Sunday, April 07, 2013


There is different steel out there for swords, I've learned. Some is handmade artisan stuff, some is junk, and in the middle is stuff you and I can afford that does the job. The job is being used once and only once.

If you are a special forces soldier who kills people for a living, you want the artisan steel, and it's worth all the money for that. You'll use it over and over, and it will always be perfect. Abuse it, it'll come right back.

Me, I need steel that most likely will never be used, but if it is used the one time, will work. I don't care if it's damaged in use, can't have an edge put back on after I use it, any of that. It just needs to take a ferocious edge and hold it until used once. A specialized, not a daily use, tool.

Our new house has big rooms, so big swords are in order. Full length katanas, since shorter swords mean the bad guy is closer, and we don't want to grapple.

I have this great knife, a Cold Steel Kobun Tanto which is AUS8 steel. This is the last ditch weapon, but man is it sharp. It shipped razor sharp, and it will never be used to cut anything except an asshole trying to kill me or mine, so it stays sharp. AUS8 isn't a good daily use steel, it dulls up fast. but for single use it rocks.

Broadsword Tanto

I also have what I think of as the "broadsword" tanto, a big hulking knife that is also AUS8, but isn't as sharp as the Kobun and won't take that kind of crazy sharp edge regardless of sharpening. It's definitely a lesser steel. But it's more than sharp enough to play hell, and heavy enough to knock someone out with a head blow. It's like a ball peen hammer that cuts. I like this blade a lot, and feel like I could win a bad guy encounter with it even if I were shot or injured.

Now that we have big rooms, I think I'm getting a proper sized katana or two.

I've found one made of 1060 steel, differentially hardened and clay tempered for a very sharp edge, but still flexible along it's spine so it won't shatter on contact with bone. No home invader wants his head or limb cut off, so maybe it's a deterrent.

Obviously, when the zombie apocalypse hits, I'm going with the 9260 steel swords. Sure they're harder to keep sharp, but it's the bomb of steel. And they'll be free for the taking once commerce ends.

For cutting humans who are attacking me, this 1060  steel seems perfect for katanas. I hope I never have to do it.