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Thread: Whats YOUR favorite production Katana?

  1. #76
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    Hi Ron... In a small nut shell...Fewer of the Bugei blades are made and quality control is much tighter... Right Keith!!!

  2. #77
    Well, there are a few reasons. First off, all the designs are Bugei's own designs. So either they do them themselves, or someone like me or Ted Tenold do them (and we're not free). Next we are quite specific about some things. Shaping, proportions, tapers, etc. Most are wrapped in silk rather than cotton ito. Bugei asks for higher grade samekawa (even though it is still paneled). Bugei also has Hanwei make swords in different blade and tsuka lengths (something Hanwei does not do with any of their other swords). So customers have a great deal of choice with respect to fitting the blade to their needs.

    Once Bugei's specific swords hit the US I drive down to inspect them. I go over every sword, adjust things, tighten things, fix what I can and reject what I can't. I check and hone edges, adjust fit at the koiguchi, repair tsukamaki problems, and on and on. Each blade is reoiled with real choji oil from Japan.

    Over the years I've seen great shipment and I've seen some not to great ones. Often after an inspection I'll e-mail Paul Chen directly with any concerns (or compliments) on the state of the delivered swords. Sometimes I ask for changes but usually I point out things I think they need to look at more closely in the future to keep things from sliding.

    Last week I inspected a smaller shipment. I rejected about 10%. That costs Hanwei. And obviously it costs Bugei. But... That's the way it goes and that's what they pay me to do.

    We toss the generic hanwei cleaning kit and replace it with a kit from Japan with high grade choji and uchiko. When Bugei ships the swords are packed in a custom made double-walled box with a custom made precut high density foam insert. The boxes alone are worth quite a bit, by the way. Save them -- they're great if you move or sell your sword later.

    Finally, Bugei is a "brick and mortar" business that's been around for a long time. They aren't drop shipping swords or working out of their garage. They have a physical location, an 800 number, and are well known for having very good customer service.

    Now... The question is whether it is worth the extra cost. And that question can only be answered by each customer. How much is the inspection, blade length/tsuka length choices, quality control, 800 number, blah, blah, blah worth? Honestly you could go with a generic piece if you like it and it is very possible you'll get a very nice sword. But I also used to get a lot of business fixing up swords with issues when the sellers wouldn't take them back (I don't take on that work any longer). So ... YMMV.

    People have to weigh all the factors and make their own decisions.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  3. #78

    Thank You Keith!

    Wow, that is a huge difference and well worth the extra money. Thanks so much for the lengthy answer, you put a bit of time into it and I thank you for that! I hope someday to purchase a bugei as well. Also Keith I just got an update from Bugei today saying that they are going to carry the raptor series. Will it be the same quality control with these as well? I understand if not because they are only a 400.00 sword. But just by Bugei carrying them at all says something for the quality of these entry level.low cost swords.

    Ron Greenwell

  4. #79
    You know, that's a really good question. I honestly don't know if they're going to want me to come down there and inspect those. I suspect that if they come with a regular shipment and I have time they might ask me to do a quick once over. But the price point is a really low one. And things like fine tuning fit and finish really isn't nearly the issue on a sword meant for this level.

    That said I have asked to see the first shipment of Raptors once they arrive because I want look them over closely rather than rely on the sparse info CAS Iberia is providing so far. There are certain things I simply won't let out the door. I can train someone there to check for the obvious things so that might be the way things go. But honestly, I don't know what they're planning. They do look like a fantastic bargain given what they are. This sort of thing really isn't my cup of tea, personally, but I must admit I rather like the Unokubi zukuri raptor. That sort of shape really seems to make sense (in my head at least) with a through hardened 5160 blade. Wide blade with a diamond cross section on the top 2/3rds, but a more standard shinogi zukuri shape near the tsuba. So neat shape, aggressive cutting shape, and a stiffer, tough steel. Unconventional for sure, but if you're not worried about totally traditional it seems like a no brainer to me.

    My understanding with the Raptors is that since James Williams helped out in the development of the line for CAS Iberia Bugei is also offering them for sale to help out CAS and Hanwei. I do know that they don't plan on using their expensive boxes with the die-cut inserts for shipping these -- the boxes and foam probably cost more than the profit margin on the sword! They ain't in business to lose money. I think it is a good deal that they're shipping a complimentary Bugei Wara with each sword. The idea was to wrap the sword up in the wara inside the box to help protect it during shipment. And that way the customer also has at least one authentic target to try out.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  5. #80
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    Even without the fancy box, that sounds like a pretty decent deal. I may end up picking up one of these.

