Cheap Swords Under $50

Cheap swords under fifty dollars are usually not going to be much more than decorative items.

They make look like a sword, and are made of some type of steel, but often that is where the similarity to a real sword begins - and ends..

In this beginners guide we take a close look at the cheapest swords on the internet because while most are junk, there are a few gems in there to be found. And once you have finished reading this article - you will know exactly what is available out there and be able to avoid wasting even a single cent on cheap swords that will leave you disappointed.

Welded on rat tail tang..

What to avoid..

Now if you have read our newbies primer on what separates real swords from 'sword like objects' you will know that there are three main properties that every real sword has that a decorative wall hanger doesn't..

If not (and I strongly suggest you do), here is a quick refresher..

The last point, that real swords tend to be between $200 to $300 and Decorative swords $20 to $50 is correct 95% of the time.

Most of these cheap swords have either welded on 'rat tail tangs', are made of untempered carbon steel or rather brittle stainless steel, and were never designed to actually be used (though, as you can see in the video below, it doesn't stop people from trying).

But what about that other 5%? Those cheap swords that, for one reason or another, are actually not only well made, but 100% functional..?

An exception to the rule?

There is a video on YouTube demonstrating a full tang, $50 stainless steel sword by well known sword manufacturers - United Cutlery - that seems to show an exception to the rule that all stainless steel swords are brittle and unsuitable as anything more than wall hangers

Click here or on the picture to the right to see the video, we skipped the first 5 mins as it is just advertising and some muddled up 'facts' about real Katana.

Here is the sword in question:

And it's durability seems to come from three main factors:

  • It IS full tang in the classic sense. I.e. it is a sandwich tang with the wooden core bolted to both sides of the tang.
  • It is very thick and very wide. This extra volume makes it considerably stronger than other stainless steel blades.
  • It has been tempered for use. Most stainless steel swords are tempered ad hoc and not expected to ever be used.

It's availability can be a bit spotty, and I am not even certain it is still in production - but it does show that there are exceptions to the rule - though they are RARE and you certainly should not gamble on it.

So what can you realistically get for under $50 that is readily available and 100% functional? You might be surprised..

The Best Cheap Swords

It is true for the sword industry as much as anything else that you get what you pay for. But every now and again if you look hard enough, you can find a real bargain, and the world of cheap swords is no different there either..

One of my favorite cheap swords, and perhaps the most solid recommendation for something under $50 is the Katana Machete by Cold Steel which I have reviewed below.

"Katana machete"

Cold Steel

Price Range: $43-55

OVERVIEW: When is a Katana not a Katana? When it is a Katana Machete! It's actually a pretty cool, tactical design - not so sharp or effective out of the box, but once sharpened rather frightening considering the cost..

Click here for the full review

These 'tactical' style blades first made an appearance in 2010 and have since expanded to offer several variations - including Gladius, Chinese War Swords and a new - much more 'katanesque' version of a Tactical Katana.

All are under $50 and are very sturdily made from properly tempered carbon steel with full tang, polypropylene handles. You can pick them up right here at our own SBG sword store.

Not to be outdone, United Cutlery have also released a line of tactical style cheap swords in several very 'futuristic' styles under their 'Combat Commander' brand. Again, these simple but very attractive swords are extremely tough and extremely affordable.

These cheap swords are all exceptional value for money and only recently came onto the market and are so simple yet sturdily made that you really cannot go wrong..

But are there any cheap swords out there that look like normal swords?

So far the sub $50 swords we have identified as actually functional don't look a lot like traditional swords. There is a good reason for this, almost ALL cheap swords that look like real swords cut so many corners to keep the price low that they will fall apart or break just swinging them in the air, never mind trying to cut anything.

But again, there are exceptions.

Now none of these swords can compare to true 'entry level' functional swords. They are all machine made and to keep the prices low - many corners are cut. But here are some of the best cheap swords that actually LOOK like historical swords.

Probably the cheapest bare bones functional swords on the market are Katana made by Musashi Swords (also known as 'Musha').

The most affordable is around $39.99 here and is pretty basic - the saya (sheathe) is very lightweight and cheap, the rayskin is a fake plastic wrap and the blade is made from 1045 carbon steel, which is the most basic type of steel possible - but it just scrapes in as what you would call a functional sword..

You can read a very detailed review on swords from this series priced at $59 below..

"Bushido Series"

Musashi/Musha Swords

Price Range: $59.99

OVERVIEW: A very detailed, hands on look at TWO swords from the Musashi Swords 'Bushido Musashi' Series. One didn't quite make the cut. But the other, was surprising for it's low price point. There ARE some jewels in the junk..

Click here for the full review

Beyond Katana, unfortunately there are no functional swords under $50 available as medieval, viking, roman, etc swords are all hand made, and the absolute cheapest hand made swords are all priced around the $150 mark.

On the positive side though, you really can get your moneys worth with brands such as Windlass Steelcrafts and to a lesser extent, Deepeeka.

One of my favorite medieval swords of all times is the European Sword by Windlass Steelcrafts, reviewed here and pictured right.


At the end of the day, you do get what you pay for. Most  swords under $50 are not going to live up to your expectations - but as we have seen, there are some exceptions - especially with regards to tough as nails tactical style blades.

Most of the rest of our site is dedicated to relatively cheap swords under $300 - and with this kind of budget it is quite possible to get some truly fully functional, hand made swords that deliver far more value for money than what you might expect.

So it is all relative - if you are on a budget, it is all the more important not to waste money on swords that will fall apart on the first swing. If need be, save up a little for something worthwhile - as you will see on our site it is quite possible to get some really good swords for a couple of hundred dollars that might be 4 or 5 times more expensive than a wallhanger, but are infinitely better in all respects.

As always, do your research, learn all you can from this site and others out there on the internet, and get the sword that you REALLY want rather than settling for something that you know you will end up relegating to junk heap.

Happy hunting!

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