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#113770 - 12/20/04 11:22 AM Re: swords
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
You can't get a "good quality sword" for $120

#113771 - 12/20/04 01:36 PM Re: Re: swords
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Schanne is right. You’re not going to get a "good quality" sword for that price. You can get a Paul Chen for about $200-250 but i wouldn't exactly call them quality.

If you only looking for an iaito you can get one from starting at about $200 for the standard iaito, the price goes up from there. has iaito starting at about $400. If you’re looking for a "live" blade you’re looking at an extra zero before the decimal at the least.

#113772 - 12/22/04 12:29 AM Re: Re: swords

Logan, if you want a real sword, just look around the forums, we've listed our favorites enough. However, you cannot get a sword of any quality for that price. Here's why

"Choosing a cheap steel for a hand made custom sword is just ridiculous. Get the very best steel. Most of the cost will be labor anyways." -Master Daniel Watson

A 3'x2"x1/4" bar of S7 steel costs $52.18. Sure, you can save money by buying in bulk, but not that much.

Plus, good quality wood for the hilt and sheath will cost you $20-40 (several times that for exotic stuff), you can't just go to Home Depot if you want it to not crack.

Brass or other metal for the fittings and pommel: $25 at the very least for a cast metal pommel and guard. Add in fuel for the fire and you are looking at easily $100 just for decent materials.

Now labor. A good swordsmith costs money, a lot of money. Even if all he does is operate a milling machine which cuts the steel and he then assembles, tempers and polishes the blade and hilt, this isn't something that you can just hire someone off the street. A traditional Japanese apprenticeship takes 4 years, and Angelsword's Daniel Watson has a 12 year program (yes, you read that right). A forged blade can take days, and even machined swords take several man-hours of skilled labor to temper and assemble.

Equipment - Hammers and anvils? No. Machine shops, mills, polishing machines, tempering furnaces, even cryogenic processing units. All of these are necessary for rapid production of blades, and none are cheap.

Profit- A blade will return a profit to the seller, otherwise it would not be sold in the first place.

Good materials can easily cost your entire budget, and good labor alone will be several times that. Yet, anyone who sells you a sword is making money at their prices. That means they use cheap materials and cheap labor, meaning any product that you buy at that even twice that price is junk.

[This message has been edited by Benjamin1986 (edited 12-22-2004).]

#113773 - 12/24/04 06:41 AM Re: Re: swords

I'm sorry to say, but a real sword will likely cost you several thousand dollars and more if you don't belong to a large federation with close ties to their production.

#113774 - 01/02/05 05:11 AM Re: Re: swords

the hanwei swords arn't so bad they have a good quality for there price

#113775 - 01/19/05 07:07 PM Re: Re: swords

your words make me sad.

$1000x for real swords. for good swords. My Celtic Bastard Sword was 200 some-odd dollars, and it feels sturdy and is heavy enough to convince me that it could be used for a real situation.
but thousands of dollars for a real sword.... holy crap. Where can you find one?

#113776 - 01/19/05 08:56 PM Re: Re: swords

[QUOTE]Originally posted by godslayer:
your words make me sad.

$1000x for real swords. for good swords. My Celtic Bastard Sword was 200 some-odd dollars, and it feels sturdy and is heavy enough to convince me that it could be used for a real situation.[/QUOTE]

A functional sword shouldn't feel "heavy"...

#113777 - 01/19/05 09:20 PM Re: Re: swords
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well for Japanese smithed blades your entry level price is gonna be $4000 or so. At that level I suspect you'll be getting a blade from an apprentice smith rather than a fully trained smith.

You could try Angelsword for western blades style blades. I can't think of another forge online retailing western blades, but then I don't know that much about western blades. I know at Angelsword you're gonna be spending several thousand.

#113778 - 01/21/05 03:39 PM Re: Re: swords

I wouldnt say you need to spend thousands of dollars for a "good" sword. It all depends on how your using it. These guys are (i'm assuming) big into the art and have a vast knowledge of what to expect. But you don't need to buy a $5000 sword from Angel swords if you aren't going to use it every other day in practice sparring. If you are looking for a sword of the highest calibre, i fully agree with them, its REALLY expensive. However, it sounds to me that you are not in any sword art and don't intend to truly fight with it. Am i correct?

#113779 - 01/21/05 04:08 PM Re: Re: swords
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Swords are not toys, but for some reason people want to think of them as such. The problem with cheap swords is they break easy. Add the fact that an individual has little or no experience with a bladed weapon and now it's twice as dangerous. I'm not saying everyone who buys a sword should take a sword art for years but they should at least learn some basic care and safety with a blade. This is a weapon designed to kill, not some toy to be given to every 15 year old that has seen The Last Samurai.

I also feel that if you’re not a SERIOUS collector or experienced practitioner of a sword art that there is no need for anything more than an iaito. I say serious collector because they tend to gain more knowledge about their purchase than an impulse buyer picking one up based on their flavor of the month. I'm also a firm believer that a live blade shouldn't be used by a student unless they are either being supervised by their instructor or have been told they can do so. There are reasons for starting out with bokken and iaito.

[QUOTE]I wouldnt say you need to spend thousands of dollars for a "good" sword.[/QUOTE]

When it comes to Japanese you generally get what you pay for. Also the term good is kind of relative. What i thought was a good sword 10 years ago has changed greatly. What you may consider a good sword now will change with more experience as you learn the price of those short comings in the sword.

[QUOTE]It all depends on how your using it.[/QUOTE]

More like it depends on IF you're going to use it. Granted the less you use the sword the less the chance of something going wrong, but a low quality sword is still just that regardless of how often you use it. The KIND of sword will be determined on how often you use it and what you use it for, not the quality.

[QUOTE]But you don't need to buy a $5000 sword from Angel swords if you aren't going to use it every other day in practice sparring.[/QUOTE]

A good point here is you don't use live blades for sparing. You generally use bokken of shinai. Point being if you are in a sword art and are at a level where you need a live blade you will by this time know what you need and how/where to get it.

#113780 - 01/21/05 04:33 PM Re: Re: swords

Let me re-phrase some of this. My point was that he was NOT practicing a sword art and that it seemed he would not use it for sparring. I was not saying that you would use a live steel blade for sparring and that he should buy a live steel blade. Rather, i was informing him that there truly is no need to buy a sword upwards of a few hundred dollars if you do not intend to use it in such a way. Yes, low end swords do break, but i guarantee you that if he buys a 300$ production line sword made of carbon steel it will not brake if he swings it around in the yard. AND TAKE HIS ADVICE, i would highly recomend not buying a live steel blade. My point is that he could buy a fine sword for what he wants at a reasonable price. Laf, you might find the same sword completely horrid, but that is because you use (again assuming) a very high quality sword. Hope i cleared some of that up, and thanks for pointing it out, dont want him confused [IMG][/IMG]

#113781 - 01/21/05 04:49 PM Re: Re: swords

true enough, I'm not in any sword art now. I do want to fence or do Kendo, and after looking around the forums Iaido has peeked my interest. I plan on doing that in college though, after I'm finished with the school sports I do now.
as for swords as toys, I understand that perfectly. especially after my sister nearly chopped my cat in half with one of my swords once. I keep them in my room, clean them, look at them sometimes, but I never walk out of my house and swing one around like some crazed D&D fanatic.

BTW, I'm open for any recommendations to a type of sword art that anyone wants to throw out. Something that is challenging and keeps you working, but fun as well.

#113782 - 01/25/05 02:42 PM Re: Re: swords

hmm, you could try

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