laminated ebay swords

by Gary
(Toronto, Canada)

Could you please give me your thoughts on the San Mai, and kobuse laminates offered on ebay swords. Do the laminates offer a solution to the folding of a core steel? (Assuming the problems of folding incorrectly, can make steel vulnerable.) The idea of a solid unfolded core steel, with a folded laminate sounds better. Do you think these laminates like a 1095 core, with a folded 1060 sanmai jacket offers good strength?

Thanks from a new member!

Comments for laminated ebay swords

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Doesn't usually happen..
by: Paul

Hi Gary,

Lamination, when done correctly, does produce a more shock resistant sword - though only from the front (i.e. impact from correctly aligned cuts). Bad cuts, end up bending the sword - and overall monotempered swords are tougher by far and the same result is achieved by differentially hardeneding the blade anyway..

The problem with the ebay swords is twofold:

1) Cheap laminated swords are notorious for the same issues as cheap folded swords - i.e. they have microfissures and poor welds between the different steels used. They are also applied unevenly. You can see an example of a failed Sanmai laminate sword in my review of the Ryujin line on our site here - and this is a GOOD example!

Cheness gave up on laminated swords due to repeated issues - the forge just could not get it right at that price point as to do a laminate properly requires a master smith. So basically, anything under $500 is going to be rubbish..

2) You rarely actually GET a laminated sword when you order. I have lost count of the number of times this has come up on our own forum. A member orders a san mai sword and just gets a folded blade. Its a classic bait and switch approach..

At the end of the day, if you want a good laminated sword, you need to go to a reputable dealer and get one made by a highly trained smith. Otherwise at best you end up with an expensive wallhanger..

Hope this helps.
- Paul

Noooooo on ebay swords
by: Anonymous

Just say no. To eBay swords. They look great. And if you don't want to use it then they're fine. But remember the sword you see in pictures and even in videos are the best sword that was made that they are able to show. It IS NOT the sword you will get. They are all mass produced with the same cheap materials that all the forges use. Even their "high end" swords are crap. Its totally random as to what you end up with. They're very tempting as the pictures they show look fantastic. Once in hand though it's a totally different sword. I speak from experience. And look for the vid on YouTube that shows where all ebay katanas come from. Stay away from outsourced work for any real blade.

laminate info
by: gary

Thanks Paul, that's a great help. It seems for price point, a good basic steel is best. 1095 or T10, tempered properly is just smart. Together with a choice forge, you have a real cutter.

good advice
by: gary

Good advice. Was waiting to get a Garret Chan, but we all know he's out of business. Will be looking at SBG recommended.

laminate info
by: gary

Further to an earlier discussion, it was brought forward to never look at these blades on ebay. I would totally agree since folding properly is difficult enough, never mind complicating the issue. Don't think it can be done from these suppliers, if they even try at all when delivering. As I would like to save for something special, I was looking at Ronun Katanas elite series. Here they offer the most complex soshu kitae, seven panel construction. This is done by a certified master smith. Any opinions on saving for such a treasure. Or perhaps there is no functional advantage compared to T10. I'm by no means a professional or even skilled user, but I do have an appreciation for things worth saving for. This would be a family heirloom piece worth passing on. Your thoughts please.

Thoughts on the Ronin Elites
by: Paul

The Ronin Elite swords have been well received, they are not as tough as their Dojo Pro line, but it depends on what you want the sword for. If it is for a family treasure/heirloom - as each one is indeed one of a kind - they suit this purpose. Also suitable for high end use in a dojo. But they are not recommended as beaters or beginners swords.

At least they ARE what they say they are though.

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