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Thread: Moderate niku in the $500-600+ range... Munetoshi?

  1. #51
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    I agree with Chris Roberts that it is not worthy as a blade for collecting purpose base on aesthetic (or lack thereof) and have consistently discouraged the OP from purchasing it for that purpose. It is a cutting blade and nothing else. And for that purpose, it is a good blade. But it certainly does not warrant spending more money on it for customization.

    Since they are clearly marketed for lower price market, Munetoshi might as well forgo with the folding or lamination nonsense and stick to the basic. The logo on the habaki is a turn-off as well. The brand is popular with the backyard cutting crowd and those guys for the most part don't really care about folding and lamination either.

    PS: My disagreement with others who said that the brand is junk should not be taken as an endorsement for the brand as a collector type blade.
    Last edited by M. Phan; 12-21-2010 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by M. Phan View Post
    @Luis: I think SwordNArmory/Munetoshi has bad marketing strategy. Their site looks cheesy and they sell SLO alongside real sword. The fittings are steel however, not zinc alloy. It is powdered coated blacken steel, so the paint finish is texture and not very attractive -- at least on the Enkai.
    Yes they do have a bad marketing strategy. Personally I prefer shops like Kult of Athena that do not try to patronize merchandise. Even if the Enkai's fittings are steel, they don't look very good at all, or perhaps it's just the camera playing tricks on us.

    Personally the only reason I shop at SnA is for ito/sageo due to the quick delivery but that will soon change now that I discovered Nihonzashi doesn't charge shipping on ito or sageo according to some posters.

  3. #53
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    PS: My disagreement with others who said that the brand is junk should not be taken as an endorsement for the brand as a collector type blade.
    If you are listing my comments as others saying the brand is junk, please do re-read my thoughts from the beginning regarding both the ad copy and the budget swords labeled and sold by them.

    You appear to me as presenting a lot of commentary truly in the spirit of disagreeing for the sake of it. Either that or a good bit of what is said simply goes unnoticed or replied to in whatever translation you are reading into them. Again, simple observation and you are welcome to be disagreeable to a fault. However, mentioned previously is that the signal to noise ratio is so low in useful resolution that many simply choose not to participate at all.

    Cheers and Happy Holidays

    Hotspur; not that many reading may be missing my point

  4. #54
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    Glen,

    Before there is another misunderstanding; I was NOT trying to revive an old disagreement or attempted to snipe at you or anyone else. I simply felt responsible that since I spoke out for Munetoshi, I should provide the correct perspective or a full picture. I don't want people to run out and buy a Munetoshi and then blame me afterward because it is not what he or she expected.

    I was never part of a debating club and take no joy whatsover on debating for debating sake.

    Please don't take my attempt at clarification for anything else. It is simply just that, an attempt at clarification.
    Last edited by M. Phan; 12-21-2010 at 03:34 PM.

  5. #55
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    Who Posted?

    Total Posts: 53

    User Name Posts
    M. Phan 21
    Glen C. 13
    michael granovsky 7
    John Coris 3
    J Cooper 3
    Luis G. 2
    James Rot. 1
    Chris Roberts 1
    Timo Qvintus 1
    Constance B. 1

  6. #56
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    Feb 2002
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    Nipmuc USA
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    What you persist in is speaking for others when their own words may have more rationale and accuracy than your interpretations of what others have already posted. Other's thoughts get lost in our continuing noise while debating semantics and perceptions. Inaccuracy in relating other's thoughts is what I am seeing.

    If you are simply looking for a last word, that also simply raises the noise level.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Again this is just observation that really needs no rebuttal to continue

  7. #57
    [QUOTE= or any other brand that etches a logo on the habaki.[/QUOTE]

    Was thinking exactly the same, the stamped habaki is Fugly LOL

    One more thing about the Munetoshi... recently on cyberday they dropped the price from $498 to $398... $100? wow...kinda gave me alarm bells, that they could do that, is their profit margin that high? yikes...
    Last edited by michael granovsky; 12-21-2010 at 06:08 PM. Reason: more stuff

  8. #58
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    Well, price is no sure sign of anything quality wise... If they can't move them fast enough, or at all, they can practically give them away, if they want to get rid of them...

  9. #59
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    About a month ago, kult was offering packages of certain Hanwei models including katana, wakizashi, tanto, and display stand for less than the MSRP on the katana alone.

    Something about the way niku has been used in this thread has got me wondering. I'd have thought that the appropriate amount of niku you'd want for a certain performance is going to vary from sword to sword. Sugata, length, steel type... is niku a one-size fits all glove? I'm just curious about what "good" niku even means in this context. Especially in terms of swords that likely won't be making contact with steel, and are not worth a togishi's time anyway.

    My opinion on low end katana is that at this point, with the information available on this board and others, is that you pretty much have to go into it with the understanding there will be dramatic compromise in fit and finish. Once you figure in the time and effort rebuilding them you may as well have gone up a few hundred dollars price point. Pointing out deficiencies is somewhere between useful and redundant, since there are new 'beaters' coming out all the time, but they all seem to suffer from the same corners being cut. You're basically asking for those compromises when you get in under a certain dollar amount.

