Thaitsuki Nihonto

by Philip Allwood
(Hamm, Germany)

QUESTION: I just heard about Thaitsuki Nihonto and asked myself, if it's really possible to get a traditional japanese katana for a price less then 1000$. I saw swords of thaitsuki in a German sword shop and they looked well made. I read reviews that said, these swords peform like real katanas when it comes to cut traditional targets. They shall even handle a tatami with 17 inch diameter with ease.
I just wanted to ask, if you have any experience with these swords and if there's a possibility to get a review of them.

Kindest regards,


ANSWER: Hi Philip,

I am not terribly impressed by these swords... For the money, it is possible to do a lot better - but FYI, I think the information that mirrors my own info on these swords can be found here on Sword Forum International...

Not exactly glowing recommendations either... :-(

Kindest Regards,

- Paul

Comments for Thaitsuki Nihonto

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This is a dated review!
by: Anonymous

Since this review was posted, Thaitsuki has improved 10 fold in there craftsmanship and quality.

The link in the above article to the "Sword Forum" shows comments and opinions made two (2) years ago.

Not saying that at that time they were not accurate, just saying that Thaitsuki Nihonto should be reevaluated and a more current review posted.

I have spoken to many people that have been very impressed with their Thaitsuki, both in performance and quality.

Articles that sit on the web without being updated for years, get indexed by the search engines, then show up in a search query for a product, really do not help the review process if the author does not keep the article current.

This site is a great tool for the Sword buyer and I am glad it is here. I just think it should be kept current.

Yes, I sell Thaitsuki Swords! I have not posted a link to my site because I have not come here to improve traffic to my site. I came to further the art and to keep the users informed.

Thanks for the site!

by: daab pattaya





I agree
by: Jason Moore

I agree with the review above me, I was hesitant to order the Thaitsuki brand because of those bad reviews. I could not have been more surprised when someone special ordered one, it came in, and it was one of the most beautiful swords I have ever seen. Couple this with high quality ito, god-like fittings and a super sharp blade, and I think those reviews must be dated or wrong. I am now proud to be carrying the full Thaitsuki line in my online store.

Jason Moore
Swords of Might

by: Steve @ Japaneseswords4Samurai

I am a dealer for Thaitsuki and that gives me opportunity to experience many different swords from different manufacturers. Let me say these swords are A+.
Thaitsuki's are expensive swords purchased by discriminating buyers and we have never had anything other than enthusiastic feedback from purchaser of these swords.
Personaly I think they are the most beautiful swords currently produced.

by: Anonymous

I have had dome diffuculty finding out who is and who is not a dealer of Thaitsuki in the US. IS the manufacture, there are others who claim to be the only dealer of this line or who give that impression, they are not.

there is a dealer link at the above manufactures site that has all of their dealers and distributors.

We are a dealer...
by: Swords of Might

There are very few distributors (Actually only 2 that I know of) and only a few dealers that carry Thaitsuki. We all acquire them from the same places. is the official website for the makers of the sword line.

Could not be happier with my Thaitsuki Nihonto
by: Jade Thorpe

A few months a go I purchased the Thaitsuki Dokuji Nami Sanmai Katana -KTN S02 from one of the Kenjutsu instructors here in South Africa.

I tested it the first time at a Tamashigeri session and it cut like a dream. I am really impressed with the quality of the blade and its fittings. It is a really beautiful Sword and is a pleasure to practice with !!!

