I was researching affordable custom nagamaki and stumbled upon the following company but haven't been able to find any reviews on them.


They seem to be new and their Facebook profile inception appears to be in September 2015. Does anyone know anything about these guys?

Right now, the only two options I can find for custom nagamaki are 'Swords of Northshire' and 'Katanasforsale.com.'

I found enough reputable support for Swords of Northshire, if perhaps a little overpriced, but Katanasforsale.com offered more custom options. I just don't want to buy from them if they're completely bogus.

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Caveat Emptor..
by: Paul

Yeah, they look like a new site, a whois search shows they were registered in July 2015 - I could not actually find any contact details for them other than a generic contact form - but they ship via EMS which means they are based in China..

They also suggest it takes 5-7 days to make a custom sword, unless you alter the blade length - then there is no eta at all. Shipping is $75 and there are no refund options on custom swords.. Also, if they are based in China, no returns are even possible..

Essentially, they look like another ebay seller branching off from ebay - which is even LESS safe than ebay (and ebay is, in general anyway, not a good place to buy swords). Further-more, having produced our own line of custom katana for 8 plus years, I know only too well that for each custom option you select, the error rate skyrockets.. It took us years to refine the error rate and months to make and ship a sword, so this - at least from what I can see - is super risky..

Some other observations: The components are all of the lowest end quality wise, the "metal" tsuba and fuchi kashira are all zinc aluminum alloy - breakages are common even just shipping them. The "silk" ito is rayon, which in itself is not bad, but lying twice on one page is not a good sign you are dealing with an honest seller..

Caveat Emptor, buyer beware!

I have recently purchased a blade from katanasforsale.com
by: Anonymous

I have recently purchased a blade from katanasforsale.com

Shipping was only $59 to the United States,

since it was a custom order their customer support contact me through email, telling me it will take about a month to make it.

They did shipped me the sword after 3.5 weeks,

unlike you stated, they also have a variety of higher quality materials for the Tsuba and Tsuka if you are willing to pay for them, so I guess it all about what you want.

I am satisfied with my purchase with them, and the blade quality was good, I tested it on several targets.

Seems to have changed
by: Paul

Not sure if it was as a result of this, but they have now provided a time frame on when they ship custom swords of between 2-4 weeks..

Shipping costs also changed, now down to $59 per sword which is better, but still expensive compared to domestic shipping rates (sometimes free, or $20 maximum).. Of course, if something goes wrong with your custom order it is still not clear what can be done.. Worst case scenario you could initiate a chargeback..

Beginners will not know about the various component qualities, so all in all I still think they are a bit risky and expensive, but thanks for clarifying from first hand experience.

Bought a custom sword from kfs.com
by: Paul R

I configured and bought a custom Katana which took about 3 weeks to make and shipping took about 7 days via EMS. As the previous guy stated, shipping was $59.

I ordered a T10 folded and clay tempered blade which turned out rather nice - in appearance. I have not yet tested it however.

The hamon is attractive and quite nice on the blade but oddly does not extend onto the boshi or does not appear to.

The saya is one of the premium ones offered (extra $85; price has gone up since then to $105) that has buffalo horn koiguchi and kurikata but not at the kojiri - appears to be wood only there.

The Tsuba, menuki and kashira are high quality copper (extra $90) are attractive however the kashira appears to be a little too big for the Tsuka wood they use and it moves fairly easily although doesn't appear at risk to come off.

The quality of the ito (rayon) and samagawa is not assembled well. It seems like whoever put that together was not really concerned about doing a clean, quality job. The mekugi pins raise samagawa on one side creating a slight bump. The samagawa is also a bit messy near one of the pins which appears to be possibly rice glue plus dirt handling. I'll see if I can clean that off but its unnecessary and just says "done without care". Aside from the loose kashira, the ito seems wrapped well and tightly.

I reached out to kfs with these details and they offered me a few options. I opted for a partial refund. Including the partial refund, I paid about $385 for the sword in the end.

