Michonne’s Katana from The Walking Dead

Battle the Walkers With Michonne’s Katana from TWD

My passion for katanas also extends into everyone’s favorite show, The Walking Dead!

My previous reviews were more focused on the actual utility of your average katana. I rarely ever find ‘novelty’ type katanas to be of any quality therefore don’t blog about them.

michonnes katana

Michonne’s katana from The Walking Dead is an exception to this.

The craftsmanship of this sword is great. The colors used in the wrap of the tsuka are stunning and as you know, I favor the leather wrap over the nylon. Not only is Michonne’s katana awesome to have as a memorabilia piece from my favorite show but the katana itself is built for functionality. The blade is sturdy and the wooden saya is quite durable and provides a carry strap.

The tsuba is made of bronze with a nice nickel plated covering that gives it a sturdy feeling. I think the design on it is pretty cool as well, almost a ‘biohazard’ type look to it, perfect for the zombie apocalypse theme.

michonnes katana tsuba

 

The only downside to this is that it does NOT come sharpened, so if you are intending to use it in practice for cutting bamboo or foam rolls you must get it sharpened.

I did end up getting mine sharpened because I was interested in seeing how well it cut, it actually is pretty smooth for a novelty blade. I’ve only used it on foam rolls so right now I can’t give you a feel for how it works with bamboo.

Overall I love it, here’s my break down on Michonne’s katana:

 

Breakdown

  • Length: 27″
  • Tsuka: 11.5″
  • Material: Tempered 1045 carbon steel blade
  • Take away: not only is the white & brown leather contrast beautiful but the replica is an amazing addition to any walking dead fan’s collection

 

If You’re Interested in Michonne’s Katana Get it Before They’re Gone – Only 2,000 Limited Editions Were Made

I luckily already purchased mine but I have heard that this katana was a special release and only 2,000 were forged worldwide.

I’ve seen it sell for $200-$300 and I have a feeling that once these 2,000 sellout that some will hold on to them while they increase in value and flip them for a few extra hundred. Just how memorabilia like this usually goes.

If this is something you are interested in I’d suggest hopping on this deal quickly before they sell out.

SOTE does have this sword on sale right now for only $170. The Walking Dead edition is just one of many feature film katanas made, which leads me to my next post on the top 5 movie katanas.

Get Michonne’s katana here before they’re sold out!

Step 4: Where Do I Find a Katana For Sale?

Step 4 - Katana for sale

I know what I want now where do I find a high quality katana for sale?

Now that I have shared my words of wisdom on finding the right sword, where did I find the best prices when searching the web for a katana for sale?Katana for sale

Well I bought from a few places and had various results. Once I know what sword I want, I browse the various merchants to see the reviews but always go back to the same merchant to purchase.

Though it can be easy to just buy from any merchant I learned the hard way that it doesn’t always pay off. Waiting endlessly for something I was supposed to have a week ago and arguing with customer service isn’t really my cup of tea…

The sites I have had great experience with are Swords of the East and Swords of Northshire. A ton of choices and the quality has been outstanding.

My Swords of the East Review

Katana For Sale - Swords of the East Review

Wait, I thought this page was for katana reviews? I know I know but I don’t want to tell you where to find a katana for sale without letting you know the ups and downs of the places you may buy from.

The site where I bought my first ‘quality’ blade was Swords of the East, a great site where the owners place great emphasis in making their swords more affordable than other competitors. You may find a katana for sale here that is a few hundred dollars less expensive than you’d find at all the other retailers.

They started as a company focused on dealing Japanese samurai swords but quickly expanded to include Chinese katanas as well as medieval and military swords. Here’s my Swords of the East review on pros and cons:

Pros

  • Competitive prices, I’m all about high quality after my previous experiences but hey I also don’t want to give up an arm and a leg to get something.
  • Free standard shipping on all orders $300+ within the lower 48 states (USA)
    • If you are out of the US shoot them an email at help@swordsoftheeast.com and you may be able to reduce your shipping costs
  • You can browse swords by forge, steel, and price. Helps me get more specific.
  • If you’re into other swords (Tantos, Wakizashi, or even Medieval) they’ve got them too. Not to mention training weapons as well.
  • Flat out good quality and service on everything I’ve gotten from them so far

Cons

  • What don’t I care for about Swords of the East, well the only thing I’d say is there are a lot to choose from which may become overwhelming for some. If I’m faced with a lot of options my brain can go into overload, hence why I made this site to help prevent you from this fate as well.
  • They do have quite a few cheaper katanas for sale (don’t fall for the same mistake I did my first time buying). I just avoid these and usually set my price filters to $500+. Not saying everything that is over $500 will be exceptional quality but it does help filter out the ‘novelty’ style swords.

