So, who knows anything about swords?

This is a discussion on So, who knows anything about swords? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sword review time! I will be using the english words for various things, as I'm not yet knowledgable about the actual japanese terms. My first ...

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Thread: So, who knows anything about swords?

  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Sword review time! I will be using the english words for various things, as I'm not yet knowledgable about the actual japanese terms.

    My first impression of the packaging was that they wasted too much money on an expensive box. I was wrong, though. The box looks very impressive, with yellow silk and metal clasps, but the moment I touched it, I realized it was hiding formed styrofoam and cardboard underneath: a clever (and stylish) disguise!

    One thing that disappointed me was the lack of a cleaning kit or disassembly instructions. Just a business card, nothing else.

    The sword itself is just as beautiful as the box, in a simple elegant way. The scabbord (saya?) is simple reflective black, and will aquire fingerprints just from looking at it.

    The hilt is very solid and wrapped very tight, with two small brass sculptures imbedded in it. Cheness claims to use real ray skin (same, I think). I have no idea if it's true or not, but I could only find one spot where I could just barely see the edge of the skin and the wood underneath.

    The brass hand-guard is simple, but functional, with no embossing or other nonsense. The brass is tarnished unevenly and scratched in places, but it just makes the sword look older than it is. The pommel is also brass, with a simple crenulated pattern on it.

    The blade is where any hint of "cheapness" stops. It is evenly polished, except for the tip (kissaki, I'm pretty sure of that one), with an imitation hamon (though it looks perfectly real). I opted for the fullered blade, which I think helps with the balance of the blade. It initially seemed tip-heavy, but after a bit of experimenting, I think it was just my inexperience and poor hand positioning.

    The fittings near the hilt are tight and straight, just like everything else on this sword.

    I was surprised at first that the blade's edge was not sharpened all the way back to the hilt. There is about an inch of completely unsharpened steel directly in front of the fittings, followed by another 2-3in of increasing sharpness before the edge really starts. After that, the rest of the blade is just about razor sharp. I do have pocket-knives that are sharper (my Gerber Covert Folder came scarily sharp brand new), but the katana is almostsharp enough to shave the hairs off my hand, and effortlessly slices through paper. It could probably benefit from some time with a sharpening block, but I still wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of it at speed.

    I haven't done any actual cutting with it, and I probably won't for quite a while, so I can't review its true potential. I can say, though, that this is an excellant sword for the money, and I'm very impressed with it.

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  3. #32
    Member Array arawn's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you're happy with your purchase.

    Please snap up some pictures when you get a chance.

    Regarding the same (ray skin) handle wrap. From what I've read, Cheness uses actual same, substituting panels rather than the pricier full wrap.

    B.

  4. #33
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    I actually had some pictures at the ready when I was posting that, and totally forgot about them. I'll be sure to edit it tonight.

  5. #34
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    picture time.
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  6. #35
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Traditionally the handguard is left as such to show how well the steel ages as such it is considered very improper to polish the handguard, and can decrease the value. Just so you know.


    Unless you were joking about the cleaning/ disassembly of the sword, I would strongly suggest that you not attempt to take it apart. It seems all simple, especially when compared to modern tools, but those knots in the wrappings are almost impossible to get right without extensive instruction. (This I learned the hard way).

    Congrats on the purchase though. Seems to be an elegant weapon, sure to come in handy when the zombie horde comes. :)
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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  7. #36
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowsbane View Post
    Traditionally the handguard is left as such to show how well the steel ages as such it is considered very improper to polish the handguard, and can decrease the value. Just so you know.


    Unless you were joking about the cleaning/ disassembly of the sword, I would strongly suggest that you not attempt to take it apart. It seems all simple, especially when compared to modern tools, but those knots in the wrappings are almost impossible to get right without extensive instruction. (This I learned the hard way).

    Congrats on the purchase though. Seems to be an elegant weapon, sure to come in handy when the zombie horde comes. :)
    I'm certainly not going to take it apart without a guide, and I wouldn't want to try to re-wrap the handle even with instruction. From what I've seen though, it looks as though the sword is held together by the two wooden pegs that pass through the hilt, and I've seen them disassembled with relative ease to replace fittings and such. I just wish there had been some kind of kit or at least instructions in case my handle ever cracks.

  8. #37
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Well that type of disassembly should be somewhat easy then. (with instructions) I thought you were talking about an entire breakdown.

    Here is a site with some basic cleaning/upkeep information. Not perfect but maybe enough to get you started.

    http://www.twilightarmory.com/swordcare.htm
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

    www.Lonelymountainleather.com

  9. #38
    Member Array arawn's Avatar
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    I feel a general take-down (removing the mekugi pins to facilitate removing the blade from the tsuka/handle) is a good thing. You can learn a lot about your sword that way, whether it's getting a better feel for how your sword fits together or something more. In my case, taking my inherited sword down allowed us to better gauge its age which was in question due to the mishmash of hardware.

    (thanks to James from Bugei for the help)


    B.

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