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Samurai Sword w/ Hardwood Scabbard ITO 402

Japanese Handmade Forged Katana

Posted by JT Hats

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Samurai Sword w/ Hardwood Scabbard ITOAn engraved hand-forged katana priced this low forces me to look for faults. Although I find some, the ITO Katana Samurai Sword 402 still seems like a bargain if you're looking for a katana good enough for light cutting practice.

At two pounds and ten ounces (without the scabbard), this 39.5-inch katana is a little heavy, which helps to explain the bargain value. The 28-inch blade is a full 18/64 inches thick, using a laminated steel construction which should provide a hard cutting edge and a shock-resistant spine -- a sturdy blade but not a refined and fast blade. The blade's blood groove or hi is traditional and not always found in a lower-priced cutting katana. Some economical cutters eliminate the hi to increase blade strength.

In keeping with the functional quality of the katana, the hibaki (the plate which locks the blade in the scabbard) is durable brass and accurately fitted. Handle and scabbard are more marginal in quality than the blade. The sword's kashiri and tsuba are cast from zinc alloy -- serviceable but not rugged -- and are decorated with generic patterns representing the tsunami and the samurai. A hardwood handle covered with genuine rayskin underlies the teal cotton ito or wrapped cord grip. The sword's brown hardwood scabbard is finished with high gloss lacquer and decorated with a cotton sageo which matches the katana's ito. Engravings on both sides of the blade represent the dragon and the symbol of Fudo Myoo.

While this is a surprisingly good sword for this price level, there are enough borderline materials here to raise some doubts about its long-term durability and ability to withstand a poorly executed strike. Maintained in a razor sharp condition and used properly, it could be a good practice sword, but it's not bulletproof.

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