Jade Thorpe
Kyudo Renmei South Africa

can someone help me out ?
by: anonimous

hi, im willing to buy the royaru katana ,the royaru WAKIZASHI and the limited edition ivory royaru katana . but id like to know a reputable seller who stocks all 3 of them . id wholehearty review them
once i find a dealer that sells them ....

by: Matt

To answer the last will not find anyone who really stocks Thaitsuki. They have become so popular that the manufacturer cannot keep up with demand. Thaitsuki is imported into the USA by one company and every dealer who sells them has to go through that company. So basically we are all working off of the same inventory. If one dealer is sold out, we all are. As for the Limited Ivory edition, if you want one, you should purchase soon because there are only about 10 left that have not been pre-ordered. Lately, for any Thaitsuki item, you have to pre-order and wait for them to come instock. If you don't pre-order, you will most likely not get one. If you or anyone else has any more questions about Thaitsuki, feel free to email me at

Matt Bucknor
Blade Center

by: Roland

I'm a karakte practisioner, and a begining swordsman, trying out the european style and some eastern beside it, and offcourse i'm looking for a katana that suits me for my sport,

when i started looking for a katana, i came across those Hanwei katana's, every dealer tels me that those are the best, becouse there cheap etc etc
the dude that does this site, the same, all in awe about paul chen, and hanwei.

if you ask me, these Taitsuki Nihonto are beter made
more craftmanship, and even here paul comments that he's not impressed whit these blades,

i have a strong feeling hanwei pays the dealers and critics a big pile of money to talk em up.

i have the feeling dealers cant point customers to the right direction when people are looking for a sword

oke, folks that are looking for a katana becouse it 'looks cool' those chould be happy with a desktop piece, but practisioners, we whant battleready gear that does not fal to pieces when you hit a target.

when i came across the Thaitsuki katana's i felt that they looked good, and had a feeling of realy craftmanship, a real katana made by real people that know what there doing

i'm planing on getting me one in the near future so that i can practice my art, with all my heart and soul

Thaitsuki makes the best katanas currently available
by: Scott Kris

I have been collecting Japanese swords for years and even have been fortunate enough to acquire a couple of antique Japanese swords. I came upon Thaitsuki a couple of years ago and now own 2 of their katanas and a wakizashi. Anyone who says these swords are not that impressive is either a jealous competitor spreading misinformation or simply has never handled one. They are without a doubt the best that I have seen in their respective price ranges.

by: Satsu

High definition video review of the KTN5 Thaitsuki Nihonto.

Thaitsuki Nihonto
by: Jas

Does anyone know if this website is legit?

My thoughts...
by: Anonymous

I haven't had a chance to handle Thaitsuki Nihonto or see one in person yet, but in researching them... I found that in almost every post there is a comment, "overpriced... this brand is better." When I check it out... Thaitsuki wins. It makes me want one more.

To the comment stating "Since this review was posted, Thaitsuki has improved 10 fold in there craftsmanship and quality."
by: Anonymous

After 400 years of making swords how much did they need to inprove in the last few years?
(I realize the comment I am referring to is itself a few years old)
If they weren't gettting it right for the last 1/2 century... what prompted them to improve now?

USA Thaitsuki Distributor
by: Michael Kuether

I have read quite a few comments on thaitsuki Swords and many are not all that positive. I will be the first to admit that there are many more than I who are who are far more knowledgeable about swords than I will ever be.
But these are the facts from my company.
I have been distributing these fine swords for over 6 years and have sold over 800 of them thru the dealer network we have.

We have had a total of 6 returns

3 were back in 07 with a polishing issue on the KTN series, this was corrected at that time. One was returned due to a Saya issue, we corrected that, and the other 2 were sent back due to economic issues of the customer.

Yes, these swords are on the high end of swords but the quality is superb. Most of the posts I have seen always seem to have the words "I have read" or "I have heard" in the disqualifiers for the swords. Please disregard the posts from SFI as these are 7 years old and all of these seem to come from one customer.

Please take some time when reviewing these posts that we cannot keep these swords in stock due to their quality and surplus beauty....there are many swords that will accomplish all the cutting exercises that the thaitsuki swords will do for a lower price, but none will offer the visual appearance that these swords will offer, and that’s not a knock on other swords. The last statement reflects what our end users have said.

Feel free to contact us at Viking Wholesale if you have any questions about these swords.
by: Scott is legit, I bought a ktn5 from them and received it quickly with no issues. Great sword by the way!

