sword decision

by David
(Alexandria, La)

QUESTION: I have three swords I have been researching lately and would like your suggestion.

1st is the Cheness Tenchi - strong sword for cutting and slightly heavier than some. Not a good kata sword unless you get the bo-hi. 9260 blade.

2nd is the Cheness Kaze - prettier sword than the Tenchi. stong, sharp with the 9260 spine.

3rd is the Hanwei Practical Plus Katana(PPK) - nice sword and fittings, differentially tempered steel, sharp, good for kata.

I will be using it for kata practice and for cutting matts mostly. I would like a good weight for drawing and a sharp blade. I would like a nice sword for both versus purchasing 2 swords
(1 for kata and 1 for cutting).

thanks in advance.
Love the site by the way.
Its the reason I have 3 sword choices....lol


ANSWER:Hi David,

I would have to think that the best choice would be the Tenchi with bo-hi as it suits your purpose of Kata and Cutting practice with the one sword. The Kaze can feel a little tip heavy to some, but it is correctly balanced for a no-hi sword - just that swords with bo-hi are better for Kata (and also because of the Tachi-Kaze sound that provides valuable feedback on the cutting angle and speed).

Anyway, hope this helps (and sorry for the late reply).

- Paul

Comments for sword decision

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I have to disagree with Paul
by: Caleb

It's very rare that I ever disagree with Paul, but, correct me if I'm wrong, the PPK is the lightest of the 3, and whose grip is the most comfortable.

After actually and intensively handling a sword, I have sincerely come to the conclusion that how a sword "feels" is the most impactful factor in determing how much I love it. How a car looks and not how it depreciates, can have the most impact; how a dish tastes and not how it looks, can have the most impact; how a woodcarving chisel performs in terms of edge retention, and not how it performs in terms of ductility, can have the most impact...

I used to LOVE looking at my Kaze; makes me appreciate it more every time I spend time looking at it. I am tired of that now. I love swinging it now. But it is quite tip-heavy. I had to really WORK to change my mindset before I start appreciating it. Getting rid of that nasty feeling "shoe lace" wrapped tsuka and replacing it with a smooth-feeling, custom one that I made also makes me LOVE my sword (again, NOT so much because how it looks). By the way, both the Kaze and Tenchi sport the Cheness tsuka, which in my opinion, is too flat and wide, which forces the finger joint to lock too much in a slightly less natural posture, IMHO. The Hanwei has a rounder, more comfortable profile.

IMHO, the lighter and more agile PPK with the higher quality tsuka-ito (quality you can feel) will "feel" the best of the three. Just be careful not to cut too hard targets because it is much easier to chip than the Chenesses. (If that happens, you will never love the sword in your hands again!) Consequently, knowing that may make it "feel" more fragile every time you swing it. But if you never chip it, that should not be a problem.

Since you are using it for kata, the most important (and certainly most frequently tested)
factor would be its heft. I would eliminate the Kaze just based on that.

Best scenario would be if you can handle all 3 swords yourself e.g. in a store. Since that is unlikely, you will have to trust the words of those who owned these swords regarding how they feel. Good luck!

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