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#203906 - 11/11/05 10:35 PM Full Tang Katana
tsafa Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 144
I about two months ago I purchased a full tang katana from United Cutlery and I have been testing and practicing with it. I have posted my thoughts on my website and I invite anyone interested to look at it. It is the first item reviewed.

here is the link:
http://mysite.verizon.net/tsafa1/swordreview.htm
_________________________
An unused weapon is a useless weapon...

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#203907 - 11/11/05 10:56 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: tsafa]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
For any who may be thinking about spending hard earned money due to this guys reviews, I think it is important to point out that his testing methods and the things he looks for are not in line with the usual reviews you will by more knowledgable practitioners. He has obviously done his homework and his opinions are certainly his own to express, but they are not coming from the same place as you might expect to find from a more seasoned practitioner.

The sword in question would not have even been reviewed by the usual JSA practitioners due to it's kitchen knife style handle.

My apologies to tsafa, but he knows how most of the posters here feel about his reviews and it should come as no suprise. Most of us are wondering how long it will be before he breaks one of these swords in testing and the broken bit comes around to bite him. It's happened to more experienced practitioners with better grade weapons.

I'm not saying his review is without merit, just that it should not be the only one you read on a particular sword.


Edited by Charles Mahan (11/11/05 10:57 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#203908 - 11/12/05 11:40 AM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: tsafa]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
I must disagree. The weapon is a solid metal, 440 Surgical steel, I owned one myself. The hilt is squared making palm thrusting and other round techniques in blocking hard.

Also the length is shorter by quiet a bit than a more traditional blade. While this does not effect everyone... IT effected me due to my larger hand size.

Also, the brass kitchen knife style pin's have a tendancy to break the wood away from them as well as rust if not completely taken care of due to hand oils.

I agree, it is a good value, but as a practical Katana it has its issues. I am not disuading anyone from purchasing this Katana, but to realize its faults.

Thank you Tsafa doe the review, please do not be discouraged from posting more. I for one am always interested in user testimonials.
_________________________
While everything changes, nothing is truly lost.

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#203909 - 11/12/05 04:22 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: tsafa]
tsafa Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 144
Thank you gentelmen. By all means take full confort in dissagreeing with me. As I have said in numberous disclaimers on my website, I recognize that my testing and practice methods are unorthodox and dangerous. Lets say I am doing this so no one else needs to do it. I would do this anyway, so why not share my restults. At the veryleast it makes interesting conversation. It is good to look at things form another point of view, including me looking at it from your point of view.

Thanks for the tip about the brass pins possibly comming appart. I will pay extra close attention to that.
_________________________
An unused weapon is a useless weapon...

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#203910 - 11/13/05 05:37 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: tsafa]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Post anything else you review too! I'll gladly disagree with that too ;D

kidding by the way. Just in case there was any confusion
_________________________
While everything changes, nothing is truly lost.

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#203911 - 11/14/05 02:09 AM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: phoenixsflame]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Sorry, stainless steel shatters very easily, they absolutely are not (safe) weapons.

If you want a demonstration of this fact, go drop one of those blades (or even an expensive chefs knife) off a tall building and watch it smash into pieces like a ceramic knife.

Stainless steel does not make for a good sword. It's not meant to withstand hard blows on anything.

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#203912 - 11/14/05 11:06 AM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: tsafa]
whitedragon_48 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 185
Loc: W. Phoenix, AZ US
Salutations!

I read your reviews. It is a good thing that you take your research somewhat seriously. I do agree with Mr. Mahan. Most people who frequent this site are experienced sword practitioners/collectors. They know what qualities they're looking for in a blade. Your research, although valid, does not quite prove much to us.

From the get go the red flags are there:

1. Full Tang katana- I've seen this before @ Ebay and Flea Markets. Not good. Sword are that, not kitchen knives. I can write at least a dozen reasons why this design does not work, if you really want to know'em let me know.

