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are any of you trained in weaponry?
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25 / M / California
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Posted 5/20/13
Just bought my fourth daito, yay!

My first was a rather cheap Masahiro Sakura ($90-$120?), but it came very nice and sharp, held a nice edge, and was the most well-balanced sword I'd ever handled. The problem was its cheap saya and the tendency for the blade to chip/bend/take a set on a bad or even normal cut. I don't think it was very well-tempered since it was so easy to sharpen. It eventually took an irreparable set after I decided to continue cutting with it after I salvaged it from my friend's garage after a fire. I took off the fittings and threw away the rest but, geez, I will miss that sword.

My second was a Cold Steel Chisa. The blade is ultra durable, holds a decent edge, and is nigh indestructible. The thing handles poorly due to poor balance and a very thick tsuka (probably meant for Western hands). Cold Steel blades seem way overbuilt. I'm glad I got the kogatana and not the regular warrior katana. I wouldn't be able to handle the even more blade-heavy normal one. It's rather easy to cut with but it's a bit hard to sharpen due to the hardness of the monosteel blade. It is shorter than a 'standard' katana but it is much wider and thicker.

My third was a Cheness Kurome (Black Eyes). I ordered the blade without a blood groove and it feels blade-heavy as well. It is only marginally thicker than a 'standard' katana but the lack of blood groves makes it way heavier. Black Eyes is a wrecking machine. It is made with the same steel that truck suspensions are made of. It can bend 60+ degrees and spring back to true straightness. It even comes with a brass mekugi, this is some serious business. Not razor sharp, but I bought this to be a heavy cutter, so this 'battlefield edge' serves me well. The blade's weight still allows it to cut smoothly while it is just dull enough to retain its cutting ability after slicing through a series of random things. I have never needed to sharpen this sword. I customized its fittings by myself and it's currently my favorite (and heaviest) sword.

My fourth was a Shintogo Kyuuketsuki (Vampire). It's a very pretty blade with an overall purple/black theme and golden bat ornaments. Very stylish, I must say. It is my only blade with a hishigami wrap in a battle-wrap style and it is agile/nicely balanced. I've yet to cut anything with the Vampire, it is just so damn pretty that I don't want to mess up its polish. It's also made with spring steel, the same thing Black Eyes is made of, so I'll trust that it is proportionally strong (the blade isn't as thick as the one on Black Eyes).

I really would like a blade from Gold Mountain next, but those are a few thousand dollars each. If I can't get my hands on one, I will probably save for a bainite katana. Possibly Hanwei's Praying Mantis.
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18 / F / Nasuhell
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Posted 5/20/13
Nope.
If I'm ever attacked, I'll just use what's lying around, hopefully, something that can knock out the attacker.
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19 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 5/20/13
Archery to an extent
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19 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 5/20/13

Morbidhanson wrote:

Just bought my fourth daito, yay!

My first was a rather cheap Masahiro Sakura ($90-$120?), but it came very nice and sharp, held a nice edge, and was the most well-balanced sword I'd ever handled. The problem was its cheap saya and the tendency for the blade to chip/bend/take a set on a bad or even normal cut. I don't think it was very well-tempered since it was so easy to sharpen. It eventually took an irreparable set after I decided to continue cutting with it after I salvaged it from my friend's garage after a fire. I took off the fittings and threw away the rest but, geez, I will miss that sword.

My second was a Cold Steel Chisa. The blade is ultra durable, holds a decent edge, and is nigh indestructible. The thing handles poorly due to poor balance and a very thick tsuka (probably meant for Western hands). Cold Steel blades seem way overbuilt. I'm glad I got the kogatana and not the regular warrior katana. I wouldn't be able to handle the even more blade-heavy normal one. It's rather easy to cut with but it's a bit hard to sharpen due to the hardness of the monosteel blade. It is shorter than a 'standard' katana but it is much wider and thicker.

My third was a Cheness Kurome (Black Eyes). I ordered the blade without a blood groove and it feels blade-heavy as well. It is only marginally thicker than a 'standard' katana but the lack of blood groves makes it way heavier. Black Eyes is a wrecking machine. It is made with the same steel that truck suspensions are made of. It can bend 60+ degrees and spring back to true straightness. It even comes with a brass mekugi, this is some serious business. Not razor sharp, but I bought this to be a heavy cutter, so this 'battlefield edge' serves me well. The blade's weight still allows it to cut smoothly while it is just dull enough to retain its cutting ability after slicing through a series of random things. I have never needed to sharpen this sword. I customized its fittings by myself and it's currently my favorite (and heaviest) sword.

