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#187515 - 11/14/05 02:04 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Charles Mahan]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
I think the quality control of the place you buy from is the important bit.

I have seen more than one extremely dangerous bugei sword that slipped through the QC cracks. I'm talking about swords where there are big gaps in the hamon, internal rust spots, etc.. I don't think the musashi is a bugei blade but nevertheless there was a fellow who posted pictures of a blade he was using which broke in half on a hard target due to internal rusting. That kind of thing could've been spotted by a careful eye at the retail level.

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#187516 - 11/14/05 05:29 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: paradoxbox]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

I have seen more than one extremely dangerous bugei sword that slipped through the QC cracks. I'm talking about swords where there are big gaps in the hamon, internal rust spots, etc.. I don't think the musashi is a bugei blade but nevertheless there was a fellow who posted pictures of a blade he was using which broke in half on a hard target due to internal rusting. That kind of thing could've been spotted by a careful eye at the retail level.



No, the Musashi is NOT a Bugei sword. The Musashi is in the cheaper echelon of Hanwei swords. They were originally made from recycled railroad tracks. Where did you see these "extremely dangerous Bugei swords?"

There is no such thing as "internal rusting" in steel. Steel can have inclusions or welding flaws. These can lead to weakness in the steel. Inclusions come from poor quality stock. They are bubbles of impurity in the steel. Welding flaws come from poor technique. When folding a bar of steel, if the temperatures are not sufficient, or the piece is not fluxed correctly, the two layers may not weld together properly. This is sometimes very hard to detect, but it allows moisture in between the layers which can lead to corrosion.

The only way to be sure of getting a safe, good quality sword is to spend some money on it. The extra time that is taken ensures a much better quality of the training tool you'll be using for many years. However, extra time costs extra money. Cheap means corners were cut to keep the price down. So, you gotta ask yourself which corners were cut and what are those extra corners worth to you? I don't drive a $200 car because I don't consider a car of that price to be safe to drive. I don't use a $200 sword for the same reason.

_________________________
Paul

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#187517 - 11/18/05 11:07 AM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: paradoxbox]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
A Musashi by the Hanwei factory is not the same as a Bugei sword from the Hanwei factory. They're both made at the same place. But both get different treatment. There's less attention placed on building the Musashi than to the Bugei line of swords.

It's like comparing a Lexus to a Toyota Corolla. Lexus is a high end Toyota. Corolla is one of the mid range/low end of Toyota. Both Lexus and Corolla are Toyota. But definitely not the same. Lexus has more attention and detail and higher quality parts to it than Corolla. Both coming from the same company. There's a reason why Lexus cost more.

Both Musashi and a Bugei sword are coming from the same company. But a Bugei sword is just gonna be the better user's sword. Bugei is made in a seperate standard from the rest of the Practical Katana, Practical Plus Katana, Practical Pro Katana, Shinto, Wind & Thunder, Tsunami, Musashi, Golden Oriole, Tokugawa, Kami, Tiger, Bushido and Orchid models.

Bugei would be the Lexus and a Musashi would be a Camry or Corolla. Bugei and Musashi are from Paul Chen/Hanwei. Lexus and Camry/Corolla are from Toyota.
_________________________
www.BostonSamuraiArts.com

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#187518 - 11/18/05 04:17 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Walter Wong]
Erik25 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 18
Walter ,
It's true that Bugei and Hanwei are both made by Paul Chen's factory. Bugei also selling swords of another smith, i don't remember who.

Bugei ordering from Paul Chen swords accordingly to their
( Bugei ) wanted standards. I have met people who saying that Paul Chen is not the best manufacturer while saying this they are comparing Hanwei of Paul Chen and Bugei of Paul Chen, but acttually they don't know this fact, that Paul Chen is a manufacturer of both, Hanwei & Bugei.

May be at simple models like Practical Katanas, Bugei is better but I wouldn't say it about Kami,Tiger,Bushido & Golden. These models can be easily compared with Bugei and even be better than Bugei.Of course it is wrong to compare in this way, a comparison must be done with exact models.

Lets not forget the advantage of Hanwei over All other brands. It is an exclusive brand who offer something that called " Real Sword " that everyone wants to have, at prices from 100$ - 1000$.
_________________________
I faithfully recomend Livesword. www.livesword.com

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#187519 - 11/18/05 10:25 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Erik25]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well, your opinion is not shared by the preponderence of reviews of both the regular Hanwei line and the Bugei blades. Feel free to checkout the reviews over at http://www.swordforum.com and http://www.e-budo.com to see what I mean. Almost as much as anything, what Bugei has going for them is extremely rigid quality control. They simply don't let blades ship to customers that don't meet their stringent standards for performance and safety. The same cannot be said for the distributors of the regular Hanwei line. It's one of the primary reasons the Bugei stuff is more expensive.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#187520 - 11/20/05 07:33 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Charles Mahan]
Erik25 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 18
What Can you tell about Kami Katana and what Bugei sword can be copared with it?