Factory direct
by: Chris

While it's nice that one person got thier sword factory direct, I have been waiting 4 months going on 5 for mine. It's seems they (thaisuki) are not supplying there distributors. A real bummer. If it says in stock....get it otherwise double check with the store your purchasing from. I bought, yes already paid, mine from Swords of the East.

by: Bale

I recently spent usd 3000 for a thiatsuki because it is better to buy a katana from an established company having making classics for 400 years

by: Bale

I recently spent usd 3000 for a thiatsuki because it is better to buy a katana from an established company having making classics for 400 years

Tonbo (S04) Katana
by: Anon

Established since 400 years ? well they probably lost some of the work of making katana along the way. It took 4 months to get mine.

The Hamon isn't that bad, but for the price you can certainly expect better. The Hada isn't that bad as well but for the price once again you could be well disapointed.

The Yokote is a total mess with scratchs on, and it's a straight cut from the blade, thus meaning that there's almost no visible hada from that point to the very end of the kissaki.

The HA (edge of the blade) needs resharpening straight out of the box, there's places on the edge that don't even cut through a sheet of paper and the Hada is really faded. At that point of my personal review i won't waste any of my time writing about the saya.

The blade also needed repolishing right of the saya, because it was real dirty. The blade is also off balance from about 8 inchs from the tsuba towards the blade which could be very dangerous if you haven't carefully looked for the balance point of the sword. To me it's not only a piece of metal to hang on the wall, it's a tool for practicing a serious martial art.

I wouldn't call it a rip off, but it would be foolish to say it's worth the money I invested in that blade. That's, my friends and I opinion that this blade isn't worth the money asked for.

Overpriced ? yes. They should sell these for a cheaper price for sure. No feed back from the reseller after my comments to him. He didn't even argue my points. Except for the overpriced part of my lines thoughts.

Thaitsuki S04
by: Anonymous

I am curious where you got your S04 from, we are the USA Distributor and these swords have yet to be released to us yet, not due in until November

Tonbo (S04) Katana
by: Anon

From a reseller as i mentioned. I'm not here to drag him in the dirt. Still i can tell you that Thaitsuki shouldn't have that blade out of the forge. They will probably come out with a potable one once they hit the S25 limited ivory edition katana series. Did i tell about the curve in the blade as well ? That's a shame.

I will have to spend 2-3 months with an 8000 grain sharpening stone to make it razor sharp and mirror finish like it was supposed to be in the first place. I can't say that I'm happy with what I got on hand so far for the price I paid.

by: Michael Kuether

As I said, the S04 has not shiped yet, that is why I was wondering where this sword came from, the USA or another country?

Why dont you return the sword if the quality is not what you had expected. If we were the ones that shipped it, the forge need to know of any imperfections.


Tonbo (S04) Katana
by: Anon

Well, it's a box from Thaitsuki, with their logo (lotus flower) on it, and on the box it's stamped made in Thailand. I haven't got this one from the united states market. I do have the certificate of authenticity issued for the "US" or north american market and the sword number as well. I'm not from the US.

Inspected and approved by the forge ... so i presume they've been checking the sword. Unless they're signing certificates on the go without reviewing the katana in the first place, so if the forge couldn't figure the imperfections of the blade right off from signing the certificate, i guess it's not even worth contacting to let them know about the issue, and to consider that is the best they could do with their knowledge since it was stamped approved in the first place.

As for returning the sword to the dealer that sold it to me, looks like it wasn't an option for him since he didn't offer it. He just told me that he was sorry about my thoughts about the sword, and that he will make it follow to the forge. Since then no news at all.

The thing is that my "thoughts" are based on facts. I bought it, I got it in my hands, I inspected it and I fully own it. Still, I repolished it 3 times to clean it up and improve the quality of the look of the blade and that's it. I guess the "return" or "refund" thing is out of the way for now, and that wouldn't fix the issue, i was expecting more concern from the forge over it's own product right from the start, and have a trouble free razor edge cutting blade right off the box.

