Pros: Materials, Usable, Overall Quality, Finish
A Good Compromise
I have mixed feelings about production Japanese swords. Unless you pay a couple thousand dollars for a Katana or Wakazashi you are surely making a compromise in at least one of the following areas: Durability, Weight, Cutting Power, Overall Usability. This sword is better than most in many respects because it only really suffers in one of these areas, Weight. This however, is a fairly serious compromise in terms of its authenticity. A 'real' Japanese sword can be drawn and wielded very quickly due to its light weight and fine balance. I have fairly strong shoulders and forearms, but I still find myself being pulled into the cut because of the heft of this sword. Having said all that, this is a good product. It is a real sword in the sense that it cuts well and won't break when hit with another sword (or other metal item). By contrast, a Paul Chen Japanese (Style) sword is for cutting only and will chip or break if struck. This sword comes very sharp and pointy, and the polished blade and fittings look great. And when all is said and done, this is a fearsome weapon. Certainly the one I would reach for in the event of a zombie attack. Finally, if you are getting a sword with these traditional fittings, you should learn to take the handle off and put it back on. I had to do this as soon as I got it because the tang pin was not big enough (it's just a piece of bamboo) and I had to fashion a new one. Once I did that the handle was tight and worked fine.