Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: A "NEW" Budget...

  1. #1

    Question A "NEW" Budget...

    Hello again everyone,

    First of all, I would like to thank everyone for all of their precious time and advice in helping me find the "right" katana. I was aiming to sell a collectible I have for a considerable sum of money and I was going to buy a katana for around $1,000. Unfortunately, this collectible didn't even sell. However, I really want to buy a katana and have saved up some money. This sword will be mainly for display, though I want it to have great fittings (not plastic or fake) and be capable of cutting targets. (is it a sharp and functional sword?)

    For about $250-$400 max are there any really nice swords? I'm open to any forges you recommend. If you could provide specific swords that would be deeply appreciated.

    PLEASE look at these swords listed below and please give your opinions on them:

    The swords I was looking at is the Paul Chen Bamboo Stick katana, because of its "uniqueness," Ryumon Forge, (Specifically the hand-carved/painted saya swords) and the S.O.M. custom katana. (It looks AMAZING)

    Bamboo Stick:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1

    Ryumon:
    http://www.kultofathena.com/product~...gon+Katana.htm

    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...anfID=4&Page=1

    S.O.M:
    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...ROD&ProdID=674
    Last edited by Robert Audley; 08-30-2009 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New york
    Posts
    404
    there are plenty of swords to be had for that price range... check out hanwei, dynasty forge, and kensei for starters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    196
    Hello Robert, for the amount of money you have at your disposal I would check out both Dynatsy Forge's Forge Folded Bushi Line http://japanesesword.net/eng/iaito/st_bl.html as well as Nishijin's steel katana at: http://japanesesword.net/eng/iaito/st_bl.html which the blade is quite nice from my understanding, the folks there at Nishijin are happy to send more photos if requested, their koshirae is all Japanese made and very authentic, which is not true of Hanwei. Perhaps a seemingly minor detail to some, but not to others. There is also a site I recently found which for the same price range you can have your katana custom built to your taste. That site is: http://www.samuraisword4u.com/custom...rds_73_ctg.htm
    It is my understanding the blades themselves are well made. Not sure if you were aware of the variety of comperable and even superior swords and manufactures out there. Hope this helped! Cheers Andrew

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Posts
    3,241
    First, "great fittings" is something that you probably won't find in your price range, so I'd go with "functional fittings".

    "Bamboo stick" is a shirazaya of sorts, and cannot be used for cutting (stick swords are pretty much fantasy items).

    Ryumon is hit-and-miss, you never know what you're gonna get.

    SOM custom.. I hadn't seen or heard of them before today, so no comments there. I'm surprised that they don't show the blade properly in their demo-video or pictures. Tsuka-shaping looks kinda nice though. Black ito on black same makes it difficult to see how well or poorly the tsukamaki has been made. Caveat emptor.
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The waistlands of Kansas
    Posts
    87
    Dynasty Forge 1060 line. Paul Chen Practical plus. Dont be fooled by fake hamon and all that. You can get into a kat with a real hamon from a known company. I would look into that. Fittings are probley going to be cheesey at this level, but functional is better any way.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    First, "great fittings" is something that you probably won't find in your price range, so I'd go with "functional fittings".
    Hey Robert ,

    I agree with Timo. Here is a link to a page that you can practically get lost in, what with all the viable choices in your price-range: http://www.kultofathena.com/swords-japanese.htm

    Personally, I'd go with Dynasty Forge, as they are the very best bang for the buck. Also check the SFI classifieds for super deals from fellow SFI forumites. OK?

    Good luck with your quest, Jon
    Last edited by jonpalombi; 08-31-2009 at 08:21 AM.
    "A wise person aspires the study of swordsmanship. A lucky person finds a worthy teacher, an unlucky person finds yet another student... in the guise of a genuine Master. Sadly, a fool cannot tell the difference either way." Anecdotes of The Unknown Swordsman

  7. #7
    FWIW, if I were you, I'd try to score one of the older generation PK on eBay in good condition and go with that and have someone like Skip Gardner re-do the tsuka over time with functional (good call as always, Timo!) but affordable fittings from Namikawa or the like.

    It may have been a fluke, but the older gen. PK I handled a few months ago had a very hefty/meaty blade with a surprisingly handsome profile and decent balance with deep suguha hamon.