2. United Cutlery- They sell collectibles and fantasy knives/swords, ie, wallhangers, not "battle" swords. I woudn't dare to swing a sword from them due to the risk of injury.

3.I assume that being an experienced sword tester you know a bit about the basics of metallurgy. That said, we know for a fact that the 440 family of steels, including 420j2 which is nothing more than 440 with less carbon, make mediocre field knives and swords. The only 2 members in that family that make 1/2 decent knives are 440C and 440V (the knives made out of them are CLEARLY STAMPED 440C OR 440V, if you read only 440 it is probably 440A which is crap). These are fairly stainless and have slightly higher concentrations of carbon and vanadium respectively. As for swords, the 440 family is unsuitable to make anything other than a collectible wall hanger. The 440s are very corrosion resistant but they are too soft to hold an edge and can not be tempered as far as I know.As taken from writer Joe Talmadge:
"420: Lower carbon content (Less than.5%) than the 440 series makes this steel extremely soft, and it doesn't hold an edge well. It is used often for diving knives, as it is extremely stain resistant. Also used often for very inexpensive knives. Outside salt water use, it is too soft to be a good choice for a utility knife."

420 is a very soft steel that's why its so shock resistant and it has not broken YET. But it will. Oh the thought of a flying piece of steel coming at me (shivers)!

4. Lastly if your sword reads "made in Taiwan, China or Pakistan, please, make sure that NO ONE is around when you start whacking away at your tires. You are going to end up hurting yourself seriously. You've been lucky so far, keep it safe.

Oh yeah, one last thing. You are spending all this $$$ on these cheap swords. Why not get one good sword? It'll run you a couple thousand but they are much more appealing to the eye and they'll last longer. Remember, you get what you pay for. Just a thought.
_________________________
Yours in the Spirit of the Warrior-Scholar, Carlos M. Roman, Senior Instructor American Kenpo

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#203913 - 11/14/05 12:12 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: phoenixsflame]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Tsafa, I've given my comments on your methods often enough, so I'll not argue with you again, but remember that my arguments and objections from last time still hold.

First off, the problems with the sword.

Full Tang- the hilt of a sword absorbs the impact of the blow. A full tang construction eliminates that cushion. You could probably tell that from swinging it around so much.

Also, the blade is huge in its proportions but short in length. Tsafa himself commented on that, and that (as well as another point later) is probably the reason it didn't shatter.

Third point, it is made from severely underhardened 420 (not 440) stainless steel. This means that it probably can't hold an edge while cutting air (am I right, T?).

Essentially, it looked like they were trying to create a cheap stainless blade that wouldn't shatter, and it appears that they succeeded. However, they sacrificed almost the entire cutting edge, making an oddly shaped, stainless steel club.
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#203914 - 11/14/05 05:43 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: whitedragon_48]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

Most people who frequent this site are experienced sword practitioners/collectors. They know what qualities they're looking for in a blade. Your research, although valid, does not quite prove much to us.





I don't know that I agree with the assertion that most on this site are experienced sword practitioners/collectors. I think that the majority of readers here are not involved in serious training commitments. By that I mean that we have a lot of newbie types here that are just getting started. Your statement might have been true of E-budo and Swordforum, but here things are a bit different.

That's why I felt compelled to put warning on this thread to point out for those who are less informed that this should not be the only source of info for making informed decisions about training tools which can maim you seriously, even through regular "responsible" use.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#203915 - 11/16/05 04:15 PM Re: Full Tang Katana [Re: Charles Mahan]
noobsamurai Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 22
i have just one thing to say......stainless steel

extremly dangerous to be using for a katana and you could seriously harm or maine yourself during these tests.a katana of that quality cannot be used for anything more than box cutting at the most

if you want a katana in the true battle ready sense,go for a 1050 blade ( carbon steel) and make sure its full tang.

good luck....i hope you dont get hurt

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