Gen 2 Roman Gladius, not right?
QUESTION: Paul, I have been reading the information about swords on your site, and realized that I have been buying pieces of crap for the last few years. I recently saw the review you gave on the Roman Gladius, by Generation 2. I ordered that sword from Imperial Weapons. They were nice enough to deal with. I phoned them and asked them if I needed to order that sword with a sharpening service, as I was hoping to do a little backyard cutting. They assured me that the sword came super sharp and that there would be no need to order that service. I waited 2 months for the sword to come as they were sold out (even though their website said IN STOCK,) which was really no big deal. However when I got the sword it was so dull it couldn't cut through anything! Seeing this was my first real sword, I was extremely disappointed. Now, I live in Canada, is there some kind of law that you know of that will not allow anyone to ship sharp swords here? The reason I am asking, is that I'd like to buy some of the Cheness pieces and I don't want to if they are not going to get through customs, or will show up dull! As you know it is too expensive to get sharpening for Japanese swords.
ANSWER: Hi Ray,
There are no laws that prohibit sending sharpened swords to Canada. I don't think that razor sharp is the correct description for a Roman Gladius, 'sword sharp' and 'razor sharp' are too different things. From memory (and this is going back a while, the Gladius was one of SBG's first ever reviews!) - the Gladius did not cut so well on coke bottles and the like, however it performed better on more substantial targets such as the hardened bamboo pole and a woodblock.
It should also be kept in mind that a Gladius is primarily a thrusting sword. While it can and did cut, cutting was a secondary function at best.
A Katana on the other hand is primarily a cutter, and you should have no problems cutting with it. Technique does indeed play a part, such as with a Katana you need to kind of 'draw cut' with it (explained more in the Sword Training section on SBG), but these things are not hard to learn. The most important thing is SAFETY, as I know someone who recently - with this very same sword, accidently sliced open his leg and needed 55 stitches (the incident is recorded HERE on the SBG Sword Forum - but be warned, the pictures are VERY graphic and not for the faint of stomach).
Stay safe and have fun.