Katana swords are weapons that samurai warriors traditionally used during combat. Nowadays, these blades are used for aesthetic purposes indoors as well as for practical application by martial artists. However, since these swords can be expensive, we've gone ahead and reviewed the best cheap katana for you.
What is the best cheap katana?
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So, this post has the top five options and a buyer's guide to ensure you make the best decision. Let's begin!
1. Samurai Katana Carbon Steel Sword
- Fully hand forged blade
- The blade is hand forged from 1060 steel and made of bamboo nails.
- The Sword is 100% Pure Hand Forged by Using Traditional Hand Forged Method: Annealing, Tempering,...
The first sword we'll review is this hand-forged katana made from premium-grade carbon steel. This ensures it's sharp and strong enough to cut through hard materials with no trouble. It's an excellent handmade sword that can deliver the cutting experience a martial arts expert is looking for.
This fully functional sword features full tang construction, which gives it a razor-sharp edge that won't become blunt with time. The samurai sword is made with high-quality materials and will last a lifetime with proper care. You could even turn it into a family heirloom that future generations will inherit.
The blade-making method for this katana sword follows the traditional Japanese process of making hand-forged samurai swords. Additionally, it has gone through tempering, quenching, and annealing to ensure the metal quality doesn't diminish over time. The hand-polishing steps give it an artistic and cultural look.
2. Handmade Sword Samurai Katana Sword
- 1045 fully handmade quality Japanese samurai katana sword
- Iron tsuba, full tang, sharp edge, and functional
- Approx 28.5" blade 10.75" handle & overall 41"
Another option among the best samurai swords for sword enthusiasts is this Samurai Katana Sword. It's a product of Handmade Sword, a renowned sword company that has mastered the art of forging high-quality swords using traditional methods. The blade of this Japanese sword is full tang and features an engraving of the swordsmith for authenticity.
Some consider it the best katana sword because of the high carbon steel material used in its construction. While you'll receive the blade fully assembled, you can disassemble it without hassle. The blade has excellent edge retention, ensuring you can rely on it to provide a sharp performance for a long time.
You'll notice a wooden Tsuka handle on this sword which is wrapped in a white cotton cord in the traditional pattern. This will give you a full Japanese sword feel that can help you feel connected with centuries of culture and tradition. The package includes the samurai sword, a card box katana box, and a black sword bag. The only downside is that you won't get a sword stand with your purchase.
3. Ace Martial Arts Supply Handmade Samurai Sword
- Original Musashi/Musha quality katana
- Razor Sharp Handmade Full Tang Katana
- Check the Musha engraving on seppa (spacer) for authenticity with Musha box.
Our next pick is this handmade Japanese shirasaya samurai sword which is a full tang sword crafted to meet the standards of the original Mushashi Sword Maker. It's arguably the best cheap katana sword because it has a real Hamon and features a bo-hi which gives it a characteristic sound when you swing it.
You'll notice the musha engraving on the sword to ensure it's authentic. The sword-making process involves forging high-quality carbon steel into an exceptional blade that ranks as the best samurai sword on the market. So, if you are shopping for a durable and functional martial arts katana, look no further than this Japanese katana.
This full tang blade is exclusively available on Amazon, and you shouldn't look for it elsewhere since you could easily buy a counterfeit. This particular katana looks stylish and can add to samurai culture wherever you place it around the house. Once you receive your purchase, you'll understand why many consider it the best Japanese katana.
4. Vulcan Gear Katana Samurai Sword
- Classic Handmade Razor Sharp Samurai Katana Sword
- This is the same Samurai Sword from the same swordsmith work shop as other higher priced ones with a...
- Comes with a 3 piece wood Single Sword Stand measuring 15" wide 6.5" tall
The Vulcan Gear Carbon Steel Full Tang Sword is also a great sword to buy. You can use it to make quick, precise cuts, thanks to the classic construction that ensures a razor-sharp performance. Unlike the other options we've covered so far, this sword will come with its sword stand. As such, you won't have a hard time finding the right way to display it at home.
The sword quality of this hand-crafted and hand-sharpened katana is the same as that of more expensive swords with fancy names. There's no need to drain your finances to get a sword that you can get at a more affordable price. One of the major appeals of the Vulcan Gear Katana is that it's the best cheap katana that can deliver a long-lasting performance.
There's a handguard expertly decorated with detailed engravings that make this samurai sword a great selection. Additionally, the sword is well balanced to ensure you can use it for practice or demonstration if you are a martial artist. You'll get a black cotton bag for easy storage and transportation of this katana.
5. Siwode Katana Handmade Dragon Tsuba
- This item does not contain katana stand.
- The warranty period for this product is 2 years, and customer service is provided 24 hours a day, 7...
- The blade is made by high carbon steel 1060, hand-forged, Real white ray skin, Bamboo nails,no bo-hi...
If you still haven't settled on a real sword so far, perhaps this is the one for you. The siwode Katana features a 1060 carbon steel blade that's so sharp it could easily harm people or animals if swung in the wrong direction. You'll need to take extra precautions when using this sword in a presentation or practice since it has a razor-sharp cutting edge.