    There have been several generations in the lowly PK model (something like 6~7, and not including the more recent XL/Lite variations).... One good rule of thumb is that the most recent 2 have had rounded tsuba and the older ones have all had more sharply angled and regular sized hitsu-ana (holes in the tsuba for kogai and/or utility knife/kozuka-kogatana). The first few gen. stunk, but there were a few in the middle (before the last few gen., which also stunk) that could be diamonds in the rough.

    It's probably heresy to say this. After all, it's just a mere PK. But there's my 2 cents. Once in a while, a great refurbished Kris Cutlery katana surfaces in the classifieds. I haven't handled the more recent 26A or 29A (not to be confused with 26-II or 29-II, which I frankly thought were not great at all), but they seem like very interesting and affordable alternatives too.
    "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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Posts
    3,241
    FWIW, my "newer gen" PK has a very nice looking blade, shinogi-ji looks almost like it's burnished, and I've grown to like the frosty hamon.. The blade profile is that of a tatami cutter, mind you, so these are not for harder targets.
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Down-under
    Posts
    1,193
    There are a couple of really good buys on this forum Classifieds but you will need to save up a bit more.

    Aaron has a nice Dragonfly and Nathaniel has a nice massive Jian.

    My recommendation is to hold off a bit (i know it's hard) but there are some good deals on the classifieds here.

    Cheers

    Jason

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    FWIW, my "newer gen" PK has a very nice looking blade, shinogi-ji looks almost like it's burnished, and I've grown to like the frosty hamon.. The blade profile is that of a tatami cutter, mind you, so these are not for harder targets.
    I guess it wasn't totally fair for me to generalize about the newer PK. But that's the thing about the lower end blades... they're so unpredictable and hit-and-miss. True for mid-range models too, but more so when it comes to the sub-$300 ones.

    And Jason is right too about some amazing deals in the classifieds. [shameless self-promotion]I have one for sale too [/shameless self-promotion].
    "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

  11. #11

    Question Thank you

    Thanks for all of your help! I will however use the sword for display. No cutting or practicing. Though, I want it to be a "real" sword (functional) and not like those traditional "wall hangers." I know for my price range I really am not going to get a WONDERFUL sword, though I want something decent. Here is what it comes down to:

    Kawashima swords:

    This:
    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...ROD&ProdID=602

    This:
    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...ROD&ProdID=618

    That:
    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...ROD&ProdID=609

    or are one of the other ones better??
    http://www.swordsofmight.com/index.a...TS&Category=84


    PC Bamboo Stick Katana: (stretch my budget a bit )

    http://www.nihonzashi.com/shinken_ba...ck_katana.aspx

    http://kultofathena.com/product~item~SH1002.htm

    I really like all of these swords. To me they are a bit different then the traditional all black katana. Definitely aren't the "best" swords out there, but are pretty decent. (in my opinion) Ive looked at a hell of a lot of swords and really like these. (the bamboo stick is pretty cool I think! )If you can recommend anything else that looks as "unique" as these and is a functional decent sword, then please do not hesitate to share! And also please advise me if these are good choices or not! (I know most of you recommended to look at the classifieds, but I just want to get a brand new sword that will look nice and be functional.)

    Cheers,
    Robert

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Posts
    3,241
    If these are the options, and you're not planning on cutting with your sword, get the Hanwei Bamboo Stick. People who make these Kawashima swords don't even know something as basic as which side to start tsukamaki on, I don't even want to know what else they got wrong.
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    I honestly didn't hear wonderful things about Kawashima either. Though, to me they are quite "stylish" to several other katanas and are at an affordable price. They also have the appearance of a traditional Japanese katana in terms of it's structure and geometry which I favor. However, I want to try to acquire the winning sword from a notable company. I am not afraid to commemorate Hanwei on it's outstanding reputation. The Hanwei Bamboo Stick Katana for my use seems to be the correct puzzle piece to sung into my endless collection. I am very fortunate to have all of you point me toward the right direction. Perhaps I will consider it more thoroughly and make my decision in the near future. Thus until that glorious decision-making moment, please take care and enjoy your day!

