Ronin Elite Laminated Katana Fan Favorites Series Model #10
This Ronin Elite katana has been traditionally forged and laminated in the soshu kitae tradition (seven panel steel). This school was developed by the legendary Japanese smith Masamune, and combines panels of hard, medium, and soft steels. The core of the blade is formed from softer, more malleable steel giving it exceptional flexibility. A layer of slightly harder steel is bonded to each side of the core to add support. The last layers are a very hard steel bonded to the top, bottom, and both sides of the core forming the ha (cutting edge) mune (back edge) and shinogi-ji (blade flats). This form of laminar construction provided for a sword that could be sharpened to a razor edge due to the hardened steed used for the ha, but was extremely resilient to battle damage due to its softer more flexible core.
Blade lamination: Soshu Kitae seven panel steel
Tempering: Differentially hardened (clayed) and water quenched
Rockwell Hardness: 62 edge / 40 spine
Fittings: Traditionally themed tsuba fuchi, kashira, and menuki
Kurikata, Koiguch, Kojirii: Polished buffalo horn
Polish: Japanese finger stone polish.
Blade length: 29 inches (habaki to tip)
Over all length: 40.9 inches
Tang: Full tang with Ronin kanji.
Grip: 10 inches
Wrap: Silk ito over genuine ray skin.
Saya: Synthetic silk sageo, buffalo horn inserts.
Ability level: Advanced dojo use (bamboo, tatami mats, etc)
The hand feel and control were very at home compared to similar priced custom level katana I purchased a few months back at another vendor. The assembly and blended cosmetics have a total package effect to them. The blade is well beyond sharp, yet feels exceptionally strong. Elite level holds up to its name.
Were it not for the sageo having numerous snags/flawed stitches, and a bit too much excessive glue on the mekugi, I'd give this a 5 rating. The fittings, saya, and blade are all very nice. I put a taut string on the nagasa from habaki to the kissaki tip, and noted a very SLIGHT bend to the left. Given this is a hand-forged, laminated sword, it's not enough to be upset about to any real degree. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this katana. Maybe the QA/QC at the forge can be tweaked... It's a unique blade, and looks great in its daisho mount. I've no doubt it will prove a fine blade for tameshigiri.
I was eyeing these for a while. Mine is truly gorgeous. I think it's just a little shorter and lighter than I was expecting. Mine came in at 28"/2.24Lbs and it couldn't be more perfect for me. I really love it.