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Old 17th October 2006, 11:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 655

I can give my personal "take" on this - long time ago I have spoke with a iaito practicioner, who was known for his tameshigiri work. He told me that the best blade he had was some really old Kamakura tachi of a good maker (which is what usually considered sort of height of traditional japanese swordmaking). The second best was a mass-made gunto .

When I look at the tests that were done in XIXth century to compare Solingen and wootz blades, like russian cavalry test, ending up with the one done with Moser swords... All of them have shown that there is a tiny percentage of wootz blades that is capable to exceed Solingen (by memory they compared hardness and some bending-related properties ?).

I would think that by the end of XVII-XVIIIth century wootz becomes probably overrated, what can be indicated by the growing popularity of western blades. At the same time there is really little one can objectively say on the issue - for example I have encountered that experienced soldiers who spent more than 5 years with a certain weapon tend to like it, while inexperienced soldiers tend to complain about its lack or precision, or maintance problems... Plus I would guess that wootz makers were to some kind elite among persian and indian swordsmiths.
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