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Please recommend a Wakazashi (Japan short sword) for me.

Aug 15, 2000
I am very interested in purchasing a Wakazashi. I am currently looking at a Criswell for $295. I really don't want to spend any more than $300 for it. If anyone else has had any experience with any other high quality, hard use, short swords, please let me know. I'm not really interested in the Livesay sword, since he doesn't put a guard on his. Thank you very much.
I have a Kagamitsu made in Bizen provance in the village of Osafune in around 1450 - 1500 that I think would probably perform quite well... :cool:

I guess it depends on what you want it for. For a wallhanger, balance and edge holding aren't required but if you plan to do kendo/iaido kata or actually cut something like in tameshigari you'd probably want to spend more and get a quality cutter.

The best wakizashi i've ever handled belonged to a friend and was made by Don Fogg (http://www.dfoggknives.com/) which he very generously loaned me for a kata demo. I say generous because it cost more than 4 months of salary and a lot of paperwork to get it through customs. It just felt so right in my hand - terrific balance. I was almost sorry to give it back
Check ot Kris Cutlery´s Wakizashis. Relatively inexpensive, built for use, but arguably kinda ugly. Best price to performance ratio anywhere. http://www.invis.com/kriscutlery/

"Peace is not without conflict; it is the ability to cope with conflict" - Leo Giron
For $300 you can't get a traditional Wakizashi. The Criswell blades are good for the money, but not very traditional. The Kris cutlery Waki runs about $95 and is a little bit more traditional. You can make it look very traditonal with a little bit of work. I have one for over 1 year and it has been used on a variety of cutting targets. No regrets so far. Check out their new site at: www.kriscutlery.com

Hope this helps.
Whatever you buy, please don't get one of those heavy-assed, 440 steel ones out of a martial arts magazine.

IMO, 440 is okay for folders and fixed blades but are not meant for katana, and wakizashi. Way too heavy.