A Controversial Question...

MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
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To Bo-hi, or to No-hi, that is the question.


When looking to buy or order a custom, or production katana, do you prefer a Bo-hi or No-hi blade?
 
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verity

Amateur Togishi
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Aug 25, 2018
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60
For me, it depends. I own blades with both. If the overall aesthetic lends itself or the blade's proportions suit it, then yes. I don't tend to go for "only bohi" or "never bohi". I think it depends on the particular blade... probably not helpful but I think it isn't a hard and fast thing.

also depends on how good the maker is. If I AM gonna do a bohi I want a good one. No bohi is better than a badly terminated one (which SO many are)
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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I honestly don't care if my swords are bo-hi or not. It really depends on the blade, and my mood. The bo-hi blades are said to be lighter, but I haven't really notices. And the no-hi are said to be stronger, but I've never gone to that limit of a blade to see if that extra ounce of metal made any real difference or not. And as was pointed out, a badly done bo-hi sticks out like a sore thumb, but a shoddy made no-hi won't be much better anyways.

So in my opinion (and it is indeed an "opinion:), I say get the blade that makes you happy and don't worry about what the "experts" say you should or should not own.
 

MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
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Pretty generally sound positions from the both of you. Personally, unless I see a blade with a bo-hi that just really turns my head, i'm not a fan... and not because of supposed blade strength, or lighter blade, etc. An additional ounce or two either way isn't going to affect me one way or another. I just honestly don't care for the look, altho, I have seen a few here and there that were done very nicely.
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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My last sword purchase I was pretty torn between the bo-hi/no-hi - same sword, same price, same same, just the hi was different. I agonized over it for quite a while, then eventually chose the no-hi. My thought at the time was the no-hi would be marginally stronger, and the sword was to be used as a general beater. Even now I still waver thinking maybe I should have got the bo-hi version simply because it's more visually interesting. Nothing says you can't have both versions, and I may well still buy the bo-hi blade, but most likely I'll get a completely different sword next time.

The practical upshoot of all that was I did quite a bit of research into the topic and read just about everything on the subject. What I found was that, by and large, it really made no difference one way or the other and seemed to be more of a way for the swordsmith to get a better balance on the blade than having anything to do with strength or weight. So a sword with bo-hi was done for balance, a sword with no-hi doesn't need a bo-hi for balance. 6 one way , half a dozen the other...
 
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MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
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My last sword purchase I was pretty torn between the bo-hi/no-hi - same sword, same price, same same, just the hi was different. I agonized over it for quite a while, then eventually chose the no-hi. My thought at the time was the no-hi would be marginally stronger, and the sword was to be used as a general beater. Even now I still waver thinking maybe I should have got the bo-hi version simply because it's more visually interesting. Nothing says you can't have both versions, and I may well still buy the bo-hi blade, but most likely I'll get a completely different sword next time.

The practical upshoot of all that was I did quite a bit of research into the topic and read just about everything on the subject. What I found was that, by and large, it really made no difference one way or the other and seemed to be more of a way for the swordsmith to get a better balance on the blade than having anything to do with strength. So a sword with bo-hi was done for balance, a sword with no-hi doesn't need a bo-hi for balance. 6 one way , half a dozen the other...

I posed the question only because... I have read this very topic on a few other forums, and it usually becomes a name-calling tirade over who is right; the bo-hi or no-hi crowd. Silly seeing as how it's an opinion matter only. Like I said, I can take it or leave it, I am no big fan. But it wouldn't be a deal breaker when buying a blade. And... I also enjoy stirring the pot on occasion. :cool:

Before I get into saving for a higher quality of, or (class) of bare blade, I have thought about either, or both of these as my first blade(s). And possibly using these as my first real DIY customization projects.

https://roninkatana.com/ronin-elite-bare-blade/ (No-hi).

or

https://roninkatana.com/ronin-elite-bare-blade-with-bo-hi-groove/ (Bo-hi).
 
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Wajirou Ichisada

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And that is exactly the kind of tough choice we face everyday. Both of those blades are super nice and either of them would make a great finished sword. But which to choose? I suppose if you were a fanboy of either hi configuration, then the choice would be simple. But as for me, I would probably choose the bo-hi version because I currently don't have one in my collection- so I would get that one for no other reason than variety.

And yes, I have also seen the "little gangs" of fanboys of something or another and the name calling back and forth. Quite silly really, when you consider probably 99% of those kinds of people never had any formal fight training and most likely don't actually own a sword to begin with. Why so polarizing? We can have more than one thing. I see this also on gun forums with the Glock vs Smith vs Colt vs whatever. Nothing says you can't have them all if you want. And at the end of the day, they are all more or less the same anyways.

