with any certainty, because Zhi aren't anywhere near the middle of the pile (Well above wallhangers and SLO's, but their range is somewhere between Hanwei PK and Tiger) regarding the quality of blades available.

    1. Do you want a Hand crafted sword, or one with a machine made blade?

    2. Do you want a Japanese sword (Nihonto = Japanese made sword) or Japanese style sword (Made anywhere else in the world)?

    3. Do you want a traditionally made sword (With all of the bells and whistles) or a basic working "improver" piece?

    4. Do you want a cutting machine or one suited to training in kata and possssing traditional geometry?

    5. Do you want a useable display piece?

    6. What kind of budget do you have to work within?

    The price ranges in which you tend to find production swords will not necessarily buy you a great Japanese blade. Good and serviceable? Yes, but aiming at four to five figure sums will result in a great blade.
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

  11. #11

    Smile

    awesome questions, this may help! and i may just buy another Japanese sword after this one, if i truly like them. hey i never thought id even buy a katana in the first place.


    1. Do you want a Hand crafted sword, or one with a machine made blade?
    it doesnt need to be hand crafted, just no machine stamped. a hand grind would do me fine. 1060 maybe?

    2. Do you want a Japanese sword (Nihonto = Japanese made sword) or Japanese style sword (Made anywhere else in the world)? bloody hell. i didnt even think of this. id take any good sword.

    3. Do you want a traditionally made sword (With all of the bells and whistles) or a basic working "improver" piece? traditional. thats kinda what drives me to get one

    4. Do you want a cutting machine or one suited to training in kata and possssing traditional geometry? traditional Geometry would be great. but i deffinantly want a cutter! something i can use for a long, long time.

    5. Do you want a useable display piece? id rather more usable then anything flashy!

    6. What kind of budget do you have to work within? well, this is the hard part....when i jump into a new hobbie, i kinda test the waters with cheaper models.
    i have it. 400$ thats a medium level western sword. if i can really find good one that i like. id spend that...(or get my girlie to buy it)

    what do you guys think?

    do you guys cut with yours?

  12. #12

    holy crap batman!

    holy crap batman! i just looked at Rick Barrett's stuff!! he must be upper eshelon.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Out of my depths and out of my mind...
    Posts
    3,283
    I just broused an auction by these guys on ebay...

    All of the pictures were identified as Zhi images except the last three or four.

    Those were identified by numbers (meaning file name when saved to "my pictures.

    There seems to be a great discrepancy between the other pics , both here and on the auction...

    The hamon is different...the nakago shaping far better, hell even the photography looks professional...and the blade looks vaugely familiar.

    So are these guys stealing photos and passing them off...or should we all be buying from these guys?
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  14. #14
    The first picture looks like an antique.

    The second pictures I'm not sure about.

    The third picture looks like one of the Huanuo/DF stone-polished line.


    -Edit to add-

    Indeed, the third picture is one of the Huanuo line. Verify here: www.bugu.co.uk

    Stealing pictures = PATHETIC.
    Last edited by Joo-Hwan Lee; 12-15-2006 at 11:52 PM.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Hi Trent,

    He is

    ----------

    Hi Marc,

    I'm presently working on a recently gifted Zhi blade (Present from daughter) and have found much the same activity as in the pic's you've posted, but the original polish was nowhere near the same level. The pic's may be sample stock images, nakago on the blade in my possession actually flows with the overall blade shape and is nicely done. The original crispness was unfortunately marred by some idiot they'd allowed to use a buffer wheel, which had glazed over the hamon (Making it appear wire brushed) and causing the blade appear gawdy instead of the acceptably subdued, crisp finish.

    Could it be that they do offer higher end blades than we assume?

