Ronin Katana

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by DRobertson, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Bolded part is very true.

    I had one of the first series of Cold Steel Chitana, and it was weighted allright, but was heavy. It did cut well, but would not hold an edge worth a damn....would go from shaving hair to dead ass dull, sitting in the saya overnight.

    Tamahagane swords will cut JUST fine and take the stresses without being overly bendy, if the heat treat is on in my experience.

    Best Regards,

    STeven Garsson
     
  2. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Hanwei Tiger. The elite blade is slightly smaller in height and width according to the specs. Less than 1mm in each dimension.
     
  3. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Different fittings, nice looking sword, it has bohi which will be educational itself. Please let us know what you think of it when you have had a chance to play around with it. I imagine it will be quite sharp.

    Best Regards,

    STeven Garsson
     
  4. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Damn double tap!
     
  5. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Will do. I know this is only loosely related, but prior to all of this knife/sword addiction, I spent a lot of time cutting firewood to heat the cabin. Looking at the guides to cut efficiently with a sword, the same principles apply to swinging an axe efficiently. It isn't brute power, but acceleration, efficiency, and accuracy. I am looking forward to learning about this new tool (sword) in my journey. I don't plan on cutting logs with it. I primarily want to learn about design, profile, cross section, balance, and need a reference point.
     
  6. crimsonfalcon07

    crimsonfalcon07

    Dec 27, 2010
    I think you missed the point. Point wasn't that steel is the be-all and end-all. Quite the reverse, really. I was making a few points, notably that depending on what you want to do with the sword, you should be making sure that the heat treat and steel type support the intended use. For examples, please reread the post you responded to.

    What skill has to do with it is that someone who knows something about swords, and using swords, may be looking for very different things than the average sword buyer, who, again as stated before, tends to place a very high emphasis on things like ability to cut down a tree, or bash apart a metal pipe, or endure "edge-on-edge impacts." We've seen this sort of attitude crop up all too often in here. The kind of steel and heat treat I'm going to request from Brad for a sword that I know is going to get used in this fashion, or is going to a novice user, is likely to be rather different than what I'd use for a sword for my own personal use, or that's intended primarily for cutting. Ditto if I know it's going to be a stage sword, etc. Skill and knowledge will lead a buyer to have more specific needs from the sword than just toughness, and ability to cut pool noodles.

    The corollary to the above is that most reviews online are written by the average sword buyer, who, contrary to their vague professions of knowledge of various martial arts for x amount of years, actually have very little knowledge about swords, using them, or making them. For most sword buyers, L6 vs "high carbon steel" is a meaningless distinction, and even then, they don't often know really what the difference is. Thus, I also made the point that reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  7. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    I find any review in having some useful information. Especially pictures other than those from the sellers. Even quite knowledgeable reviewers can often be quite subjective due to their own preferences. All in all, any info aside from ad copy is often more useful than none at all. I see a lot of novices having a lot more energy in taking the time to post them up with a lot of raw and unbiased detail.

    A great many collectors don't bother with the history, build and aesthetic of the Japanese katana and as long as it looks good from a distance, and meets their need in use, spending time looking at even handling real antiques or better modern made swords is something beyond their interest. It is not just the katana that seems appealing to sword newcomers but it really seems only a fraction of buyers really learn much before buying. There really are the thousands buying that never look at any forums or feedback aside from the source.

    My early interest in katana was more or less life long back to the 1950s. It wasn't until the later 1990s that I looked to avoid the Marto and Art Gladius swords. Instead studying the antiques and modern makers such as Michael Bell and Howard Clark. A fitted and complete katana for less than two grand looked like a great deal and I should have jumped then. Instead, a brief journey of buying modern medieval western stuff before settling firmly into 18th and 19th century antiques.

    I did buy a Chinese chokuto a couple years ago and like my old PK, spends most of its life hanging in its bag. Asian rosewood that needs to be replaced with real mounts some day. It is a very nice T10 blade.

    Cheers

    GC
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  8. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Unbiased is good, I'm not sure that raw is. In 1999 and 2000, I was an active participant on SwordForums. The never ending dumbass questions, gleeful ignorance and pitiful hero worship(Angelsword, Randall Graham......)drove me away, and I have never really gone back, except to sell a crap sword once, which went in less than 24 hours. We all have our preferences.

    That reads like you are justifying ignorance.

    So you didn't leap when you could have, and found that you preferred western style blades....and this adds to a discussion of the Ronin katana or any katana how?

    Best Regards,

    STeven Garsson
     
  9. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Not much left at SFI except one of the better spots to discuss western antique and military swords. However, within the bowels of SFI, there is a lot to read about the evolution of the Chitana market. Due to that, a few actually did learn how traditional katana were put together. It was always (and still true anywhere) been a matter of turning up the squelch to cut out the white noise to hear/read worthwhile information. The same is true for reading reviews. Raw data is good. Basic dimensions, build, pictures from many angles all useful.


