Swords of Northshire / 1095 clay tempered blades able to cut bone and wire?

by Judson
(Charleston S.C. )

I am looking to buy my first katana and have read a ton of information on this wonderful website and other places. I want a sword that is capable of cutting more than just paper and plastic water bottles but does not exceed ~$400. At first I thought that a blade made of 1060 or 9260 spring steel would be the way to go but the more I have read I'm now completely at a lose on what I should be be looking for. I read on the Swords of Northshire website in their product descriptions that 1060 and 9260 are good for bamboo and rolled practice mats while for heavier cutting such as bone and wire they recommend clay tempered 1095 steel. My main question is if I would want to cut heavy targets like a slab of meat do I need to get a clay tempered 1095 blade to do so? Also I have read that 1095 steel can be brittle on heavy targets so that has just confused me further. Also has anyone had any experience using the 1095 clay tempered blades from swords of northshire to cut heavy targets?

Many Thanks,


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Long and Short of it
by: Paul

Hi Judson,

Basically, there are two types of replica Katana that are suitable for cutting 'beaters' made of 1060, 9260, 5160 steels that are monotempered and traditional Katana made from T10, 1095, etc.

What swords of Northshire have written is kind of wrong and misleading - heavy targets or borderline abusive targets are best suited to monotempered 'xx60' type spring or carbon steels such as those we review and talk about on our site here

These swords are very versatile, and forgiving of bad cuts. But the edge is not quite as hard or sharp as a traditional blade, which we talk about on our site here

So if you want to cut meat, bone, and wire - both swords will do it, but the traditional swords that have been differentially hardened may cut slightly better, but can be bent out of shape on a bad cut.

Both sword types can cut a wide variety of targets, but for 'heavier' targets, you are probably better off getting a 'beater' grade sword first as it will tolerate bad cuts better. Then when you have built up some decent technique and have good edge alignment, try your hand at a traditional blade. They do cut better on traditional targets, but are less versatile than the beaters.

Both will handle much more than water filled bottles and paper if well made. But anyway, my recommendation is to start with a beater first, get some experience at cutting, and then try a traditional blade to see the difference first hand.

Hope this helps.

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