Katana steel and price

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by Arkadius, May 24, 2018.

  1. Arkadius


    May 24, 2018
    do any of you know of any good sites that sell katanas? Also.. I know I can’t get high quality spring steel for under $125, but what kind of steel / style of manufacture do you think can be found between $75-$100? Thank you so much in advance. I’m looking for a really good cutter and not have to worry about the blade snapping or losing the edge too quickly, something better than 1040, I heard 1060 can be found in this price range but what would be the best way for that steel to be tempered and such? Thank you so very much.

    TOMBSTONE Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 1998
  3. Arkadius


    May 24, 2018
    Thank you for such a quick reply, I should of made it clear, I’m looking for an ok blade, as mentioned something with 1060 steel and was wondering the best way for that type of steel to be heat treated/tempered for a katana, however I do appreciate that link you sent, goin to take a look now
  4. JasonJ


    Oct 28, 2014
    At the price points you are talking about, no retailer or manufacturer is going to be able to answer questions about heat treating and tempering.. they batch make those blades for mall stands and novelty shops... you'll be lucky of the blade isn't stamped "Pakistan" and "Surgical Stainless" at those price points. Thing is, you are not going to get a quality "OK" user blade on that budget. A great looking wall-hanging decoration, sure... but not any sword I'd feel safe swinging or being remotely near when it was being used.
  5. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    It seems like you're looking for a bare, unfinished blade that has not been heat treated (and therefore is also not sharpened)?

    Nobody really makes bare blades in your price range. Bare blades are usually the provenance of higher-end collectors who are willing to pay the price for a blade from a well known smith but wish to have it polished (sometimes) or have its furniture mounted by someone else (sometimes themselves). I don't know of any factory-made bare blades. If there are, they've certainly been heat treated and sharpened.

    Paul Chen/Hanwei probably make the best value factory Japanese-style swords. Check out Sword Buyer's Guide, that's a wealth of information to help out newbies on a budget.
  6. DrRollinstein

    DrRollinstein Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2018
    Look up the brand Musashi. They make decent swords that are good for light cutting for around 80 or more dollars.
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  7. BlackKnight86

    BlackKnight86 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    What do you want to do with it?

    If you want a decent cutter to practice, then get one of the katana-style machetes, like from Cold Steel; then, put a good edge on it and DON'T try to exceed its performance envelope. They are generally 1055; and they have a decent reputation for being "what they are for the money".

    If you want an actual "katana", then your spending limit puts you right on the border of a danger zone, where what you are paying is going to get you compromises all over the place, any one of which can cause you trouble.

    If you are going low, then own it and accept the natural limitations.

    Edited to add: or the DrRollinstein approach: find one of the few known quantities that make a decent facsimile, and again: DON'T try to exceed its performance envelope.
    DrRollinstein likes this.
  8. DrRollinstein

    DrRollinstein Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2018
    Exactly. It's all about what you want to do.

    Now if you want the biggest baddest beater you can buy reasonably, save up and get a katana from Zombie Tools. Bit of a wait time, but well worth it. Those things are made of sprung steel and are pretty close to indestructible.
    BlackKnight86 likes this.
  9. Arkadius


    May 24, 2018
    Thank you everyone for your replies, I’m going to look at the brands and look into everything else you suggested, I may end up spending more on one but was just trying to find one for around that price. What I want to do with it, the one I have currently to practice with has no edge and the one I had that was sharp broke. I live on 5 acres of land with constant keep up with trimming bushes and small branches. Itd be more fun to use a katana than clippers, Nothing too rigid.
    Thanks again everyone and cheers
    DocJD likes this.
  10. BlackKnight86

    BlackKnight86 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    You are talking about a machete. Check out the Cold Steel one, or Condor.

    If you TRULY want a sword, and that is what you'll be doing with it; then Dr Rollinstein is spot on - save a few hundred and get the Zombie Tools katana.
  11. JJHollowman

    JJHollowman Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    I admit I bought one of these for $48 (free shipping too) and was kinda impressed even though I knew it was 1045. I tried it out on pool noodles and two old tiki torches and it cut, none the worse for wear. Double pinned tang so that's a plus. It looks okay and everything was tight although I didn't do enough with it to push my luck. I'm pretty certain the seller isn't a sponsor here so sorry, no link, but it's easy to find with google. For the price it's something to play with- with caution- in the backyard, it's certainly NOT gonna clear the back 40. The folks saying you should get a machete are 100% right for what you need. I will admit that seeing how decent the Musashi I got for $48 is makes me wonder what one at a higher price point is like.
  12. Joseph Gardner

    Joseph Gardner

    Oct 12, 2018
    So to be clear do you have the ability to do your stock removal and fittings,

    If you do that changes the nature of the question alot, theres blacksmiths like myself that can readily just get a peice of w2 forge it out and heat treat it in a days work. At that point its rough work the smith might not have the time for so there ends up being quite a few of them laying about unfinished you can snag.

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