The Musashi SS676 from that company’s Tokusen line of practical cutters could be one of the best buys in modern backyard tameshigiri — or target-cutting — katanas.
To keep the price this low, Musashi took practical and logical cost-cutting steps like substituting modern steel fittings for the traditional cast brass bladeguard and pommel. Where it counts, specifically in the habaki (the collar at the base of the blade which makes a friction-fit with the scabbard), there’s still brass. Everything in the sword works well, and some owners might even consider the stronger steel fittings an improvement over the old pattern.
Musashi doesn’t specifically state that the tempering mark or hamon is authentic, and for this low price, the odds are good that it’s only decoration. The full tang high carbon steel blade is still consistently tempered and well-shaped with a blade thickness of 1/4 inch at the base of the 24-inch blade, tapering gradually to 3/16 inches at the tip of the sword. Wooden pegs fix the tang in the hardwood handle and can be tapped out for a complete disassembly of the weapon. Repairs and upgrades are possible.
Imitation rayskin covers the hardwood of the handle, but the woven cord ito is authentic black cotton. A matching black sageo wrap finishes off the black lacquered hardwood sheath. Although it’s a light duty cutter, the SS676 has many good features and looks good enough to display proudly.
Check out the premium version for an even better backyard cutter: the Musashi Shirakawa Katana.
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