I can't say if this is a unique experience with kfs.com or just mine but thought I would share. They were very responsive to my feedback and claim they will be instituting some quality checks to avoid this in the future.

I'm not sure I would buy another custom sword again from kfs or others unless there is a lot of review info on the maker / assembler. There are so many variables in choosing random parts and hoping they all fit together well or that the assembler will be able to make it work out into a tight balanced sword. I get the sense that one size fits all handles coupled with an array of tsuba/fuchi/kashira (high quality or not) will net mixed results unless the maker is willing to apply time and skill. If they just throw it together, then you may get what I got - a nice sword with nice parts but not artfully crafted.

Am I disappointed? A little but it appears to be a good sword handle aside. I'll let you know after I test the steel. If that doesn't pass the test, then its a different story.

I'm pretty sure I can correct some of the tsuka stuff I mentioned. If the blade tests out, its a good looking beater. I can post some pics sometime.

My $638 experience with Katanasforsale.com
by: Anonymous

I would like to share my $638 experience with Katanasforsale.com

I actually bought their Clay Tempered Katana with hadori polish, and the shipping was $59 as mentioned before, but it was okay since I didn’t really wait a long time to receive the sword.

Three weeks of making it and it only took around seven days for it to get shipped via EMS. It’s a really beautiful blade and just as mentioned, it’s fully functional so I tried it on some tatami mats, and I’m definitely satisfied with what I got.
No signs of cracks, breakages, or loose fitting. On the contrary, everything fit perfectly and looks great. I’m sure to get another sword from them next time. Also, from all my online research, they have a much large selection of parts compared to other websites I have been looking at.

Before purchasing the sword I have been looking for some reviews online, and was able to find some reliable ones on their Facebook page, for those of you who are interested, I found some in this page: https://www.facebook.com/katanasforsale/posts_to_page/

Overall I am very satisfied and highly recommend them, the customer service was excellent, and Tony answered all of my questions in timely manner.

Very Nice T10 KIatana
by: Roughneck 8

If you are looking for a solid and not excessively expensive Japanese or Chinese sword; buy from Katanasforsale (KFS). Many emails with KFS has informed provided contact information as Rm 1905 Nam Wo Hong BLDG 148, Wian Lok ST Sheung Wan, Hong Kong HK 50210, HONG KONG and the swords being made in Longquan China. The prices are based on the steel, materials, time, and attention to details for each build. I believe this to be true because the three Katanas I have ordered have been solid and well-made swords.

Using the customization option is easy to use and provides a variety of choices. Double click on pictures will give you a larger picture, click on drop down arrows will show other material option available and the price associated with the higher quality. If you go to the sister website Samuraiswords.store (SSS) you can download a custom build App which provides a lot of detail and lets you see your sword as you build it; I used this App to build a few blades. SSS has a good Steel Comparison page that explains the steel carbon content and recommended uses for the steel you choose. Both sites have a VIP Club that is free to join and offers a discount; I prefer KFS because of the prices and I have a good contact there if I have questions or concerns.

Once you choose the style of sword you will choose the steel (1060, 1095, T10, 9260) you can choose folded, clay tempered, etc., and price varies based on what you choose. If you go with a clay tempered option you can choose a Hamon (Choji, Straight, Wave, or Round); later you can choose to have a Hadori Polish to enhance the Hamon. Step 2: Tsuba offers Metal, Iron, High Quality (HQ) Copper, Iron Set, and an HQ Copper Set. Each step provides options for you to choose and tells you the price. If there is something you want and don’t see of if you have questions send them an email; I have always received prompt replies to my emails.

I have been collecting bladed weapons for 40 plus years and have owned just about everything. Japanese blades I have owned traditional Nihonto ($5K to $8K range) and the typical quick buy Honshu, Shinwa, Musha, Cold Steel, and Paul Chen – Hanwei. I consider KFS to be comparable to Hanwei.

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