As you set off on your journey to find the sword that best fits you, you may find something that is more aligned with your personal preferences.

Katana for sale - swords of northshire review

My Swords of Northshire Review

Katana for sale - Swords of Northshire Review

The site is setup very similar to Swords of the East which makes it nice going back and forth between the two while looking for the perfect katana for sale.

Both specialize in asian swords (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) however they both offer some other forms of swords as well. They work with a forgery in Longquan China to create custom handmade high quality katanas from the ground up.

Swords of Northshire is a little bit more pricey than Swords of the East however their selection is more unique as well. You’ll find a lot of custom made and hand forged blades at Swords of Northshire that are produced exclusively for their company.

Something that is amazing with them is they offer the ability to create your own custom katana. You can chose the blade, fittings, color, right down to the saya. You can have your name engraved on it, have kanji, or even a design of your choice (see image below as an example), an amazing perk allowing consumers to have a one of a kind katana at a reasonable price.

Katana For Sale - Swords of Northshire Review

Also a major perk to those living in America is that the owner of the business is based out of Texas, USA which eliminates the issue of waiting for excessive delivery times, miscommunication through language barriers, or difficulty in matching up their business hours with time your free if you have questions. I actually used their chat function to track the progress of my swords which made it pretty simple.

Overall this merchant is one of my favorite and I will continue to purchase from them, especially when looking for a more unique katana for sale. To be honest this really isn’t the best Swords of Northshire review because usually in reviews you mention the pros and cons and I can’t think of any downsides with Swords of Northshire to date.

Katana for sale - swords of northshire review

Katana Fire Review – New Dealer

Katana for sale - Katana fire review

Unfortunately I can’t give a full review of this katana dealer since I haven’t interacted with them yet. I wanted to list them though since I see they are a forgery gaining momentum in the handmade katana realm. Their prices seem pretty reasonable though their selection is somewhat limited, at least as of now.

They are also based out of the katana capital of the East, Longquan China, where they claim to have over 40 years of family experience forging swords both Japanese and Chinese. Looking through their site they appear to split their swords into four categories which also appear to correspond to pricing differences and skill levels.

  • Apprentice Katanas – $
  • Warrior Katanas – $$
  • Master Katanas – $$$
  • Shogun Katanas – $$$$

The reviews I am seeing on their site though all look to be 5 out of 5 star so those who have purchased appear to be very satisfied. Due to the nature of this site reviewing katanas, I was able to get a special coupon for them that works with ‘browse their swords’ button below. Click the button then enter ‘15off‘ once you’re ready to checkout if you find a katana for sale there that you like. The combination of the link below and the code will give you an extra $15 off, not much but every little bit counts.

They’re definitely a dealer I’ll keep an eye on.

Katana for sale - Katana fire review

My words of wisdom: Get. What. You. Want.

Keep in mind that my advice and reviews here on what I (and my buddies) have for katanas and our opinions on them are just to help give you some insights around what’s available out there and happened to work for us. Talking with a sensei is truly the best way to determine what you will need. Finding the best katana that aligns with your style can be tough and I hope these past few steps of the Katana Readiness Guide have helped you narrow the options down a little.

Whatever you end up with is your decision but make sure you do buy it through a solid merchant. Now on to the final stage of the readiness guide, where to find a dojo.

Next

Step 3: Katana Reviews – Top 3 Katanas by Price Range

Step 3 - Katana reviews

Top 3 Katana Reviews

Alright here it is, a compilation of my, as well as my friends’ katana reviews.

Based on our experiences I’ll compare my top 3 favorite katanas that we have so you can get a framework for what to start with. I organized it from lowest to highest priced so you can get an idea of what to get depending on what type of funds you have at your disposal (if you’re like me it’s under $1,000).

Why only 3 katana reviews? Well because I like things simple and hate being weighed down with lengthy content to read through. Just get to the point, which I’ll try to do.

Level I – Hanwei Musashi Elite Review

Katana Reviews - Hanwei Musashi Elite ReviewFirst of all, please don’t get this confused with the brand MUSASHI! You will notice a flood of cheaper priced (~$80) Musashi swords as you shop around. I’m not a fan, they usually are produced in mass numbers and lack the durability as well as blade sharpness longevity. In my mind they do a injustice to the legendary swordmaster Miyamoto Musashi for whom these style katanas are named after.

Now on to the ‘good’ Musashi katana review, the one Miyamoto would be proud of…

If you are looking for a reasonably priced katana for sale and don’t want to break the bank the Paul Chen Musashi Elite by Hanwei is a good deal.