So the facts are in my previous comments, I don't have anything more to say about it that I previously stated in my review of the blade. These comments weren't meant to bash Thaitsuki at all.

The one thing to know about, is when you're creating some sort of expectations to the customers by stating that these katanas are excellent stuff and are the top one of your products line, and it arrives in an unperfected manners, what should you expect? Submission ? Not saying anything ? Well this tribune (SBG that is) was the one I decided to use to make my review based on facts.

I can see on this board that Thaitsuki asked to dissmiss the "i heard this and that from this guy", well here you have a real and honnest statement from a guy that really owns the stuff.

So to wrap up the thing, if it was signed, and stamped approved by certification from the forge in the condition it was shipped in the same way that I got it, I could just guess that's the best way they could forge it.

I do think that's where you can see that the price doesn't really reflect the reality or the quality of the products you're buying, and that being in many aspects of life. I wasn't expecting a "real Nihonto" blade that takes a full year to forge and sharpen. Still i was expecting better stuff than what I have got from Thaitsuki.

Bad kissaki
by: Anonymous

The Thaitsuki Katana sword I've seen had a very bad Kisski. For that money you can get a top hanwei crane.

by: Tony

While Thaitsuki is produced only after orders are recieved and paid for we do endevour to carry some stock on hand as we realize having to wait months for a product to arrive is not something anyone looks forward to. Overall dealing with Thaitsuki has been a positive experience.


terrible swords
by: wilson ko

I recently ordered thaitsuki sword s02 and wk02. The sword is not sharp. I resend back to them and the send me a new one. The result also same, NOT SHARP. Have some cosmetic sratches on it. Overall for the price I bought this IT SUCKS. I don't recommend this sword to collector and people who want have cutting test. I fell that I have been cheated by the thaitsuki.

by: Anonymous

If you are looking to purchase a razor sharp katana then you are not in reality looking for a battlefield ready katana. Such a katana is forged for hard targets such as armour that will be encountered on a battle field, and a katana that is razor sharp as some wish for simply would not survive the battle field. An edge that is razor sharp will simply fold/roll on impact.

new sword sharpness
by: Anonymous

You are right about the sharpness issue.
Some very cheap swords are the sharpest I have seen while many expensive katanas tend to be less so. I think they do not truly hand sharpen the less expensive swords but sharpen mostly by machine, then just give the blade a few dress up strokes with a sharpening stone and call it "hand sharpened".
Enthusiasts should learn to sharpen their blade to the desired level themselves. It's very rewarding and though time consuming it is not difficult.
I have a Thaitsuki S03 that I have had for just over a year and could not be happier with. Not razor sharp out of the box, but plenty sharp enough for target cutting. Excellent quality of workmanship/fittings and blade finish.

by: Anon

Why don't they just do it right away ? Right out of the box razor sharp swords ? Not having to work 60 hours a week I would probably enjoy trying to sharpen a out of the box dull thaitsuki blade, but I'm way too busy for that. I recently bought a VG-1 Kukri from coldsteel that is razor sharp right off the box, same with the leatherman multitool that I bought with a razor blade right off the box same again with that new cheap priced katana from coldsteel. I just don't understand why you're paying up to 3500$ for a dull blade. Of course with a real good swing even a dull blade will do some damages. But as a customer it's not my job to get my sword sharpened because they didn't knew how to do it.