My fourth was a Shintogo Kyuuketsuki (Vampire). It's a very pretty blade with an overall purple/black theme and golden bat ornaments. Very stylish, I must say. It is my only blade with a hishigami wrap in a battle-wrap style and it is agile/nicely balanced. I've yet to cut anything with the Vampire, it is just so damn pretty that I don't want to mess up its polish. It's also made with spring steel, the same thing Black Eyes is made of, so I'll trust that it is proportionally strong (the blade isn't as thick as the one on Black Eyes).

I really would like a blade from Gold Mountain next, but those are a few thousand dollars each. If I can't get my hands on one, I will probably save for a bainite katana. Possibly Hanwei's Praying Mantis.


I greatly enjoyed reading about the swords that you have owned just sayin. they all sound pretty epic. what do you reckon is a nice, light, inexpensive(ish) katana? :o

i own one but its dull and is really only intended for decoration. still awesome but ya know, could always have a few more katana's laying around :p
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25 / M / California
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Posted 5/20/13 , edited 5/20/13

Shy-Anime-Guy wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Just bought my fourth daito, yay!

My first was a rather cheap Masahiro Sakura ($90-$120?), but it came very nice and sharp, held a nice edge, and was the most well-balanced sword I'd ever handled. The problem was its cheap saya and the tendency for the blade to chip/bend/take a set on a bad or even normal cut. I don't think it was very well-tempered since it was so easy to sharpen. It eventually took an irreparable set after I decided to continue cutting with it after I salvaged it from my friend's garage after a fire. I took off the fittings and threw away the rest but, geez, I will miss that sword.

My second was a Cold Steel Chisa. The blade is ultra durable, holds a decent edge, and is nigh indestructible. The thing handles poorly due to poor balance and a very thick tsuka (probably meant for Western hands). Cold Steel blades seem way overbuilt. I'm glad I got the kogatana and not the regular warrior katana. I wouldn't be able to handle the even more blade-heavy normal one. It's rather easy to cut with but it's a bit hard to sharpen due to the hardness of the monosteel blade. It is shorter than a 'standard' katana but it is much wider and thicker.

My third was a Cheness Kurome (Black Eyes). I ordered the blade without a blood groove and it feels blade-heavy as well. It is only marginally thicker than a 'standard' katana but the lack of blood groves makes it way heavier. Black Eyes is a wrecking machine. It is made with the same steel that truck suspensions are made of. It can bend 60+ degrees and spring back to true straightness. It even comes with a brass mekugi, this is some serious business. Not razor sharp, but I bought this to be a heavy cutter, so this 'battlefield edge' serves me well. The blade's weight still allows it to cut smoothly while it is just dull enough to retain its cutting ability after slicing through a series of random things. I have never needed to sharpen this sword. I customized its fittings by myself and it's currently my favorite (and heaviest) sword.

My fourth was a Shintogo Kyuuketsuki (Vampire). It's a very pretty blade with an overall purple/black theme and golden bat ornaments. Very stylish, I must say. It is my only blade with a hishigami wrap in a battle-wrap style and it is agile/nicely balanced. I've yet to cut anything with the Vampire, it is just so damn pretty that I don't want to mess up its polish. It's also made with spring steel, the same thing Black Eyes is made of, so I'll trust that it is proportionally strong (the blade isn't as thick as the one on Black Eyes).

I really would like a blade from Gold Mountain next, but those are a few thousand dollars each. If I can't get my hands on one, I will probably save for a bainite katana. Possibly Hanwei's Praying Mantis.


I greatly enjoyed reading about the swords that you have owned just sayin. they all sound pretty epic. what do you reckon is a nice, light, inexpensive(ish) katana? :o

i own one but its dull and is really only intended for decoration. still awesome but ya know, could always have a few more katana's laying around :p


That's nice to hear! Well, depends on your budget, haha. For me, an inexpensive katana is anything below the 300-350 dollar range. Medium would be up to about 700, expensive is 700+. I will only buy functional pieces, I don't understand the point of wallhangers. Keep in mind that all these swords require oiling, though.

A regular Hanwei Raptor is a pretty decent sword for its price. Usually it's about 280-340ish, depending on where you buy it. It handles pretty well, I really enjoy the look of the battle wrap, and it has a nice kissaki. It's made of tempered spring steel, so it's also pretty durable and won't warp/bend as easy as an authentic katana. Hanwei's heat treatment is also very reliable. It arrives VERY sharp, for a sword.

I also like the Cheness Kaze (since it has a real hamon/temper line). Apparently, it is popular. They are about $300 and are fully functional. The Raptor has nicer fittings and a better reputation but the Kaze is differentially hardened, is double pegged with 1 brass and 1 bamboo menuki, and has that nice brown ito. If you get one, make sure you get one with blood grooves. It is too blade-heavy without them. You could always disassemble it and re-do the fittings yourself if you know how. It doesn't come as sharp as the Raptor, but this just means it won't dull as quickly. It's not blunt but it is no razor.

