A few questions about the Practical Elite and thinking about buying a new sword

by Michael

QUESTION: Hi Paul,


First off, I would like to say amazing job on the website. It's really great to see a site that is both helpful and presented in such a nice manner. Keep up the good work!

I just recently go into the whole sword craze. I kind of blame anime (mostly Rurouni Kenshin). Even though i've been interested in them for a while, I've recently decided to buy a Practical Katana after reading some reviews and I was pretty happy with it. However, my friend tried cutting something with it and missed the target by 6 inches and slammed the sword into a steel pole... It's ok though, it only chipped a little and didn't break, and he bought me a new one.

I just got the new sword, a Practical Elite Katana, and I have to say i'm pretty impressed with it. I've tried cutting some water bottles and it's really fun. Now, here are my questions.

1.) How often should I oil my blade? I cut water bottles every so often (like once a few days). Also, is the Hanwei sword oil fine to use on it?

2.) If it's not oiled and I leave it out in the open, will anything bad like rust happen to it?

3.) After I cut a water bottle, there seems to be a slight scratch on the hamon, will this come off with Metal Glo?

4.) Will the Elite be able to cut tatami and other targets harder than a water bottle without losing it's edge or getting damaged? I read that because it's so sharp it might chip.

Also, i've been thinking about buying a new sword, mostly just for light cutting and display and I was looking at some Masahiro blades. The bamboo destiny and the sakura ones struck me as the most aesthetically pleasing. I was wondering about your thoughts on them. Also, some of the Musashi blades are quite good looking also. I know the Masahiro bamboo got really good reviews but I can't seem to find those anywhere really.

What would you recommend as a light cutting/display sword? I'm looking for something with a bo-hi.

Thanks for your time!

ANSWER: Hi Michael,

Thanks for your kind words. I've answered your numbered questions below.

1. Generally speaking, you just want to make sure that the blade has a fine layer of oil on it at all times. How quickly it dries depends on the climate and where it is stored, so there are no hard and fast rules (generally around once every 1-2 months in a temperate climate is good, sometimes you can get away with considerably longer than that). So the general idea is to check it frequently at first until you get an idea of how quickly it is drying. And of course, after each cutting session you want to clean it up and give it a good oiling. (More information on Sword Maintenance can be found here).

2. Definitely! Leave a sword overnight with no oil on it and exposed to the elements, especially rain for a day or two and it's not going to be as pretty...

3. Yes, it should. Water bottles can often scratch up the surface. Indeed, the only way to ensure a sword is pristine is to never use it! But Metal glo works very well and can remove most surface scratches nicely.

4. Definitely. The Elite works very well on Tatami Omote. Just be careful not to hit the stand by accident though, because the edge is so sharp it isn't very forgiving like that...

As to Masahiro - their blades are a bit hit and miss. Some are really good, others - not so... The main reason is, that they are actually made at several different forges. And the bamboo, yes - unfortunately that sword was out of production for about 2 years now.. Was definitely a good sword for the money at the time. But new blades are coming along all the time these days, so just keep an eye out on SBG as we will add reviews of the best (and yes, some of the worst too!) to let people know what is what...

Best,

- Paul

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