Where can I get a decent CHISA KATANA in the $100 Range?
by Jason Roland
(Novi, Mi USA)
QUESTION: Are CHISA KATANAS really so non popular that they havent trickled down to the within $100 High carbon steel full tang universally tempered Beater price range yet?
I know Cold steel makes one for the Sub $300 price range, but I'm not a big cold steel fan. Dont get me wrong, they make solid sharp swords. But They dont handle as well as a paul chen, Masahiro or even a Musashi.
Another quick questions: A friend of mine has a sword with something laser etched on the side and I was hoping you could tell me what it is. The word is either Sefender or Defender. Its written in Dragonish looking lettering so the first leter is a dragon picture shaped like an S with the wings comming down from the top closing the bottom curve of the S Perhaps turning it into a D. I was wondering if this sounds like any manufacturer that you've ever heard of. We've taken the Katana apart and it has a double pegged full Tang and what looks to be a non brush non acid or laser etched Hamon running down the front side.
ANSWER: Hi Jason,
Yes, apparently Chisa Katana are not popular enough to warrant mass production by the major manufacturers. Cold Steel make a good one, and Cheness Cutlery make some very nice Ko-Katana (which are basically the same thing, only a different name) with the cheapest being the Tenchi Ko for US$189.99 (though for only $30 more it is possible to get a differentially hardened Kaze Ko - though they are both double your stated budget.
As to the defender Katana, I have heard of them before - but have not heard enough to warrant much further investigation. They are fairly generic from what I hear and not the best value for money swords out there by far. There are many others equally as good, and a handful (such as Cheness, Musashi and Hanwei) that are considerably better.
Still, I try to keep an open mind to new brands. But these guys haven't done anything to make me sit up and take notice.
Hope this helps.