Dave, of the Samurai-Sword-Shop has offered me the possibility to test the Konron 9260 Katana. I have tested the version without bo-hi.
I will start with this review with the looks and finish of this katana. After that I’ll tell you about the real deal. The testing, something these katana’s are build for.
My first impression of the Konron is a good one. It has a serious and sturdy feel.The saya is painted in shining black. The paint work is tight and doesn’t chip easily when you accidentally hit something. The sageo is tightly wrapped and is made of firmly woven cotton. This gives the katana a bit more authenticity then the synthetic version that you can find on many other brands these days.
Konron katana Nicely tight sageo
The katana fits tightly in his saya. Nothing will rattle when you shake it. Yet he is easily drawn from his saya. As well on the traditional way (first pushing it open with your thumb) as on the normal way.
The tsuka offers your hand a great grip, and both the menuki are well placed. Also the shape of the tsuka is fine, not to round and not to oval. The rest of the fittings are just fine and adequate enough.
The itto is a different story. The fabric is fine, no problems with moisture, doesn’t slide or gets lose. But the way it is wrapped around the tsuka is sloppy. At some places you can see the wood of the tsuka. This may be disturbing for people who want to use this katana for display purposes. When using the katana for cutting, one doesn’t notice this shortcoming.
Note: This little problem will be resolved with the 2e generation of these swords….
The tsuba is a simple, somewhat open model. The finish of the tsuba may be lifted to a higher level. The rims of the openings aren’t smoothly polished, therefore bruising your thumb during cutting exercises
The blade has a nice polish and fortunate enough no fake hamon. The sharpness looks good and the kissaki is nicely shaped. In my personal opinion is a version without the bo-hi nicer than with a bo-hi. It looks better and is sturdier. The blade is through hardened
This is my favorite part of the review, the test what this Konron katana can take. Dave himself had already tested the Konron that I received. He used it on Tatami omote and for chopping wood as you can see in this video
Since this katana has proven to be able to cut some simple items, I didn’t use it on a single milk bottle or lemonade container. My first simple test was chopping up a Christmas tree. First I removed his branches, after that I chopped him up. There was no problem what’s however. Living wood is easily chopped with this katana.
My second test were some lemonade containers of 1.5 liter each. As I practice this on a regular basis with my Hanwei Practicals I decided to make it harder for the Konron than usual. With the Hanwei’s I use 10 ore 12 containers.
But now for the Konron I used 16 containers, two rows of each 8 containers. All of them filled with water. I’m fully confident that the katana can handle this. My trust in the Konron wasn’t misplaced. It slices the containers without any hesitation just like a hot knife through butter.
As my first cut was quite high I just cut the containers a second time.
The first cut The second cut
Now the time has come for a what greater challenge. This time I use 10 milk bottles of 2 liter each. Turns out to be no problem for the Konron. To make it somewhat more difficult, I add 4 more bottles to the row. Even these 14 bottles aren’t a challenge for the katana. It’s just a walk in the park.
First cut with 10 containers Second cut with 14 containers.
For my next test I try to cut through an old broomstick. This doesn’t work because my workmate can’t withstand the forces of the impact. The wood of the workmate breaks in two, before the strength of the blow can cleave the broomstick.
My workmate is history The backbones of a cow
I take a backbone of a cow as a last and final test for the Konron. This will be quite a chunk for the katana to cut. As I’m note sure if the katana can take this kind of abuse, I already had put on some protected clothing ( for fencing ) under my normal outfit.
I places the bone in my second workmate. I take a deep breath, assume a correct position and swing..
The effect is greater than I anticipated. With a nice singing sound the blade snaps into two pieces. I’m glad I wore protected clothing, due to the direction in which the separated peace of the katana came.
The Konron breaks in two pieces The remains of the katana
When I look at the result of this blow on to the bone it’s quite something. A chip of the katana has been stuck in the bone.
The carve in the bone The fracture of the blade
The fracture is almost straight. The blade has really been broken and hasn’t splintered. By doing so, you can see the quality of the Konron. A poorly hardened katana had splintered in multiple pieces. Because of his good through hardened blade, you get a neat almost straight fracture. This increases the safety of the user.
The blade is broken on the spot were the chip is stuck in the bone. Furthermore there are some minor chips in the blade. This is where it has hit the bone. The force of the impact made the piece of the blade that was without any resistance breaks and flies away.
Naturally I want to know how thick this bone is. For this I put it on a chopping block and I take an heavy medieval axe.
Cleaving with an axe Thickness of the bone
After a firm blow with the axe the bone has been chopped in to two pieces. The bone was so strong that even the axe head has been damaged.
After measuring the thickness of the bone it appears to be 6 to 7 mm thick all around, with in the middle a firm piece of marl.
It’s time for the vids
Note: The cutting test with the bone was an experiment to see how far the sword could go. A katana isn’t made to chop bones or trees in the first place. Just buy an axe or a chainsaw in case you’re looking for a tool that can take care of that stuff so no need to say–> DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME !!
The results of a afternoon chopping an cutting are:
A broken Konron katana, a broken workmate, an axe with a dent in it, a chopped cow bone ,16 chopped lemonade containers, 14 chopped milk bottles, 70 liter of water in the garden and a truckload of fun.
The dent in the axe The remains of the bottles and containers
What do you get for the € 175,00 that this Konron katana costs ?
Really quit a lot. He is well balanced, has a great finish, extremely sharp, and he is superb for tameshigiri .
.In my opinion this Konron katana is better than the Practical from Hanwei.
The Konron costs less and gives much more for the money. For every backyard cutter this katana is an asset for live. It’s pure without any compromises. Its through hardened blade has proven itself during the tests. Especially in the way the fracture occurred.
A part from the sloppy tsuka and tsuba, you will get a fully functional katana which can withstand a whole lot of abuse. When the tsuka and tsuba are improved you will have a winner..
The ratings I give this katana are:
Finish of the saya, sageo, tsuka and tsuba : 7.5
Finish of the blade regarding polish, sharpness and shape : 9
Functionality of the katana : 10
Fun you can have with it : 10
Total Average rating : 9