The Nami Wakizashi with its intricately crafted fittings depicting wind-churned waves can be seen as a reflection of the samurai who bears it – like the sea itself, his mind, with weapon drawn, can be as the gentle lapping of waves in a calm lagoon; or the sea-foam rage of the tempestuous typhoon.
As if to match the hilt fittings, the hardy T-10 high carbon steel blade of the Nami Wakizashi has been clay-tempered to possess a hardened, wave-like hamon along its edge. The habaki and seppa are brass and the tsuba, fuchi and kashira hilt fittings are crafted from detailed cast brass with an antiqued finish. The wooden tsuka grip is inlaid with panels of genuine rayskin and paired with a set of menuki to match the fittings. An ito grip wrap of supple leather completes the sword.
The saya scabbard is carved to fit from wood and is finished with a coating of glossy black lacquer and a braided sageo cord. Included is a black cloth sword bag.
Great for the price. I was on the wait list for this to come back in stock. I got an email saying it was available and ordered it quickly as possible. KoA made a small mistake thinking this was the old model that I thought I was ordering (and got an email about) however, this one is different from the older Nami Wakizashi in that the fittings are antiqued. I’m not sure how they looked on the old model but I’m actually glad I ended up getting this one instead of the one I ordered. These are much darker and less “blingy” than the pics portray the older model. The detail in the fittings are pretty decent and they are all locked up nice and tight. I haven’t tried disassembly yet. The ito wrap is real leather, best I can tell, and is very soft and supple however it is a little bit loose. I also like the color of the ito. The samegawa isn’t the highest quality but at least it’s real. I can see some of the wood of the tsuka around the panels and ito but it’s not too noticeable. I’m assuming the samegawa was glued over the top of the tsuka but I’m not sure, there is some glue or epoxy or some type of sticky substance on the fittings and a little on the ito as well. The menuki are antiqued like the rest of the fittings and look quite nice. The habaki is standard but fits well with no large gaps. I’m pretty impressed with the saya fit as well, not too tight but not loose either and barely any noticeable saya rattle. The saya will also hold the blade securely, even when hung upside down and shaken.
The blade itself looks really nice for the price and so far I’ve only cut a few water bottles. It performed fine as expected. KoA has this listed as “sharp” but the one I got was surprisingly sharper than I expected. I’ve bought swords labeled “very sharp” from KoA that haven’t been anywhere near this sharp. The hamon is real and prominent. The only issue with the blade is a cosmetic blemish above the hamon on one side. Not sure what this is. It’s not a scratch but more of a “smudge”. It’s small and doesn’t effect the sword’s production at all, however, if this were a little more expensive I wouldn’t have been too thrilled about it.
Overall the value here is really astounding. I may have had a few nitpicks but don’t let that sway you from purchasing this. These nitpicks would have been a little bigger deal if they were on a $300-$400 sword, but they’re not, and I feel like the value and quality far outweigh the negatives. I waited a long time for this to be back in stock and it was well worth the money. Easily worth $300 or more. I’ve seen a couple Hanwei wakizashi that weren’t nearly as nice and were far more expensive. Make sure you grab one of these while they’re in stock because who knows when they’ll get anymore.
Fung L. –
Good luck finding ANYTHING like it at this price! Pros:
1. Solid/REALLY tough construction
2. Superb balance = weightless in hand
3. Decent steel + hear treatment
4. Very sharp for a sword
5. Damn good looks
6. VALUE! VALUE! VALUE!
1. Handle’s not long enough for two-handed use
2. “Uneven” blade surface – has kind of a wavy look on it
3. “Practical finish” on the blade – would be MUCH better if it’s closer to a mirror one (But the price would probably go up)
4. Leather handle wrapping’s prone to moisture and loosening up after prolonged use
5. Not the sword’s problem, but international shipping costs quite a bit
BUY. IT. I personally have NEVER seen anything with a even remotely comparable form and function at this price. Incredible purchase!
