Undecided about Kaze Katana
by Jared Pollard
(Camano Is, WA, US)
QUESTION: I'm sure you've handled both the Kaze with and without bo-hi, and I was just wondering how both of them felt while cutting/manouvering? You see I want a katana that is strong enough to cut effectively but also one that isn't too cumbersome to move quickly/consecutively. Could you give me your honest opinion (ups and downs of both versions) so that I know what to look for?
Also, is the bo-hi version available on your site because it doesn't have that option at the SBG Katana Store?
I really appreciate what you do here at Sword Buyers Guide, you have been a big help. Thank you for listening to me and I look forward to hearing from you.
ANSWER: Hi Jared,
Actually, there isn't a version of the Kaze Katana with a bo-hi at the moment... Most of the other Cheness swords do have a fullered/bo-hi version - but not the Kaze (at least, not at the time of my writing this reply - though there is a typo on the Cheness site which lists a 'fullered and unfullered version' in the stats for the POB which has caused some confusion).
Anyway, I can still answer your question on the (unfullered) Kaze's handling...
At 2lbs 9oz, the Kaze is a reasonably heavy Katana, and with the balance point at 6" above the tsuba - it gives it considerably authority when cutting without being cumbersome (a 6" Center of Balance is quite ideal for most Katana, though it boils down to a matter of personal preference).
It isn't a lightweight cutter - and takes a little more effort to change direction that some lighter cutters on the market, but for its weight - it is very responsive, and I think you can get a feel for this by my cutting vids on the Kaze review page.
Like all things, it boils down to a matter of personal preference. If you like your swords to be super light and 'floaty', it's probably not for you. If on the other hand you like a sword that has some presence, but not enough to make it sluggish or unresponsive, the Kaze is easily the best choice in this price range hands down.
Hope this helps!