Ronin Dojo Pro Katana # 17
Extra Sori (blade curvature)
Model 017 of the Dojo Pro series is the 'Tetsumaru' - a classic black fittings styled Katana with sukashi tsuba featuring 8 concentric circles, a symbolism of life and death and suitably fitting to this grim and powerful sword.
Compared to the other swords in the series, this blade has extra curvature (1" Sori) both in the blade and the handle.
Like all the fittings of these swords, the tsuba is solid iron – but so is the fuchi (band at the top of the handle) AND the kashira (end cap) – all acting in harmony to strongly reinforce the structural integrity of the entire handle in a way that is almost never seen on other swords under the $500 price point (nevermind on swords under $300!).
The tsuka/handle assembly itself is exceptionally tight and well put together, double pegged with black silk ito wrapped over REAL rayskin, wrapped around a quality wooden core in the traditional alternating style to ensure it remains tight despite frequent usage.
Furthermore, as you can clearly see from the picture above, the handle is also properly ergonomically ‘shaped’ to follow the curve of the blade AND fit comfortably into the hand, creating a safe and firm grip - another rarity at this price point.
The saya (sheath) itself thick and made from quality wood - laquered a deep and rich black which - along with the Kurikata and Kojiri, are made of hand cut and polished buffalo horn, finished off with a hard wearing length of black sageo (cord) so it can be secured to your obi (belt).
The strength of the fittings ALONE are head and shoulders above any other sword maker anywhere near this price point, but the 28” blade takes it to a whole new level again..
These 1060, through tempered, no-nonsense monosteel blades are exceptionally HONEST and RELIABLE.
Hand forged and solidly built, there is not a trace of pretentiousness about them – no fake hamon, no bo-hi and no BS.
They are quite simply just extremely practical, utilitarian blades made according to the Dotanuki forging tradition – a school of sword making that made simple ‘maru’ lamination blades with a reputation for being plain, practical and to the point (speaking of which, the kissaki tip of the blade is reinforced with a diamond shape for added durability and transitioned much nicer than most other hand made monotempered blades at this price point).
Weighing 2.6lbs with a point of balance 5” from the tsuba these swords are designed for the CUT, not fluffing around with. In short they are serious blades with serious fittings designed as SERIOUS dojo workhorses..!
How to Use
Featured positive reviews:
I’ve had my dojo pro #17 for coming up on a year now. It has worn incredibly well with somewhat frequent cutting practice using water-filled bottles of all shapes, sizes and thickness. I’d say I’m still a novice, so my cuts are far from perfect, especially in the beginning, but the blade is still in excellent condition. There are a number of tiny scratches on the last +/- third of the blade where most of the contact between edge and plastic took place but it is minimal and you need to be looking for them to notice. I’ve not needed to sharpen it yet. I’ve issued some really poorly executed cuts on quite thick bottles and there has not yet been any damage to the blade. The ito is just as tight as the day I got it as well. Only issue I have had is drawing and sheathing the blade for I lack experience and the saya is perfectly fitted, so the extra Sori adds an extra challenge compared to the several other katana I own. So great sword overall, very pleased. Thank you ronin, and special thanks to SBG for teaching me the basics of what a real sword is and providing awesome, comprehensive info + a great store I can trust.