I bought this sword just to have something I could practice difficult twirls and fast draws with. I didn't want to risk getting injured using my real sword which is a competition cutting sword (a Last Legend Tsunami). And now that I am getting older and have arthritis, I need to be more carful.
This sword was better than I expect, but you need to know some things about it before you buy.
The blade is 28 1/4" long and the tsuka is 10 3/4" long which I am happy about. I like an 11" handle and a 29" or 30" blade. So this one is short but feels good to use.
They talk about balance with swords, but in the 40 years I have used them, I think it is more a question of weight. Swords that are heavy seem to be out of balance more than lighter ones. Anyway, this sword is so light that balance doesn't matter. You can hardly feel it compared to a cutting blade.
The saya is plastic. It looks and feels like a wooden saya but it's not. The problem is that the blade clunks around and makes a lot of noise when you put the sword away. You can control that a lot by how you put it away. Just press the back side of the blade downward against the opening as you push it in and that cuts out most of the noise. The habaki hits the mouth of the saya and that is were most of the noise comes from, but if you press the back of the blade down and push the tip up as you reach the end, it will go in nicely. It just takes getting used to.
I was disappointed that the same isn't real like the ad claimed, but for the price, I don't mind. I am going to rewrap it and replace the synthetic same anyway. As for the handle wrapping, it's not bad. It's not high quality silk or even cotton, and so it feels kind of rough. But it does stay in place and the diamonds are mostly even. The ito doesn't come apart from use so if you are not really picky, the handle is fine. The length is a little longer than they told me it would be.
The blade is really good. I had an expensive (2K) dull katana many years ago. It was really high quality, but it was too small for me so I sold it after 20 years. The blade on this sword compares with that one. It looks about the same and feels about the same. I really like it.
For the money there is nothing wrong with this sword. I like it. But I like expensive swords and want them to be perfect. So if I like it, most likely you will too. Just be aware that you might want to upgrade the tsuka or even the saya. I ordered a wooden saya for mine and once I replace the same with real same and wrap the handle, I think I will love this sword.
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