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  • Paul Chen

    Hi. I've been reading the threads and alot of you seem quite experienced when it comes to Katana's. I have to admit i'm a terrible newbie so please forgive my ignorance. I live in a small town in the north of England so there arn't too many resources for me to learn from.

    Anyway, i'll get to my point. Do you guys rate Paul Chen's range of katana's, Iaito or Shinken? You don't really see many others over here. Maybe i'm just looking in the wrong places.

    I have Paul Chen's Practical Katana. Its super basic. Pretty much no decoration and no historical ties. Cuts corners by having imitation Rayskin etc. I can't really rate the blade as I don't really know how a sword should be weighted exactly. It's a tiny 134 compared to the swords that I have read you guys talking about.

    Any info for the young and naive would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    is the blade attached to the handle?
    just kidding, but seriously is it sharp? if its razor sharp its most probably a katana, if its half sharp half blunt its an iaito... i think..

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    • #3
      Oh I think you misunderstood my question. My katana is a live blade not a iaito (i'm a newbie but give me some credit, haha). What I was trying to ask was do you think Paul Chen's Katanas and Iaitos are anygood? Maybe I worded it wrong.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kundalini
        Oh I think you misunderstood my question. My katana is a live blade not a iaito (i'm a newbie but give me some credit, haha). What I was trying to ask was do you think Paul Chen's Katanas and Iaitos are anygood? Maybe I worded it wrong.
        Since you have one of his Katanas, do you think it is good? Have you tried cutting stuff with it? Me, I looked at sword websites for fun, and Paul Chen makes all kinds of different swords, not just Katanas and Iaitos. So it is hard to trust his methods, if he even makes Katana or Shinken the same way a Japanese smith does it. The other swords he makes, historically aren't made the same way, some of them are just put in a mold and then further refined. Maybe he cut corners in making the Katana, and did he go to a professional to have it polished and sharpened? And all the fancy stuff is part of the katana itself too, I wouldn't just want a sharp piece of metal with cotton wrapped around the handle. It just depends on what you want and need too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Yzakj
          Since you have one of his Katanas, do you think it is good? Have you tried cutting stuff with it? Me, I looked at sword websites for fun, and Paul Chen makes all kinds of different swords, not just Katanas and Iaitos. So it is hard to trust his methods, if he even makes Katana or Shinken the same way a Japanese smith does it. The other swords he makes, historically aren't made the same way, some of them are just put in a mold and then further refined. Maybe he cut corners in making the Katana, and did he go to a professional to have it polished and sharpened? And all the fancy stuff is part of the katana itself too, I wouldn't just want a sharp piece of metal with cotton wrapped around the handle. It just depends on what you want and need too.
          I myself own a Paul Chen shinken (the Practical Katana "Plus,") and was once using it for iaido. As far as the feel, it's similar to alot of iaito and nihonto I've encountered. Paul Chen's Hanwei forge is pretty credible, even though they produce more than just Japanese-fashion weapons -- however, it was earlier noted that the swords there are considerably cheaper than most, such as those at swordshop.com or tozando. I talked to Fred Lohman, as he lives in my area, and he told me that the tsuka construction is still pretty weak.

          Most of Chen's weapons under $800 (USD) are not folded blades, but do have pretty distinct hamon. Some people recommend the cheaper shinken as swords for tamashigiri, as it'd be less of a risk than using some expensive nihonto made in Japan. Then again, I've never practiced tamashigiri, with this particular shinken no less, so I don't know how safe it is or what have you. But as far as I can tell, the mekugi are pretty sturdy, and when you take a peak at the tsuka it doesn't look like it's ready to explode or anything. Real same and the lot. So, I don't know. You should probably wait for a better response before going off anything I say, anyways. :P

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          • #6
            I am mostly concerned probably with the Mekugi, as I don't want to kill anyone because of an accidental breakage. Is the sword itself nice at all?