    If you get a chance to handle these, I'd love to know what your impressions are. I think I'm pretty well covered in terms of rugged, manly, heavy cutters. Despite the usual contempt for "grass cutters", I really would like to get some experience with (much) lighter blades.

  6. #81
    Yeah, I'd love to have one to take home and do some cutting with myself. I'm curious, but I also don't have any discretionary cash right now. But I suppose I'll see them soon enough. From what I can tell from pictures, specs and from speaking with James Williams about them they're robust but not overly heavy (which was an initial concern). I've got my eye on the unokubi because they frequently feel vastly lighter in the hands due to their shape and mass distribution. But they cut really nicely (in my experience). So I'm curious about that one.

    But I really want to take one apart and look it over closely. Lots was saved going with a simpler conventional steel and heat treatment (which means simpler finishing too since there is no hamon or hada to worry about). We'll see...
    Last edited by Keith Larman; 03-31-2009 at 11:03 PM.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  7. #82
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    Seems like from most accounts the Raptor series will be a great "beater." No hamon and all the jazz but a good cutter in the steel used. Should be interesting to see how these fair. Though I do have my own opinions on production swords, these look like a great deal. And just to add one more thing, I have seen some questions about more choices as to length being available. I think that if you are willing to buy this sword for heavy cutting, I am sure that one could take the time to adjust ones technique to the sword. I may just get one just out of curiousity as well. But we'll see.

  8. #83
    Well, I don't know if it had any impact, but I was talking with James Williams about this idea at least about a year ago. He had been talking with Barry at CAS Iberia and Paul Chen about this at the time. I made some suggestions and gave a lot of caveats. To me the critical things are that the tsuka has to be decently made and fit will be critical. If they can significantly cut cost by going with a modern steel and modern heat treat, more power to them. A lot of the cost of a good sword is in the mounting. I told them that a $100 or 200 quality overall sword is simply not possible given the tradeoffs they have to make even with less expensive foreign labor. The design had to be simple and straightforward. Fit had to be right. And the blade could be without all the fancy hamon and hada stuff, but it had to have the correct geometry otherwise it ain't a Japanese style sword.

    They did come in at a price point lower than I expected. I hope to see a few by the end of this month when the first shipments are supposed to start arriving. I was hoping to work out something and maybe get a trade for one for myself when they come in, but from what I hear from the "inside" the pre-ordering is close to selling out what they pre-ordered already.

    Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted. If I don't, remind me. Life has been busy and I'm gearing up for the Chicago Token Kai in a month (geez, time flies).
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  9. #84
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    I'm pretty impressed with the price point on these raptors as well, and look forward to any additional information. The other thing I'm pretty curious about is the "unobtanium" katana Williams Sensei was speaking about a few months ago. I'll have to pop by Bugei's board to see if there are any updates on that one.

    I'd love to attend a Token Kai - hopefully by the time the next big one comes up on the radar I'll be in a better place.

  10. #85
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    I had a Bushido (Paul Chen folded), nice to watch and very sharp but I did not like the balance of it. Koshirae seemed to heavy, I could not feel the blade but only Tsuka.
    I had many Last legends too, good fittings and good cutter, funny that my best cutter was from longquan forge (maru style with two his).
    I want to try a Bugei Katana but afraid that it can get stuck on the customs.
    Last edited by ercansarbat; 04-02-2009 at 07:43 AM. Reason: qoute

  11. #86
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    Interesting info on the background of the Raptors. I'm very curious about them myself and 90% sure I want to get one for my first, beginning level cutter. So please Keith, keep us posted on any information you have on them.

    I am looking at one of the more resilient, forgiving swords, in the under $500 range as my first cutter. Being new to tamashigiri I was something that can take a bad angle etc. For the price and quality Hanwei stuff is known for, I figure it's a great opportunity.