Unfortunately, you won't get a katana stand with this purchase. However, for the price, you can rest assured you're getting the best cheap katana on the market. The wooden handle is wrapped in real ray skin to ensure a comfortable and firm grip as you hold this samurai sword. Like traditional katanas, it uses bamboo nails, but you won't find any blood grooves on it.
This sword features a warranty period of 2 years to ensure you derive complete satisfaction from your purchase. You can use it to protect yourself from ferocious animals when outdoors and can also be an artistic addition to your home's decor.
How Many Types of Katanas are There?
Katanas differ according to the size of the blades and handles. While your choice will mostly rely on preference, we'll cover two main forms your katana will take.
1. The Long Katana
This katana sword is a great match for martial artists looking for a blade to use in the Dojo. When choosing a long samurai sword, you'll need to ensure you check the length of the handle. If you blindly select your katana, it could end up being difficult to wield and balance, increasing the chances of accidental cuts.
You can consult your sensei for the ideal length your katana should have if you are unsure of the specifics. If you aren't planning to use the katana and are hoping to have it as part of your home's aesthetic, you should measure the space you have available before purchasing the sword.
2. The Short Katana
It could be troubling to determine the right length for katana swords. In this case, you should go for a short one since it'll be lighter, and the blade will be shorter, making the katana easier to handle than a long one. A short katana is also great because it reduces the chances of hurting those around you as you draw and swing your blade during practice.
The Ultimate Katana Sword Buyers guide
The main consideration when choosing the best cheap katana is the blade material.
1. Stainless Steel
Today, most swords are made using stainless steel because of the lustrous finish, making the blade look pristine. Unfortunately, stainless steel isn't as strong as carbon steel or folded steel which is why some find it less appealing in terms of function. However, if you are looking for a piece you can display, a stainless steel katana sword will be a better choice than other katana swords.
Additionally, since these swords are mostly meant for exhibition rather than practical use, they tend to be unbalanced. So, swinging one around could actually do more harm than good. If you are looking for a handmade sword you can use for martial arts training, read on to see your options.
2. High Carbon Steel
The best samurai swords for improving your martial arts skills are made from high carbon steel. They are available at an affordable cost and often deliver the quality you need in a functional blade. You'll find numerous options among carbon steel samurai swords because they are durable and well-balanced.
Since carbon steel blades don't contain chromium, they aren't as shiny as stainless steel blades. Fortunately, this also means that carbon steel is much stronger than stainless steel, which is why these blades can retain their sharp edge for longer. The only downside to high carbon steel is that it's prone to corrosion.
Since carbon steel exists in different grades, let's look at the ones typically used in sword making.
- 1045 Carbon Steel
This material is cheap and is usually used to make entry-level katanas. The 1045 feels softer than other forms of carbon steel but can make a great Japanese sword for display. This flexibility makes it the perfect material for making katanas that you can hang on your wall.
If you are using the katana for practice, it won't retain its sharp edge for as long as you'd hope.
- 1060 High Carbon Steel
The 1060 high carbon steel is the best choice if you plan to use the katana sword in the Dojo. That's because it's more dense and durable, making it ideal for practical applications. It won't break or get dull as you use it over time.
- 1095 Carbon Steel
This carbon steel variation is the hardest of the bunch. You can easily sharpen it, and it'll stay sharper for long once it becomes sharp. Unfortunately, it can chip or break if you swing it against a hard object.
3. Folded Steel
Folded steel is the ideal choice if you want a superior samurai sword that'll last a lifetime. A folded steel katana is made using the Tamahagane method. Sword enthusiasts and collectors love Tamahagane katanas because they are stronger than their carbon steel counterparts. They are also more expensive.
What are the Other Types of Samurai Swords?
Other than katanas, there are other types of samurai swords that you could be interested in. Let's briefly look at them in this section.
Shin-Gunto swords, also known as New Army Swords, were developed for the Japanese during World War II. The Uchigatana sword was the basis for Shin-Gunto's design.
In samurai culture, warriors used to carry more than one blade when going to battle. Usually, they had a short sword, Shotto, and a long one, Daito, on them. The two swords made a set called Daisho which some martial arts professionals use for training.
Unchigatana swords didn't start as the best swords in the market, but they've slowly caught up over the years. Since these swords can easily lose their edge, it's essential to store them properly in wooden casings.
These are distinct swords with a curved handle and are carried with the blade looking down. They had a different appearance than other Japanese swords, making them more appealing.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the lowest price for a good katana?
While the best katanas could range anywhere between $1000-$2000, there are more affordable options that cost less than $100.
2. Is it illegal to have a real katana?
It's illegal for ordinary Japanese citizens to own a katana. However, they can buy registered blades from the Japanese Sword Association for cultural and historical importance.
3. Should I sharpen my katana?
No, you shouldn't. The process of sharpening the katana is tricky and could affect the sharp edge of your blade if not done properly. We recommend you hire a professional to do this for you.