The Ryumon clay-tempered dragon katana is a pretty cost-effective sword. I've seen it on ebay for as low as $100 (not including shipping), but it is normally around $200-ish. It also has a real hamon and it's a decent cutter as well. I've never bought a Ryumon so I can't personally recommend it, though. The plain-black, boring look doesn't do it for me. It just seems to be quite a popular sword at that price range and I've seen a lot of cutting tests with it. It seems to have a nice edge.

Shintogo swords are also decent. I am the only person I know who owns one, but I like how well-assembled their swords are. They also sell cheaper wallhangers and usharpened iaito practice swords (also cheaper), so you can pick and choose. For just 290-ish, you get a sword with an attractive theme, quality fittings, and (as far as I can tell) a balanced and well-made blade. That's actually quite a deal, considering that most swords of this price range will sacrifice the quality of its fittings for quality heat treatment and blade construction, or vice versa.
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19 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 5/20/13


Wow man thank you for all this information. i know if i never need anyone to give me some good thoughts on swords you are the one i should be asking xD. you're very knowledgeable on the subject which is awesome^^

i like them all! D: i'll probably go for the 200-300 dollar range since i don't have a lot of income just yet ;_;

yeahh idk how i feel about my wallhanger, if thats even what it is xD i could always be wrong..

what do you use your swords for? :o
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25 / M / California
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Posted 5/20/13 , edited 5/20/13

Shy-Anime-Guy wrote:



Wow man thank you for all this information. i know if i never need anyone to give me some good thoughts on swords you are the one i should be asking xD. you're very knowledgeable on the subject which is awesome^^

i like them all! D: i'll probably go for the 200-300 dollar range since i don't have a lot of income just yet ;_;

yeahh idk how i feel about my wallhanger, if thats even what it is xD i could always be wrong..

what do you use your swords for? :o


I actually don't know too much about authentic, top-of-the line, master-made Japanese nihonto, but the cheaper production katana are the thing I CAN talk a bit about, haha. I go for function, even though some of the artistic, crazy $100,000 swords do make me envious. I figure that I can just slap some fittings I like onto a production katana and just call it a day if I want a display sword. The true beauty of real swords is in the actual blade, but it's not like a lot of people pay attention to that nowadays lol....and less pricey = less regret and fewer things holding me back when I swing them.

I use mine both for display and for cutting exercises. I have two heavy wooden bokken for safer training, while these real swords are for testing my actual cutting form. Most people don't seem to understand that, in some ways, cutting form is more important than the quality of the blade. Even the best authentic swords can warp/bend if the user doesn't cut with proper form.

I guess they will also work for home defense....I mean, geez, at least one of my swords can slice all the way through a filled 5-gallon water container with one stroke. And 3" live tree limbs, which are probably sturdier than human limbs of the same size, and I'm not the biggest, strongest guy out there, either. Sword tips are more delicate so I don't like doing piercing tests, but I have no doubt that their keen points can easily slide through people. I'm positive that any serious cut with a katana (or any other sword) on a person can be potentially fatal.


EDIT: There's actually a sword buyer's guide that you can look at. Unfortunately for me, I discovered this AFTER I got all my swords (but at least I don't regret my buys). You should take their reviews with a grain of salt, but the tester seems like an honest guy. http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/
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19 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 5/20/13

Morbidhanson wrote:


Shy-Anime-Guy wrote:



Wow man thank you for all this information. i know if i never need anyone to give me some good thoughts on swords you are the one i should be asking xD. you're very knowledgeable on the subject which is awesome^^

i like them all! D: i'll probably go for the 200-300 dollar range since i don't have a lot of income just yet ;_;

yeahh idk how i feel about my wallhanger, if thats even what it is xD i could always be wrong..

what do you use your swords for? :o


I actually don't know too much about authentic, top-of-the line, master-made Japanese nihonto, but the cheaper production katana are the thing I CAN talk a bit about, haha. I go for function, even though some of the artistic, crazy $100,000 swords do make me envious. I figure that I can just slap some fittings I like onto a production katana and just call it a day if I want a display sword. The true beauty of real swords is in the actual blade, but it's not like a lot of people pay attention to that nowadays lol

I use mine both for display and for cutting exercises. I have two heavy wooden bokken for safer training, while these real swords are for testing my actual cutting form. Most people don't seem to understand that, in some ways, cutting form is more important than the quality of the blade. Even the best authentic swords can warp/bend if the user doesn't cut with proper form.

I guess they will also work for home defense....I mean, geez, at least one of my swords can slice all the way through a filled 5-gallon water container with one stroke. And 3" live tree limbs, which are probably sturdier than human limbs of the same size. Sword tips are more delicate so I don't like doing piercing tests, but I have no doubt that their keen points can easily slide through people. I'm positive that any serious cut with a katana (or any other sword) on a person can be potentially fatal.