Joseph S. –
Exactly what Fung L said! GOOD LUCK FINDING A WAKIZASHI LIKE THIS AT THIS PRICE!!! Although I am not a specialist on Japanese Arms and Armor, I would consider myself quite well self-educated on the European equivalent. One request before I begin, is to go ahead and get your Credit Card or Paypal account ready. I will start from the Kashira, beautiful antiqued ocean waves motif, 9/10 on tightness of fit, Sami is real Ray skin, bright white, Ito is real leather (pig skin), the same leather used to line high-end Western boots, beautiful brown with hint of orange, 10/10 tightness, Menuki is an antiqued water creature or possibly ocean waves, beautiful, 10/10 on tightness. Fuchi is antiqued beautiful wave motif, 10/10, Tsuba is beautiful antiqued water or Ocean sandwiched between two rock solid brass (spacers)? 10/10. Habaki is a neutral finished brass, mine had a very light scuff mark which was easily wiped out 8/10. In short, the Habaki on back is extremely tight, solid and gorgeous. The Mune is perfectly straight, with the most slight of a distal taper, not the slightest nick or scratch, 10/10. The Hamon (real) is beautiful with not so mush as a single scratch or imperfection, as is the blade in its entirety, 10/10. The Kissaki or tip is excellent. 10/10. Now the Saya. The Koiguchi, or mouth is a bit rough, just a sword shaped hole, has an (unfinished) look to it. However I noticed an indention on the Saya around the mouth, perhaps a nice piece can go here? The Sageo is perfectly tied and solidly tight. The Kojiri is simple, the same high gloss black paint as the rest of the saya, I will have the Saya customized and a cap placed at the mouth of the Saya. The Wakizashi comes VERY SHARP. To run your finger along the blade or press down firmly on the sharp edge would be very foolish. Notice I said VERY SHARP, and not Katana sharp. Big difference. It will dice paper, shave hair, cut tatami mats with ease and all that fun jazz. I simply used a light porcelain rod very, very carefully to get it sickeningly sharp, however I am a self taught sharpener and know what I am doing. All in all I am VERY IMPRESSED and PLEASED with this Wakizashi and am considering ordering another one. 10/10 and A+++ on this one. And I seriously KNOW my bladed weapons. If you are considering ordering this one go ahead and pull the trigger, I have seen this Wakizashi elsewhere for $388, which is still a good price. Thank you for reading my review and PLEASE don’t be the guy that logs in and gets a big fat “out of stock”
in the face. Thank you again to the maker, and thank you KOA staff. -Casey Stewart
James R. –
Hell of a Deal Worth well more than $175 . Excellent hand feel, balanced and beautifully constructed. From the firm fit of the saya to the ornate without looking gaudy fittings and of course the out of the box sharp edge you’ll have no regrets with this purchase. Astonished at the quality and grateful for the price I got it at. Also pleased by Kult of Athena’s excellent shipping practices, this was a no brainer purchase.
Do not hesitate to add to your cart.
James Williams (verified owner) –
Short version: buy this sword if you want a nice budget wakizashi but expect there may be some minor issues at this price range.
Beautiful wakizashi for under $200! This blade it a great offering from iron tiger forge! Overall I’m very happy with this blade for the price! The weight is very light so this blade is great for someone looking for an agile sword that’s pretty sturdy.
My only complaints are with the finish on the handle, a very minor chip in the kissaki, and its not nearly as sharp as others are saying in my opinion. The samegawa panels are showing in several places and the ito wrap isn’t super tight. At this price range this stuff is easily overlooked though. Just buy it!
Jeffrey Davidson (verified owner) –
Reviewing Iron Tiger forge wakizashi. Bade is straight, sharp, and polished nicely with a very nice hamon. All fittings are tight, no looseness or rattles. Very solid sword. Saya fits perfect, nice lacquer finish. All in all a very nice wak.
Minor issues, ito wrap is okay, thin leather, with nice same ray skin.
The Saya wrapped cord is loose and looks cheap.
Still this is a 200 dollar sword. Not a 800 dollar Hanwei.
Very nice for the money. Thanks Kult of Athena.