This Hanwei katana not only looks beautiful but also is quite functional with a strong and clean edge that is very capable of cutting soft or hard targets. The photo below shows the bashi & kissaki.

Katana Reviews - Hanwei Musashi Elite

Get this katana - katana reviews

The edge is rated HR60 which is a metric (based on the Rockwell Scale) used to determine the hardness of steel when impacted by another substance, in this case a diamond cone. I believe the diamond bit is pressed into the tempered steel under a standard pressure and the depth it penetrates is measured. The higher the number, the harder it is. Since there are a number of types of steels different steels have different optimum Rockwell Hardness levels.

The Musashi holds a durable edge capable of withstanding multiple cuts. The blade is 1065 high-carbon steel (remember this type from step 1) made through ‘monosteel construction’ which CASIberia explains through a six step process:

  1. Rough Forging: hot forging of high-carbon steel. Repeated hammering provides even dispersion of carbon throughout the steel for strength.
  2. Rough Shaping: Scale (iron oxide) is removed and the blade is shaped. At this stage, the steel is still in the soft state and the blade has not been given a curve yet (known as ‘sori’).
  3. Clay Covering: A special clay is applied to the blade with a thin layer near the edge and a thicker layer everywhere else on the blade. This causes a quicker cooling of the edge during quenching which provides a harder edge & softer back.
  4. Quenching: With the clay covering still on, the blade it is heated and quenched in water. The shape and continuity of the hamon, the sori, and blade straightness are all determined during this quenching process.
  5. Sizing: If necessary the sori is adjusted to set the point of percussion and balance point. After this the blade is de-scaled. This is followed by polishing and the fitting of the habaki.
  6. Finishing: Any blemishes are removed through fine polishing and the remainder of the katana parts are placed on the sword.

The traditional double ring style tsuba is iron which provides a durable guard as well. It’s not the most decoratively designed tsuba I’ve seen however this style holds true to the traditional tsuba design.

Katana Reviews - Hanwei Musashi Elite

Finally I love that it came with a cleaning kit as well a sword bag, the complete package. The sword was designed to be a good economic cutting sword with the ability to make multiple cuts in normal targets without dulling.

If the 1065 high-carbon blades weren’t something you were aiming for then I’d say skip down to one of the other two katana reviews I’ve provided overviews on here.

Breakdown

  • Length: 29″
  • Tsuka: 11″
  • Material: 1065 High-carbon Monosteel blade
  • Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz
  • Take away: for a reasonable price this provides pretty good quality to any novice-moderately skilled swordsmen

 **Check Pricing for Hanwei Musashi Elite Here**

 

Level II – Tori Elite Review

Imagine finding the perfect balance of quality, price, sharpness, length, and style. You have just imagined yourself with the Hanwei Tori Elite katana, my favorite sword.

If you consider yourself serious in the realms of Japanese sword arts then this masterpiece should be in your arsenal. This is another of Paul Chen’s many masterpieces that doesn’t disappoint.

The balance is perfect at 5″ down from the tsuba. Right where you want it within that 4″-6″ range. This provides for a clean swing, not too front heavy, not too tail heavy, so it is easy to recover from every cut quickly without tiring your arms out.Katana Reviews - Hanwei Tori Elite Saya

The brown leather wrapped tsuka provides for a great grip. This is actual leather as well, not suede or some faux leather. Some aren’t a fan of the leather due to the more ‘tacky’ grip but I personally prefer it. Helps maintain better control.

The photo to the right gives you an idea of the color of the fittings and the wrap. You can see there is a crane design on the pommel that adds a little extra flare to the overall aesthetics of the blade.

The diamond patterns where the leather crisscrosses aren’t the same shape which is slightly annoying however it doesn’t affect the tightness of the wrap.

Even the saya is a piece of art with ~9 inches being rattan wrapped (see below), which gives it the appeal of being a high quality luxury component. Not to mention the added benefit of a better grip which is important for performing noto (the sheathing and unsheathing of the sword). Another perk of the saya is that it is made to be ‘fingerprintless’ so you don’t need to worry about cleaning the smudge marks off after a sweaty practice with it.Hanwei Tori Elite 4

Get this katana - katana reviews

I’ve had this for about a year now and the blade has yet to run dull. Now I also don’t treat my katana poorly by slicing into sheet metal as I’ve seen other do. And to be fair nor do I use this katana every time I practice or cut, so it’s not a year’s worth of continuous use every week. I tend to alternate between a few different katanas.

