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Entering the katana world

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by stonproject, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. stonproject

    stonproject Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2013
    Since I was a young boy the samurai and Japanese culture fascinated me. As my knife collection expanded through my adult life my tastes always gravitated back towards asian style tools and weapons , specifically Japanese.

    Well with trepidation, I want to dip my toes in the world of the katana. I've narrowed it down to hanwei and ronin. I don't know that ill necessarily use it for anything beyond admiration, but id like if it was capable of use.

    The sword that interested me most is ronin's entry level swords. I've read good things about it for the price, I will probably jump headfirst into some better swords when I understand them more, but i would appreciate any advice around the $200 mark, and maybe some reading material if you have any to suggest.
    JJHollowman likes this.
  2. SouthernComfort


    Dec 8, 2011
    Can't tell you anything about the Ronin, but have had some experience with Hanwei over the years and found them to be a good value for a functional Japanese style sword.

    If you want to read up on the real thing, here is a list of some good basic books.

    Samurai Sword - A Handbook

    by John M. Yumoto is cheap on amazon and while maybe a bit dated it still has lots of good basic information.
    The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords
    by Kokan Nagayama, Kenji Mishina may be a bit advanced for the average newbie but is a very good book.
    john april and stonproject like this.
  3. Highlander 20026

    Highlander 20026

    Jun 19, 2015
    I have heard good and bad things about ronin, also should check out hanwei, huawei, munetoshi skyjiro, ryujin, citadel, hsts, etc but a few to get started
  4. fonedork

    fonedork Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Man I think Ronin is a solid $200 range choice although I've never had one, I was tempted to pull the trigger. I think the decent ones were more in the $300 range though. But for a beater katana I wouldn't think there's all too much of a chance of messing up and making the wrong choice, as long as you get a major brand, they'll all be decent, not awesome. I picked up a folded hanwei set for a beater set and have literally never beaten on it once but I remember that all the research and option weighing leading up to it drove me mad. Good luck.
  5. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Well what are you waiting for? Beater cutting vid now! >:O
    DocJD likes this.
  6. fonedork

    fonedork Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Yeah fair enough. I’ll try to get at least some bottles over the weekend.
    Mecha likes this.
  7. SouthernComfort


    Dec 8, 2011
  8. fonedork

    fonedork Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Oh yeah, the Hanwei raptors are supposed to be nice. The eagle tsuba makes it seem like captain america's katana or something though.
  9. Joseph Gardner

    Joseph Gardner

    Oct 12, 2018
    You get what you pay for, anything made of 1095 is trash. Iv baught many a sword and deliberately broken them, itl chip on woodbark and nails in 2x4s. My advice is look for a ww2 gunto, theres a decent amount of them for around 1000-2000, still made the japanese way. The japanese actually have names for fake katanas and confiscate them, everything modern production other then kobuse is made wrong.

    Kind of a mood killer, i had to learn to forge everything ground up to own one.

    If you have to go with modern steels look for tool steel laminated with spring steel or having a wrought iron core.

    Real steel isnt cheap, 1095 costs about 10$ for three feet one inch wide, an angle grinder costs 25$ at harbor frieght and a belt sander costs 50$. People heat treat blades for 25$ plus shipping. All in all you can do it yourself for 150$. It isnt that hard either to do what they do.

    Iv sold alot of blanks for about 500$ just making kobuse blanks unfinished using W2 or Cru Forge V with wrought Iron. Really.i dont get it at all.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  10. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    I suggest that anyone getting into katana look around the Kult of Athena site; large selection and very good prices (also, good people). :thumbsup: Don't dismiss Cheness because of not so great fittings, the swords themselves are very strong, sharp and well priced; my first user was their 5160-through hardened Tenchi and it is still an excellent entry among my 40 or so katana. :) My info, however, is about 7 years old. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  11. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
  12. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Many of us reading your posts don't get it either. You are running off at the mouth a bit and making some pretty outlandish statements while often bumping up dead threads.

    If you are looking for attention, let's go back to your kobuse thread and that you verbally paint a picture but seem unable to produce any evidence of your work.

    Think about that.
    Bradenk1987 and Mecha like this.
  13. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    Steely_Gunz and Danke42 like this.

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