    Hardly so. Accepting that it exists and sometimes helping those with interest learn, while knowing there are thousands buying on impulse that have and never will visit a forum (or even watch videos on youtube).


    Specifically going back to buying a quality sword after learning a bit. Instead of impulse buying a dragon headed leather handled Art Gladius, spending a year looking further into both antiques, sites such as Stein's and even the forums before SFI.

    Looking before one leaps is what this thread has been discussing.

    Really, so much more could be said by the experts of the modern market. I don't really qualify to point out all the details yet stuff like the quality and form of builds (from materials to assembly) can show differences between different offerings. For instance, you reminding readers that Cheness has not evolved much with better overall options available. Or am I imagining you pointed that out(again)?

    Cheers

    Glen A Cleeton aka Glen C. aka horseclover
     
  10. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Oh, to add one particular picture view to look for with katana is looking from the top (or bottom) of a tsuka for both width and how lumpy the ito maki looks. Not many sellers bother with sharing that. I may be overestimating it but I feel the entire mount of a traditional Japanese style sword is as important as a decent blade.

    Cheers

    GC
     
  11. Kohai999

    Kohai999 Second Degree Cutter Platinum Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Cheness HAS evolved, but the basic tsuka core construction and materials for tsuba, fuchi kashira and menuki have not really.

    There are sharp edges on the tsubas of many models, and the tsuka still look like cord wrapped broom handles.

    They are affordable.

    Nice point about the tsuka maki. I would answer your observation with a "maybe". Depends upon what it cost, what the blade is constructed/finished like and if the tsuka is comfortable and controllable with your hands. After that, as long as the blade itself doesn't come flying out of the handle, it is probably all good for the average sword buyer.

    Best Regards,

    STeven Garsson
     
  12. Scotty2Hotty

    Scotty2Hotty

    269
    Apr 29, 2014
    Glen A Cleeton aka Glen C. aka GC aka horseclover,
    Is the Hanwei Practical the only katana that you own? If not, what other katana do you own/use? What are your thoughts on Ronin Katana?
     
  13. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    I own just those two Japanese style swords while having viewed and handled several others, including antiques. I have mentioned that I like the looks of the Ronin and Dynasty Forge swords. I have considered others that have come and gone from Kris Cutlery. I have also mentioned a few times that I am no authority on the current market and have no issue in letting others more familiar in touting their own expertise of the market. What I have been most vehement about is that any really interested in Japanese style swords would actually benefit in actually learning about them.

    Cheers

    GC
     
  14. Scotty2Hotty

    Scotty2Hotty

    269
    Apr 29, 2014
    Of course. Doing much research. I was just interested in YOUR opinion is all. Thanks a lot, man.
     
  15. TrueBlue11c

    TrueBlue11c

    372
    Mar 31, 2014
    Kohai what are your thoughts on Sky jiro? I bought one mostly out of curiosity
     
  16. Cottontail Customs

    Cottontail Customs

    11
    Feb 22, 2012
    Good point Clover. A well made blade in poor mounts is as unbalanced overall as a perfectly mounted stainless steel wall hanger, neither is very useful. I recently reviewed a katana that had a bloated tsuka and I felt the strain in my fingers within minutes of my cutting session.
    The biggest issue I have with most Hanwei models are the terribly shaped tsuka. Too round, too thick, too straight, and too long(this is subjective of course) imho. Great blades with poor tsuka shape makes for a sword I can't use for long.
    Of course this is not limited to just Hnawei, I have been inside and out of more production katana than I can count and the most common problem in this market is unbalanced construction.
    I believe smaller sellers like Huawei Sword have the advantage of constant customer communication and feedback and you can see how much they've evolved in only a few short years. I'm not saying they make these changes because they care about tradition or even making the best product but more likely because they want to sell more swords. They are producing what the customers are asking for such as using hishigami, alternating tsukamaki, properly shaped tsuka, better blade geometry and polishing, and overall balance, and they are selling more of them because of it.

    We still have a long way to go in the affordable katana market but there are more choices these days and it seems like there is at least some growth by some manufacturers ;)

    -Josh
     
  17. Scotty2Hotty

    Scotty2Hotty

    269
    Apr 29, 2014
    @ Cottontail Customs - You are the frank the bunny guy, right? If so, do you fabricate the tsuba + fuchi-kashira, or just fit them? Just curious is all.
     
  18. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    I received my sword yesterday. There are three cosmetic blemishes (I expected them to be worse) but overall it looks and feels good. The fit and finish isn't as good as my knives, but definitely better than a lot of other production items I have seen. I am heading to the cabin for three days for my anniversary and birthday, and will post more thoughts when I get back.
     
  19. TrueBlue11c

    TrueBlue11c

    372
    Mar 31, 2014
    Which model did you get?
     
  20. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Hanwei Tiger. It rained most of the weekend, so I didn't do much with the sword.
     

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