As a matter of fact there's a pro in Japan that is or was sharpening real nihonto blades, 18 hours a day on a sword, he could get it done in two - three weeks working 6 days in a row. And he's been doing that for the last 20 years. Now if you don't have any experience, as trial and error going on, I certainly wouldn't recommend you guys try that on a 3500$ katana, but mostly on a cheap one. After you're done with your first blade that will give you an idea on what it takes to sharpen a blade to perfection without losing too much much metal, not curving or twisting the blade or doind any bad cosmetic scratchs on it. You'll end up with the same conclusion as I did... Not worth my time and effort.

by: James

Accidently curving or twisting the blade by hand sharpening it? LOL I don't know what kind of swords you have but that is not a worry with a quality sword.

by: Scott

In spite of Anon appointing himself the authority on all things Thaitsuki on this site and his suspect negative babbling about the Tonbo which he somehow managed to get before they were even in production, I put a request for a Thaitsuki katana on my Christmas wish list. The photo's looked impressive and I have heard good things about these swords from other enthusiasts. My wife came through and bought me the top of the line Tonbo S04. Because I've always enjoyed the dragonfly theme in Japanese folklore this is the one I was hoping for. Over the years I have collected half a dozen swords, admittedly much lower end than the S04, but I have have friends that own some expensive Hanwei's - a Kami, Tori & Tiger katanas so I have seen these swords close up and know what a high quality katana should look like. After opening the box and wiping the grease off the blade I began to carefully look it over. All I can say is that I was blown away by the level of detail and quality of workmanship. The blade was sharp, the hamon distinct and hada and blade finish beautiful. The silver dragonfly's were incredibly detailed and really provided a nice contrast against the matte finish of the saya. I just cannot say enough about the phenomenal detailing of this sword. It make you want to keep looking at it over and over to take it all in. To say that I am happy with my katana is an understatement and I eagerly hope for the availability of a matching Tonbo wakizashi!

I would appreciate if owners would post personal pictures
by: Staff Sergeant Peter Woken US ARMY

I have great expectations for the Thaitsuki Tonbo Sanmai Limited Edition katana (SO4LE ) that I have ordered just yesterday morning. I was assured by a top listed dealer JapaneseSwords4Samurai that i would not be disappointed with my (future) heirloom. This small price of nearly $3k will be lost and forgotten for many decades while this beautiful sword lives on in my family as something of special value handed on from one generation to another.
I ask those of you that hold these strikingly beautiful heirlooms in your hands today; those of you so fortunate to have already heard the crisp sound of your blade being drawn; those of you that have examined the intricate details of your sword enough to have noticed your favorite attributes about these pieces of art, to please post your personal pictures. Do this not out of vanity, but out of the respect you have for the workmanship and pristine nature of your heirloom. Show the naysayers who attack the integrity of a reputation standing for over four centuries that the very sword in your hand serves as a symbol immovable by their spoiled, corrupted and polluted words opposing this forge. Share the pride that you enjoy every day by simply allowing others to see in your premium posession what you see. Post your personal pictures proud and bold wherever you can.

Thaituski Nihomto
by: Rami

I have been terribly unimpressed with these swords. Look at the production site and note the finish of the blade, then dissasemble one (easily done) and note the actual treatment of the tang. It is unfinished steel no stonger than pot metal. I agree they are beautifully finished, tight, solid and exceptional for the price as a decoration, but please...anyone willing to listen, do not actaully use this sword for anything more than beginner cutting. they could fracture or even be dangerous to the user.

by: Yves

I live in Thailand and i go to the company hoping to see a forge???nothing just a few peoples assembling parts? I tried to polish the blade and sharpen to realise the hamon is a fake ,probably etche very bad for the price and the steel not stong at all

Great Swords
by: jjay

Over the past year I've bought 2 Thaitsuki's (S03 and a custom S04 blade in S03 fittings). I can easily say that they are excellent pieces. The fittings, the sharpness, the tightness of the build and a beautiful Hada (especially on the S03).

I must say having read the reviews on this website I was more than hesitant when I placed the order for the first one. And having bought a second one after that I'm sure you can tell that I was very pleased with the first one.

It is worth mentioning that I ordered these directly from Thailand as I was planning a a trip to Bangkok and thought why not come back with one of those Thaitsuki katanas I've always wanted.