Hahah take pride in the knowledge that you have man. I for one would be honored to be blessed with your knowledge :D. function is good. its something that i should have noted when i bought mine x.x. what do the crazy artistic $100,000 swords look like? :O. Yeah man! Is slapping the fittings on hard to do, if so i admire your skills :p. id def call that a day :). i hear ya dude, i love the blade too, a katana in general is a real beauty.. honestly if war were like it was, back when we fought with swords, i would be super happy. i feel that guns hardly require any skill at all compared to the array of swords. also theres just something so bad ass about clashing swords.. ^^;

ah yeah dual purpose, smart move.. are bokken like wooden training dummies or am i clueless once again? :s cutting form, what kind of form do you take on when you are in this form? you've got me interested hahah. i can understand why its considered more important than the quality of the blade;. i could be wrong but im guessing that if your cutting form is terrible you arent going to get very far even if you have such an amazing blade right? if they do warp/bend does that put the sword in a irreparable state??

i have no doubt that they do work for self defense i can just picture you going 1v1 with a robber and you're just mopping the floor with your amazing swords lol . holy shiz man. a five gallon container and 3 live tree limbs, id definitely be intimidated by that.. i bet they are more sturdy lmao. i wouldnt wanna test it D: .. yeahh.. piercing does seem like it could easily damage the sword, i bet its pretty brutal though :p. indeed man, indeed. it would hurt so bad too, provided you werent slicing to kill. its good to have defence!



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Posted 5/20/13
nope
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25 / M / California
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Posted 5/20/13 , edited 5/20/13


Well, the crazy artistic swords have lots of visible 'activity' on the blade (hamon/temper lines, wavy fold patterns). Since traditional katana are made by applying a layer of clay on the spine before quenching the sword, they are 'differentially hardened'...ie. the spine is softer than the edge because the clay slowed the cooling of the spine during quenching. Artistic swords are somewhat obsolete now, though, since modern metallurgy makes folding and layering and differential hardening all impractical. Metallurgy nowadays is very advanced and it's easy to get and manipulate pure metals or make alloys that have traits of your choosing, whereas ancient Japanese iron sand was low-quality and all that fancy stuff was done to make the concentration of carbon more homogenous. Modern heat treatment is also very precise. Production swords now, if properly heat-treated and made of the right material, are way tougher and sharper than traditional blades from 800 years ago. They're uglier for sure, but they are more reliable. You're really paying for the labor when it comes to art swords but there's something about how they look that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

There's actually a modern smith (I think Angus Trim) who makes optimized 'tactical' swords of his own design. Some are pretty interesting.

A bokken is just a wooden sword, haha. People should start by training with wooden or plastic swords and work their way up to metal, since even masters mess up sometimes. I've seen some people cut themselves quite badly on accident. The quality of the sword matters, of course, but swords aren't magical. They can't defy the laws of physics, so you still need to maintain proper form lol...it's just that a good sword is more forgiving of mistakes. That's how I think of it. I shouldn't even be cutting tree limbs with my swords, I probably won't do that again, it was just for kicks. People have been known to break swords that way. Swords that bend or warp can usually be repaired. You can usually bend the sword back the way it was. You just don't want cracks or severe twists. Well, katana were designed to bend before breaking.

My form? I like to have my right hand close to the sword's tsuba/guard, while my left hand nears the very bottom for the most leverage and control. This restricts wrist movement a bit, but I don't have the strength to comfortably use a katana by grasping the middle or bottom of the tsuka. The pinky and ring fingers on my right hand grip tightly while the others wrap loosely for control. My left hand grips the same way, but with more even 'grippiness' with all the fingers. When I swing, I let the blade follow through so that the swing is flowing and smooth. I don't stop abruptly. I have to pay attention to my footwork so that my lead leg isn't in the way of the follow-through of the swing.

Some modern greatswords (or similar things like Chinese war swords or claymores or flamberges) have frightening cutting power. I've seen a test where a dude cuts through like....30 water jugs with ONE swing. I'm not being dramatic. Modern metallurgy is amazing lol
Posted 5/20/13
I'm pretty good at close quarters combat, with knives or fists. I'm pretty good with tonfas too.
I also get some practice with swords, staffs, and a scythe. No guns though. Archery I'm fine with, but I'm not a fan of guns.
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32 / M / I have no idea...
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Posted 5/21/13
I'm out of practice, but I've been trained in hand to hand, archery, and different firearms.

Oh, and prose... the pen is mightier, right?
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23 / F / Illinois
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Posted 5/21/13
Guns. All kinds of guns
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16 / F / USA
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Posted 6/23/13
I'm good with guns since my dad collects them.
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28 / M / Waterloo, Ontario
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Posted 6/23/13
Yes I am.
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