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Weapons UnderGround >> Katanas how sharp should they be


10/15/05 7:18 PM
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bigbrawler
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Edited: 15-Oct-05
Member Since: 08/25/2003
Posts: 141
 
I have just recently purchased a Katana. Iam curious how sharp would you exspect one would be you got at a store. It was from a mall if that helps. On the blade it says 440 c China. I earlier today cut up a two by four with alot of effort with it. Iam just not sure if at this point it is more for show or more for go. When I slide my thumb across the blade it doesn't even leave a scratch. If this is realy dull telling me how to sharpen it would be cool if this is how they normally are I guess I need to train with it. Thanks in advance.
10/16/05 7:18 PM
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Aaron Little
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Edited: 17-Oct-05 01:33 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1671
It needs to be sharp enough to cut the things you need to cut. What do you hope to able to cut with it?
10/17/05 12:32 AM
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sreiter
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Edited: 17-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 8982
get the cold steel video and see the tests they put their shit through - it should be that sharp something about cutting through a certain thickness of bamboo matt (rolled up)
10/17/05 12:44 PM
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krept
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Edited: 17-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4277
Those kinds of swords come with a factory edge that is not very sharp. I'm not sure if it's because of laziness or liability but while they can certainly cleave something, they aren't going to slice a sheet of paper. To be honest with you, sharpening swords is very difficult. Many people have a hard time sharpening smaller bladed knives, but to keep the same sharpening angle across the entire length of steel... that's going to be very tough. Do you know how to sharpen a knife well? If so that will help a lot. You will probably want a sharpening stone/hone that you can fix to a horizontal surface as it will make life a lot easier. If you don't have a stone, you can use some fine grit sandpaper. The key will be to match the angle of the bevel that forms the edge... the WHOLE way up the blade. If you deviate from the angle you will have dull/sharp spots that make it a big PITA to fix without powered equipment. a quick scan of this page shows some decent diagrams on what i'm referring to. http://www.i4at.org/lib2/knife.htm
10/20/05 9:58 AM
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theMachine23
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Edited: 20-Oct-05
Member Since: 09/13/2002
Posts: 1934
440 c is probably the type of steel. you probably can't cut yourself with it since you hacked a 2x4 with it... typically, quality is proportional to price.
10/20/05 7:37 PM
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membrane
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Edited: 20-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 624
Katanas are sharpened by a process known as polishing. Polishing is very different than sharpening knives and actually involves removing metal very differently. The 440C China is a clear indicator that your "katana" is a wall hanger. 440C is a stanless steel and the only steels suitable for swords are pretty much carbon steels (that rust if not cared for). Feel free to sharpen it up yourself if you want to. It won't degrade the value of the sword at all other than maybe not looking as nice on a wall as hand sharpening a sword tends to turn out pretty terrible. A professional polish is very expensive and would be ludicrous with that kind of sword. Anyway, if you want to cut stuff up with a katana try something other than a 2x4. Rolled up tatami mats are ideal for real swords but I guess you could get by fine with just some rolled up newspaper that has been soaked in water.
10/21/05 1:03 AM
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sreiter
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Edited: 21-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9031
krept - sorry dude but you're wrong - cold steel puts MONDO SHARP edges on their shit - buy one, or get their video and then tell me they aint sharp
10/21/05 12:00 PM
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krept
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Edited: 21-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4280
I didn't read that it was from Cold Steel, I read it was from China and I was talking about the ones from China I've seen in mall knife shops. Admittedly, that was about 5 years or so ago... i just don't pay attention to that stuff anymore. The bottom line is that stainless steel is a poor choice for swords because of it's brittleness. Now, if CS is using it's Carbon V or whatever (modified 1095?) that's a different story, especially if they give it a differential heat treat, but I'm saying that the steels that sword makers use runs around the 1084-1060 series or 5160, meaning .84 to .6% Carbon, give or take a couple points because of the way it's made in the foundry. The reason for this is that too much carbon makes the steel too brittle. Normally you don't see this in smaller blades, but in a sword... well... we saw the QVC (or whatever it was) sword that snapped when the guy whacked it. Anyways, if cold steel makes a good video that shows their stuff off, cool. Check out the tests that a person is required to go through to get the label Journeyman Smith in the ABS. http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ABS_JSTest.htm Note #4... the blade must be bent 90 degrees. That's pretty tough... and "Journeyman" is the first level. That kind of performance is what I am after. I don't have any problem with Cold Steel blades as tools. But I have a really big problem with Lynn Thompson, he's a real piece of work. A couple of years ago he trashed companies like Emerson and Strider but this year he was involved in hiring a private detective to do some research on Mick Strider. The report produced by the PI was given to some people and forwarded via e-mail to a bunch of others... it included information such as the location where he lives and where his ex-wife and kids live as well as some details that were brought up in the divorce proceedings. Because of that, I will never, ever recommend Cold Steel. You should get a load out of his martial arts credentials as well. In any event, I did a quick google search and was reference to this thread http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=366361 The part where they refer to LT as having no honor is partially related to what I said above. just some food for thought. Summary: Cold Steel makes decent tools for the money. I have a couple of their products, but will buy no more. Stainless, even super stainless like Crucible S30V, is not a good material for swords that are meant to be used. They will absolutely cut, but their impact resistance is not high. I missed the part about the sword being Cold Steel. Their stuff is sharp! I just think the owner is a POS. Just my opinion... hopefully the above part about sharpening is of some use to bigbrawler. cheers
10/21/05 3:03 PM
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krept
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Edited: 21-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4281
x post didn't show up?
10/25/05 3:46 AM
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Ninja Vanish!
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Edited: 25-Oct-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 47
The edge on a traditional katana is actually different from most other swords too. A western sword or knife-edge has two concave sides meeting at the point. The edge on a katana has two convex sides meeting at the point, which is why it's more complex than simple sharpening.
10/26/05 4:08 PM
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Einar
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Edited: 26-Oct-05
Member Since: 06/27/2002
Posts: 411
Bigbrawler, 440 is stainles steel, and like others have mentioned that is NOT a good material for a sword. Even more importantly, it means that the construction of the sword is probably not well done either. Stainless steel swords are only meant to look pretty. They usually have too short, too thin tangs that will sooner or later break without warning. I have myself snapped a wallhanger katana just by swinging it. I didnt even hit anything, and it snapped at the tang and went flying across the room. Needless to say, flying blades are not safe. If you want a cheap katana that will hold up to cutting, you should check out Kris Cutlery, Paul Chens Practical series or something along those lines. Theyre not fantastic swords, but theyre a hell of a lot better than stainless steel wallhangers.

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