Purchasing My First Katana

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  katanas 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #568

    alex

    first of all thank you very much for this website, it has really helped mu understand a lot about the basics especially in regards to the different types of steel. im looking to purchase my first katana and wanted to avoid getting a poor quality sword. im looking for something that will primarily be for show, but i wanted to have something that i could actually use for practice down the line when i have more time on my hands. i have seen several good katanas within the $500-$1000 range, but seeing as to how this is my first katana i though i would go a bit cheaper. i was looking at the swords of northshire website and saw that on their custom katana section you could get a folded 1060 steel katana for $260 and a folded 1095 folded steel katana for $360 which is around the price range i am more comfortable with. have any of you guys had any experience on the quality/durability of these custom swords? any help would be greatly appreciated

  • #569

    Katanas

    Hey Alex, I think the custom swords from Swords of Northshire are pretty good quality for the price plus it’s unique to you. If you are looking to cut down the road I’d probably lean toward a clay tempered blade. If you want beauty go folded & clay tempered!

    • #570

      alex

      yeah i was also looking at the clay tempered 1095 folded steel one as well. i was wondering, with the other metal types, it lets you select a hamon, but only the clay tempered one has a “natural” hamon, what is the difference exactly? is the non natural an artificial one? the $500 price tag on the clay tempered sword may be just slightly out of my allocated budget for this so im not sure. is there any particular sword you would recommend in the $250-350 range? is it better to get the custom northshire swords using the non clay tempered metals or are there better “stock” options

  • #571

    katanas
    Keymaster

    Yep you got it, the Hamon is formed while clay heat treating the blade. For blades not clay tempered, they forgers will make a faux hamon to give it a natural look however it usually isn’t natural. Clay tempered blades usually are a bit more pricey. Another option may be the 9260, these blades have silicon composition in them which give them more bend or flexibility. Here’s one within the price range http://katanaswordreviews.com/9260SpringSteel. Check that one out and even shoot them an email, they are great at helping people find something that works well for them. As I always say, what works for one person may not work for another so in the end the decision is truly yours. Good luck!

  • #573

    alex

    Oh thanks. I saw a few mid $300 swords at swords of northshire that were 1095 clay tempered, but it doesn’t specify if they are folded or not. In your opinion how important is the folding of the steel? I liked some of these swords since you could still customize several components. I was wondering what your opinion was. Sorry for all these questions

  • #574

    katanas
    Keymaster

    The folding allows for more impurities to be hammered out and creates a grainy look in the metal, the clay tempered allows for differential hardening which lets you have a hard blade and soft back. I think for a starter sword you don’t have to have clay tempered. You’ll most likely go through numerous swords throughout your training as you find out which blades work best for you in each scenario. Just don’t go out trying to cut sheet metal or anything hard as I’ve heard of some others doing. I’d strongly advise before cutting anything to find a dojo and a sensei to learn how to handle the sword.

    -Nate

  • #586

    alex

    oh ok good to know. i was wondering what your opinion on this sword was

    http://www.swordsofnorthshire.com/1095-high-carbon-steel/clay-tempered-1095-high-carbon-steel-all-black-samurai-katana-sword

    its a 1095 clay tempered sword with a natural hamon. and its within my price range

  • #587

    katanas

    I haven’t used this one but looking at it I’d say it’d suit your needs as long as the length is close to what you’d need. It us full tang which is good. I have more faith in full tang blades and it helps with balancing. I’d say go for it if you like it.

  • #590

    alex

    thanks for all of your help. i am in the process of finalizing my selection. i just wanted to ask you if you had any tips on maintenance of your swords. i have read things online about cleaning it with rice paper every few weeks and using something called choji oil. i am not familiar with any of these and was wondering if you had any thoughts on this, or if there are any alternatives that are just as good

  • #591

    katanas

    Hey Alex funny you should ask. I actually just added a section to this site on how to clean a Katana. Here’s the blog post http://katanaswordreviews.com/how-to-clean-a-katana/. You van get a cleaning kit for like $20. Also don’t keep the blade in a damp place. You dont want moisture getting in the saya rusting it.

    Hope this helps!

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