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  • Stainless Iaito

    If a person were to purchace a 440 stainless iato (full tang) with which to practice iaido with, would that be a dangerous thing to do? I do not do any cutting practice with this sword for obvious reasons, only kata. The blade is full tang and secured to the tsuka with pegs not glue. Is there any danger of injury here and if so, in what manner.

  • #2
    My answer is NO.

    Originally posted by Shirasaya
    If a person were to purchace a 440 stainless iato (full tang) with which to practice iaido with, would that be a dangerous thing to do? I do not do any cutting practice with this sword for obvious reasons, only kata. The blade is full tang and secured to the tsuka with pegs not glue. Is there any danger of injury here and if so, in what manner.
    Rule #1: Ask your instructor (If you ask me, the answer is NO).

    Cross-reference: Don't Do This At Home.

    HTH.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Shirasaya
      If a person were to purchace a 440 stainless iato (full tang) with which to practice iaido with, would that be a dangerous thing to do? I do not do any cutting practice with this sword for obvious reasons, only kata. The blade is full tang and secured to the tsuka with pegs not glue. Is there any danger of injury here and if so, in what manner.
      There is danger in using a bokken ... go for it and enjoy ya new blade.. Fingerless

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      • #4
        Nothing wrong with stainless

        Basically, there is nothing wrong with Satinless in itself. I'd rather have the actual weight of any steel rather than the light weight alloys so often used with Iaito. That is if your only going to use it for Iai.

        The "DO not do this at home" video is funny, but if your doing Iai, you won't be bouncing your sword on a counter top.

        I don't care what "Type" of sword it is, if you abuse it intentionally, you deserve to get cut. So, if we are looking at well made swords, your only doing Iai, and your not abusing your sword, Stainless is just fine.

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        • #5
          Even if stainless steel is an acceptable material in itself(which I think it isnt, it is more likely to break from fatigue than alloy and steel ), the stainlesssteel swords offered around the world, have crap fittings: The tsuka is sometimes attached with a bolt and a nut, the tsuka ito falls off at the first practise, the saya has a poor fit etc etc. if "stainless steel" is stamped into the blade in front of the habaki as well

          I have yet to see a stainless sword that is good. if you can show me pics of a good stainless steel sword, I will perhaps change my mind.

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          • #6
            alloy is well tested for iai, and they are not particularly lighter than steelswords. Old shinken that has been polished 10times +, may be lighter than an alloy sword the same lenght. You can get light iaito like higokoshirae from tozando, or dotanuki. the difference on a 2.5 shaku sword, a couple of hundred grams.
            If alloy doesnt suit you, then buy a budget shinken from bugei. Dont mess with stainless crap .

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            • #7
              Sword fittings

              I would like to repeat that although the blade itself is stainless steel, the tsuka is acutal covered wood, held in place by retainer pins made of wood as tradition would have, with cotton wrap. My concern is not weither the sword will break when i bang it on a desk (lol) or come flying out of its handle (unlikely), moreso it is weither or not it would be safe for kata. Other than shattered steel or a loose blade, what other possible dangers should i be concerned about?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Shirasaya
                I would like to repeat that although the blade itself is stainless steel, the tsuka is acutal covered wood, held in place by retainer pins made of wood as tradition would have, with cotton wrap. My concern is not weither the sword will break when i bang it on a desk (lol) or come flying out of its handle (unlikely), moreso it is weither or not it would be safe for kata. Other than shattered steel or a loose blade, what other possible dangers should i be concerned about?
                actually its mostly other peoples concern when a sword break at the habaki-area and flies across the dojo. also most stainless iaito do not have a hi, so you wont get a loud tachikaze, which is a great teaching tool for beginners, to get the hasuji right

                hi-groove
                tachikaze-swordsound
                hasuji-angle of blade during cut

                try doing a search on "stainless" on www.swordforum.com, and you will find lots of excellent discussions on using stainless steel for swords, by swordsmiths, tameshigiri-exponents and experienced iaidoka.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Advice: take it or leave it.

