Ronin katana O Katana first impression
I've recently bought myself a "ready sword", which was meant to be a disposable, mass produced and lightweight sword that resembles the length of my "combat sword" DS. It should be compatible with the techniques I use DS with, so I will not have to adapt to a different length and a different set of skills when fighting with the "ready sword". So while it should be light in weight to lessen the burden during carriage, it has to be heavy in balance in order to lend me the power in the strikes like DS would.

For the matter, I purchased a Ronin Katana O Katana, based on its length similarity to DS and the much toted "Dotanuki" design.

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The sword has a 84cm blade length
115cm overall length
2 lb 12 oz weight
POB at 18.5cm off the tsuba.

The so-called "Dotanuki" turned out to be a no fuller, V shape edge cross section that was common in Lung Chuan made katana. These type of edge geometry cuts aggressively for sure but I was expecting to see something "less common". It was not so unlike the other candidate of my "ready sword", Cold Steel O Katana. So yeah, there was a slight disappointment.

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The hilt features 2 wooden pegs, so I know at least where the tang would extend to.

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The cosmetic yokote was fine for me. However, upon further inspection, I noticed a small nick around the tip. The edge has rolled there. I was thinking, hmm... rolled instead of crack at tip, maybe it's not brittle? Well, read on to find out!

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Well, I fixed it myself very soon.

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The blade has a small bend to the right. It is not bent to the degree that would affect functionality though, so I think I'm ok with it.

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The edge line is also bent along with the blade but I think it is not to the severity that would affect cutting either.

I do notice there were two temper lines on the blade, one near the forte and one near the tip. I flipped the sword around and the temper lines were also there on the other side of the blade. So they are true temper lines that exist through the blade.

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I went on to check the hardness of the three different zones, separated by the temper lines. The longest zone in the middle of the blade read 60 HRC approx. with occasional slighter lower and higher readings.

The zone close to the hilt produces below 40 HRC reading, which I'm ok with. However, I think the soft zone could be a bit too big.

The zone that is close to the tip, produces approx. 40 HRC reading, with spots that were slightly higher or lower. Now this is something I'm quite disappointed with. Cold Steel O Katana would have been more consistent in heat treat, at least for the ones I've checked.

A possibility was that their facility could not handle the length of the sword and left parts of it out of the heat source. Either way, it was not very cool.

I will test cut with it tomorrow to verify its compatibility with my DS skill set. But for now, that's it.

Last edited by Lancelot Chan on Thu 09 Apr, 2015 9:16 am; edited 2 times in total
Ronin O Katana vs Alvin DS, done with the same cut.

The O Katana surpassed the Alvin DS in cutting ability. There were 4 different leg cuts performed by the O Katana that end up unrecorded due to technical error. The O Katana succeeded in all 4 leg cuts.

The Alvin DS could not perform the same because of a more robust edge geometry.

So the O Katana is compatible to all my techniques, close to the cutting ability of John Lundemo DS.
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The combat sword DS and the ready sword O katana.
Interesting, Lancelot do you know what the sori on the O katana is?
Ian Hutchison wrote:
Interesting, Lancelot do you know what the sori on the O katana is?

Sorry, I haven't measured that. Maybe I'll take a look later.
Just checked, the sori is 2cm.

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