This katana features a hand crafted blade which is folded out of ASSAB K120 C Swedish steel, which if you remember from step 1 in the katana readiness guide, the folded steel is a high quality forging method.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between other steels and the Swedish steel used in this katana you’re not the first but I’ll explain from what I know; Sweden has long been known for their excellent iron ore deposits throughout the country. Steel coming from Sweden usually has very few impurities as well as contain small percentages of other metal ores which make steel produced from it a natural alloy. This makes for a much more durable steel during & post forging.

Cost, I know you are all curious. I’ve seen this sell for around $1,400 yet luckily I picked mine up for a little under $1,000. For my budget it was a perfect fit. Though I couldn’t afford a Praying Mantis or Furui Shishi, I also didn’t want to skimp out again as I had done in the past.

All in all if you’re looking for the full package this katana delivers.

http://ninja-weapons.tumblr.com/

Breakdown

  • Length: 28.5″
  • Tsuka: 11″
  • Material: Powder-steel forged and folded blade
  • Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz
  • Take away:  best option for those moderately skilled looking for a high quality katana on a $1,000 budget

**Check Pricing for Hanwei Tori Elite Here**

 

Level III – Furui Shishi Review

Looking to go all out and have the Cadillac of katanas? A buddy of mine bought this sword and let me tell you, if I had saved all the money I spent on crappier katanas (and was a little taller) I would have this baby in a heartbeat.

The Furui Shishi by Thaitsuki is a very nice katana, as are most of the upper end Thaitsuki katanas now. With a 29 1/2″ blade it is a little too long for me but perfect for anyone 5′ 8″ to 5′ 10″. This baby is remarkable right down to the saya (wooden hand rubbed lacquer finish).

The blade is impeccable, I mean it cuts through bamboo like it’s a piece of cheese. This could be due to my friend’s skills being moderately better than those of my own or due to the clay tempered & water quenched blade. Clay tempered is a method used during the cooling process that involves spreading clay in varying thicknesses over a blade during the quenching process resulting in an exceptionally hardened edge and a softer body.

Katana Reviews - Thaitsuki Furui Shishi Blade
Grain on the Furui Shishi

The blade’s edge hardness is a 60HRC on the Rockwell Scale while the body is a 35HRC. Again this means that the edge will be harder which allows for a sharper blade while the body of the sword will be softer to prevent breakage and provides the correct flex.

The Furui Shishi does have the groove or ‘bo-hi’ running along the top as well. The bo-hi (meaning ‘blood groove’) is cut into the katana to lighten the sword’s weight. This is something else you should think about when looking to buy a katana, is whether or not you would like the bo-hi style blade or prefer it without bo-hi. The bo-hi blades usually will run your more money though. Beyond functionality I think the blade’s hand polishing job really makes the grain standout.

As with my Tori Elite, the tsuka on this one also has a beautifully braided leather overlay (I guess I’m just drawn to leather). I’m not the only one drawn to the feel of the leather though, a look through any other reviews of this sword and you’ll find a trend in what all the positive feedback is about; 1) the perfect balance of the blade and 2) the feel of the leather wrap for practice.

Katana Reviews - Furui Shishi Review
Love the Tight Leather Wrap

katana reviews - Furui Shishi

The habaki & kashira on the sword are made using 98% pure silver, this gives it a different look from most others that use a brass, copper, or bronze. The tsuba though in my mind really isn’t all that decorative, it’s a pretty basic design (see below) so if you’re looking for the decked out artwork on the tsuba then unfortunately this sword will lack in that area.

Katana Reviews - Furui Shishi Review
Tsuba is Pretty Basic

Another great perk of this katana is that it came with a stand as well as a cleaning kit which we all will need at some point. The stand comes in a dark black with engraving on the front of it.

The high price makes it better? False.

In terms of katana reviews I don’t think price is always an indicator of quality, heck look at Jaguar or Land Rover, dang things cost a fortune and they seem to be more susceptible to mechanical flaws than your standard priced Jeep.

This however is a superior quality katana through and through and as a result of the exceptional quality is higher priced, not the other way around.

Katana Reviews - Thaitsuki Furui Shishi Review

Breakdown

  • Length: 29.5″
  • Tsuka: 11″
  • Material: Hand forged high carbon steel – folded 1024
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Key takeaway: over my budget but if money isn’t an issue and you want unmatched quality here it is, the combination of clay tempered forging process and the close attention to balance in this blade’s weight dispersion makes it an exceptional katana for use in training or cutting practice.

**Check Pricing for Furui Shishi Here**

So there you have it, the top katana reviews in my mind. I hope you find these valuable and they provide some direction in terms of what models to start looking at whether you are interested in getting your first katana or just upgrade your current arsenal.

Now after reading these katana reviews on to the next step of the katana readiness guide; “where do I find a katana for sale?” Well let’s get into that on the next page.

 

Where to buy one of these swords…

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