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#274524 - 07/24/06 09:54 PM are thease swords any good?
bloodyrath15 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12
are either thease swords any good for just swinging around in my back yard and hitting things.will they even hold together?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140010067591

or this one

http://www.trueswords.com/shirisaya-traditional-katana-p-650.html

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#274525 - 07/24/06 09:58 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
They're from ebay. They're not good.

They're worth 11$. They're definately not good.

Do not buy a sword that costs less than 100$. A Paul Chen practical katana is the cheapest real sword you want to buy. Anything less is probably of VERY low quality.

At least a wallhanger will cut pool noodles if you need it to, those swords you just posted would probably snap on a blade of grass.

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#274526 - 07/24/06 11:16 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Those are what is popularly known as wallhangers. So named because hanging on the wall is about all they're good for.

It's obvioius you're knew to swords. I'd suggest reading a few choice threads.

http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6529

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53083

Also you can gain a basic knowledge of real Japanese swords at Richard Stein's Japanese Sword Index at http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/nihonto.htm

Why just swinging around in your backyard? Why not find somewhere to train for real?

Anyway, welcome to the forum.



Edited by Charles Mahan (07/24/06 11:20 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#274527 - 07/25/06 12:12 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Charles Mahan]
bloodyrath15 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12
thanks and im going to start kendo after summers over but i hsve to wait till then to get good swords scince im only 15 and my parents will be paying, i was just looking for a cheap sword for like 30-60$ to get used to a real katana while i wait. i already have a bokken but it dosent feel as real as my friends katana.

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#274528 - 07/25/06 12:17 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
bloodyrath15 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12

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#274529 - 07/25/06 02:16 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
Wow, a "full tang" sword that is actually full tang. I've only seen that once before, by Kris Cutlery. Here's the deal. The hilt of a sword softens the impact as well as protects the blade from your sweat. Otherwise, after a single class or battle, you would have rust all along the tang from your sweat. The only realistic and usable tang is what I call a 3/4 enclosed tang. This encompasses almost every historical Eastern or European sword that we have ever seen, and the majority of the other times were when there was no tang at all (as in a katar or pata).

Let me give you a few reasons why all these swords are not worth the bandwidth to get the pictures.

1st: Stainless Steel = Suicide
Stainless is filled with Chromium, any stainless alloy of any hardness will be dangerously brittle. When you strike anything with a stainless blade, you run a risk of shattering the steel. The shards can fly everywhere, including your legs and/or eyes. I haven't hear of anyone killed when their sword shattered, but I have seen at least one massive scar on a man's leg, and other injuries are very common. Almost no one in that situation gets out unscathed.

2nd: You Get What You Pay for or Less, Never More
To make a good sword, you need good materials. A six foot bar of quality S7 steel will set you back $40-$60.
Quality wood and brass fittings will cost ~$20.
Charcoal for the fire is expensive due to the quantity, $20 easily during the entire process. You need good charcoal to prevent adding sulfer to the steel (good for shattering fun).
That's $70-$90 of materials just for the blade itself, not counting wear and tear on the forge, hammers, bellows, mills, anvils, saws, and other used materials (including clay, water/oil for quenching, etc), much less the rent for the building, electricity for the lights, the salesman who brings you the sword, the insurance on the place, etc.

Now, you come to the expensive part, labor.

A blade takes a lot of time to make. Let's keep a very simple estimate. 8 hours forging, 3 hours hardening and tempering (so the blade keeps an edge without being brittle), 3 hours sharpening and polishing, 3 hours casting/carving the furniture, half an hour to assemble (make that 1 1/2 for wrapped grips), and another half an hour to test. That's 19 man-hours for a single blade. Note that this is a very low estimate. It doesn't take into account special techniques (traditional Japanese tamahagne forging takes 40-60 hours just to make the blade), or any specific request.

Now, the labor rates are also very high. A traditional Japanese swordsmith apprenticeship takes five years. The longest I know is Angelsword's apprenticeship, twelve years from start to finish, and they will only consider college graduates. Now, would you want to have spent decades in school to work for minimum wage? Not even in China will skilled swordsmiths work for the sum necessary to get those blade prices. 20 to 30 hours of a skilled professional at even $30 an hour is $600-$900, and would you get the equivalent of a doctoral education to make $60,000 a year full time?

Then, you have profit. If a business doesn't make profit, they falter and die. These businesses have been around for years, so you know they aren't losing money.

So, these swords are selling for $50-$150. How? By making sacrifices, big sacrifices. Cheap steel doesn't cost as much, but unless you invest a lot more time in it, quality suffers. Trained swordsmiths aren't necessary, have a mill carve the blade into the correct shape (note: good swords can come from mills, but that is only if they are properly heat treated, mills soften any austentite in the steel to a soft pearlite), get a Chinese steelworker/farmer and give him a one week course on quenching a blade to get a hammon. Get another Chinese workman to polish the blade in 15 minutes. Don't test your products, that takes time and money, and we need to get them across the Pacific quickly.

You won't get a quality sword under $1,000 American. Even the better cheap companies like Cold Steel and Paul Chen have terrible quality control below their upper lines.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it needed to be said. Do actual research. Don't trust some guy on a forum because he sounds smart and has a large number beside the "number of posts" label. Do your research, learn about hardening and tempering, austentite, pearlite, marstensite, the design and history of the various blade styles (longsword, claymore, rapier, katana, dao, jian). Perhaps you should learn to use one, and be worthy of the sword that you are purchasing. There's no hurry, you've only got one lifetime, so you shouldn't waste it on buying the first thing you see.
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#274530 - 07/25/06 02:17 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Sorin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
Full tanged or not, these swords are made out of steel that's not supposed to be used in a sword outside of the wall hangers
that were mentioned before. You probably won't find a sword that's even close to a real sword under $150. The majority of
the swords on trueswords aren't made for anything more then decoration. Though, if your just practicing forms or something
with them, then I suppose a fake sword isn't that bad, so long as you don't put too much strain on it, and definitely
do not try to cut something with it, but if your going to buy a sword, I'd say save up for a decent one instead of wasting money.

Sorin

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#274531 - 07/25/06 03:27 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Sorin]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
I'd disagree on that, Sorin, I've heard of poorly fitting blades sliding out of their grips when slung around. I wouldn't take the chance even for non-contact practice


Edited by Benjamin1986 (07/25/06 03:29 AM)
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#274532 - 07/25/06 04:05 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Benjamin1986]
bloodyrath15 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12
what is the diffrence between a carbon and stainless steel blade?

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#274533 - 07/25/06 09:25 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
If you are starting Kendo then you should be looking for a good bokuto or a shinai as that is what you will be using in your Kendo classes anyway. A good bokuto will only set you back $30 or so and will be a good training tool for years.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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