                  Originally posted by Shirasaya
                  I would like to repeat that although the blade itself is stainless steel, the tsuka is acutal covered wood, held in place by retainer pins made of wood as tradition would have, with cotton wrap. My concern is not weither the sword will break when i bang it on a desk (lol) or come flying out of its handle (unlikely), moreso it is weither or not it would be safe for kata. Other than shattered steel or a loose blade, what other possible dangers should i be concerned about?
                  What you do in the privacy or your home or back yard is your business.

                  What you do in the Dojo is Sensei's business.

                  In various Dojo and Taikai, the one item that I have constantly seen prohibited is the 440 Stainless replica Japanese sword.

                  I don't allow them in my Dojo because there is a safety issure. The video clip was an extreme case and a bit abusive, but it does highlight the brittle nature of the metal when configured as a long blade. (That's probably the kind of impact that one gets in Uke-nagashi - in that case the 440 blade fails and you're probably dead.)

                  You can choose to take the advice or ignore it as you see fit.
                  Last edited by R A Sosnowski; 26th February 2004, 06:20 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    splitting hairs.

                    I understand where Roar and Raymond are coming from, however, again, I will qualify the statement. If your only doing Iai, and the sword is otherwise made well, there is NOthing wrong with Stainless. I have seen Nihonto break like the stainless sword in the tape.. Only tells us that "That sword" was made poorly. I design things out of stainless on a weekly basis, and its my limited opinionn that people just have personal issues with stainless. No, I would not allow a poorly constructed katana into my school REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF METAL!
                    I think people get into too much mental masturbation (makes them feel good, but accomplishes nothing.) with discussions about the quality of steel, iron content, strength etc of a blade intended for Iai.
                    If people can accept the use of an alloy blade for Iai, then they can accept a stainless for the same reasons. An alloy blade will bend under much less stress than a stainless will break under!

                    Now, if your going to use it for Kendo Kata, cutting or anything else, I would have to say NO!. I have cut with two stainless blades. I wouldn't buy them for the purpose, but they were ok.

                    If we are looking at only the material "Stainless" which there are many grades of, I would say there is nothing wrong with a stainless blade for Iai. This is not a blind endorsement for any katana made of stainless steel.

                    Bottom line, you should ask your instructor.
                    Last edited by Hiryu; 26th February 2004, 06:22 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The main worries I'd have of using a 440 after seeing the MPEG is... I don't mind admiting it, sometimes, when doing a full cut I have occaisionally tried to put too much speed on the blade and followed through too much and crashed the Iaito into the floor.

                      After seeing the MPEG I wonder would it be the most bizare Seppuku in history.

                      Also - not dangerous - but I'd worry how long before the cotton on the Tsuka starts to come loose. By far the worst fault of cheap swords.

                      Finally how well will the blade fit the sayer, especially important in a sharp sword.

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                      • #12
                        Saya response

                        The blade fits rather snugly into the saya, it does not stick but does not slip, and the cotton grip i've never had a problem with it before, do you think leather is better?

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                        • #13
                          mpeg

                          Someone please tell me why the hell the link for the don't try this at home video just wont work for me!? I keep getting a dead link but i really want to see this video.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Please, don't....

                            If these are the $50 440SS on ebay and everywhere else, please don't. I did.

                            My iai "evolution" went from one of these cheapo SS sharp swords, to "entry level iaito" (~$200 on ebogu, or tozando, or....) to finally a model 1001 (with a few extras) from Rick at swordstore.com, which I have had for over 3yrs very happily.

                            The SS sword was HORRIBLE. the balance was all wrong, and actually hurt my wrist. It is NOT just weight that is important. I would say BALANCE is more important. Also, with no "hi", you can not judge your cutting angle. You NEED to be able to hear the "whoosh".

                            My 2nd iaito was OK, as it was a bona-fide iaito, but too light and too short for me. I shortly went to a properly sized, balenced and weighted (for me), and man, the difference is incredible! Much more enjoyable, and my iai has improved as a result. I had the fortune to work with Rick in person to fit my iaito, but he is GREAT with email.... They cost a little more $$, but they are WORTH IT!! (IMHO)

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