It is not secret that Hanwei offering products at different range of prices. This mean from low quality up to high quality. So High quality of Hanwei sword might be better than highest quality Bugei.

I know what Bugei producing but on the market the majority aren't able to buy such swords, and people searching to find "real" and cheap good quality katanas not like Fantasy of United. So here we see only Practical of Hanwei, it made exactly ( same processes ) as high quality swords but with more cheaper material than Kami,Tiger.

But Tiger or Kami ot Shinto ... no one will say that they cheap quality.

Lets not forget who makes Bugei and Hanwei, the same factory.
_________________________
I faithfully recomend Livesword. www.livesword.com

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#187521 - 11/21/05 09:48 AM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Erik25]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Bugei and Hanwei are the same factory, but Bugei-Hanwei collaboration swords are in a different category from the non-Bugei Hanwei swords.

Non-Bugei Hanwei swords are always second choice for me. Now if this is what you prefer, more power to you. Bugei-Hanwei collaboration swords is my preference.

The quality control is a major factor in choosing Bugei-Hanwei collaboration swords over nonBugei-Hanwei. Bugei-Hanwei collaboration swords are of the high performance. The nonBugei-Hanwei high end swords the Kami, Tiger, Bushido and Orchid although uses the same Swedish Powdered Steel, are not in the preferable geometries but are servicable blades. Kami, Tiger, Bushido and Orchid although servicable blades, were originally designed and intended as just art swords that had a live edge that can be used. So those 4 swords were not started with the intent of becoming Martial Arts swords but decorations that could be used as Martial Arts tools. But aesthetics was first and then performance after when it comes to these 4 swords. The blade shapes although usable, aren't of the right shape and curves considered ideal. But passable for usage. Also, the quality of the koshirae would need wraps redone after a year or 2 of serious consistant use.

With Bugei-Hanwei collaborative swords were made with performance first in mind and aesthetics after. For Bugei, form must follow function. NonBugei-Hanwei high ends aren't made with this mindset.

But although NonBugei-Hanwei and Bugei-Hanwei collaborative swords are made at the same factory, because some the high quality work that is put into Bugei-Hanwei collaberative swords, that small amount of that quality occassionally leaks into the nonBugei-Hanwei swords. But not enough to make them Bugei-Hanwei swords's equals. At least on a consistant level.

With that said, Bugei-Hanwei collaborative swords such as Crane and Dragonfly are cheaper than the retailed prices (not the sale prices) of high end nonBugei-Hanwei swords. And Bugei's Crane and Dragonfly Katana models are more properly historical shapes that emphasizes performance first. But Crane and Dragonfly were something just made to be different from the other Bugei models, Samurai, Bamboo, Shobu and Wave had complaints from many modern Budoka complaining of them being too heavy so out came the Crane which is actually a Samurai that was made a little slimmer and balance more towards the handle to give it a more lighter feel to accommedate those complaints. The Crane is often refered to as the "baby Samurai". Dragonfly was made to accomedate those that are heavily into tameshigiri competitions. A thin light blade that would meet little resistance when cutting soft targets. So Dragonfly is even lighter than the Crane. Crane is a little more forgiving on bad cuts than the Dragonfly. But both Crane and Dragonfly would approximate more as personal dueling/street fighting blades of old Japan. The other Bugei models Samurai, Bamboo, Shobu and Wave (without bo-hi) approximate more battlefield type blades used in warring times of Japan. These 4 make excellent hard target cutters. Hard targets in modern practice would be 4 or more mat rolls or bamboo. These 4 blades approximate those battle swords that would be able to withstand cutting against armor or contact with other weapons. But yet flexible for personal dueling/street fighting situation. Making them flexible for soft target cutting practice as well. With Crane and Dragonfly, it's limited to soft targets for tameshigiri. Soft targets being 1 or 2 rolled mats. 3 rolled is pushing towards beginning hard target. Which would make Crane and Dragonfly approximates of personal dueling/street fighting blades. Cause on the battlefield against armor and contact with other weapons, Crane and Dragonfly are looking at failure with easy bending and breaking. Hard target cutting is definitely not suitable for Crane and Dragonfly.

