QUESTION ABOUT THE COLD STEEL HAND AND A HALF SWORD
by David Burkhart
(McCall, ID USA)
QUESTION: I had a question about the quality of the cold steel hand and a half sword. It looks good and has a length that works with me at 42" (I stand 5'8" and have a pretty short arm length), but is it worth anything compared to others of its type and price? I have looked at a few other bastard swords on your site and on other sites. the only one that really interests me is the High Elven King sword you wrote about on your site. The only thing that shies me away for the Elven sword is its long length. Which sword would you choose out of the two?
Also I had a question about the difference between purchasing a Cheness Mokko or purchasing the Tenchi. I like both daitos alot but aside from the steel grade is there any other real difference between the two in durability and cutting prowress? After watching so many durablilty vids done by both you and Mr. Chen It looks like the Tenchi is the one on top but I havent seen you or Mr. Chen put a Tenchi through a chair yet. One thing that leads me to purchase a Mokko over the Tenchi is simply the tsuba. I personally dislike odd shaped or decorative tsubas and prefer a simple and smooth tsuba over a designed one simply because of the uncomfortable feel on my thumb knuckle and hand. My question is, is the Tenchi's Musashi ring tsuba uncomfortable or is it ok? It appears that the ring tsuba would be too open around the hand and would pinch or rub when cutting downward or holding close to the tsuba. Well I think that about covers it. I will be looking forward to next month's issue of the digest.
Thank you, David
ANSWER: Hi David,
For the most part, I am impressed with Cold Steel swords. The only problem is, the Hand and a Half has had numerous reported failures of the hilt, and cannot really be recommended as I do not know if they have been fixed.
Similarily, there have been recent problems with the tempering of the Elven sword, and while I am one of the biggest Gen2 'fanboys' around, I would personally give it a miss until these issues are 100% sorted (shouldn't be far off now).
As to the 1060 Mokko vs 9260 Tenchi debate - at the normal end of the spectrum, there is little difference between these two swords. It is only when you really start to push the limits that the Tenchi 'shines'...
Personally, I like the Tenchi more. The tsuba is not a problem if you are holding the sword right - indeed, I've learned the hard way on numerous Japanese swords that holding the hand too close to the tsuba rubs skin away no matter what shape it is... ;-)
Hope this info helps. :-)