I will not go as far as saying that they are heirlooms but they are not as bad as some would people would have you believe. And comparing them to the over-hyped Hanwei blades which I have also purchased within the last year(Tori XL & Bamboo Mat). 2 katanas that are supposed to be 2 of the best in their class but rattle in their their sayas like a babies toy almost whenever I move them. And that's out of the box and not after excessive drawing/usage.

I paid approx 1600 USD for each of the Thaitsuki blades because I got them directly from Thailand. And I paid 1400 USD and 1000 USD for the Tori XL and Bamboo Mat respectively when I bought them directly from the factory in China.

**The reason why I buy directly form the sources has to do with the fact that I can't have them shipped directly to my country as they will be confiscated upon arrival through any form of airmail registered, express or otherwise. I have to travel and pick up the swords myself and keep them in my checked-in luggage and hope that customs wouldn't confiscate them (the case with the Thaitsukis). My other option is to have them shipped inside a cargo container and again hope that customs would not confiscate them (the case with the Hanwei's)

Thaitsuki quality
by: Terry

I own several cheap katanas, Hanwei , Thaitsuki. And lets face it, even the verry best of these are jus that - cheap. You get what u pay for...3000 for a katana is a drop in a bucket, but I know my station in life , an thatz what I can aford. Remember polishing a blade use to go for bout $100 A INCH im sure its more now. I like my Thaitsuki. Katanas , shortcomings n all.

Couldn't have said it better myself
by: Anonymous

Well stated. I don't understand the people who only want to spend $2000 or less on a Katana and expect greatness. If you want greatness and handmade quality, you have to pay for it...and it costs a lot more than $2000 or $3000.

by: Tatum

I have purchased two Thaitsuki katana's in the last 3 years. The limited edition Ivory katana and an S03 katana. I actually bought both swords without reading any reviews and only recently stumbled upon this forum.
My first thoughts after reading some of these negative reviews are that either the "reviewers" have never actually handled one of these swords and/or they have no experience in appraising a sword and have unrealistic expectations at what is attainable at these price points.
I hate to break it to you guys but if you want a high end, folded katana that is 100% handmade and built to the level that some of you are whining about, you better be ready to spend upwards of several thousand dollars.
I have seen swords of this quality and while I admire them greatly, I have no desire to drop that kind of money on one. Based on other swords that I have seen at various shows I feel my Thaitsukis represent tremendous value and have an extremely high level of craftsmanship and materials quality. I wouldn't part with mine and look forward to someday adding another to my collection.

Finally people that make sense
by: jjay

Kudos to you guys for having owned katanas that matched their costs, and to me in some aspects Thaitsuki exceeded my expectations when compared to other production Katanas.

by: Anonymous

jjay what country are you in if you don't mind my asking?

by: Anonymous

jjay what country are you in if you don't mind my asking?

by: Anonymous

I travel between Egypt and the UAE through out the year...

by: jjay

I travel between Egypt and the UAE through out the year...

Great katana
by: Mercuriell

I just bought the Thaitsuki S03 Roiyaru katana in Bangkok and am very impressed. I also just received a Hanwei Koy from the US. The Thai sword was about 50% more money but much better quality. The Hanwei rattled in its saya. The ito and sageo were cotton rather than silk and the ha was blunt. As ithe blade isn't folded there was no layered effect. The mekugi in the Hanwei tsuka were crooked and looked like matchwood. The Thaitsuki also came in a lovely golden silk effect sword bag whilst the Hawei had a plain black cloth bag more suited for a fishing rod. You geti what you pay for but hinestly I feel the Hanweimisn't worth sharpeing and I may use it for,Iaito.

by: Anonymous

Buy katana from Tozando store in japan kyoto. They are very proffesinal, they sell autentic katanas modern and ancient up to 500 year old ones. They have lots of Nihonto for a good price.

Misunderstanding fact about Tozando
by: Anonymous

First of all, i am impressed with all of the earlier comments. It gives me an insight and provide more information about kantanas. In fact,this is my first time reading this blog.

I would like to made ammendment to the earlier comment about nihonto from tozando. From my understanding, the word "nihonto" means to derive from Japan (Japanese).