    IMHO I can't see why not. We tend to forget the Chinese were partly responsible / behind the origin of Nihonto and the progenitors of many high end art forms and crafts. Plus they invented pasta
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

  16. #16

    Stealing






    PATHETIC.
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    north east England
    Posts
    3,052

    questionable behaviour

    Well thats set alarm bells ringing -

    Joo/M.K - are Zhi swords using that 'borrowed ' pic and portraying it as an image of one of their own products ? If so thats highly questionable -

    Zhi swords have been getting such good press on SFI begginers forum , its a shame if they've resorted to such a cheap trick as this .

    In all sincerity and respect to Zhi sword owners - can someone please explain
    their 12 step polishing process , a few threads have mentioned this with
    customers saying they commissioned this as an after production extra service ,

    I am greatly interested in all aspects of togi shi or sword polishing and am
    curious about this process .

    P.S - Sean is really worth listening to re his opinion of Zhi swords - what he does'nt know about the katana isnt worth knowing .


    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    119
    Yup, those look like stolen pictures.



    Is there any possible chance that Huanuo and Zhang are the same forge? That would be the only possibly way that this would be acceptable in any sense of the word.



    Quote Originally Posted by michael wilson View Post
    In all sincerity and respect to Zhi sword owners - can someone please explain
    their 12 step polishing process , a few threads have mentioned this with
    customers saying they commissioned this as an after production extra service ,
    I donno what the polish is exactly, I only know that they have 3 types of polish.

    el'cheapo: They call it 8 stage? My guess would be sandpaper... Maybe a grinder? This is what they put on their $80 swords.
    12-step: No idea what the steps are. It's standard on the "higher end" Zhangs. Probably a new marketing catch-phrase.
    Super-New-Polish: (donno the official name) It costs $800 more. For $800 I could almost have F. Lohman polish it and I doubt that they do as good of a job. I would have to see some awesome closeups of blades, recieved and posted here by customers before I would buy into this.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    north east England
    Posts
    3,052

    thanks Jeff

    I agree , for $800 - $1k I would be more likely to spend the money on an 'established ' Togi who's work is well documented on SFI .

    $800 is a big add on for post production work - especially with this 12 step process being so vague and the guys at Zhi being an unknown quantity .

    If anyone does take the plunge and commissions one of these polishes I hope a review on SFI would be forthcoming

    Mick
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



    Ephesians 6:11

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Out of my depths and out of my mind...
    Posts
    3,283
    Well I have to echo Mick and say this...If Sean says these blades are worth a look; by God ,these blades are worth a look.

    Sean:

    congrats on the blade... what a good lass you have for a daughter.
    I know by the time you finish with it it will be indeed nice. I have no doubts that the Chinese can turn out a fine product...The Chinese culture ,from antiquity, has been perhaps the most advanced and innovative on Earth.
    Where do you think the
    Japanese stole all their technology from? The west largely as well.
    As they such off the burdensome chains of State opression of free enterprise, I am sure we will see many marvelous things coming from them besides the knockoffs from hucksters that have unfortunately become synonomous with the Chinese in so many minds.


    Mick,Joo and Jeff:

    I'm going to include a link to an auction. Zhisword does not have any such pictures in their auctions , but another entity , masterzhisword, does.

    Notice the regular color photos of actual Zhi products. Look at the nakago...typical low end katana shaping.

    Now check out the last 4 photos...

    I'm sure the one sword is nihonto...and Joo has uncovered the source of one photo...

    Ah, the shame of it...

    As Mick said...the good press here on SFI could do wonders for Zhi, look what little ole me did for the Masahiro Bamboo...

    Sean's word alone is enough to get me looking at them in a new light.



    Unfortunately a stunt like this sets back their integrity and raises more questions and eyebrows than it will business.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/HAND-FORGED-IAIT...QQcmdZViewItem

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Aye she is a canny lass. Many thanks MK, but I think it was the luck of the draw regarding the blade. The saddest fact is that their initial polish could very easily have been far better, or even swung the other way and destroyed any chance of a re-polish by reducing it's geometry to that of a tired blade / pen knife.

    Yes the Japanese aquired most of their initial introduction to modern technology from the west, but they've managed to evolve their own and more in leaps and bounds since then . Puts us to shame really. Playstation anyone?

