Dynasty Forge Musha Katana

Canadian based Dynasty Forge have always had a reputation for high quality blades.

With swords sourced from the legendary Huano forge, owned by the legendary Chinese historian and scholar Fred Chen, they have been revolutionizing what is possible in the production sword market– mostly at the $1000 to $2000 price point.

So when they turned their considerable expertise to entry level swords we all love and cherish, their approach was to do away with differentially hardened hamon entirely and create one of the earliest 1060 carbon steel monotempered swords ever to hit the market - a machine shaped and polished sword that, in their own words: the sword practitioner can rest assured that the Musha 1060 blade will be more forgiving in the event of "less than precise" technique.

It's quite plain and crisp, usually sells for a tad over the $300 price range why try to stick to but a true classic and often not enough are made to fulfil demand.


Dynasty Forge Musha Class Katana Review

Review by Ric Speak, United Kingdom


Steel 

Weight 

Point of Balance 

Price Range

1060 Carbon Steel

2.5lbs

6"

US$325-350

The second generation no-hi Musha is a 1060 Spring Steel Mono-tempered Katana costing $325-350.

I had 2 reasons for wanting to buy a Dynasty Forge katana, firstly their reputation for producing beautiful Katanas, and secondly their reputation for producing swords that perform exceptionally well.

”Reputation counts for a lot in the world of swords...”

When my sword arrived it was neatly and tightly packed, well greased, inside a blue sword bag, wrapped and taped tightly up in thick heavy duty bubble wrap, all secured inside a plain cardboard box.

At first i thought 'what? No fancy box?' but really - be honest, who here actually uses their fancy boxes?

Now onto the sword;

Here is the detailed description of the sword from the Dynasty Forge website:

Forged from extremely durable 1060 spring steel, this 28.5" blade is mono-tempered and machine polished. Forged without Bo-Hi, this blade is the most durable cutter in the 1060 line. The Shinogi-Ji is hand-burnished to a mirror polish, giving the blade a crisp geometry. The sword is fitted in Musashi themed Tsuba and Fuchi-Kashira with a pair of Buddhist sword Menuki. The Saya is finished in 11-layer natural lacquer taken to a high-gloss finish. The 11" Tsuka is paneled with genuine ray-skin and wrapped in black cotton Ito.

Mono-tempered 1060 high carbon steel
Musashi Theme with Buddhist Menuki
Blade: 28.5"

Tsuka: 11"
Overall: 40.5"
Weight: 2.5 lbs. (no hi)

I chose the no hi version because I wanted a better cutter, the hi version weighs in at 2.3 lbs.

Design, Fit and Finish

The Blade;

The blade of this sword is, in a word, amazing!”

With no etched hamon and some of the best polishing I have ever seen, it is almost as if you are not holding metal, but some crazy mirrored glass.

Sharp? this blade defines sharp, sharper than any of my Hanwei practical blades (practical/light/XL light).

The transition from blade to kissaski (tip) is almost seamless.

At first, before cutting, I was worried about scratching this amazing polish job. I have now used it to cut various plastic bottles, some pretty tough ones, and a mat.

No scratches...
...At all.

This is not only a beautiful polish, but it is also a very hard wearing polish.

Ten! thumbs up.

The Grip;

This katana has an 11" tsuka, personally I think this is a great size, as I find larger tsukas harder to handle.

Everywhere states that the ito is cotton.

I am not in a position to argue with this, but I will say that if this is cotton, then it is FAR superior to all of my other 'cotton' ito tsukas.

Not so 'soft and fluffy' but ' hard, tight and grippy'

Excellent wrapping quality, tight and even.

My only single fault (if you could even call it a fault) that I could find is the two gold caps at the bottom of the tsuka ito don’t just line up perfectly. But on the other hand, they are held so firmly in place I cannot move them a single millimetre or a fraction of one.

The Fittings

Musashi tsuba: material - cast iron.

Buddhist sword menuki: -– metal

Pegs (double): material – bamboo

Same: real –panelled

Some things, few things, require few words.

Simple...

...Elegant...

...Quality!”

Handling

This sword handles very much like my Cheness Cutlery Tenchi, i.e. pretty damn well.

The only real difference is that this Dynasty Forge one basically just cuts BETTER...

Testing

Water bottles;

Water bottles? What water bottles?

This sword has gone through every type of bottle I have put in front of it with so little effort you might almost as well just be cutting the air.

Tatami mats;

VIDEO: Musha Mat Cutting

Effortless cutting and surprising speed and recovery for a solid bodied blade

As you can see, an excellent cutter.

This sword has instantly claimed its position as my favourite 'cutter' in my collection.

PROS

  • Incredibly sharp and effective cutter
  • Highly scratch resistant machined mirror polish
  • Quality iron fittings with tight assembly

CONS

  • Somewhat plain fittings and blade
  • A little above the $300 price point now, not always easy to source (sporadic production and availability)

WHERE TO BUY

Price and availability on these has fluctuated wildly over the years (sometimes for as low as $229!). But a long time stockist who has carried them whenever they are available is Kult of Athena, whos current price is $324.95 and who stocks them in their store here


I hope this review of the Dynasty Forge Musha Class Katana has been helpful. To return to A Beginners Guide to Authentic Japanese Swords from Dynasty Forge Musha Katana Review, click here

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