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            • #7
              I have a Paul Chen Practical Katana as well. It's very sharp. They're made for cutting practice.

              hyouriittai, is the tsuka of Paul Chen's practical Katana weak because it's made of plastic? Thanks for the other detailed info on Paul Chen's Katana. I bought mine for $200.00. I'm looking at another one of his Katanas that costs $700.00. But you say anything under $800.00 is not folded? The handle of that one is sting ray and I was "told" that the blade is folded 500 times. Can you verify this?
              Last edited by Ren Blade; 12th January 2004, 11:53 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ren Blade
                I have a Paul Chen Practical Katana as well. It's very sharp. They're made for cutting practice.

                hyouriittai, is the tsuka of Paul Chen's practical Katana weak because it's made of plastic? Thanks for the other detailed info on Paul Chen's Katana. I bought mine for $200.00. I'm looking at another one of his Katanas that costs $700.00. But you say anything under $800.00 is not folded? The handle of that one is sting ray and I was "told" that the blade is folded 500 times. Can you verify this?
                I think that all of Paul Chen's katana have wooden tsuka, even the theatrical reproduction of the "Blind Fury." However, one thing I'm fairly sure of is that the most affordable of the Paul Chen Blades, the [number] Generation Practical Katana, does have a real mekugi, but because the same is not ray skin, it is advised that you don't try and disassemble it.

                If you could find out what the name of that katana is, that'd be helpful.
                I'm no sword authority, but I know a fair share of information about Paul Chen blades specifically, because I looked at alot of them for a long while before I bought one. I was told that the folded blades start at about $800 (USD, I wasn't clear,) and I believe are: the Bushido series, the Orchid series, the Tiger series, and the Kami series. Other than those, I was told his other swords are clay tempered (except for the normal 'practical katana,') but do not have a folded construction.

                Take a look at www.bugei.com , too. They get their blades from Paul Chen's forge, but the blades they get are supposed to be the forge's best, and I belive the people at Bugei make all the furnishings. They look pretty nice.

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                • #9
                  This is the Practical Katana I bought from Chesapeake Knife And Tools.
                  http://www.chesapeakeknifeandtool.co...pg8272ff8b2b8b

                  The handle of this Katana is plastic but wrapped in cloth.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yzakj
                    I am mostly concerned probably with the Mekugi, as I don't want to kill anyone because of an accidental breakage. Is the sword itself nice at all?
                    How do you check what your Mekugi is made out of? You can't dismantle the Practical Katana. I tried to find some info about Mekugi but I couldn't find much usefull. Would a bamboo Mekugi still have metal bits on each end?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kundalini
                      How do you check what your Mekugi is made out of? You can't dismantle the Practical Katana. I tried to find some info about Mekugi but I couldn't find much usefull. Would a bamboo Mekugi still have metal bits on each end?
                      From what I remember reading, the Practical Katana does not have removable fittings. Check swordforum.com for reviews and discussions on this.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by steliosk
                        From what I remember reading, the Practical Katana does not have removable fittings. Check swordforum.com for reviews and discussions on this.
                        Thats what I said

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ren Blade
                          This is the Practical Katana I bought from Chesapeake Knife And Tools.
                          http://www.chesapeakeknifeandtool.co...pg8272ff8b2b8b

                          The handle of this Katana is plastic but wrapped in cloth.
                          Are you sure the entire tsuka is plastic, or is it just the immitation rayskin? Even though it's a cheaper sword, it's not necessarily a wall hanger, and is supposed to be capable of tamashigiri use. If it had a plastic tsuka, it would must definitely break if used to cut targets.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hyouriittai
                            Are you sure the entire tsuka is plastic, or is it just the immitation rayskin? Even though it's a cheaper sword, it's not necessarily a wall hanger, and is supposed to be capable of tamashigiri use. If it had a plastic tsuka, it would must definitely break if used to cut targets.
                            The Tsuka is wood (not sure what type) wrapped in immitation rayskin. I dunno what immitation rayskin or real rayskin is exactly but the immitation does feel like plastic so I can see why people get that idea.

                            I'm trying to find out about the Meguki. You'd think that the fact that I own the sword would help but no.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kundalini
                              Thats what I said
                              My apologies. I did not catch the entire message, I had been looking into those katana and noticed that about the mekugi. I think there were some articles on the swordforum site on dismantling and modding the PK...

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