Katana swords have always been very popular, but it seems more and more people are getting interested in Japanese swords. It’s actually pretty hard to find a katana locally, unless you live in a big city, which is why many people are looking for these swords on eBay. There is nothing wrong with eBay, I love the site, but you must know your stuff before you bid so that you’re not taken advantage of.
There are four different types of katana swords on eBay. click here They are sword like objects, production, custom and Nihonto. Sword like objects are decorative swords to hand on walls. They are aesthetically pleasing, but are not constructed in the traditional manner, and are not safe to actually use. They are made from .440 stainless steel which is too brittle for the length of a sword. They shatter on impact causing metal shrapnel to fly everywhere. One sword like object that really bothers me are the antique katana replicas from China. They are made dirty and rusty to appear as a true antique Japanese sword. But they are poorly made and if put to any sort of test the katana will fail with dangerous results. If it’s too good of a deal, it probably is. These cheap fake antiques are usually sold very cheap with $100 of shipping. Stay away from these completely.
Production katana swords are fuctional swords that have been mass produced. If you want a functional sword that isn’t too expensive, then this is the sword you want. They are made of carbon steel, 1045 grade or higher. They have proper heat treatment which makes them functional and edge geometry to make them usable. They are usually $200 to $2000. You want a brand name such as Masahiro, Koto, Cheness, Paul Chen/Hanwei/Cas Iberia, Cold Steel, Bugei, Last Legend, Dynasty Forge, Oni Forge and Fred Chen. You want to look for the steel type, heat treatment and an honest and communicative seller for production swords on eBay. Don’t buy from sellers that claim it can cut steel and other nonsense.
Custom katana swords are made by swordsmiths on a one by one basis. They outperform anything that is mass produced according to aesthetics and performance. The smith takes a large amount of time and care with the sword that is never equalled when it’s mass produced. They usually go for $1,000 to $7,000. These custom swords will show up on eBay if they are unable to sell their sword through their connections. These are usually incredible deals and you should snap them up. Contact the swordsmith to confirm their work. The seller of a custom sword will have no problem providing that information.
Nihonto are true Japanese swords made in Japan. They are modern or antique. Nihonto are very expensive because of their extreme quality and restrictions by law on their production. They cost from $5,000 on up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an antique go to $200,000 or more. If you want a Nihonto I recommend that you spend a few hundred dollars on books and study. You don’t want to get burned by a fake. Sellers of Nohonto know what the katana swords are worth and will sell them within that range. You’re not going to get one for a few hundred on eBay.