HI Katana's

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As a spin off of the latest DOTD thread, I was hoping those who own HI Katana's could comment on them. How they compare to "real" katana's in terms of overall weight, balance, edge hardness, and most importantly (in my opinion) - functionality. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
 
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And I will repost my comments from the dotd into the correct thread:

Another interested Japanese style user here ...especially interested in the HI Wakizashi size blades and their handling characteristics and abilities in tamashigiri use?
 

Steely_Gunz

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The HI kat is really nothing like a "traditional" kat regarding build, balance, or handling. I put traditional in quotes, as I am referring to the swords that have been so popular for so long with their folded steel blades, bamboo pinned handles, and ray skin wrappings. Eastern sword experts and those that have handled various eastern swords in their training and education like DannyinJapan would be better able to inform us on what makes an actual factual katana.

What the HI kats are (and really, ALL HI swords) is tough. What they lack in speed and balance, they make up for in mass and indestructibility. If you've wanted a battle-ready sword at a very, very affordable price, they don't come much tougher than the HI swords. If you want a sword that can make exact razor-thin slices, is as graceful as a butterfly, and is constructed with "traditional" Japanese fittings, the HI katana is not for you. If you want a sword that could perry a spear thrust and cleave through armor without breaking, then the HI kat is just the ticket;):thumbup:
 
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Thanks Gunz!

After a nice look through the HI sword page, I haev a quick question on the Kat's... it looks like quite a few of them are straight edged. Are these swords considered a seperate item by HI? Or are they, like the Kukh's, the outcome of Kami uniqueness and style?
 

Steely_Gunz

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They just tend to be flavor of the month, Rad:D

Sometimes they come in straighter and sometimes they come in curvy. Like all HI's, if there is something in particular that you really want, Yangdu is the lady to talk to:)
 
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Thanks Gunz!

After a nice look through the HI sword page, I haev a quick question on the Kat's... it looks like quite a few of them are straight edged. Are these swords considered a seperate item by HI? Or are they, like the Kukh's, the outcome of Kami uniqueness and style?

Not to put down the HI guys, but I think a katana purist (aka the Japanese) would refer to these as KSOs (Katana shaped objects) at best. The Kamis, obviously not being Japanese, don't have the near religious reverence for the katana, and individual variances aren't big deals to them.

Just like they tend to not be that great at producing western straight-bladed swords and such (as a good duplicate of a gladius has been escaping the sharks for a while now).
 
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Not to put down the HI guys, but I think a katana purist (aka the Japanese) would refer to these as KSOs (Katana shaped objects) at best. The Kamis, obviously not being Japanese, don't have the near religious reverence for the katana, and individual variances aren't big deals to them.

Point taken. It's similar to how many of us will nitpick about things being KLO's but not true khukuri. Mind you, I think the cult around katana and nihonto is a more zealous one. :D

(psst, Radrunner... if you don't mind the curved KSO's, you might grab that one by Bura in the DOTD. Looks like a steal, and Bura is the man.)
 
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For the price I think you'd have a chopper for life.

As far as the geometry and construction they are nothing like a traditional katana. But if you just want to destroy things they would be perfectly suited to the task.

I still want one of those uddha swords. Graves.....send me yours.
 
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I saw the one by Bura in the dotd thread... and i do want it... but i've been sick with mono the last two months. Sick means the hospital won't let me work, meaning no pay cheque for moi. No paycheque = no money = no Katana-shaped-object (for the purists). Otherwise i would be all over that sword like a..... well.... HIKV forumite on a khukri ;)

Cpl Punishment is right - the Hi Katana's are not true Katana's, but to me anyway it doesn't really matter. I'm always more interested in functionality than aesthetics. And unfortunately the Japanese Katana has become so mainstream and the subject of Western Media that finding good-quality katana's can be difficult.

The other thing is that the authentic Japanese Katana's, because of their fascinating tradition, significance, and so on makes them much more intimidating to buy because they are beautiful works of art. I mean, so are the HI ones, but in different ways. The true Kat's for grace and beauty, and the HI Kat's for their sheer destructive potential and unique Napalese styling.
 
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Just so no one gets the wrong idea -- I'm not one of the katana purists. In fact, I really don't like them. <flame suit on>

But the advantage I see to HI swords, is you're not buying a $40,000 [real katana, so there's no guilt trip associated with going out and beating the crap out of it. You'll probably get beat before it does.

Like the Tarwar I bought. Even though it's not meant for it, and it's not recommended, I couldn't resist cutting a tree down with it (for the nature guys, the tree was coming down anyway, it was just a matter of how). No way in hell I'd do that with a "genuine" katana or something. An HI? Psshaw. Wipe the sap off and it's good as new. I was tuckered out and it was just laughing at me. That's what you get when you buy an HI sword.
 
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Don't worry Cpl, I think we got it ;) You took down a tree with a HI Kat? Now i want one even more.... Just... need.... money..... :'(
 
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Hahahaha. Someone buy a HI katana and chop down a tree with it!!! I would... but as said, i'm still lamenting over my shortage of khukri spendable funds.
 

Steely_Gunz

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Hahahaha. Someone buy a HI katana and chop down a tree with it!!! I would... but as said, i'm still lamenting over my shortage of khukri spendable funds.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe SamuraiDave attacked a couch with his. I took mine to a wooden shipping pallet, and it suffered no damage beyond some scuffing of the blade.

Tough blades:):thumbup:
 
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I have an HI Katana. It is ludicrously blade-heavy and too thick to really be a slashing sword (which the katana is supposed to be).

As a faithful katana I would rate it not so well. But as an indestructible sword I would rate it fairly well. I think I prefer my tarwar.
 
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So it would seem, all comments considered, that as a 'using sword', the HI Tarwar would be the way to go for a shorter blade than a HI Wakazashi?
 
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