  12. #87
    When I see them in person I'll toss out a post. I heard today that I might be seeing some very soon. Right now all I've got is what I discussed with James off and on. And we tossed around a lot of ideas but I really don't know many details. James ran with it with Paul Chen and CAS iberia. So all I know now is what I've seen on CAS Iberia's site and from hearing James gushing about how tough they are. I like hamon, hada, and all that other cool stuff, but yeah, they do sound like nice training tools or swords for those who don't care about or don't want to spend a premium for the more traditional approach. I can understand that too. I could see myself getting one just to remount it myself with some spare orphaned fittings I've got around. Maybe I'll have a second training blade for myself one of these days.

    Of course I could just repolish that old dragonfly I've had in the workshop I've been testing stones with. Argh, decisions, decisions...
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  13. #88

    Some pics..

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward S. View Post
    Well.. I am going to say that My Choices are , in Order:
    The Everest Katana by Himalayan Imports
    And 2nd: Kris Cutlery Katana 29 II

    Both of these swords are made with differentially hardened 5160 steel.

    I know some people may consider them more as "Katana Like Objects", however I am very Happy with the Balance, heft, and feel of the Everest Katanas in particular.
    I'll try and post some pics soon.

    Here is a link to the Everest Katana:

    http://www.himalayan-imports.com/sword.html

    And the Kris Katana:

    http://kriscutlery.com/documents/japanese.html
    [http://i391.photobucket.com/albums/o...bletrouble.jpg

    http://i391.photobucket.com/albums/o...myst/EVNew.jpg
    Last edited by Edward S.; 04-06-2009 at 08:16 AM. Reason: added Pics

  14. #89
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    More of a Dha like object than a katana like object isn't it?

  15. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Greenwell View Post
    Wow, that is a huge difference and well worth the extra money. Thanks so much for the lengthy answer, you put a bit of time into it and I thank you for that! I hope someday to purchase a bugei as well. Also Keith I just got an update from Bugei today saying that they are going to carry the raptor series. Will it be the same quality control with these as well? I understand if not because they are only a 400.00 sword. But just by Bugei carrying them at all says something for the quality of these entry level.low cost swords.

    Ron Greenwell
    Since I promised to update folk, I just received a call from Bugei today telling me they had them in stock. So I'm driving down there on Monday to do QC on some of their exclusive lines and I'll make the time to look at a few of the raptors while I'm there. They also told me that they had been given misleading information about the pricing on these originally. They clarified the pricing structure with CAS Hanwei so now the price they're charging $239.00 each (still with the freebies they had already promised). Apparently they had just finished sending out $160 refunds to all the people who pre-ordered at the original $399 price.

    At this price point they're not going to be having me go over them -- it simply makes no sense. But they're still doing the free Bugei wara, instructions, etc.

    So, if I remember I'll take my camera when I go down there on Monday and shoot a few photos of all three assuming they still have them in stock.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  16. #91

    Everest Katana "type"

    Quote Originally Posted by M.K. Ridgeway View Post
    More of a Dha like object than a katana like object isn't it?
    I think that You may have something there...
    Here is a description from the Maker of the Everest Katana:
    Our katanas are replicated from a pre 1864 katana. This beautiful 36 inch (10 inch handle) very tough sword (and we do mean tough!) is now available. Handle may vary slightly from those shown. It has been tested by experts and is rated very highly. " http://www.himalayan-imports.com/sword.html


    "This is not a Japanese katana clone but the Everest Katana. For people who love swords and use them heavily. See test results in HI forum."



    From what I have seen so far of the Dha blades, I am not seeing a Hilt/tsuba type structure on the Dha... but I am still in the research stage on the Dha.

    I DO Know that the pattern that the Kamis in Nepal use to make the Everest Katana is a Genuine circa 1830 Japanese
    blade... in fact it hangs on the wall in the Workshop where they forge the Ev Kat....

    Here is some info from the Gentlemen who were instrumental in the birth of the Everest Katana.


    "It's a bit of a long story.
    Short form: years ago I bought a raw blade sword at a gun show with no mounts, intending to roll my own for SCA Bottle Chop competition or the like. I paid $300; I was told it was made pre-WW2. 26.5" length, good condition, no chips or similar, in need of a polish.

    I had the tang markings checked. Whoops. It was older than advertised - late Edo, guesstimate 1840ish give or take 30 years. Only got a partial translation however, the location where it was made: Kyoto, but in the character that was used prior to 1864 when it was the Shogun's hangout. Didn't get maker info completed.

