Tiger Claw’s sharpened daito, or Japanese longsword, is certainly good enough for display or forms practice. The 440C stainless steel blade jumps up a grade from the usual 420C of display quality swords, a good move considering the extra length of this 41-inch weapon. Even in kata, the blade will undergo some stress.
Two models are available, one with black accents on sheath and cord-wrapped grip and the other with red options. As with most display swords, the rippled pattern on the cutting edge isn’t the sign of a true hamon. Smiths temper the edges of combat swords by coating the cutting edge with clay, causing the two parts of the blade to temper to different degrees. To retain some of that appearance without raising the price beyond the reach of most students of the sword, many manufacturers simulate the hamon mark by etching the blade.
As a forms practice sword, the Sharpened Daito is practical, heavy enough to give the feel of the real weapon and built with similar detail. The materials used won’t match the old swords — the cord used to wrap the grip is nylon, for example. The high carbon 440C blade is good enough to hold a sharp edge, but in striking practice the blade would likely be damaged. Even in kata, the potential for harm is real. This much sword is enough to develop real respect for the weapon and its potential.
Without the ornate decorations that usually mark swords of only souvenir quality, this sharpened Daito has some good training potential and is only a little too bright and shiny to be real.
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