Cheness 9260 Spring Steel Katana - "Tenchi"
SOLD OUT & UNAVAILABLE
The original 9260 Monotempered Katana. Available with and without bo-hi.
The original flagship of Cheness Cutleries range of super heavy duty 9260 Spring Steel Katana, this classic looking sword with a thick brass "Musashi" double 'C' ring tsuba is a very tough, practical and solidly built piece designed specifically for rigorous and frequent dojo cutting applications.
Available with or without bo-hi (fuller/"blood groove") - the solid bodied blade has a more forward balance (6" from the tsuba) for authority in the cut (as well as a slight claying and secondary heat treatment to increase the edge retention of the edge), while the bo-hi version is 4oz lighter, which when combined with the 5" balance point makes it much faster in the hand.
Whichever version you choose, this incredibly popular sword is one of the strongest traditional blade geometry Katana on the market. Highly recommended (full 5 out of 5 star rating on SBG, click here to read the full review).
MUST READ NOTE REGARDING CHENESS CUTLERY SWORDS
Cheness Cutlery Swords are designed by Martial Artists for Martial Artists. Their goal is and always has been to simply offer an affordable entry level practice sword to beginners in iaido and iaijutsu and when first released in 2005 truly revolutionized the sword market for until that time, there were few to no entry level Katana.
Cheness swords were never meant to be collectors pieces, display pieces, or art sword quality. There are numerous other manufacturers and individual smiths in the industry that serve those needs (click here for our full selection of Japanese swords). The reason being the same as with all other hobbies, refinement will come with a price.
Because of this, certain shortcuts must be taken in the manufacturing process and are NOT considered to be defects. Because of this, we will not accept returns on any swords that have the following features:
- The polish of each sword is a working polish known as a 'Tameshigiri' polish and is somewhere between 400 to 600 grit. As they are handmade and subject to extensive handling, they do get scuff marks and minor stains on the blade and components.
- Each blade is hand hammered, shaped to the eye, and then tempered and quenched. This process causes all types of steel to contract, twist and warp to some degree -with 9260 being one of the hardest steels to keep straight - so you should not expect the blade to be perfectly straight like a lazer. Even if slightly off center or imperfect, it will still cut perform for Tameshigiri and you can be confident in the tempering.
- The blades have considerable hira-niku (meat) on them for heavy cutting and will generally feel somewhat dull to the causal observer. It will not slice paper or shave hair off your arm. It WILL cut tatami mats or bamboo or other targets that were traditionally used to simulate human limbs. With only a little work however, it is quite possible to sharpen it to any degree desired.
- The cotton ito wrap is tight enough for use, but is not going to be as tight as silk or leather. Habaki, Seppa, Fuchigashira, etc are free floating and pinched into place by friction forces like a traditional Katana, but some minor adjustments may be necessary out of the box.
- Mekugi pegs are angled by design to create a wedge and optimize the double mekugi configuration. The bottom peg is made of brass, the top, bamboo which results in an overall stronger design and was recommended by a senior Japanese JSA Sensei.
In short, you should not expect an art sword or something perfect out of the box. You will almost certainly need to make some adjustments or even a complete DIY overhaul (we have many free tutorials on how to do this right here on the main SBG website). But for those of you who don't mind a rough and ready sword, or who wish to take it to a higher level, you will find these blades to be extremely long lasting, tough and worth every penny.
In summary, Cheness puts it like this:
The issues can all be addressed by the end user if they so choose. After receiving the sword, you can adjust the components, add a high-grit diamond paste polish, deburr the blade to slice paper, polish the components, etc. to make it as refined as you choose. However, these are not the features we strive for and should not be expected of the sword out of the box. If a highly refined sword is what you are after, you will either need to be prepared to perform these refinements yourself or should purchase a higher end sword from a different manufacturer.
Please note, as to be expected issues like cracked blades, broken handles, etc are of course subject to our standard warranties and return policies.
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
I have never owned a katana before but have ordered a SBG Custom Katana. While waiting for November to arrive, I figured that I might want a beater sword to practice with. So I bought the Cheness Tenchi 9260 spring steel Katana.
My first impressions on opening the box was the nice box that the sword came in. While no one buys a sword for the box it comes in, it was still a nice touch.
The sword: It was heavier than expected. While it weighs less than 3 lbs, it feels very solid when you swing it. If nothing else, I'm glad that I bought it if just to get used to swinging that weight.
With the exception of the fuchi, all of the fittings are nice and tight. Even the tsuba doesn't move.
The mekugi are driven through the tsuka at angles instead of straight through. I don't know if this is intentional or not. However, they look like they would be a pain in the ass to replace once removed. I'll leave them be.
The ito wrap is nice and tight. The sageo seems to be a little too high up on the saya but again, maybe it's just me. The lacquer on the saya is nice. No visible runs.
The blade: Other reviews warn that the polish job was uneven and so I wasn't surprised when it was. It isn't ugly, just uneven in spots. The kissaki is the worst part of the polishing job but still acceptable.
Cutting performance: This sword is sharp out of the box and is made for cutting. I have sliced and diced gallon water jugs (both full and empty), aspen and pine tree limbs up to about two inches and I just finished slaughtering a spaghetti squash.
I have made some bad cuts including hitting the tree stump that I was cutting on and slicing through a low-hanging tree limb and hitting a rock with the kissaki. The blade has never takes a set and while the edge of the kissaki did roll a bit, I touched it up with a kitchen steel and it's good as new. There are a few minor scratches on the blade that I could probably buff out if I wanted, but I'm not that concerned about them.
The bo-hi makes a nice Tachi Kaze sound.
So my overall impression is that this is a very capable sword. To refer to it as a, "beater" isn't really doing it justice. Are the fittings kind of crude? Honestly, yes. Is the polish on the blade a little rough, again yes. However, for the price that SBG sells them for and for what I received in return, I couldn't be happier.
This is a very solid and capable Katana. I am very pleased.