    It was stolen, abused further by the thief (he allowed the tip to rust ), I got it back. Realized I had a problem: it needed an $800+ polish job, over $1500 in furniture, and THEN I'd have a wallhanger instead of the "beater" I was trying to get in the first place.

    Bill Martino's father-in-law was visiting from Nepal - he runs the blacksmith shop in Kathmandu that supplies HI. I show 'em this thing, we sketched out a design for a grip that would use "Khukuri construction techniques" and would otherwise be an order of magnitude tougher than Japanese practice.

    That raw blade as a template now hangs on the wall in the shop in Kathmandu . I got the first copy .

    They didn't TEST it to destruction. They did however modify the tang to check various options and in doing so pounded out the original Japanese markings :banghead:. We'll never know who made it.

    Doesn't matter. The versions in 5160 HI is doing *rock*. A bit funky, full of personality, brutally tough and well balanced.


    Jim March August 9th, 2004, 05:52 PM
    Right. Well of the cheap-but-functional blades we're talking about here, there's two categories:

    1) "Plain high carbon" steels like 1040/1060 can make a good sword. You have to "differentially temper" them which means, in a Katana, a softer spine, harder edge. Paul Chen gets there with a process similar to the classic Japanese bladesmiths: coat the blade with different thicknesses and types of clay, so that the spine is softer. With these steels, you get a clearly visible "hamon", or temper line, a clearly visible border between the harder and softer areas.

    They might be "plain high carbon" but they're still at least starting out with better raw steel than the old Japanese smiths had. The old Japanese smiths folded the steel over and over and over again in a tremendous effort to get something good out of basically crapola steel. Most used the folding process to basically add carbon content to their low-grade, high-sulpher "steel" that was barely a step up from "pig iron" :scrutiny:.

    2) 5160 is a borderline tool steel still classed as "high carbon". It's GREAT stuff. Used by a variety of 3rd world makers as there's a relatively ready source worldwide: automotive junkyards. Yup. Leaf and coil springs . HI goes one better: they've learned that the best materials comes from crashed Mercedes or Volvo truck springs . A few other makers (Albion I think?) are using brand new 5160 and advertising it as such, and that's fine...there's no significant difference based on the source of the 5160.

    Kris Cutlery in the Philippines uses this a lot, and it's all HI uses as noted.

    This is a KILLER steel for big knives and swords. Good edgeholding, ridiculously tough, can be bent like it was a big spring.

    There's just one problem: while you CAN definitely do a differential temper (hard edge, soft spine) and HI does, you generally can't see the borderline. So there's no "hamon" so critical in the eyes of the Japanese to good sword aesthetics. Differential tempers are easier to do with 5160 - HI's blacksmiths pour water on the hot edge with a tea kettle to control which areas of the blade will be hard.

    Doesn't matter to me! A good 5160 blade like the Everest Katana from HI is an order of magnitude tougher than a Paul Chen or basically anything else this side of $3000 to $5000, at which price point there's some American smiths making custom Katanas out of genuine tool steel like A2 and L6. Even then, I doubt their grips are the sort of Khukuri-engineered critters like HI does."


    Anthony,

    I still stand behind the quality of the H.I. Katana! It's been a while since I wrote the initial testing of that sword. Nice blade. The heat treatment is very consistent and will not fail the owner. I mean the sword is designed for cutting flesh, not trees. The H.I. Katanas have their own distinctive personalities, it is not a traditional Nihonto, but an interpretation.

    The other swords that I have used/ have:

    1. Kris Cutlery Katana (normal production) - great sword for the price.

    2. Kris Cutlery High end Combat Kat - High end sword, traditional styling and can be disassembled, slightly higher in price but feels real good. Cuts bone and meat with ease!

    3. Bugei Bamboo Kat - good sword, but needed to be re-polished to extract maximum cutting power.

    4. Howard Clark L6 Kat - Awesome katana, great for swordsmen who wants alot of blade flexibility/ strength, but edge holding abilities is somewhat decreased. Great sword and Smith.

    5. My pride and joy - My Michael Bell forged cable Katana. This puppy is my family sword, and cuts like no tomorrow!!! This was made for my son when he gets of age, and so, I need to commission Michael to make another one for my new son!