    ~Robert~

  14. #14

    Lightbulb "Stylish" but not junk?

    Hi Robert,

    I honestly don't know anything about Kawashima swords. Snowfall has a nice look to it, almost spiritual in it's whiteness, just as long as you keep your hands completely clean and keep the sword out of the dust zone. Pretty thing, though... for two hundred bucks.

    The Hanwei Bamboo Stick has descent qualities and characteristics. It's been around forever and must be a good seller (yes, I too, used to fancy it around 15-16 years ago). Even so, for what you are willing to pay, you could do a lot better with you hard-earned dollars. I am attracted to the look of bamboo, however, real bamboo does not grow with such a sori (curvature) so it looks kind of fake, to me. You know, even if you forced a bend to set in the natural bamboo, it would be round not ovoid, in cross section (as which the Bamboo Stick). This lends to an artificial or imitation appearance. Kind of like those crudely-carved wooden picture frames you see that have the bamboo motif? Now, if you used a straight-bladed katana, like the fantasy Ninja-to or Zatoichi cane sword, with authentic bamboo... that's a horse of a different color. Then, real bamboo could be used, not carved faux-bamboo, as the carved wood looks great in the photos... but not so great in person. In fact, far from natural in appearance (I've handled them before).

    Have you ever considered a Hanwei Shinto in shirasaya mounting? Clean and austere, they are much more historically accurate/realistic. Mantis is blowing them out for an unbelievable price: http://www.mantisswords.com/overstock_sale.htm

    Shawn at Mantis, also has these "Damascus" katanas, which have more colorful choices in saya and ito, for an affordable price. Inexpensive, they resemble the Kawashima blades but are folded Damascus steel. Probably not differentially heat-treated/hardened but a reasonable $$$: http://www.mantisswords.com/damascus_katanas.htm

    Also, this a link to a page of tempting katanas, each "stylish" enough for the cost but of above average, in display qualifications. Some of the steel looks quite impressive, actually unbelievable, for the minimal investment in funds: http://www.st-sword.com/products.asp?page=1&classid=63

    This is a recent SFI thread that discusses this forge and it's interesting and affordable products: http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97174

    Later, Jon
    Last edited by jonpalombi; 09-04-2009 at 09:28 AM.
    "A wise person aspires the study of swordsmanship. A lucky person finds a worthy teacher, an unlucky person finds yet another student... in the guise of a genuine Master. Sadly, a fool cannot tell the difference either way." Anecdotes of The Unknown Swordsman

  15. #15
    There is a much better price on the shinto at wiwingtiswordsupply.com. I Marc's prices the best around.
    Last edited by Mark Trick; 09-03-2009 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Remove price

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    58

    Thumbs up Best deal i have found so far.

    This is an awsome deal.

    http://www.e-mudo.com/Arashi_Katana_p/arashikatana.htm

    I will be posting a review in a few days. Both my self and two of my fellow iaidoka bought them and for the sale price, they can't be beat.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    Practice slow - Learn fast
    Practice fast - Learn slow

  17. #17

    Thumbs up Sweet price!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Buechler View Post
    This is an awsome deal.

    http://www.e-mudo.com/Arashi_Katana_p/arashikatana.htm

    I will be posting a review in a few days. Both my self and two of my fellow iaidoka bought them and for the sale price, they can't be beat.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    Hey Chris,

    Nice looking shinken. I look forward to your review of them! Do you practice iai with a live blade or an iaito? Will your review cover their application in tameshigiri? Obviously, for this price these are China-katanas? Say, do you know which forge makes them?

    Ciao, Jon
    "A wise person aspires the study of swordsmanship. A lucky person finds a worthy teacher, an unlucky person finds yet another student... in the guise of a genuine Master. Sadly, a fool cannot tell the difference either way." Anecdotes of The Unknown Swordsman

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Järvenpää, Finland
    Posts
    3,241
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Buechler View Post
    This is an awsome deal.

    http://www.e-mudo.com/Arashi_Katana_p/arashikatana.htm

    I will be posting a review in a few days. Both my self and two of my fellow iaidoka bought them and for the sale price, they can't be beat.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    What's so special about them? Personally I think that a wirebrushed fake hamon at this price is a no-no..
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

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
  •