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…I hope nothing I stated was off, and furthermore, I hope mentioning those conversations did constitute a breach of confidence! I feel I learn something every time we discuss such matters, and I hope we can do it again at some point. 🙂

Here’s another inexpensive sword to consider, and it often is offered through that most reviling of distributors: the BudK Catalog…

…Horrible advertising which targets… certain Americans!

…Overly hyped features with underwhelming performances!

…Small design quirks leading to a mixed presentation!

And all-the-while, nothing seems really bad…

The first time I saw the sword above, I thought it looked a bit like the hero sword they gave Sean Bean when he played Boromir. Of course, that’s not really the case. The sword features a stylized, asymmetric scent stopper pommel and a ludicrously chunky cast guard. All of the parts are threaded and they come apart with common tools – and they go back together with common tools as well. Of course, you could actually just watch a reasonable review on the sword, complete with its own… issues:

…If you could endure that video, complete with bad volume mixing and late 80s / early 90s musical intermissions, you would have found that the non-goon presenter gave some really decent reports on the weapon. Cutting performance implies some less-than-ideal blade geometry, which is to be expected from such a low price point. The scabbard is not fancy but it does seem to do almost everything you would want a proper scabbard to do; work on your own fittings and you probably wouldn’t be too upset with it. I found the most interesting feature to be the construction – not because I like the screwed-in construction, but because if you bought this sword as a project sword, you’d not need to destroy anything first in order to put it back together according to your own liking!

While I would actually like to see a Matthew Jensen destruction-for-science presentation on this sword (especially on the guard – don’t trust your castings!), I think a person legitimately attracted to this weapon would not be looking to replace that $200 investment right after making it. The Honshu actually does look to be a very reasonable first sword, and I assume it would be more reliable than the Deepeeka featured in the first post. If not a first sword, it would probably make for a good “beater” which would not cause the user to grieve too much if something were to happen to it. However, as you have likely guessed, I feel this weapon would be a very good candidate as a project sword. With a tight-fitting scabbard, seemingly reasonable blade which could be refinished however the user so-chooses, and rapid disassembly for reconstruction… the only real question is if it would be more worth your while to just buy a Hanwei-Tinker bare blade if you’re intent on replacing all of the hilt furniture anyway. Still… not a terrible package, and it surprises me that I say as much!

I’d like to conclude with the following: aside from all of the other things swirling around in the world at the moment which seem to be driving it into a bleak place, the general state of commercial swordmaking seems to be improving at all levels. There is no way, a decade and a half ago, you would have found something as good as that Honshu at the same price. There are still tons of crappy, cheap swords out there, but there also seems to be an influx of just cheap swords as well. I would like to think that the crappy segment of the market is going to start going away…