    All great swords, and a couple H.I. Everest Katanas will be included into my sword collection soon.

    he Everest Katana is something special though . Basically, the Khukuri-derived grip actually balances correctly because it's a "stick tang" running lengthwise through a cylindrical wood grip, pinned at the butt and floating in epoxy. It has impressive recoil-absorbing properties, it's fairly light and it's tough as nails...and the total tang weight and overall blade heft is similar to Japanese practice.


    About...<scratches head and counts on fingers>...seven years ago, I decided I wanted a battle-ready sword of Japanese type. So I headed for the nearest gun show, and found a nice-condition Japanese *blade only* for $300, purported to be early 20th Century when the Japanese ramped up sword production both for new military officers and as part of a "revival of the Bushido spirit", sort of the "psychological prep for WW2". The edge was straight, it was slightly discolored but no rust, and I figured I'd be able to homebrew up a grip and leather sheath myself. Blades of that era and type don't have a whole lot of collector value.

    So about a year later, I was just getting around to building the mounting hardware, and showed it to a friend who'd spent some time in Japan and knew some Japanese. By luck, he'd spent time in Kyoto, and new the character for the city plus some of the history of the area.

    In examining the tang marks, he found the mark for Kyoto, but then got all excited...because the character was in reverse from modern practice.

    The town's name was reversed after the Shogun's defeat at Kyoto in 1864 I think it was? Rather a memorable time in Japanese history - basically, the Portuguese figured the Shogun was a psycho, armed the Emperor in Tokyo with 10,000 muskets and watched as he eventually piled about 10,000 Samurai heads in a big pile in Kyoto, where the Shogun had been. Note past tense, his head was somewhere in the pile. To mark the occasion, they changed the town's name (you'da thunk the big pile of heads at the Shogun's old castle would have been enough ).

    Point is, that marked my blade as being genuine Edo (late Bushido era) period - a real "Samurai sword". It also had a feature not found on various imitations, a "battle bulge" where the spine just behind the tip flares out and makes for a tougher, armor-piercing tip. That and the fact that the tang hole for the grip pin was punched versus drilled further verified it's originality.

    Great. Just great. I didn't *WANT* an antique. Proper mounting hardware and scabbard would have run $2,000 minimum, at which point I'd have something worth at least $3,000 or more. But still a wall-hanger.

    Sigh.

    Well I sat on it for a while, and then a roommate stole it . I finally found out where it went years later, and demanded it back - I got it alright, but the damn fool had stored it tip-down in a closet and the last 1/4" of the tip rusted <grrr!!!>. So now I had to add a $900 polish job to what it needed, at which point I'd barely break even if that.

    Meanwhile got ahold of one of Bill Martino's Khukuris, a nice 21" overall "combat type", longer and skinnier than the Ang Khola "utility pattern", and was very impressed with their craftsmanship.

    I talked to Bill Martino more, and found out more of his story. He had gone to Nepal as a younger dude in the Peace Corps and had gone "very native", converting to Buddhism, marrying into a Gurkha family, etc . He later came back to the US (Reno, NV) with his wife. He acts as an importer for his father-in-law back in Kathmandu, who had the best blacksmith shop in Nepal. They hand-picked the best smiths, put in power tools, and paid VERY high commission prices for some of the best Nepalese-style to come out since the 1800s.

    So I heard that Bill's Nepalese father-in-law, the shop owner/foreman was coming over to Reno to visit his family. I talked to Bill and got myself invited over, and told 'em I'd be bringing a "special surprise".

    Yup. You guessed it. It's my old blade hanging in the shop wall in Nepal that is the pattern for the Everest Katana. I sat down with Bill and his pop-in-law in Reno where we drew out the design for the grip, tsuba and sheath, and it was in the Pop's checked baggage back to Nepal."

    So, That is what I know and have read about the Himalayan Imports Everest Katana.

    I Do know the Head Kami at H.I Is the Royal Bladesmith to The King of Nepal.

    Please let me know what your thoughts are on this,
    With Best Regards,
    Ed Stites
    Last edited by Edward S.; 04-10-2009 at 06:08 PM.

  17. #92
    I have absolutely no idea what you're going on about, Ed...haven't the foggiest. I see absolutely NO resemblance between this sword you keep mentioning and a katana (besides the curved blade, & "tsuba").
    Last edited by Travis Nicko; 04-10-2009 at 08:42 PM.

