I decided to put my training to use and start doing monthly sword reviews on my channel. I went with my first functional sword: The Paul Chen Practical Katana I bought 15 years ago to see how it held up. Any constructive criticism or critiques would absolutely be helpful, and I hope you like it!
Gonna have to check this out when I'm home. Had mine for probably over 20 years now, but never really used it heavily. Well, I did swing it around a lot and cut some terrible things with it when I was younger and, well, okay, not really any dumber. That would imply I've gotten smarter.
Only problem mine has is the ito has gotten incredibly bad. Easy fix, if I felt like it.
I acquired my Generation 4 PK in early 2003 from Mike Crampton of Shadow of Leaves. These were the cotton ito, steel pin and plastic same, and plastic menuki. Mine had been a loaner every year at gatherings/events until 2016, at which point it went to storage after a move. I did lightly touch up the edge every year with just a few strokes with a diamond hone. I had to be a little more aggressive to remove a minor chip in the tip when one visitor went into the gravel. I managed to get past steel toed boots myself and took eight stitches (cutting the next day). The cotton ito is soiled and ever so slightly stretched but still pretty tight. The edge still blazes through mats but as mentioned tended to.
Generation 5 (mid/late 2003) brought in the Classic and XL Practicals, I believe you have an early Practical XL. The Gen 5 Classics have a slightly narrower blade. I don't have mine handy but all of the models (except some, the XL models of yours, the Plus, etc.) got the slimmer blades across the board.
It is good to see these old veterans still trucking along and somewhat a testament to the durability of the stock wraps. When mine went out on the town for the first time, some that do iai were duly impressed. The market has gone way beyond those $125 practicals and many are happy with spending even less but Hanwei is probably still producing decent swords.
I've always been happy with my tsuka as well but if I ever do buy another katana, I have found slightly larger/fuller tsuka a bit more to my liking. So far, that old PK is still my only working katana.
Indeed. I've owned only a few katana that I could name, between the PK, a DF Musha, and a Musashi or two (technicalities apply) but among them all my favorite has always been the PK.
I'm not sure which generation mine is, though. Plastic "same" panels and probably menuki, but I'm fairly certain the mekugi is bamboo or wood of some kind, though the tsuka is epoxied on. Ito is a suede-like material, and has not fared well with my abuse...
But, more importantly, it's still the one I pick up and play with when I'm wanting a katana.
The pleather would put it at an Practical XL. The Classic and XL PK are still sold, with the Classic (PC1070) having cotton/cloth ito. The newer Practicals are all listed as the tougher blades than the generation following mine. I'll endeavor to dig up an old thread re the late 2003 early 2004 changes. The first two offerings from Hanwei (katana and ninjato) had plastic habaki as well.
Sullivan: Haha, I’m all for using whatever excuse you can for some revelry with good friends. Yeah, just, yeah...for sure avoid the combustion in areas/surfaces... bodies that can’t handle it.
Sept 10, 2020 6:45:55 GMT
ardhanari: .... Minus explosions
Sept 10, 2020 4:20:11 GMT
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