New Folded & Forged Katana with hand polish

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Ok after all of the troubles I’ve got with the Konron dudes (have to post that thing here some day) there’s finally light at the end of the long, dark funnel.

A few weeks back we received the first monosteel katana sample from the Zhui Feng forge and last week the folded piece came in. Not necessary to say I was happy as a little child. Yeah, still after all of these years, when new pieces come in, it’s like Santa Claus who’s dropping a package :))..always super excited !

Anyway let’s dig into this and give you a first review and some facts. This is the piece we’re talking about

hand polished katana

Our Handpolished beauty

Doesn’t look bad at first sight right ?

This katana is a forged&folded piece. The forge is making their own steel in a Zuku-Oshi Tatara (high furnace – for the people who can read Dutch, I’ve posted an article about Tamahagane maken here). So basically we can say they are producing their own tamahagane for these pieces.

Second thing I have to pint out is that they are using the traditional method to forge the blade, in other words they are using a lamination method (can’t remember which one but will ask it again) to construct the blade.

And that’s a big difference with some other Chinese manufacturers who are also making their own steel BUT lot of them don’t laminated their blades which results mostly in a very bad edge and or soft blade. So it’s nice to look but not really good if you like to actually use it for tameshigiri.  Still have another tamahagane piece here from another manufacturer with chips in the edge just from some soft cutting (reed !!)…And for a sword in that price range that’s not something you like to see.

I didn’t do a cuttingtest yet with this one but the bending test I did is already promising and the forge is willing to give a nice warranty on this blade. Once they’re back in the forge (Chinese new year now) I’m finalizing this thing but I will try to aim on a very looooong warranty 🙂

The beauty of this blade is without any doubt it’s handpolish. To be honest (actually I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t) it’s the best polish I’ve ever seen on a Chinese blade in this price range..period! And have seen quit some handpolished pieces in the last 6 years. This one is very subtle yet prominent … judge yourself :

The nice handpolish

The Nice HandPolish

The only thing I want to see a little better is the polish of the kissaski but we’le get there…

This piece only feature 1 mekugi-ana where I definitely like to see 2 once they go into production as well as telling them very clear which side they have to start wrapping the tsuka. Typical Chinese to start at the wrong side…But for the rest, very tight wrap and nicely shaped diamonds.

The tsuka is very well constructed (forgot to take some pics of that), has a nice Rikko shape and is covered with real rayskin of course and bleu silk ito. No Chinese ito but the Japanese stuff. And I’m sure because I’ve send them the ito 🙂

Same goes for the fittings, I still had some Japanese imported fittings lying around here and I send them with express mail so they could mount them on the sword. First they were only planning to send me the bare blade (since Chinese new year was very very close and they were running out of time) but I preferred to see a mounted sword. Think you have the same feeling about that…

Despite the fact that this sword is a rather big ‘thing’ with it’s 78cm blade and no hi, it still handles very well and has a nice balance.

Anyway, enough for today…we’re back on the track and very soon, the option to make your custom katana will be available again. But this time with a better and more accurate delivery time.

I was so pumped that i had made a video 😮

/p>

Leave me some comments there as well if you can and hook me up there because i have more video’s to come very soon..

For more detailed pics, you can head over here.

For the freaks, these are the specs :o)
[table id=2 /]

Let me know what you think guys, need some feedback here…good and or bad…