A functional Ninja sword for under $100 seems like a deal too good to be true. And yet, young sword enthusiast Jesse Haushalter found such a deal from a respected sword brand Musashi Swords (now also known as 'Musha Swords') - and here he puts it through its paces to see what it can do..
Review by Jesse Haushalter, Cudahy USA
I ordered the Koga Ninja sword from Trueswords.com
and it ran me a cool $75 + $8 for Fed Ex Express Shipping (Editors note: actually, now they are $65! See
the bottom of this review for info).
Therefore this sleek, blackened katana arrived at my doorstep for about $83.
Not a bad deal especially when you consider that it arrived in 3 days.
The Ninja sword came packaged inside a sturdy cardboard box, and inside of said box was a slimmer, more ornately decorated box that bore the Musashi logo and the kanji for ninja. Upon tearing through the cardboard with a carving knife, and gingerly opening the Musashi box I came into contact with the sword itself. It was placed between two Styrofoam pads and was covered in bubble wrap. (sorry no photo for this) As I began inspecting the saya and tsuka I marveled at the style of the sword. Uniform black.. you can't go wrong there.
~TSUKA: A black cotton wrap, with faux black rayskin panels and 2 bamboo mekugi. Take note of the blackened copper menuki. My initial impressions of it were mixed. I like the black rayskin even though it is a little too off-purple in hue. I also found the cotton wrap to be very comfortable. Though it felt a tad loose, but not so much so as to cause unraveling.
~SAYA: The saya is lacquered in a heavy piano lacquer and stamped with a kanji that signifies "NINJA". Neat.
~TSUBA: A typical square tsuba adorns the sword.
Upon my first inspection it seemed to be well painted, but after taking another look at it i noticed that the paint job was quite imperfect.
As you can clearly see several splotches of copper. Eh, it's a $75 Ninja sword, so this in and of itself is forgivable, and easily fixable.
~BLADE: Upon looking at the blade I was taken aback by how well done the anodization was. It looks flawless, like a blade made out of pure ebony. Obviously no one would see this blade at night. (which is part of it's purpose) Though it does have a tendency to reflect light. So a matte finish would have been more effective, albeit' less aesthetically pleasing. Overall I like the finish on the blade.
Overall Length: 40 3/4in
Blade Length: 27in (edge)
Handle Length: 10.5in
Handguard Width: 3in
Blade Thickness: 0.125
Overall Weight: 2lbs - 2lbs 10 oz (I don't have a scale)
I like the way this Ninja sword feels in my hands. It's lightweight, agile and it's very easy to make devastating slices with it. Thanks to the (mostly) razor sharp blade. A plus with this particular sword is that unlike many other swords Musashi sharpened this one all they way down to the habaki.
In fact, it's especially sharp in that area I know that for a fact... cut my finger upon first inspection thinking that it would be dull near the habaki... boy was I wrong.
Anyways I believe that this was done because the original purpose of this Ninja sword would have been stealth. Ala stealth kills usually involve the slitting of the throat. It also possesses a wickedly sharp tip. Overall: very well done, and very easy to handle.
Now for the part that you've all been waiting for. The much awaited CUTTING TESTS!
I started out with 2 water-filled gallons. This Ninja sword sliced cleanly through them and with very, very little resistance. Though I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
After decimating the gallons of water, I tried my hand at another classic cutting target. The ubiquitous water bottle!
Now the sword was able to cut through them, but with some difficulty. I batted the first one away though I believe that was due in part to my poor technique rather than the fault of the blade. Again I'll let the picture speak for itself.
Oddly enough I was out of water bottles, and rather than take a trip up to pick n' save I decided on using a different target. One that is seldom used for sword cutting..
Not so hopeful, but then again a soda can isn't an ideal cutting target.
The Musashi Ninja sword: stylish and fun to wield, and while I consider the blade to be a little too thin for the serious cutting tests, and it's also extremely rigid.
Overall though I'm glad I bought it, and would recommend it someone who wants a sword that looks stylish and is fun to wield, I know that some of the tests are less than pleasing, I will man up and admit that it's more user error than manufacturing defect.
Because there's no way that I would have been able to slice through those water-filled jugs cleanly if the blade was dull, and for $75 it's a good value so I say if ninjas are your thing then go for it.
I hope this review of the Musashi Koga Ninja sword has been helpful. To return to Ninja Swords Online from Musashi Koga Ninja Sword Review, click here