I've always liked the look of the Samurai 3000 sword.
Even though it is purely ornamental, there is something about its futuristic 'light saber' style that has intrigued me. Combine this with its typical sub $100 price tag, and it was only a matter of time before I took the plunge and added it to my collection.
In the years since, this particular model has been discontinued - but read on because as you will see, while this one may be gone - it's close cousin has stepped in to fill the void.
Review by SBG Editor in Chief, Paul Southren
The Samurai 3000 isn't from any movie, book or RPG - it is purely the work of United Cutlery, and the backstory behind it is that supposedly it is a blade made for a highly secretive sect of Neo Samurai Warriors in the year 3000, but the only way to know this is from United Cutleries official description of the sword which states:
The Samurai of the year 3000 A.D. is a master of high technology fighting and weaponry and their primary arm is the plasmium sword, a device constructed by highly disciplined sword masters using an extremely secretive form of physics. The UC1258 & UC1259 feature the Samurai code of justice, service, and honor on the handguard, engraved in their secretive language. The handle is made of precisely machined parts. The scabbard locks to the handle and can only be released with a push of a hidden button. The blade is sharp, fully functional stainless steel. Available in 2 versions with black and silver blade. 36" overall. 26 1/16" blade.
Older descriptions of the 'plasmium blade' described it as "virtually indestructible blade, charged by high energy ionized plasma" but even this is entirely the work of UC's creative team, and to be honest, it's a pretty interesting concept and really begging for some additional expansion or artwork, but - well - there isn't any!
While this in itself is a bit of a letdown, in some ways maybe it is purposefully vague - as it represents a futuristic representation of the Katana that fulfils many a Japanese sword lovers dream: indestructible, able to cut through tall buildings with a single swing and attuned to the owners hand so that only the Samurai who owns it can draw it..
So does the sword itself actually cut the mustard? Let's take a look and see..
There is no doubt that the handle is inspired by the lightsaber - with all kinds of components that suggest that contained within is the generator for the plasmium energy field that coats the blade when in action, no doubt more of a bio-electrical interface that draws its powersource from the highly trained neo-Samurai of the year 3000, and as you can see, it is executed quite nicely.
There is a lot of detail to the handle, and it is all made from steel and feels quite substantial in the hand. Indeed, it is almost as heavy as the blade itself, providing a nice neutral counterbalance.
Probably the only bit I think looks just a little bit odd is the pommel, which looks more like an electric shaver than it should - but who knows, maybe it was the ritual of the Samurai from the year 3000 on the go to always ensure he did not get a 5 o'clock shadow on pain of death. And that trying to shave with the plasmium blade was proven to be hazardous to the face, thus the addition of the 'shaving feature'..
While the pommel may look like an electric shaver, the tsuba looks a bit like stubby bat wings - but the rest of it - with the Samurai 3000's secret Kanji like script and all the other features make these two minor design 'bad hair days' acceptable, and overall it comes together pretty nicely. Speaking of which, the interface between the scabbard and the sword is quite unique with a push button design that unlocks it.
It's an interesting feature as it is kind of an extension of the way a Katana was traditionally locked when carried (by the thumb over the tsuba, providing a surprisingly strong way of preventing someone else from drawing it). The concept is carried into the future here with what I assume is the idea that the blade is attuned to the bio-electrical energy of its owner, so that only one who has bonded with it can draw it.
Kind of a cool idea, right?
Oh, and one final word on the scabbard - it is really very nicely made and quite substantial. Indeed at 1lb 2oz it is actually a pretty solid weapon in its own right..
It's no secret that the blade of this sword is made from stainless steel - and is of a typical fantasy style that suggests that it would NEED to be made of some other futuristic, not yet invented, steel to be 'indestructible' because as it stands, despite the fact that it is slightly sharpened, I sure as heck would not want to try to cut anything with it.
But again, this is just my own prejudice showing as I am used to seriously functional swords rather than decorative blades - and if I forget about that for a moment, it's not hard to appreciate the swords artistic merit.
The 'habaki' or blade collar (where the blade meets the handle) is nicely done with a crescent moon and more of their secret kanji, and then flows down into a typical fantasy cut out design with some serration on the bottom third of the cutting edge.
It's all for show of course - the blade is what I would call slightly sharp - and the overall construction (which can only be assumed at, as it can't be taken apart and the blade is probably epoxied into the handle) doesn't make for a good cutting blade anyway.
Despite this though, it's not rattly at all and actually handles pretty nicely. The balance point is only 1" from the tsuba and the total weight of 3lbs 3oz is deceptive. I actually enjoy swinging it around (but that is all I would use it for).
Overall, its a decent looking blade - and terminates in quite a sharp pointed tip.
I have to admit that despite a few aesthetic blunders, and the lack of background material, the Samurai 3000 sword is most definitely a worthwhile addition to any fantasy sword lovers arsenal.
It's handling characteristics, weighty well made scabbard and overall detail evokes well elements of bio-electrical connectivity, secret, highly trained futuristic Samurai and indestructible, cut through anything plasmium blades.
It's a very 'colorful' piece, and especially considering its extremely low price tag - I am happy to have purchased it.
I hope this review of the Samurai 3000 Plasmium Sword was helpful. To return to Decorative and Functional Fantasy Swords from Samurai 3000 Katana Review, click here