COLD STEEL CS88BK Warrior Katana by Hans Fricke, January 2007
From a practical point of view the Warrior Katana is a success. It cuts well, handles well, is well proportioned and fine looking. What impresses most is that the blade has niku; making it a sturdy and potent tameshigiri sword.
The basic Warrior Katana is ideal for beginners and advanced tameshigiri practitioner as it's well balanced and well made. The only problem we encountered was with the handle as it was a bit too bulky for our lady member's hands which prompted them to buy a different brand with a more accommodating handle. I too found the handle a bit too big, but after some cutting I got used to it and it suddenly felt quiet comfortable.
The basic Warrior Katana comes with a machine-ground blade giving it a nice mat looking finish. The cutting edge performed well in a paper cutting test but showed some slight bluntness in the monouchi area. In a cutting test comparison against a polished blade it became obvious that the fine lines left behind from the machine finish slowed the blade down somewhat. This was to be expected and easily rectified.
Using thumb sized 800 wet and dry paper with water I worked my way along both sides of the blade, all the while following its profile (niku). Polishing a couple of inches at a time the sides of the blade soon became very smooth and after a follow up with 1200 wet and dry the blade had a beautiful shine and a razor sharp edge.
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