Tozando is a perfect grade Japanese swords that are made using zinc alloy (this is due to various restriction applied by the Japanese government). Whereas, most commercial blades (sold outside Japan) are made from steel. Hence, the difference in material cannot be used to compare in term of quality.

by: Anonymous

I did understand nihonto as a authentic sword made by a mastersword smith with the tamahagane way, licenced by the japanese goverment! It cant be better than that :)

by: Anonymous

I purchased a KTN4 the blade is a bit thin and the info on the sword said it was japanese steel ? Its not Tamahagane from Japan !! How do they make such a claim ?? In One of there propaganda adds they claim to be making swords for 200 years and another add will say 400 years ? The sword looked ok until I took it apart and it has shims in the tsuka and frankly its just not close to what I was expecting for this amount of money. I have two Bugei katanas and a few Hanwei katanas and they both are more solid better made katanas, they do weigh more but when you hold them you know your holding a lot of sword. I also have katanas that are lower cost and the Thaitsuki is closer to a few blades I have costing around $400 . The other thing is they use the name Nihonto to help fool you into thinking your buying japan made. I feel I have been Had!!

love my thaitsuki
by: Terry

My latest Thaitsukis were the dokuji nami & the fufuri shishi. Both had beautiful hada &a clean kissaki .. the ito is tight & even. No rattles in the saya. I havent had a Hanwei that didnt rattle. Ive only have one Thaitsuki im disapointed in. My first one was a ktn5. Looks like it was polished with a wire wheel, im happy I gave them another chance.. all the others are fine.including my Tonbo, & ivory edition, we all want perfection, but come on ..You get what you pay for !

love my thaitsuki
by: Terry

My latest Thaitsukis were the dokuji nami & the fufuri shishi. Both had beautiful hada &a clean kissaki .. the ito is tight & even. No rattles in the saya. I havent had a Hanwei that didnt rattle. Ive only have one Thaitsuki im disapointed in. My first one was a ktn5. Looks like it was polished with a wire wheel, im happy I gave them another chance.. all the others are fine.including my Tonbo, & ivory edition, we all want perfection, but come on ..You get what you pay for !

Of Thaitsuki's, Hanwei's, and Shinken
by: Tucson_Jim

Gentlemen: Welcome to the world of the "Samurai Sword"!

Like their owners, each sword comes with a series of compromises between strengths and weanesses, combined to establish a unique character indemic to the individual. For a commercial product, that compromise is the feature/functionality price-break-point the marketing folks believe will sell a bunch of a given model.

The characteristics of a sword range from weapon functionalilty, handling, through to status/ego, etc. Ego drives the price highest... if you are a 10th generation Samurai, then, you probably feel you must proclaim that status to the entire world through the flamboyance of your blade... and pay the price of entry.

If, on the other hand, you wish to have a steel cutting implement capable of dispatching killer watermelons, zombies, or twisted bundles of rice reed... then, why should an elaborately decorated nihonto matter. A totally in-authentic Paul Chen Practical Katana will kill a watermelon just as well as one by Masamune Okazaki.

Swords CAN be beautiful art, their pahllic symbology, artistic story telling, and testimony to the honor and skills of their makers and users make them highly desired, and worthy of public expression through display in museums. If you seek a wall-hanger, buy one you find beautiful, better yet, buy a faithful representation of one of Japan's national treasures... rat-tail tang and all. Hang it on your wall and admire its beauty, learn about the art of swordmaking, and appreciate the skill and difficulty of producting such perfection necessary for the original item. And, share your learing with those who can appreciate such knowledge.

If preservation of Japan's martial heritage and her war arts is your goal, there are individual disciplines available for each of the multitude of skills possessed by the elite class Samurai, enough to fill a 16 hour day for an entire careeer, as was demonstrated by the Samurai themselves.

