View Full Version : Anybody have experience with Cheness product?

29th April 2010, 00:24
Hello there, I am a student of Iaido since 04, and an avid sword lover. I have practiced with a bogubag, higo koshirae style iaito since 06 and I love it, the wrap is still absolutely tight, as is the mekugi, and the blade is still solid as a rock. For a while now I have wanted to expand my sword collection (only the one so far, and it's my iaido workhorse) and I keep seeing these cheness katana all over youtube, forging videos, ridiculous destructive testing, etc.. They really seem to be a half decent blade for the money there asking, the dimensions seem to be reasonably close to the real thing, I would really like to have a folded steel katana with a real hamon, and a nice grain to add to my collection, but theres no way I can justify saving 5k for the real japanese deal, which I'm not even worthy to own anyway, or even the 2k-3k for a steel iaito, which I wouldn't be able to use anyway because I've only been doing this almost 6 years, and don't want to slice my self to ribbons during iai practice. Not to mention my iaito still has plenty of years left on the clock. I just don't know how they can sell a folded steel hand forged blade for so cheap, this has always sent red flags up for me, there stuff is on sale now, almost everything under 300 dollars. My years learning about swords tells me it just isn't possible but from all the video's they have of the forging process and hand polishing it seems to be legitimate. Any thoughts?


29th April 2010, 05:08
There are a bunch of lower-end sword producers out there like Cheness - Kris Cutlery, Hanwei, Bugei etc

Swordforum International is a good place to do some research into the area, and they also have a classifieds section where these sorts of blades regularly come up for sale second hand for a fraction of retail.


The "Modern Production Katanas" forum is designated discussion area for exactly this topic, and has some great advice threads to check out.

29th April 2010, 05:21
Thank you!

29th April 2010, 06:13
Further to Brendans contribution, linked below, a Swordforum thread of particular value.


James Jarman

29th April 2010, 16:03
Just browsing through that Swordforum thread, one of the things that is glossed over is the quality of the wrap and handle. I have yet to see a $300 sword where the tsuka construction would be considered suitable for long-term use in iai practice. If you buck up the cash for the Swordstore steel iaito you will get a useable piece for sure. Their in-stock stuff usually starts around $1200.

Brian Owens
6th May 2010, 07:11
...I just don't know how they can sell a folded steel hand forged blade for so cheap...

Have you ever noticed the vast amount of merchandise at Wal-Mart that says "Made in China" on the label? Chinese workers, even craftsmen, make such low wages (and have such low costs of living compared to many other countries) that the goods made there can be sold cheaply and still have a good profit margin for the seller.

The problem is quality control...and ethics.

My company bought a bunch of flashlights that were supposed to be battery-less models powered by a built-in generator; the kind that you shake, and an iron slug moves back and forth through a copper coil. The Chinese-made knock-offs we got had little watch batteries hidden in them, the iron slugs were actually non-ferrous pot metal, and the copper coils were copper-colored thread that didn't attach to anything.

I'm sure you've heard of the poisonous pet- and baby-food made in China, and of counterfeit computer software and bogus media cards.

Then, of course, some of the money we send to China goes to the on-going murders of Tibetan people and other non-Han ethnic groups.

But I digress.

If you're needing to save money at the expense of a higher-quality product, then Paul Chen's stuff may be a good deal for you. Be prepared to have the tsukamaki rewrapped if you're going to use it regularly, though.