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Shinken Katana Model Comparison  Previous Item Next Item

If you have any questions just email us at info@nihonzashi.com.  We 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.

Comparison Chart

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.

Shinken Model Blade  Handle Weight Blade Bo-hi Folded Hamon Blade Material Tsuka Ito
   Length  Length (no saya)  Type          
Kotetsu #271 30.5" 10.9" 3.2 lb Kotetsu No No Yes hi carbon steel Black Silk
Kotetsu #69 29.8" 11.0" 2.7 lb Kotetsu Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Puple Silk
Kotetsu #182 29.1" 10.9" 2.7 lb Kotetsu No No Yes hi carbon steel Brown Suede
Warrior Chisa Katana 24.5" 11.5" 2.5 lb Cold Steel Yes No No 1055 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Practical Elite Katana 27.0" 11.2" 2.3 lb Elite No No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Suede
Three Monkey Katana 27.2" 11.1" 2.0 lb Classic Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Brown Cotton
Bushido Katana 27.2" 11.5" 2.5 lb Classic No Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Brown SIlk
Golden Oriole Katana 27.2" 14.0" 2.2 lb Classic Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Blue Cotton
Practical Light Katana 27.3" 12.3"   2.2 lb Classic No No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Suede
Practical Classic Katana 27.4" 11.1"   2.1 lb Classic No No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Suede
Practical Plus Classic Katana  27.4" 12.2"  2.2 lb Classic No No Yes hi carbon steel  Black Cotton
Tori Elite Katana 27.9" 11.2"  2.6 lb Elite No Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Brown Leather
Orchid Katana 27.9" 11.7" 2.2 lb Classic No Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Blue Cotton
Mejin Katana 28.0" 10.5" 2.3 lb Classic Yes Yes Yes  T10 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Raptor Shinogi Zukuri 28.0" 11.1" 2.6 lb Raptor No No No 5160 spring steel Black Suede
Tsunami Katana 28.0" 11.7"  2.6 lb Classic No No Yes  T10 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Practical Plus Elite Katana 28.1" 11.3"  2.5 lb  Elite No No Yes hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Imperial Katana 28.4" 11.0" 2.4 lb Cold Steel Yes No No 1055 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Practical Plus XL Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.6 lb XL No No Yes hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Practical Plus XL Light Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.4 lb XL Light Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Practical XL Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.7 lb XL No No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Suede
Practical XL Light Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.5 lb XL Light Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Suede
Musashi XL Light Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.4 lb XL Light Yes No Yes  1065 hi carbon steel Black Leather
Ronin Katana 28.5" 11.2" 2.3 lb Classic Yes No Yes K120C powdered steel Black Cotton
Tori XL Katana 28.5" 11.2"   2.8 lb XL No Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Brown Leather
Musashi XL Katana 28.5" 11.2"  2.6 lb XL No No Yes  1065 hi carbon steel Black Leather
Tori XL Light Katana 28.5" 11.2"  2.6 lb XL Light Yes Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Brown Leather
Warrior Katana 28.5" 11.3" 2.5 lb Cold Steel Yes No No 1055 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Bamboo Mat Katana 28.8 11" 2.8 lb Elite No No Yes HWS-2S Black Cotton
Praying Mantis 28.9" 11.2" 2.5 lb XL Light Yes Yes Yes L6 Bainite Green Silk
Tiger Elite Katana 28.9" 11.3"   2.7 lb Elite No Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Black Cotton
Raptor Shobu Zukuri 28.9" 13.0" 2.8 lb Raptor No No No 5160 spring steel Black Suede
Raptor Unokubi Zukuri 28.9" 13.0" 2.7 lb Raptor Yes No No 5160 spring steel Black Suede
Oni L6 Katana 28.9" 14.2" 3.1 lb XL No Yes Yes L6 Bainite Black Silk
Lion Dog Katana 29" 13: 2.9 lb Elite No No Yes HWS-1S Black Cotton
Musashi Elite Katana 29.0" 11.2" 2.5 lb Elite No No Yes  1065 hi carbon steel Black Leather
Practical Pro Elite Katana 29.1" 14.0"  2.9 lb Elite No No Yes hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Dragonfly Katana 29.3" 11.4" 2.5 lb Cold Steel Yes No No 1055 hi carbon steel Green Cotton
Tea Culture Katana 29.5" 12.1" 2.5 lb Classic Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Black Suede
Musashi Daito Katana 29.5" 15.2" 2.7 lb Classic No No Yes hi carbon steel Black Leather
Practical Pro Katana 29.7" 15.1" 3.1 lb Classic No No Yes hi carbon steel Synthetic Leather
Tiger Folded Classic Katana 29.8"  13.9"   2.7 lb Classic Yes Yes Yes K120C powdered steel Black Cotton
Wind and Thunder Katana 29.9" 11.5"  3.2 lb Classic No No Yes  1065 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Warrior O Katana 34.8" 12.2" 3.3 lb Cold Steel Yes No No 1055 hi carbon steel Black Cotton
Hanwei Odachi 49.1" 17.1" 6.0 lb XL Light Yes No Yes hi carbon steel Black Cotton

Kotetsu

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.

Classic Shinken

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.

Performance/Elite Series

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.

Elite: Frequent Cutting / Occasional Drawing

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]

XL: Heavy Competitive Cutting

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 excellent durability.

[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]

XL Light: Competitive Cutting / Light Weight

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. - Mike Femal]

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 Cutting

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.