  18. #93
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    Travis I think Ed's reffering to the Nepal company using his nihonto for the basic design of the everest blade and nakago ,



    Last edited by michael wilson; 04-11-2009 at 04:26 PM.
    " 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

  19. #94
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    the battle of the bulge

    Point is, that marked my blade as being genuine Edo (late Bushido era) period - a real "Samurai sword". It also had a feature not found on various imitations, a "battle bulge" where the spine just behind the tip flares out and makes for a tougher, armor-piercing tip.


    That bulge at the mune of the kissaki is just the cross section of the kissaki at the yokote I think

    every production katana ive had apart from a PPK had this flared section at the mune - and that includes low end practical pro katana , cold steel katana and a paul chen musashi and bushido kats that ive still got here .
    " 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. #95

    Thanks Mick...

    ...I didn't pick up on that at ALL. I thought he was maybe quoting someone who was either involved with the design of this thing or had reviewed it or something. I personally can't see how its based at all on nihonto.

  21. #96
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    No problem Travis

    Its a bit like the 1st Matrix movie - the more times you see it the more that is revealed

    your spot on though - its not very nihonto-esque
    is it .
    " 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

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by les yeich View Post

    i used bricks, concrete blocks, ceramic tile, posts (maybe 4x4, can't recall), branches, saplings, bamboo, and straw mats all as cutting mediums with the bwt (technically, i used anything i could find in the barn of the farmstead i was living at at the time). the blade's finish was ruined, but there was *no* chipping at all to the edge. it had rather heavy niku; like bordering on a secondary bevel. not traditional, but for what it is, it's pretty spot on. saya was one of the better production saya i've seen as far as shaping and fit, although finish was. . . ok. kissaki was lightyears ahead of other brands *at the time*. being that my model was about five years ago, i hope they haven't changed too much.

    .
    Wow, sorry to resurrect an old thread but what sword is the BWT? What you described sounds like you were handling a HC L6 blade. Really interested in finding out more..
    Last edited by J Cooper; 11-30-2010 at 02:53 AM.

  23. #98
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    Having read these posts would the Citadel swords not actually fit into this as they are not production swords. They are hand made in small quantities and each peaice is hand made and mounted except for the cast of antique menuki?

  24. #99
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    Hi Hori,

    There have been long and hard fought debates on what exactly constitutes a custom sword. Hand made, bench made and other terms or perceptions of shop work really does put much of Citadel products in a production atmosphere, even if there is fair variance between any two of a type. Citadel does produce large numbers of specific models, once again a production line no matter how one may view the shop. If it were a single man overseeing each specific item, sheer numbers of the product type (even if hand made) really does seem to me it is still a production shop with quite base similarities.

    I have followed Citadel back to before the two katana models that used to be marketed through Museum Replicas (Windlass subsidiary) and first noted them in a company named A.G.Russell and that "Cutting Edge" paper catalog selling some tanto and at that time a few medieval western swords. In personal discussion with Russell, he was kind of closed lip but indicated they could provide just about any variety of blade. If I recall correctly, if you run a search here for Citadel in the General discussion area, you will come across my mentioning it way back when and then following up a bit with Mike Crampton, who was supposed to be at the time the only American business to be selling what were individual and somewhat unique swords but at the same time seeing those two mainstay models persistent over some years (Yoshi? and ???, you know the dark one and the orange/red saya job).

    In the end, I personally still view the Citadel effort as a production shop and the swords in the same class as the upper crust of any of the bigger forges.

    The "What do you consider Custom" might be a good stand alone thread to consider but kind of off the track from this old thread regarding "what's best". While not unworthy of a sidebar in this thread, the perception of what Citadel makes and markets the goods as is really yet another topic.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; custom, to me, means a one person shop with a little help or partner but not someone making flocks of very similar goods. That becomes production, in my book

  25. #100
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    159
    Thanks Glen for you input to the matter, I can truly see where the hand made term or custom can play an important part in advertising, as all sword could be considered hand made. But the strain of what is custom can be disputed, I was just asking as to the statements as you have stated as well does having more direct hand work in them deem custom so even two of the same look models would be one different I guess as they would differ slightly. But to your comment I can see where the words could even apply to the likes of Hanwei as they have came along way to take better care of the hand work and finish of the mid to higher end blades. Thanks

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