SBG Custom Katana Good or Not?

Is the SBG custom Katana any good? I know its made out of T10 tool steel, which Ive heard good things about. And if I get the Kobuse Laminated option, is it any good? I've heard that to get a good laminated blade you need to spend in the area of 800 to 1000, however, with the lamination it only costs around 520. How is the craftsmanship on the SBG custom? Would it be worth getting the folded option as well? And does anybody know if it is deferentially hardened with clay? and if so is it done correctly? I am also thinking about the K05 done by iron tiger forge as well. Does anybody know anything about this product? comparing the two, which would be better?
The K05 is around 476 dollars and is laminated in the honsanmai style with 1045, 1060, and 1095, and is deferentially hardened with clay

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Biased but..
by: Paul

I will only comment briefly before opening up the floor - but I can answer some of your basic questions. ;-)

You are right that generally to get a good laminated blade you do need to spend between $800 to $1000 - but the SBG Custom Katana is more or less sold at cost price, so the level of quality is comparable (this is one of the things that makes this line so popular, they are SEVERELY underpriced)..

Folding is only cosmetic( i.e. looks good) and does not increase nor decrease the swords overall performance and durability (like with Lamination, it can be a crap shoot - but the SBG Custom line does it professionally).

And yes, they are differentially hardened with clay and have a real hamon.

Anything else I say is probably too biased, so I will open it up for other comments.

by: Ben Davis

For the folding I was wondering if it would be more historically accurate?

It can be??
by: Anonymous

Is the sbg custom katana any good? Well that opens up more when you know more about its process. While I have not purchased from this current state of their offering, I have bought in the past and taking that experience into account and my entire experience with buying from Chinese forges in general, and for better or worse using a commonly used phrase becoming cliche, for the price point, they are worth it. You most likely will get a functional blade as t10 is a good metal and when tempered correctly is very tough. We won’t discuss dh or th blades here but in to the point.
Realize with any forge at all there may be issues. Loose fittings, crooked mounts, bent blades, poor materials. These are tried to be quality controlled out but not always possible. Also with laminated swords you have the issue of cracked lamination which renders the sword useless. Again those are tried to quality controlled out but not always caught.
Can you find it for less? Probably. Would it be true lamination then? Meeehhh...most likely not if it’s from a number of known fakers that are actually popular among a number of buyers.
I don’t want to offer the companies I know where you could get cheaper as I don’t wish to hurt sbg site. While it’s a drop site, it does better customer service than others and is a good place to find swords you wouldn’t normally see elsewhere.
So if you are looking for lamination, I would get here than somewhere else as you are assured that it is laminated, whether or not it’s put together completely correct. Realize these forges deal with thousands of orders every day not only the one you make. It’s a factory.
But if you want just a t10 clay tempered custom, there are tons that do it for cheaper just to be in the market.
And all those fittings are from the same place. There is nothing special about them other than their styles. But I’d get those "copper" fancy ones. You get your moneys worth adding those. But to each their own. Good hunting.

by: Paul

You probably can get a similar custom sword for less, but there are several reasons why the SBG Custom Series is overall a much better deal:

1) We have been ordering consistently with the same forge since 2008. Our processes our locked down tight,the error rate is extremely low and the forge values us as a repeat business customer, so they do their very best work. If you were to order as a single order customer, the quality is very unlikely to be as good even from the same forge..

2) Feedback over the years has meant that the forge treats our order differently than others and knows we expect all the small details to be taken care of properly.Best possible polish, real geometric kissaki, alternating ito, its all there and adds signmficantly to the cost price - while other sellers are usually happy to skip all the extra refinement to put more $$ in their pocket.

3) We also have a much higher level of QC for this line that is unheard of at this price point. The swords are checked once at the forge, then checked by me via pictures before sending to our Canadian inspection team who check if all customizations are correct, make sure the saya fits well, check the blade for any flaws, sharpness and also swing it and twist the tsuka to see if there is any movement or creaks, etc. Then they repackage and reship, so there are basically three levels of QC applied to each sword - and this costs a small fortune at our end..

So in short, yeah - you can get a T10 custom sword cheaper - but it may or may not have the customizations you ordered, it will have been through a minimum level of QC and if there is a problem, good luck trying to sort it out. Some sellers are okay about it, especially if they know it is being discussed on social media or on a forum somewhere, but it could get pretty messy..

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