Many people claim cheap Samurai swords (under $100 or so) are a complete waste of time and money..
And 9 times out of 10 they would be right..
The overwhelming majority of cheap Samurai swords being sold online are not in any way functional. Sure, they are made of steel and yes, some of them might even be sharp - but sharpness alone doesn't mean very much if the blade bends, snaps or comes flying out like a helicopter of death on the first attempted cut...
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying some nice looking Samurai sword sets to display over the mantelpiece, etc.
Indeed, we have put together a beginners guide to buying decorative Samurai Sword Sets here for those primarily interested in cheap Samurai swords purely for display purposes.
The only problem is that many people who believe they are starting a real Katana collection aren't getting what they think they paid for...
VIDEO: The home shopping network clip
"OUCH! A piece of that tip just got me O'dell"
At the end of the day, most display swords are made of Stainless steel - which is a great choice for knives - but in anything over 12" long (like a sword) it tends to become overly brittle. What makes things worse though is that the tang of display swords is typically a thin steel rod spot welded to the blade.
When done quickly like this - the tang of these cheap Samurai swords tends to bend and or break off inside the handle when swung, and as a sword is only as strong as its weakest point, it can can sometimes send the blade flying out like a missile...
9 out of 10 Katana under $100 are like this (or worse). But fortunately, not all.
Fortunately, there are some good ones out there. Indeed, some of them are true DIAMONDS in the rough...
Before we get into any reviews or specific recommendations, let's start with a quick guide on what to look for when buying cheap Samurai swords that are halfway respectable..
There are quite a few swords that can be had for well under a hundred bucks that I would call 'bare bones' functional.
At an absolute bare minimum a functional Budget Katana needs:
Any sword which possesses these most basic characteristics stands at least a reasonable chance of being a half decent facsimile.
These kind of swords are quick an easy to produce, milled from slabs of cheap 1045 carbon steel, machine sharpened and fitted out on the cheap. They sure aren't great, but these wanna-be's are at least a step up from the stainless steel wall hangers...
Let's take a close look at some of the better ones.
Now it would make a lot of sense that the closer you get to $100, the better the sword would be, right?
Well, not necessarily..
In truth, it is very hit and miss. Here are a couple more hands on reviews for you. The first what you would expect and the second one, well, not so much..
Last but not least, a real gem for you - indeed, it is a sword that that SHOCKED a lot of people when it first came out, myself included..
It may not have been as durable as the legendary Masahiro Bamboo, but it redefined what was possible for swords under the $100 price point.
And funnily enough, it was also called "Bamboo" but this time by Musashi..
While it ticked almost all the boxes, it wasn't perfect. But for the price, nothing else really comes close.
Read the review and see what I am talking about for yourself.
So there you have it..! Cheap Samurai swords that can actually cut stuff without falling apart..!
Before we go, two more quick options..
True enough, the first one might not be very traditional - but it is VERY affordable, VERY durable and well, a whole heap of fun - all for under $40..!
And the second one - some surprisingly durable 1045 carbon steel cheap Samurai swords by Ronin Katana, their RK Budget series..
Here's an actual test to destruction video showing just what you can and can't do with these swords..
I realize that at $129.99 they are a tad more expensive than our intended budget. But if you can swing it, they are well worth the extra $$ - and so good that they made the cut and are available with a lifetime guarantee right here at the SBG Sword Store
If you are in the market for cheap Samurai swords of all shapes and sizes, we recommend you visit Trueswords.com
They stock literally hundreds of swords under the $100 price point and who knows, with the knowledge here and some luck, you may just find the next "Bamboo"...
I hope this information on cheap Samurai swords has been helpful. To return to A Beginners Guide to Authentic Japanese Swords from Cheap Samurai Swords Under $100, click here