Inexpensive katana tested

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In some circles, this is referred to as a SLO – a sword-like object.

I personally expected it to shatter, but this is almost as good.


Use one of these on it:


To be honest, that was a crummy “test”. The guy obviously made no effort to actually follow through on the stroke. The instant the blade made contact he stopped. And the way the haft twisted in his hands, it was obvious his grip was loose and sloppy. I understand this was done just for laughs and yes the blade was pathetic - probably made from a straightened truck axle spring - but the results, although still unsuccessful, could have been different if this had been better conducted.


Maybe it was a misprint. They actually bought a kan’t-ana.


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Real Damascus Steel!


It’s actually Don’tAskUs® steel. Damn autocorrect.


The manufacturer didn’t even try to harden the steel. Probably a purely decorative piece.


Looks more like dumbasscus steel to me…


Is it made of rubber?

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More importantly, a katana is supposed to slice, not chop. I’m not sure a Masamune masterpiece would act terribly differently and this person would definitely not be getting their iai promotion.


They are all purely decorative in some sense.

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I was surprised that a lot of stage swords* are made from straightened truck axle springs. But then they are for staged choreography only, and blunt on purpose. They just have to be balanced right for swinging, and make a nice clang when parrying.

*Swords used for staged fights by reenactment societies, stuntmen, and so on. Not just actual theatre stages.


While you were partying… I was consumer-testing the blade.

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Spring steel makes a much better blade than that. This was clearly CNC cut from a sheet of mild steel and never tempered.


Seen on

CNC cutting seems pretty expensive for what will be a terribly shitty product. I figure it was just die cut to an approximate shape and then run on a grinder for a couple of minutes so you can pretend it has an edge.

CNC machining is cheap these days, and there is no need to manufacture a die. Just send the CAD file to your machine and wait.

Spring steel is a pretty solid choice, all told; and vehicle springs are a decent place to get it. Since it’s in the job description it is both relatively easy to deform(which makes possibly hitting someone with it rather less dangerous than with a more rigid object that won’t absorb as much of the force of the blow itself and can turn into fairly nasty blunt trauma even if studiously unsharpened); but much better at springing back into shape rather than cracking or requiring manual straightening.

I’m not sure if the supply is too large and formal to be built on scaveninging truck parts; but fencing equipment is made of similarly springy steel for the same reasons; has to survive a lot of deformations without getting bent out of shape or succumbing to metal fatigue; and, despite being blunt, it would be a great deal more painful to use if it were more rigid.

It’s my understanding that, if you do want it to hold an edge, you’ll need to do some hardening of the material in the edge area; but most blacksmiths of history would likely be quite jealous of our access to such starting material.