Finding an affordable combat quality katana can be difficult. Sword making has not died out, but traditional sword makers are far fewer in number now. Though you might get an excellent deal at the foundry door, by the time the blade has traveled through several levels of importers and retailers the price is out of reach. Modern foundries stamp out replica swords like crazy, from high carbon stainless steel that looks great on a wall but folds over when you hit a target. Real swords are usually things we wish we had, but don’t.
Paul Chen is one of a group of practitioners of Kendo and Iaido who decided to do something about this problem and make good quality swords available at low markup prices. Applying both hand forging methods and modern materials solutions to the production system at their own forge, they now provide a wide range of high quality usable blades at prices within the budgets of most serious students of swordsmanship. If money is not your concern, they offer traditionally forged weapons as well.
Spring steel alloy 9260 is the most durable modern steel in their workhorse katana line. The same steel chosen for high quality fencing foils gives these katanas improved fatigue resistance that results in far fewer failures from bending and chipping. Offering a full line of katanas, wakizashi, and tantos that are battle ready, Cheness Cutlery also sells parts and a finished 9260 katana blade mounted in unfinished wood, for those who want to create their own weapon and save some money.