Cheness Swords

Cheness logo
Official Website: Cheness Inc
Manufactured in: China
Steels Used: 9260 Spring Steel + 1045 to 1060 Carbon Steel
Edge/Sharpness: Most Sharpened, some specified as non-sharpened iaito
Price Range: $149 to $299
Best Deals: Click here for special pricing info

Cheness swords specialize on a range of economical entry level Japanese swords for Iaido and Kenjutsu practitioners.

Paul Chen
Cheness Cutleries Paul Y. Chen

With a focus on making the best functional blade possible, and mounting it in simple 'no bells and whistles fittings' - Cheness swords are more popular with Japanese Sword Art practitioners than collectors looking for a 'pretty art' sword, though naturally their customer base also includes a large number of 'backyard cutting' sword enthusiasts.

Owned and operated by Paul Chen (not the same Paul Chen as Hanwei), their most revolutionary and unique concept to date is the use of 9260 Silicon Alloy Spring Steel, creating a range of functional Dojo Katana that have a solid reputation as the toughest and most durable Japanese swords on the marketplace.

Price range for Cheness swords is from $149 to $299.


October 27, 2008
Cheness Cutleries 9260 Spring Steel Tanto only weeks away.
Click here for the latest news




Cheness swords quickly found its niche with its line of ultra durable monosteel Katana, Wakizashi and Ko-Katana (Wakizashi length blades with Katana length handles). These blades are easily the toughest and most durable swords on the market, able to be bent up to 90 degrees without taking a set (permanent bend) yet still feel as stiff as a normal Japanese sword should and have a thick 'hira niku' profile, making for heavy duty swords that cut well above any other swords in this price range.

Click here to see the 9260 Monosteel Swords



The success of the original line of 9260 Daisho spurred Cheness to delve into niches that the 'big boys' usually ignore - such as O-Katana, the SGC (Specialized Goza Cutters) and the Oniyuri Bujinkan Katana (Shinobigata/Ninjato). These unique 'semi custom' swords have been very well received by taller practitioners, at cutting competititions and by members of the Bujinkan Federation.

Click here for the O-Katana
Here for the SGC Series
And here for the Shinobi (Ninja) Katana



While their focus is primarily on Dojo cutters, Cheness have not ignored the casual collector - with several blades including the Laminated Higo Katana, the folded Kochou and the Differentially Hardened Kanbai. Most of these have been phased out (though the folded Kochou is still available) - however there was one Differentially Hardened Katana, the KAZE (made from 9260 Spring Steel!) that is perhaps their most popular sword to date - primarily due to it being as strong and effective as traditional Katana twice the price and its a beautiful natural hamon.

Click here to see the extremely popular Kaze Katana



Easily the lowest priced iaito on the market, Cheness Cutleries range of non-sharpened training swords are exceptionally popular with dojos around the world and make an excellent alternative to the standard (rather lightweight) zinc alloy swords typically used for dojo practice. Weighing as much a real Katana, the general consensus is that these swords are seriously underpriced and could be sold for double the current price and still be considered to be a good deal.

Click here to see their range of Iaito


Cheness Cutlery swords are all hand made, unlike most other production Katana in this price range which make heavy use of machinery throughout the process (often stamping out the blades rather than actually forging). The amount of time and labor put into each sword is truly impressive, and Paul Chen from Cheness has been very transparent with the process as you can see from the video of his forge in action below.

VIDEO: Making a production Katana Cheness Style

Documenting the entire production process, from a
billet of steel to a completely hand forged Katana


As Cheness Cutleries QC concentrates on the integrity of the blade and overall functionality, occasionally a sword may leave the factory with a few cosmetic marks here and there, a bit of wood peeking through thin same (ray skin) or worst case scenario - a slightly rattling tsuba, etc. However, it is extremely rare that these issues effect the swords primary intended purpose - i.e. overall functionality.

There were some reports in the early stages that some of the tsuka cores were cracked upon disassembling the sword (which Cheness actually advised their customers to do before using ANY Katana, either from them or any other Japanese sword manufacturer). How many of these tsukas were cracked during overzealous disassembly (they are on VERY tightly) or were misidentified (i.e. all tsukas have a seam down the middle where the two halves are glued together that 'looks' like a crack) has never been quantified...

Cheness Tsuka

Regardless though, as part of their continuing commitment to producing the best product for the lowest price, Cheness swords now all sport a new improved hardwood tsuka (pictured right, click for details).

Any serious issues are quickly addressed by Cheness swords and their key distributors in a timely fashion and they have an outstanding track record of customer service that goes above and beyond the call of duty.


SBG Interview with Paul Chen


Sword Buyers Reviews

Reviews of Cheness Swords by our sister site:

Tenchi Katana Kaze Katana Ninjato
9260 Tenchi
Click on the image for the full review
Kaze Katana
Click on the image for the full review.
Bujinkan Ninjato
Click on the image for the full review.

Tenchi Ko Katana Kaze Ko Katana Tenchi Ko Katana
9260 Tenchi Ko
Click on the image for the full review
Kaze Ko Katana
Click on the image for the full review.
9260 SGC Katana
Click on the image for the full review

Click for the full review Kurome Click for the full review
9260 O-Katana
Click on the image for the full review
Kurome Katana
Click on the image for the full review.
Delux Iaito
Click on the image for the full review.

Click for the full review
Ayame Katana
Click on the image for the full review


The most famous non-SBG review of Cheness Swords was the famous Test to Destruction of a 9260 Monosteel Shura Katana by respected UK blacksmith, Martin 'Oz' Austwick. In this test, he subjects the Shura Katana to increasingly destructive testing - from cutting wooden batons to chainmail, cinderblocks and everything in between - revealing that under normal circumstances the 9260 Steel that Cheness swords have become so famous for a nigh on indestructible reputation...

Click here for Martins Test To Destruction


Sword Forum International: SGC Yamakami
Martial Talk: 1045 Carbon Steel Ranko
SBG Sword Forum: 30" Nagasa Katana
SBG Sword Forum: SGC Yamakami


By special arrangement with Cheness Swords, the SBG Sword Store is able to ship a carefully selected range of their finest Japanese cutting and training swords directly from the Cheness warehouse - resulting in prices that are always from US$10 to $30 lower than ANYWHERE else (along with free shipping in the USA).

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