Shinken Katana Model Comparison
If you have any questions just email us at
will be happy to discuss different katana and help you make the best
choice. No one katana is perfect for everyone. Every katana
is hand made and will vary some from the standard size and weight.
We will be filling in the missing data as it becomes available. We have
a full set of measurements on our Shinken Size/Weight page.
The katana, tachi, and odachi are sorted by blade length.
This is our premier cutting sword! It has been
called Kotetsu, Toshi, and the Hataya Sensei sword.
By any name, it is the best cutting sword we have found.
It was designed by Hataya Mitsuo Sensei and Kenpaku
Yasutoshi of Sagamihara. It is a heavy cutter, but is
well balanced and can be used for kata. Hataya
Sensei believes that one sword should be usable for all
aspects of swordsmanship and frowns on one purpose
cutting swords. This sword comes with a great edge
geometry and a polished surface that really performs.
All kotetsu are unique and should be ordered by number.
These pieces from CAS/Hanwei have been the mainstay of their Samurai sword
line for a number of years and redefined what is possible in an affordable,
historically accurate, and functional series of swords. The latest generation
has a higher standard of blade polish and other improvements in detail. The
Tsunami and the Wind and Thunder were transition designs that share many of the
features of the Performance/Elite lines but offer unique features. They also
have wakizashi/tanto that match fittings and blade characteristics. The Tea
Culture and Three Monkey are new additions to this line.
The Performance series is probably the most significant advancement in
affordable katana. It features four distinct blade variations (Iaito,
Katana/Elite, XL, and XL Light). Each sword has been designed from the
ground-up, with blade geometry specially adapted to the needs of each Japanese
martial arts discipline. The series features a wide range of steels and
furniture styles to meet every budget. The Elite Series incorporates a blend of
the features of the Katanas in the popular Classic Series and those in the new
Performance Series. The swords in the Elite Series embody a careful blend of
form and function. The swords have an upgraded standard of blade polish and
other refinements in detail while changes in blade design have been introduced
to enhance cutting performance.
Practice These Katana Blades embody the classical design elements of the most
prolific sword design in history. With their strong Shinogi Zukuri shape that
accentuates the differential heat treatment, these blades are traditionally
proportioned to appeal to the collector but they will also perform well in
general cutting of hard or soft targets.
[I expected these to be a rehash of the classis series but was pleasantly
surprised with their ability to cut tatami without effort. - Mike Femal]
Designed strictly for competitive cutting, the XL Katana blades incorporate
the geometry, strength, weight and profile needed for successful cuts on
substantial targets. Featuring differential heat treatment and a narrow edge
angle, these wide blades will reward good technique with clean cuts and
[These are my choice for serious tameshigiri. They are on par with the best
cutters I have used and are significantly less expensive. - Mike Femal]
The XL Light blades feature the same geometry as those of the XL but
incorporate deeply cut grooves (bo-hi) to reduce the weight of the blade while
retaining most of its strength and cutting ability. This weight reduction makes
for a quicker sword, well adapted for multiple cuts in lighter targets.
[A lighter weight cutter than I am used to, but much better balanced too. -
Raptor: Hard Target Cutting
The Hanwei Raptor series is made using 5160 hi carbon
spring steel and designed to be tough. These
swords are not differentially tempered, so that
toughness is traded for edge retention.
Cold Steel: Hard Target
The Cold Steel katana are made using 1055 hi carbon
steel and designed to be tough. These swords are
not differentially tempered, so that toughness is traded
for edge retention.