  10. #60
    I realize I can get better quality for more money. But...there's not a lot out there between $600 and $1250... sure, PC tiger, ronin, orchid, kami... but Im not seeing a big jump in quality there and I think those models are overpriced because of the furniture anyway. At @ 1000-1100 are higher end jkoo and RDS, and of course the mysterious Chris Zhou, who evidently cant be bothered to take pictures of his swords or tell what kind of steel it is. Above that is your Bugeis at $1250 + (and counting)... but wow, Ive been saving 1 1/2 years just to get enough for a $600ish. And Im tired of waiting. I want folded because its very beautiful. And I want furniture that I picked. Even Bugei's furniture doesnt please me not because it isnt good, but because I didnt pick it out. It will take me at least another year to save enough for a Lohman customization. Why do I want some niku, honestly? Because this is probably the only thing Ill have that qualifies as a "family heirloom" and if someday some fool grandson of mine attacks the backyard tree, I want it to survive.

  11. #61
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    I can definitely understand being somewhat frustrated with production fittings. To get the theme I wanted on my last sword I shelled out enough to arm a few of my friends with low cost production katana. A custom sword will buy you a lot of PPK's or Raptors. I probably could have wall-papered my room with them (or paid off a student loan or three which arguably would have been smarter). It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I love the thing and can't wait to get it back from the polish.

    I haven't checked everywhere, but just to get a katana mounted can run anywhere from $600 to $1500, and thats before we factor in a new tsuba, fuchi-kashira, menuki, and so forth.

    If that's the cost for a properly done tsuka and saya then it's just about a given that to do a blade, polish, tsuba, fuchi-kashira, menuki, habaki, seppa, saya, and tsuka all together for the same amount is going to have to involve some significant corners being cut. That, or I got hosed big time.

    I'm sure we're all at different places and have our own priorities and all, but at a certain point fixating over certain details when one is not able or willing to pay the premium is just a little difficult to understand.

    In the thread I saw "axe handle" come up once or twice in reference to a tsuka - realistically if the entire sword costs the same or less than a handle alone, I don't know what is reasonable to expect from it.

    Now this isn't simply to trash production swords. Some of them are fine for what they are, and really are probably more sword than anyone living today will ever "need". Reviews are great and always fun to read, but you can only put these things under so much scrutiny before you're just expecting way too much out of a given product.

  12. #62
    True, all what you said. I dont want to pay more for a rebuild than for the blade itself. But working from the base blade, assuming I dont need a new tsuka core (and probably wont with DF), it will be $195 for handle wrap, and $140ish for new fuchi and kashira (in antiqued silver)... plus a little more for silk knot on the saya and postage. I will retain the saya, seppa, habaki and menuki, and I already have the tsuba I want. So this is very doable and reasonably affordable. And all for less than $950- $1k, it really seemed the way to go. Ill post pictures when I complete it and of course a review of the sword when I get it. Thank you very much for your valuable input because there only so much research I can do alone.

  13. #63
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    One thing to keep in mind, and I'm probably really simplifying it here, is that the tsuka is built to the fittings. If the fuchi you want is a different size or shape than the one you got on the sword, then you've got to either modify the tsuka core or replace it. And modifying it can look anywhere from kind of odd to terrible depending on what happens. If you aren't careful about checking things out you might as well be trying the square peg in a round hole cliche. It's really good to think about this stuff like you are doing before you go out shopping, as it can save cash and heartbreak. If you have to buy two or three sets of fuchi and kashira before you find one that you like and fits your core, you'll have already gone past your budget without much to show for it.

    There's a lot of good info here on the boards. I've hardly scratched the surface in my own study, just trying to point things out to hopefully help other people out there and get in on the conversation from time to time. Keep an eye out for any posts or threads by the fellows that do this stuff professionally.

  14. #64
    Good point, I considered that too... full handle replacement is @ $600 and includes core, wrappings, f/c and menuki in the price. But at least Ill have the sword while I wait for fundage, which will make the wait easier. Wont have to worry about polish either, so even worst case its still within the realm of affordability.
    The Fred Lohman company has a really good website that helps you plan out the cost of your rebuild, as well as a great list of furniture parts, or you can use your own. Here is that link:
    http://www.japanese-swords.com/index.htm
    Last edited by michael granovsky; 12-24-2010 at 06:36 AM. Reason: nyah

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by michael granovsky View Post

    One of the only others seems to be the Munetoshi line at SwordNarmory, folded T-10 in both Maru and Kobuse lamination. They state that they have moderate niku suitible for heavier cutting. The polish on these look poor but that is fixable I suppose. So here are my main 2 questions:

    -Is Kobuse lamination in the $500 range a good idea, performance and quality wise? Or would Maru be a safer bet?

    -Does anyone have experience with Munetoshi's high-end stuff? Is the blade itself good quality? How good (skilled) is the heat treatment? What is your opinion of the polish? Now, I dont care about fit and finish of the furniture at all, Im for having it customized.

    Thanks in advance!

    So, did you ever decide on which one to go with, and if so, which did you pick?

  16. #66
    I did, I got a DF FF tristeel (wave). I replaced the tsuba, sharpened it, worked the polish with 1k, 2k, 4k, 6k and 8k sandpaper, and acid etched the blade to enhance the grain pattern, then worked it over with mothers mag and aluminum polish. It looks gorgeous! I also applied car wax to the saya to protect it from fingers. I got it for $528 from SOE with free shipping, so pretty good deal. I will try to take some pics and post them soon.
    Last edited by michael granovsky; 03-15-2011 at 04:44 PM. Reason: meh

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