What should I look for?

K

kenposcum

Guest
Can anyone tell me how I can identify crappy workmanship on a knife? I'm ready to go buy a few (I want a folder, a combat knife, and a katana). What I'm really looking for are ways to tell if a blade is of poor quality besides breaking it.
And where can I get quality swords from?:asian:
 
OP
L

Lunumbra

Guest
A forged katana, as opposed to one ground out of some questionable piece of stainless steel, is very expensive. There are some very good makers out there. Look out for words like "simulated hamon line" that is always a pretty good tip off that it is not what you looking for. (I'm assuming in this post that your looking for a "real" katana) "Stainless steel" is also not a good sign. Anything that you know that is stainless (440, AUS, etc) fall into that category. Shaped handles, "simulated ivory", movie knock offs....I think you can probably figure out where they belong.
www.bugei.com has some and they have a pretty good reputation.
Slobodian (sp?) makes some incredible stuff, but I don't have his contact information.

What do you want a katana for anyways? They really aren't very useful in this day and age. You might want to think very carefully about getting one. Unless your in a class of some sort, it will end up in the corner or on your wall. And you will have spent a lot of money for a decoration.

Folders and Combat knives, your in hog city. Check out www.bladeforums.com as well, there is tons of information there.
"You get what you pay for" definately applies here. Unless you get a really small folder you going to pay at least $50 for a folder. There are some companies that put out quality knives for a good price. Columbia River Knife and Tool, and BOSS knives leap to mind. They make affordable knives and are pretty honest about the fact that they are not making masterpieces.

Stay away from United Cutlery.

Tons of Quality manufactures around. Check out the Makers and Manufactures forum at Bladeforums, a lot of the top companies have their own forum there. Just write down the names and you'll have a good starting point.
Internet knife companies abound!
www.newgraham.com
www.cutleryshoppe.com
www.onestopknifeshop.com
www.888knivesrus.com
www.knifecenter.com

Are some with the best reputations.

Sites to find custom knives
www.bladeart.com
www.knifeart.com
www.arizonacustomknives.com
www.customknifedirectory.com
are good places to start

LEARN YOUR LOCAL LAWS!

Don't say that you weren't warned.
 
OP
K

kenposcum

Guest
As far as I know, in Illinois there's no length law and no concealment law for knives/bladed weapons, so I could keep the katana in my pant leg (is that a katana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?).
I want a "real" katana to do cutting tests. I recently read about how the samurai used to name their blades based on their cutting efficacy ("Three bodies cutter," "Cut through an arm and a pelvis," "Black chap chopper," etc) and I wanted to get some big sides of beef and, well, chop them up.:rolleyes: Gosh I'm weird.
I want the folders and the combat knife just so I can be armed in case the mood strikes me.
:asian:
 

Yari

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
22
Location
rhus, Denmark
Originally posted by kenposcum


I recently read about how the samurai used to name their blades based on their cutting efficacy ("Three bodies cutter," "Cut through an arm and a pelvis," "Black chap chopper," etc) and I wanted to get some big sides of beef and, well, chop them up.:rolleyes: Gosh I'm weird.

:asian:

So you want a sword called: Big-sides-of-beef-Weirdo ...

Sorry couldn't help myself.:rofl:

You don't need a real sword to pratice cutting, just a sharp sword.
Since a sword can break and cutting with a sword isn't that easy, I would recommend using a "cheap" sword to pratice cutting.


/Yari
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,175
Reaction score
849
Location
Kennewick, WA
But not too cheap :D

Too cheap and the sword is more of a danger to you, for a beginner cutter avoid ANYTHING made of stainless steel. Most of these are just designed to sit on your wall and look gaudy.

Two intro katanas that are often suggested are the KC katana, either the 26 or 29 inch, these have a rep as a good strong blade, but not "traditional."

http://www.kriscutlery.com/Kris/japanese/Japanese.html

or the Hanwei Practical Katana, (and its upgrade the Practical Plus Katana) These are available at lots of outlets, shop around for the best price. Again, these are not traditional, but are decent choppers. (A google search turned up lots of options.)

Lamont

PS I share your enthusiasm for chopping things up, right now pumpkins are a bargain cutting target . :)
 
OP
K

kenposcum

Guest
The reason I was going to use sides of beef is because I figured they would most closely approximate human flesh. Any other suggestions?
And if I'm to avoid stainless steel, what DON'T I avoid? I had already decided against aluminum, was that safe?
:asian:
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,175
Reaction score
849
Location
Kennewick, WA
Avoiding aluminum was a good choice.

If you are interested in modern metals see:

http://www.swordforum.com/sfu/japanese/modern-steels.html

but it sounds like you need a good intro to swords so also see:

http://www.swordforum.com/sfu/primer/wellmade.html

The traditional Japanese cutting medium was wetted rolled straw mats, that apparently mimic the consistency of flesh. But hey, if you can afford beef, go for it. Tatami mats rolls can be purchased here:

www.tameshigiri.com

Other completely non-traditional fun targets are bushes, water jugs, various vegetables (like I said, pumpkins), cardboard boxes, etc. A friend of mine practices his iaido on potatoes.

Cutting stuff is fun, but be careful, start with something light, and preferably get some training first. You are swinging around a large sharp object, you don't want serve as the cutting target.
 

Yari

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
22
Location
rhus, Denmark
Originally posted by Blindside

But not too cheap :D

Too cheap and the sword is more of a danger to you, for a beginner cutter avoid ANYTHING made of stainless steel. Most of these are just designed to sit on your wall and look gaudy.

Agree on both accounts; not to cheap and not made by stainless.
But usally the two follow.

Stainless is bad to use since the way the metal is made. Stainless is metal with certain elements in the metal, and the cooling process makes the metal britle (I think its called). Being britle means that the metals cells are hard and small. The result of this that the movements of the sword easily can make it break. And that's a dangour for yourself and others. Because of the metal cells like this, a sword like this will have problems getting sharp without chipping.

A japanese sword will be made of iron combinded with carbon, and cooled down a certain way. Making it both soft and hard. In the right places.

As mentioned before, you should get some pratice in technique, because no matter how good a sword you have it'll break under wrong usage.

/Yari
 

Latest Discussions

Top