Shinto Katana

Jun 17, 1999
Does anybody know anything about the Shinto Katana from CAS Iberia? I saw it for sale on the internet and it looks good, But I'd like someone's opinion who owns one or has handled one.
I sell these swords hand made by Paul Chen. I love them. There has been a lot written about them in other forums and some is good and some bad. Some say the edge is too hard. It is a well made sword. For using? I would not hesatate to use this if I knew what I was doing. For the money they can't be beat. BTW one of the highlights of my trip to the Blade Show was meeting Paul Chen. Check out this site.

Danny Ridenhour
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I personally don't own one but I've been researching this sword for sometime.

The Shinto is the best katana in it's price range, period. It's a major step up from the stainless wall hangers, but still lags far from the top end martial arts grade swords that'll cost $1500 and up.

If you got your heart set on a Shinto, make sure you are getting the new version. The new Shinto has a 11" tang, that's 5 inches more than the old. Trouble is they look the same on the outside and has no distinguishing item number from CASI (yet).

You should consider the other 2 swords, the Golden Oriole and the Musashi. I personally don't like the Musashi because it has that leather handle wrap.

I am thinking of getting the Golden Oriole and having the handle professionally shortened (present length is inaccurate), then have it re-wrapped with silk in the color of my choosing. The cotton wrap on these things is not martial arts grade and will fuzz with use.

I would not advise you to get one for martial arts cutting. The word is that QC is streaky. Sometimes the heat-treat is just right, sometimes the sword is brittle, making it unsafe for contact use.

Let me know if you wnat more.
I got one last year about this time and I've really enjoyed mine. Polishing is about all mine's used for, as I think any real use would be a detriment to the handle/blade juncture as there's only a traditional bamboo menugi holding the tang inside the handle. As it is, when I swing it I can feel movement at the juncture. Mine's definitely more for display purposes at this time. I did consider making another handle out of oak or micarta for actual use.

The 3 new swords all have two pegs for redundancy.

Can you tell what wood is the handle made from? I was told it's a weak wood. Yellow Poplar or maple would probably be a good alternative.

If you're going to redo the handle in wood, you might as well get enough ray skin for a full-wrap. Currently there's just two strips. A full-wrap would be more secure.

Actually, if I were to rehandle it for cutting purposes, I would do so with one solid material without any type of wrapping; sort of the idea behind the full-tang katanas. Then I'd be able to interchange handles with the provision I can fresh new babmoo menugis that are not worn. I'm thinking more and more about just investing in one of the full-tang stainless deals from CAS. I really don't want to ding up the Shinto in any event. I heard the new ones have two pins, but I really don't think that they are made for cutting purposes still.
I've been selling the CAS katanas (and wakazashis) since their introduction. I have sold about 20 of these swords (Shinto, Golden Oriole, and Musashi) and all my customers have been absolutely delighted with them. I consider them to be an exceptionally good value for your dollar. We had only one problem, and that was a Musashi model that had some glue seepage in the saya. CAS's customer service took care of it immediately. Contact usage should not be a problem, however it is a risk with ANY sword. I have seen many original Japanese swords chipped and broken in contact. The skill of the swordsman is an important factor. I would recommend that you seek out an experienced instructor in Kenjutsu to help you hone those skills.

Blade Runner Knives

[This message has been edited by namvet67 (edited 01 July 1999).]
Anyone interested in a review of these and other swords take a look at magazine section. I spent hours reading reviews last night.. Very interesting!