The value of any item is a fuction of availability versus desireability... desperation fetches a high price. Yet, the Samurai had but one daisho... and, he knew how to use it... typically, they were very plain, utilitarian sets, because they had a price, and you bought the best WEAPON you could get for your Kobundo... unless you were of a high station, frivolous artwork and decorations did not keep you in the fight. But, the sword's sharpening method (from end-to end) as well as its polish, do help to prevent crack propagation, as scratches perpendicular to the main forces acting on the blade will induce stress-concentration/breakage.

Today's manufacturing techniques have institutionalized the ritual of sword making into process parameters and operations documents, permitting rapid, consistent, repeatable, efficient production of commercially available, high quality swords... one can claim these are NOT art... as a manufacturing engineer, I would object, but, I get your point... and, high-volume manufacturing truly is not the preservation of an ancient skill-set which created weapons so perfect that one could mistake them for machine-made. But, today's metals have more homogenous crystaline structures, more uniform distribution of materails, fewer voids and inclusions, more consistent knit-lines between layers, and higher modulous of elasticity... from the pure viewpoint of practical application, there is NOTHING inferior about today's high-quality blades.

In short, buy the sword which fulfils your intention... perhaps, in two or three generations, your "investment" in a Thaitsuki or Paul Chen will appreciate in value... but, it will take up more room and probably appreciate less than a good mutual fund with an average of 15% yield. If you want to whack melons and reeds, buy a functional sword with a good temprament and minimal flourish, because it's going to get marred. But, remember: The blade IS the sword... buy the blade, first... and, if your target may fight back, buy the highest quality blade you can afford.

For Katana fan-boys, there is something inspiring, sobering, and revealing about holding the power of life and death in your hands. It doesn't matter it it is a gun or a sword; there is a tactile feel of a weapon, unique to that particular weapon, and a visceral reaction to knowing how to use that weapon effectively. But, if bragging rights is what you seek, go read the code of Bushido to understand just how inadequate you are, and realize no weapon can fix that.

Just my idle musings... T_J

katana fan boy
by: Terry

I think most of us katana fan boys love this sword for many reasons...The first on my list would be its beauty, its long graceful lines, the fine silk tsukamaki,the habaki , tsuba, andof course the blade...each component in itself is a work of art..then there's the appreciation of the artisians who built these centuries ago before modern equipment, there are so many reasons to fall in love with this sword, if I were a wealthy man, the walls of my home will be covered by them...not for bragging rights, but to be surrounded by their beauty. but the topic of discussion, is the quality of Thaitsuki products.. I believe for cutting watermelons and to Tatami mats ,they're a bit pricey...I enjoy them for their artistic value, I find there koshirae outstanding, probably the best on the market in that price range. and I must agree with the others, there polishing is somewhat hit and miss on the blades.
until recently, I didn't think it was possible to have a well polished blade at the $2000 price range, I was just proven wrong by the sword mfg. Kaneie Forge... outstanding! Im still in your corner Thaitsuki,..but you gotta step up & polish those
blades better. The wall hangers, and melon cutters,are getting educated palates, and are demanding more for their money.

Thatsuki nihonto ivory edition
by: K

I have just received my ivory edition and I haven't stopped smiling it is absolutely a work of art ,I was hesitant after reading some of thaitsukis reviews but very glad I looked past the small amount of negative reviews and placed my order for the so3i .Love the detailing of this sword can't wait for the ivory to be stained with zombie blood.Bullets will run out,Cash will be worthless,your blade will be an extension of yourself.Youll be glad you spent the extra money when you walk away from all your possessions with a backpack of supplies and your trusted katana.This is the get what you pay for world .Heads Will Roll!!!

wow, was I blind?
by: Terry

Wow i feel like a real dumbass beatin the drums for Thaitsuki, just took apart my Tonbo wakizashi, the whole thing is held together with shims,& epoxy. . the mune machi &ha machi are terrible... what a joke, I didnt want to believe something so beautiful, & pricey was junk.
Thaitsuki swords are gold plated turds !

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