A recent purchase

by Calvin Leisure
(Bowling Green, KY)

QUESTION: I recently bought a Generation 2 BWT Ninja sword from swordsofvalor.com and had some issues with the blade. I had some preconceived notions that these swords were pretty rigid and strong, but have found otherwise. I recieved the sword in the mail and quickly went to work cutting up the box it came in and for two or three days I had no problems, but I noticed something later on-- that the blade wasn't completely straight. And when I applied pressure-small mind you- the blade warped even more. This is not edge-wise, this is along the flat of the blade.


I did not aggressively "flex test" this sword and still I am horrified with the results; the blade has the same tensil strength of a butter knife of the same thickness. I have contacted the swordsofvalor.com who told me that this is how these swords work and I don't believe them.

So... I need your word that when I pay $265. dollars for a Generation 2 sword that this is what i'm supposed to expect.

I know you guys (this site and theirs) do business and recommend eachother, but I am looking for help and sound advice-- if you can't give it to me I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me who could.

Thankyou,
CL

ANSWER: Hi Calvin,

I've had to edit my original answer slightly as Jason at AoV provided some additional info from your original email to him (in the comments section) which said: "The sword looks fine and cuts very well and handles fine too, but the blade bends and stays bent. I don't know if this is supposed to work that way, but this is my first 'real' sword and I kind of expected a little more resilency. I didn't abuse the blade or hit it against metal or concrete, or stick it in between two rocks and try to bend it, I just took two hands (one on each end) and bent the sword into an L and then did my best to straighten it back out."

Unfortunately, as you found out the hard way, differentially hardened swords do not flex - if they get bent, they stay bent.

They will resist it to a certain degree when cutting, but they cannot withstand a flex test like a monosteel sword...

I do feel pretty sorry for you as it is a heck of a hard way to find out about that... But even in dojos, when swords take a set from a bad cut, they are often just straightened out manually. Doing this often will lead to stresses in the steel of course and you'll want to relegate this sword to light cutting or display from here on out as bending it in an L shape is pretty harsh...

But yeah, I am sorry to hear about your troubles - and it is an expensive lesson, but better on a BWT than a $1,000+ Bugei I suppose...!

Sorry I couldn't have been of help earlier.

- Paul

Comments for A recent purchase

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Answer to flex testing a katana/Ninja sword
by: Jason AoV

According to the original e-amil we received the sword did not bend during cutting, but during a flex test.

"The sword looks fine and cuts very well and handles fine too, but the blade bends and stays bent. I don't know if this is supposed to work that way, but this is my first 'real' sword and I kind of expected a little more resilency. I didn't abuse the blade or hit it against metal or concrete, or stick it in between two rocks and try to bend it, I just took two hands (one on each end) and bent the sword into an L and then did my best to straighten it back out."

After conducting a poll on sword buyers guide asking the question about flex testing a katana/(sword with a spine like the ninja sword) the general consensus was that the Katana/Ninja sword should not be flex tested, which is what appears was the case from the original e-mail. Please see link to the poll below for further details.

http://sbgswordforum.proboards70.com/index.cgi?board=japaneseswords&action=display&thread=4465

Question Authority
by: CL

Hello,

I've just recieved word that imperialweapons.com will take back my sword and send me a replacement.

And I fully expect to be made an example of if the sword I return is not one of their ill- tempered bad batch that they put out a little over a year ago.

The problem is their denial that they even had any issues with their blades in the first place. I've seen, on this site, a question very similiar to my own, that even described the blade as a "butter knife"(words that I also had used), to describe a different make/model sword of Generation 2. If either of these companies had acknowledged that there had been some mistake a year or so ago, but that all of those swords had been already taken off of the market I would understand-- I would not have been happy, but I would have chalked it up to ignorance.

Another issue is the fight I have had to go through and the disregard of armsofvalor.com in regard to my concerns. Am I wrong to think that they should know more about some "bad batch" of Generation 2 swords that I would? And another issue- do they even know which kind of swords, how many, or even where they shipped those swords to?-- Most companies I know of keep an inventory, yes an inventory of their products. And they should be able to look at their books and check the serial number/product # of the sword they sold and tell me before this mess happened if my sword is even a possible mistake.