NonBugei-Hanwei swords are usable for tameshigiri, but once again, even after consistant use, they will need new koshirae sooner than Bugei swords of consistant use. With making new koshirae or rewraps, you end up spending more money doing that for a nonBugei-Hanwei high end piece than paying for the same amount or less for a Bugei-Hanwei collaboration piece that would last longer.

NonBugei-Hanwei mid range swords Golden Oriole, Tsunami, Wind & Thunder, Musashi, Tokugawa, Shinto are ok for the beginner of Japanese sword arts who are on a tight budget. Being cheaper swords that the mid range line are, you can expect a lower quality but passable for the meantime til the student can afford a high end sword.

Practical Katana, Practical Plus Katana and Practical Pro Katana are the very low end and should be seriously not looked at for serious Japanese sword art practice. They are not the right shape and balance for serious legitimate Japanese sword art practice. They hang from a thin thread of usability considering that lately the Practical series have been having several counts of report of them breaking from the recent later batches of Practical series Katana. They're already made with low attention to detail and heat treatment. Let alone with the newer batches of the Practical series being made thinner to the once again complaining public of wanting a lighter sword. Low quality attention and heat treatment add to the making of thinner blades make for a possible breakage from light cutting practice.

Also there has been one report I've seen of a Musashi which is a mid range sword breaking. The newer mid range models of Musashi, Golden Oriole, and Shinto are now made with bo-hi which the older models didn't have and now being made light and thin. Though the mid range swords have a little more attention put to them, this once again for demand of lighter thinner blades with the level of attention they recieve for their price range, make even the newer batches of mid range swords being questionable. So the breakage would be less with mid range swords, you can only figure out the quality of the low end swords.

You really get what you pay for.

At this point, I would only settle for high end swords. Though the breakage report are a small amount of the low end and that one mid range Musashi to the thousands of swords that Hanwei is pumping out, it's the mid range and low end I would be precarious of. You pay for more, you're gonna get a stronger safer sword. So what is safety worth to you when you buy a sword? Granted as dangerous as it is with live blades are even of the good kind. It's even more dangerous if the blade is not reliable cause you want to pay under $900.00 for a Japanese styled swords.

Granted high end Bugei pieces are considered cheap already. Several years ago, a thousand dollar sword was unheard of. You want a decent Japanese sword to practice with you had to spend a minimum of 4 to 6 grand on a C grade Nihonto.

Now out comes a price relief on decent usable swords of serious practice like companies like Bugei and swordstore's steel iaito that cuts with Bugei blades ranging from $925.00 to $1,700.00 and swordstore's live blades ranging around $1,200.00. What a relief. Finally, cheaper alternative swords that are reliable for real Japanese sword art use so now you don't have to buy that $4,000.00 - $6,000.00 nihonto.

So $1,000.00 is considered cheap for a Japanese sword. This is around the borderline of safe and usable. Going cheaper, you're really gonna be compromising.

But hey, buy whatever you want. Just know what you are really buying and what you're getting into.
_________________________
www.BostonSamuraiArts.com

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#187522 - 11/26/05 10:56 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Walter Wong]
Sensei Paul Hart Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 279
Loc: Lehigh Acres, Florida
I hate to disagree with what I have read but I have been a CNC and Manual Machinist for over 10 years, this includes a stint in QC. I also make knives. I carry the Hanwei line at http://steelhartknives.com because I have found thier swords to be an excellent value for product. I have compared and do own many swords, some are Japanese pre WWII katana, others are from Cold Steel, Hanwei, Bugei and Last Legend. When comparing swords of same price range side by side I would most certainly go with Hanwei or Bugei. I use one of these for daily practice myself and have for a long time. If any are interested in Hanwei get in touch and maybe I can work out an appropriate discount. Same thing for Cold Steel as these are the only two Katana companies I now do business with because I have checked out the competition. I also have about 30 years of training time under my belt so I am verily qualified to make judgement on this I believe. I may not be the greatest swordsman, but I train daily.
_________________________
Paul Hart http://allshorin.org

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#187523 - 11/26/05 11:02 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Walter Wong]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
just peeking in on the thread, and while looking up some things, I came across a potentialy useful post/thread:
http://swordforumbugei.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1104
hope it helps the conversation.

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#187524 - 11/26/05 11:09 PM Re: Need a new sword! [Re: Ed_Morris]
Sensei Paul Hart Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 279
Loc: Lehigh Acres, Florida
While I agree with the poster on the Bugei forum listed for the most part, Cas Iberia and Hanwei have came up over the last 6 months in quality control a great deal. However, you get what you pay for. The "high-end" swords will always be better as more work can be put into them. I use the Samurai model myself as a daily training sword and it works very well.
_________________________
Paul Hart http://allshorin.org

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