Nope, for me I say "buy what makes you happy". Because if you are happy with your purchase, then I am also happy for you even though I might have chosen something different. Besides, last I checked, nobody needs either my permission or my approval for them to live their lives according to their own tastes- and vice-versa.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
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First, I cannot see you going wrong with either Elite. They are good swords.

second. I'd like to see someone condemn my Katsumitsu. That has a bohi... lol condemning a Tokubetsu hozon level blade over a groove? Pffft.

i also see this in the firearms world as the "caliber war" and many others. Every community has their polarized biases. It's kind of silly.
 
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Ouroboros

Student of Tachikaze
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Aug 23, 2018
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59
I own both bo-hi and no-hi blades. Here's what I've observed

No-hi blades feel heavier and possess more tip presence than similar bo-hi blades in my collection.
Handling characteristics are very similar but there is a difference when using the blades at slower speeds.
I have not found the presence of a bo-hi to hinder or accentuate my cutting--I make the same bad cuts with a no-hi blade.

I do enjoy the tachikaze of a bo-hi blade for at difference angles they will sing a beautiful song. I have noticed that my no-hi blades have a much less noticeable (lower intensity) tachikaze to the practitioner or wielder but an observer did not notice a substantial difference in sound intensity-if anything a few buddies have pointed out that the no-hi blades felt more substantial and 'looked better' while the bo-hi blades had more of a "vicious modern warfare" look to them.

I just added more rum to highball of ice when they start talking like that...for i'm usually alone to contemplate the sword wind early in the morning and to be honest...

I like both :p
Ouro
 

MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
27
First, I cannot see you going wrong with either Elite. They are good swords.

second. I'd like to see someone condemn my Katsumitsu. That has a bohi... lol condemning a Tokubetsu hozon level blade over a groove? Pffft.

i also see this in the firearms world as the "caliber war" and many others. Every community has their polarized biases. It's kind of silly.


Appreciate the input. I was wanting to go this route first, simply to quench my thirst and get two quality blades in my hands before going after a few higher end pieces. And like Wajirou Ichisada said, one of each kind of thing.

From experience, Ronin's come with quality Habuki, and Seppa. I plan on having a custom Tsuka done for both of them, when the time comes just have to find an individual that does quality work.

As for the "caliber war", been there. Whether forums, or co-workers; some swear by the .40 and .45. I prefer the tried true 9mm. Simple, low recoil, and inexpensive ammo.
 
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verity

Amateur Togishi
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Appreciate the input. I was wanting to go this route first, simply to quench my thirst and get two quality blades in my hands before going after a few higher end pieces. And like Wajirou Ichisada said, one of each kind of thing.

From experience, Ronin's come with quality Habuki, and Seppa. I plan on having a custom Tsuka done for both of them, when the time comes just have to find an individual that does quality work.

As for the "caliber war", been there. Whether forums, or co-workers; some swear by the .40 and .45. I prefer the tried true 9mm. Simple, low recoil, and inexpensive ammo.

and see I have plenty of all three. And plenty other calibers too. Hehe
 

Treeslicer

Amateur Professional
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
46
I favor no-hi blades for heavy cutting as well as for appreciation under a magnifier. All my nihonto are no-hi, at those prices I want all the steel I can get. :D I like unokubi-zukuri for lightness, speed of swing, the better thrusting characteristics, and the way they look in general. My new futasuji-hi is spectacularly well-balanced and maneuverable, and seems to have a nearly silent tachikaze, which surprised me. I personally prefer "silent but deadly". I view conventional bo-hi blades as being good for beginners because of the reduced weight and the loud tachikaze, but don't buy them myself.

-- .45 cal and 7.62x51. Why fix what wasn't broke 50 years ago? :p :D
 
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verity

Amateur Togishi
Staff member
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
60
I favor no-hi blades for heavy cutting as well as for appreciation under a magnifier. All my nihonto are no-hi, at those prices I want all the steel I can get. :D I like unokubi-zukuri for lightness, speed of swing, the better thrusting characteristics, and the way they look in general. My new futasuji-hi is spectacularly well-balanced and maneuverable, and seems to have a nearly silent tachikaze, which surprised me. I personally prefer "silent but deadly". I view conventional bo-hi blades as being good for beginners because of the reduced weight and the loud tachikaze, but don't buy them myself.

-- .45 cal and 7.62x51. Why fix what wasn't broke 50 years ago? :p :D
yep. Got plenty of both of those calibers too. Mwahahahahaha...

why does one need to choose among their favorite children? Hehe
 
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