SBG Sword Reviews Index

All the Sword reviews from Sword Buyers guide in one place.

Listed reviews here are for swords that are still being made and able to purchase, while discontinued swords are listed at the bottom of each category.

To see the reviews by manufacturer rather than by type, visit the Sword Manufacturers Dossier here

Sword ratings are based on the overall quality of the product, how well it achieves its stated purpose (i.e. historical replica, cutting sword, etc) and overall value for money and are based on a sliding scale.

No matter how well made, a $20 Machete can never really have a 5 star rating (overall quality of the product). By the same token, some swords that are head and shoulders above other 4 star swords may only be 4 star because they are deemed to be overly expensive (value for money). Read More about the SBG Star Rating System in more detail here on our about us page

Currently 198 detailed, hands on reviews and counting..


Japanese Sword Reviews (48 Reviews)

Bare Bones Budget Katana (8 Reviews)


Musashi Bushido Series

Quite a detailed look at two typical bare bones swords. One was pretty much what you would expect for the price. But the other one more than made up for it.

Just goes to show you that there are still some jewels in the junk to be found. Average price $65


Entry Level Katana with real hamon reviews (18 reviews)


Ryujin Custom Katana

The concept was revolutionary - import the bare blades and katana parts and assemble them to the customers preference within a week!

SBG helped test and refine the concept. Out of three swords tested, one failed, one did okay and the other exceeded all expectations. $299


  • Cheness Kanbai Katana - the first real differentially hardened Katana to break into the sub-$300 price category and do it well.
  • Cheness Kaze Katana - Upgrade of the Kanbai to 9260 steel created a legendary 'Tatami Mat Killer'
  • Cheness Higo Katana - the first laminated Katana on the market in 2005 and the one that brought Cheness Cutlery to everyone's attention.
  • Valiant Armory Ko-Buke - they tried. But why they didn't quite succeed and this line was wrapped up quickly, it does have some valuable lessons.
  • Global Gear Makaze - another attempt to enter the market that didn't quite hit the mark..
  • ProSwords and SBG - not every SBG project was a success. Here we bit off more than we could chew, but from it was born the legendary Kuramono and Torikami Katanas..
  • SBG Custom Katana - once quite revolutionary, it was eventually made impossible due to competition from unscrupulous Chinese forges. Good for those who could get in on the deal while it was available.

Heavy Duty 'Beater' Monosteel Katana Reviews (12 Reviews)


Ronin Katana Dojo Pro Series

One of a series of 31 models - all with heavy duty, no-nonsense mono-tempered 1060 carbon steel blades and the best fittings available at swords in this price point.

Here we not only test them out to the max, but we even take a trip to where they are made in Longquan, China. $294.99


  • Cheness Cutlery Tenchi Katana - Flagship of their 9260 Spring Steel line, it showed what was truly possible with affordable entry level beater swords
  • Cheness Cutlery O-Katana - the biggest and the baddest 9260 Spring Steel O-Katana was surprisingly fast and agile. A classic.
  • Cheness Cutlery SGC - the Specialized Goza Cutter was a unique 9260 beast of a blade designed to destroy tatami mats.
  • Cheness Cutlery Kurome Katana - not every Cheness 9260 blade was a success. Here was one of the least popular swords from the line up.

Wakizashi & Ko-Katana Reviews (3 Reviews)


High End Katana Reviews (7 Reviews)


Forge Direct Custom Katana

One of the projects we are proudest of that grew out of our dealings with master smiths in Longquan - here we take a close look at the kind of designs you can make yourself and put them to the test. Price includes all standard customizations and even free worldwide shipping. $779.99


  • Musashi Yasha Katana - A $2000 sword by Master Chris Zhou. My first experience with Master Smith forged blades was quite eye-opening.

Ninjato Reviews (4 Reviews)


  • Cheness Cutlery Oniyuri - the Bujinkan designed sensation and what many consider to be the closest to a 'real' Ninjasword. Though the jury is still out.

Chinese Sword Reviews (9 Reviews)


  • JinShi Han Dynasty Sword - they came, revolutionaized the industry, and went - a shame that few followed in their footsteps.

Ancient European Sword Reviews (15 Reviews)


Viking Sword Reviews (19 Reviews)


  • Windlass Dark Age Sword - Well it looked the part.. But probably best that they discontinued this particular model..
  • Windlass Beowulf Sword - Another sword that looked like it would be okay, but was ruined by one small silly plastic component..
  • Darksword Armoury Saxon - One of their earlier models, but was solidly built and was a bit of a shame to see this one go..

Medieval Sword Reviews (42 Reviews)

MRL Create Your Own Sword

Mount it up your way - a decent arming sword with your choice of fittings. $188.95


Ronin Katana Euro Swords 1-3

Three medieval swords, one low price - all 3 tested on the rooftops of Hong Kong with Lancelot Chan on a variety of targets - from water bottles, bamboo and even a pigs hoof..

Simple yet impressive, they have since gone on to cause quite a storm for lovers of quality medieval swords ready to cut straight out of the box $265-285


  • Windlass European Sword - one of my favorite medieval swords of all time. Came back from 2011 to 2018 but was finally discontinued once and for all in late 2018.
  • Windlass Sword of Auray - was actually an exceptional one handed hollow ground sword based on a historical original. Why Windlass, why?
  • Windlass Verneuil Sword - another really made sword by Windlass that is hard to fathom why it would be discontinued..
  • Windlass Sword of War - really solidly built and great value for money - one more than will be missed..
  • Windlass Towton Sword - Really attractive looking, but with a flopsy blade so not all that sad to see this one go..
  • Windlass Shrewsbury - was a true bargain, liquidated at less than $100
  • Hanwei Edward III sword - Not only Windlass discontinues their medieval swords - was a nice replica of a very ornate historical sword.
  • Angus Trim Makers Mark XIIa Longsword - While Gus no longer makes the makers mark series, these swords represent a turning point for him from pure performance to a nicer looking sword as well..

Renaissance Sword Reviews (16 Reviews)

Cold Steel Sword Cane

Great value for money, tough and quite functional. But be sure to check its local legality.. $99


Falchions, Scimitars, Messers & Saber Reviews (14 Reviews)


Quality Decorative Fantasy Sword Reviews (3 Reviews)

The ONLY exception we make where we review purely decorative, non battle ready swords.. (Because they ARE cool)..

Functional Fantasy Sword Reviews (17 Reviews)


Excalibur Swords (3 Reviews)

Tactical/Anti Zombie Out Break Sword Reviews (8 Reviews)



Interview with Saberforge

Interview with Kyberlight

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