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#112924 - 10/06/04 03:31 PM Ritter Steel Katana

I bought a katana through mail order about one year ago, and it seems to be a very good sword. It's not an iaito, but it costed me around $180. It has a well sharpened, high carbon spring steel blade, brass tsuba and end-cap, and copper habaki. It's very well balanced and fully functional, and is the type often used in recreational dramatizations of samurai battles or duels. The only thing that concerns me is that it has no sageo, shitodome or kurigata. It doesn't have a kojiri, either. My only question is this: is this truly a bad sword? It looks a little different from other Japanese katana, but it still works very well. Another question: can I technically call this a katana, since it is slightly different?

Just for reference, here's the exact same sword that I bought (Item #2140, Samurai Katana):

Any replies are appreciated.

#112925 - 10/06/04 04:41 PM Re: Ritter Steel Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well you can call it anything you like, but it's not a Japanese katana. It appears to be 440 stainless. Good enough to hang on the wall, but not good for much else. It is not even remotely traditionally made nor mounted. It doesn't look "a little" different from a traditionally mounted katana, it looks very little at all like a traditionally mounted katana. Got to google and look for Richard Stein's Japanese Sword Index. There's a lot of very good information there.

Now for whether or not it's bad. That kinda depends on what you want it for. It's certainly not a very good reproduction of any historically accurate weapon. It's not a good choice for martial arts training either. It's meant to be a wall hanger and look pretty as a decoration. Whether or not it's any good at that is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

No offense but you probably would have been better off with a low end iaito.

#112926 - 10/06/04 05:43 PM Re: Ritter Steel Katana

No offence taken at all. You spoke your opinion, and that's exactly what I wanted. Thank you very much for your reply, and I will visit the site you mentioned.

You see, if I could I would order one of the many very authentic, high-quality swords there are over the internet, but I'm just not comfortable with giving away any credit card numbers. Perhaps I will see if there is any way I can call these people and buy a traditional katana by money order... Anyway, thanks for the advice.

#112927 - 10/06/04 05:52 PM Re: Ritter Steel Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'm pretty certain both Swordstore and Bugei would be willing to take credit card orders over the phone or via fax, and I'm sure they'd both take a money order or a cashiers check as well.

#112928 - 10/18/04 12:19 AM Re: Ritter Steel Katana

Rittersteel is a low price sword company. You get what you pay for. You could call it a katana, just not in the traditional sense. For that price, you can probably call it a sword (not like those $25 bars of stainless that you see outside of a renn fair), but I would not cut anything with it other than air or newspaper (it will dull after the first few cuts of even those). Oh, and that "hand made" thing, dream on. For those prices, they have to be factory made in China.

I'd agree, learn from your mistakes, hang it on the wall, use it to practice your form, but don't even think about using it to cut with. Then, save up your money for a Iaito, Angelsword, or another blade that you can actually do stuff with.


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