    I certainly agree one of the pic's appears to be antique, but thereagain could just as easily be a well lit sample shot of their wares. More evidence needed before jumping to assumptions.

    How many western manufacturers make goods to be sold under different brand names and banners? Clothing, sporting goods and foodstuffs are just a few examples where various product designs are manufactured to order by one enterprise for multiple outlet chains.

    --------

    Versions of polish

    El cheapo = Give it to the mother in law to nag into submission

    12 step = Following the mother in law process (Which passes for 6 steps)it's passed onto a group of 6 laundry wenches who take it to heaven and back before passing it on to the chappy with two buffing wheels.

    Super new polish = In addition to the steps taken in the 12 step polishing process the blade is taken on an all expenses paid Mediteranean cruise.

    --------
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Out of my depths and out of my mind...
    Posts
    3,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Stonebridge View Post

    Versions of polish

    El cheapo = Give it to the mother in law to nag into submission

    12 step = Following the mother in law process (Which passes for 6 steps)it's passed onto a group of 6 laundry wenches who take it to heaven and back before passing it on to the chappy with two buffing wheels.

    Super new polish = In addition to the steps taken in the 12 step polishing process the blade is taken on an all expenses paid Mediteranean cruise.

    --------

    ROTFLMAO

    I wouldn't mind being taken to heaven by 6 laundry wenches on a Mediteranean Cruise...where do I sign up?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Quote Originally Posted by M.K. Ridgeway View Post
    ROTFLMAO

    I wouldn't mind being taken to heaven by 6 laundry wenches on a Mediteranean Cruise...where do I sign up?

    Tickets temporarily sold out following a last minute rush of chappies with Zhi blades, buffing wheels and nagging mother in law's.

    The good news is that the offer is due to be renewed in the new year , but the bad news is that - following an increase in Mediteranean Cruise ticket prices - the price of Zhi swords with "super new polish" will rise ten fold plus V.A.T.
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Posts
    234
    As one of the biggest supporters of Zhi Sword, I am a little puzzled at this - also a little hurt. I have done much to try and create a positive image for Zhi Sword - out of my own free will and not for any compensation whatsoever. I have been in very regular contact with Zhang and from what it seems (on the net at least), he is a sincere, honest fellow. This "picture stealing" is in poor taste and I mean to ask him about it. It is true that I am privvy to some info of his which other people might not be, so I will ask him.

    There are abviously many differences between Western culture and Chinese (specifically). For one, their incessant need to over-title something. Look at the auction titles. The other day, my mom bought my son a CHINESE "lego" set in South Africa. You should have seen the box. It was also over titled and tried to convince me that "buying this product will be good for children" and so on. Ligao it was called. Piss poor attempt at Lego. Yet, it works somehow, fits with the other proper Lego and is very strong. But it is a quarter of the price. Perhaps I am just being too brand sensitive

    I still feel that Zhang is capable of making good swords and if you upgrade to silk ito for instance and customise your sword a bit, you'd end up with a darn decent product. Remember, their focus is rather on quantity, rather than over engineered quality. They'd rather make 10 swords for $40 than one 24ct gold habaki for $400. Don't ask me why, like I said, culture differences.

    But watch this space, I'll try get an answer for this "picture stealing" issue.
    Last edited by Nico Weyers; 12-16-2006 at 04:04 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    2,635
    Hi NIco,

    I have no doubt Zhi can craft higher end swords, but the adoption of placing an emphasis on quantity over quality can be a big mistake in terms of the level of craftsmanship necessary for a work team to consistantly forge useable blades. It normally proves best to produce quality and aim for quantity once the team has perfected the relevant process applications than risk one's reputation by purveying a mass of what could be construed as third rate products.

    A professional / traditional sword polish can take up to ten days, but (Knowing that Chinese production workers typically earn the equivalent to £23 / $46 per week) don't you think Zhi's pricing for a high end polish is a little high?
    Careful thought, consideration & communication is well worth the effort and end result.

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •