Ronin Elite Laminated Katana Fan Favorites Series Model #9
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)
I recently made a review of this sword but I since changed my opinion about it I feel I was too harsh. The sword isn't perfectly balanced but its good. the handle is 10 inches long but i wish it were longer because of the weight of the sword which is almost 3 lbs about 2.8 or something like that I can't remember exactly. I got a 300$ sword from Ronin that weighed less and has a longer handle which makes swinging it around feel more fluid than this one. Mine came with a very small gap between the seppa and the fuchi which doesn't interfere with using the sword but it is noticable on a closer look. Overall very nice feeling sword. My only issues are the finish on the fuchi kashira wipes off revealing a copper color when using the sword (but maybe that just gives character) and the gap I wrote about. Other than that it's beautiful and exactly what you see when you imagine a katana; flashy, elegant and dragons. Almost too beautiful to want to take off of my wall
Before I go on with the review I have to preface I am an amature with katanas and not at all trained with them. But I have held and swung around a few so I know a good feeling sword when I hold one. This katanas overall look is beautiful in my eyes, I wasn't a fan of the sageo being that bright red so I replaced it with a black one. The construction of the sword is sturdy and no parts move around. Though the fuchi and kashira finish seems to rub off and turn discolored with use, also slightly uncomfortable in the hands right next to the tsuba. The weight isn't stated on the description but I weighed it out to be 2lbs 9oz which is pretty heavy for what I'm used to, with a lot of the mass being towards the mid to end of the blade. This would all be fine if the handle had been longer but for some reason it's only 9.5 inches long which makes it even harder to swing around. If you are looking for a nice display piece this is for you but practical use I can't recommend this one. But then again I am an amature so what do I know.