A Hard Lesson Learned Buying My First Katana...

by Tim Lairby
(Mesquite, NV)

When I first got interested in Japanese swords, I made the unfortunate decision to buy a "Damascus" Katana from BudK vendors, and did I ever learn a hard lesson. They sell these pieces of crap pot metal for anywhere from $99 to $170, and they are so soft they take a rather indelicate curve at the first effort at cutting a piece of green two-inch bamboo. For that money they could see Musashi blades that are at last acceptable katanas. DO NOT but a sword of any kind from BudK!!!!! They are either stainless steel (!) or the worst kind of soft layered steel I have ever seen in my life, and I've worked with metals for most of my life.

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Nov 21, 2018
lies and names
by: logan

every once in a while cheap doesn't mean junk. i still look at bud k mailers.
I wanted a quality item, i was reading reviews. I bought my first musashi from trueswords aka budk aka on the edge brands. I was sent a total crap item. ray skin was fake, meguki pegged at odd angles, stuck clear out of the handle in both dirention, on both pegs. menuki were not functional whole thing was crap. i never swung it, 1cm wood pegs destroying my palms does not invite me to try using that "functional" sword, but the blade looks like cheap stainless not the hand forged high carbon. in fact it looked like a piece of metal ribbon. I am 100% certain what true swords sold was not a musashi, yet they stood by that claim when disputing the refund. keep budk in mind for what it is, and be aware they use multiple names to peddle their cheap stuff as high end when they can.

Jan 29, 2018
Look for the brand, not the store.
by: Anonymous

As someone else mentioned here, BudK and Trueswords are the same. No really, look at each of their website and the information about contacting them and you'll see the same address, (P.O. Box in Moultrie, GA). I was online looking at their sites and had the same person pop-up as an online assistant to help me make a purchase. In fact I know BudK, CHKadels, Trueswords, (and I believe there is another), are all the same company. They all have the same address and the owner is listed as the same. It is strange that they have all this information readily available yet they send out separate catalogs and have separate websites as if they were completely separate stores yet they don't really hide the fact that they are the same. I guess you just have to go with the brand name of the sword.

If the site sells a reputable brand name sword, then it might be ok, if they aren't ripping you off by selling fake name brand stuff. But seeing as these particular companies are all in the US it might be a bit harder for them to do so and stay in business.

Oct 13, 2016
by: Eric

Hey guys I think you are giving Budk a unfair bad name here. In this websites recomended buyers is truesword.com and budk and truesword are basicaly the same store difference between costco and sams club the websites are even set up the same. Now does budk sell items that are cheaply made yes they do but they also sell items that are great like a few others have pointed out do your research like you would with any other purchase. And in the end if you buy something get it home and dont like it return it. Budk alows returns. I have bought alot of items from budk that i could have bought else where but budk had it cheaper. Now if you want a 2500 dollar katana no i would go some where else but also i have never spent 2500 dollars on something with out being able to hold it in my hand first.

Mar 21, 2016
use brand names
by: Anonymous

at the very least do a little brand name research I bought a shinwa damascus from them and have no problem. If ya only spent 30 to 50 yes ya got what ya paid for didn't ya.

Mar 04, 2016
Hit or Miss
by: Anonymous

Funnily enough, when I got my start in this hobby, BudK was one of the first places I went. of course, this meant I ended up with my fair share of crap merchandise, but every so often they'll sell something "acceptable".

When you get down to it, you just need to research whatever they're selling on a different site. If you can't find it, or it's one of their items made "in house", don't buy it.

Now... some of their knives/survival gear are actually pretty nice, and I've used a sword or two from them as a Halloween prop, but that's it. Just know what you're getting into, and get used to receiving their magazines, haha.

May 21, 2015
Well, that bites...
by: Anonymous

I wish I'd known where my birthday present was coming from before I received it. I received a "Templar" sword on my birthday, and I later figured out that it was from BudK. I did some research (which included studying the "Templar" wallhanger that I got), and this experience unfortunately aids to my research. Unfortunate for me, at least. I'd already figured out that BudK was a bad place to shop, but this only engraves my research into the ground. If only I'd known. I'm very sorry about your experience, and I guess we've both learned our lessons about BudK.

Feb 04, 2015
About budk...
by: Lovot

I only have experience with Budk knives, not swords, but I quickly learned that Budk sells good products, but also sells lots of shitty ones. You have to do research on what you are buying from them first, otherwise you will be disappointed.

Aug 26, 2014
Bud K crap
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear you got burned on that. Bud K is really just wall hanger junk. They will even on occasion elude that an item could be functional but none of them are. I have learned this the hard way as well when I bought a carbon steel katana from them and it was absolute garbage. It kinda looks cool in its scabbard, but that's about it. The rat-tail tang bent as soon as I swung it in the air, and the materials are cheap as well. That place sells decorations, not weapons.

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