Masahiro Swords are a great way to gamble on getting a good sword for a bargain price. The parent company contracts the work of making these swords to several different Chinese foundries with very different levels of workmanship. Whether you’re getting the good swords or the disappointing ones is just the luck of the draw.
Materials remain constant in type but not necessarily in quality. This 40-inch katana is manufactured with a blade of high carbon steel and tempered differentially, regardless of which foundry produced it. The quality of that tempering, which should produce a hard cutting edge and a tough blade spine, varies considerably from sword to sword. Tsuba in this particular pattern are cast from brass with an antiqued finish and a dragon motif. The exact type of brass varies, so expect differences in color and strength. Many times, brass is cast from scrap machine parts and fittings which are melted down and recycled. Foundries use whatever scrap is cheapest, and the resulting castings may be yellow, reddish, malleable, or brittle. On a good day, you’ll see castings which contribute to the sword’s quality. Bad days yield something less.
With all the variations possible, the Masahiro brand can be an exciting purchase. Some individual swords have been high quality practical cutters. Built to simple patterns, these katanas have a combat-quality appearance which can be ruined by less than perfect assembly. The least you’ll get from this Masahiro blade is an expensive display sword in a fairly accurate ninja pattern, but the best really could be something special for the same price.
Don’t expect to exchange it for something better if the blade doesn’t come up to your expectations. Dealing with retailers over serious faults might be successful, but tracking down the real maker of the sword if you have unsatisfied complaints will probably be impossible.
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[phpbay]Masahiro Ninja, 2[/phpbay]