I don't know if they think I enjoy being ignored or that I don't have anything else better to do, but this is one of those experiences I wish I had never had.

Lastly, the only reason that they are replacing my blade is because this site gave me a chance, and actually tried to help me. I could have written all the emails and phone calls I wanted to armsofvalor.com and they would have continued to ignore my issue(AND YES, a big batch of bad swords of the same company I bought is an issue), but ONE emailed question and my issue is taken care of-- THAT is what I call service. Whether or not their initial answer was wrong(time will tell), I appreciate it when some one makes an attempt to level with me, and doesn't look down on me.


Calvin Leisure

Question Authority
by: CL

Hello,

I've just recieved word that imperialweapons.com will take back my sword and send me a replacement.

And I fully expect to be made an example of if the sword I return is not one of their ill- tempered bad batch that they put out a little over a year ago.

The problem is their denial that they even had any issues with their blades in the first place. I've seen, on this site, a question very similiar to my own, that even described the blade as a "butter knife"(words that I also had used), to describe a different make/model sword of Generation 2. If either of these companies had acknowledged that there had been some mistake a year or so ago, but that all of those swords had been already taken off of the market I would understand-- I would not have been happy, but I would have chalked it up to ignorance.

Another issue is the fight I have had to go through and the disregard of armsofvalor.com in regard to my concerns. Am I wrong to think that they should know more about some "bad batch" of Generation 2 swords than I would? And another issue- do they even know which kind of swords, how many, or even where they shipped those swords to?-- Most companies I know of keep an inventory, yes an inventory of their products. And they should be able to look at their books and check the serial number/product # of the sword they sold and tell me before this mess happened if my sword is even a possible mistake.

I don't know if they think I enjoy being ignored or that I don't have anything else better to do, but this is one of those experiences I wish I had never had.

Lastly, the only reason that they are replacing my blade is because this site gave me a chance, and actually tried to help me. I could have written all the emails and phone calls I wanted to armsofvalor.com and they would have continued to ignore my issue(AND YES, a big batch of bad swords of the same company I bought is an issue), but ONE emailed question and my issue is taken care of-- THAT is what I call service. Whether or not their initial answer was wrong(time will tell), I appreciate it when some one makes an attempt to level with me, and doesn't look down on me.


Calvin Leisure

The last time(probably)
by: Calvin Leisure

Hello,

Hopefully, this is the last statement I am going to make. Imperialweapons.com and Armsofvalor.com have agreed to take back my Generation 2 Ninja sword even though they have identified that model and make as not being one of their accidental bad batch. This has not been a fun experience for either of those companies or myself, and I accept fault for probably being a little too harsh on them, but I am not going to apologize for investigating a concern or for standing up for myself even though it turned out I was wrong.
I promised Clyde Hollis @ imperial weapons.com that I would retract and revise my statement made earlier, but this is not my site and I can't do that, so this is as good as it gets.

Make no mistake I am not backing down from anyone, but the issue has resolved itself and since I have erred in my conclusion it is my duty to finish the story. This whole situation has involved a lot of stress for me during an already hectic end of college sememester. This has been a war, in which I could have took a replacement blade and ran, but I am not going to do that, for some sword company or some guy on the street. If Clyde Hollis and myself had done this in person we probably would have fought eachother-- I'm serious, there was a lot of back and forth argueing. Imperialweapons.com is very serious about their product and back them up. They know which swords are apart of their "bad batch" and they are doing their part and more to ensure their good name. When I found out that my sword was not one of their mis-made swords, I told them I would keep it-- no more questions or comments, But still they said they will replace the ninjato.

I think I was told 4 or 5 times that I am never supposed to bend a ninja or katana, and I didn't flex test that sword until I had already incorectly assumed the blade was too weak. But these swords are made to historic specifications and that is what I recieved.

Final Comment: if your looking for a sword that you may eventually have to use(literally) don't buy a japanese style blade unless it is specifically made otherwise, they bend under stress. No connection to sword makers I've already discussed, but I don't really think a Katana could even parry the heavy blow of an aluminum baseball bat and still be an effective tool in the heat of combat. --This is just my opinion and I have no experience with such, but I am not going to pay anymore to find out.

-CL

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