RK Elite Bare Blade Review


Owner • Nidan Shotokan Karate-Do
Staff member
Aug 13, 2018
My experience with RK consists of 3 katana purchases. 2 ronin dojo pro's (#18) (bought in '15 & '19) and 1 elite bare blade (bought last week).

The good: Shipping TA was very fast. Purchased on the 8th and arrived on the 12th. The blade came packed nicely, with a generous amount of wax in the saya to prevent rusting, and while kind of annoying, it wipes off easily. The blade itself is in great condition, no flaws (bends, chips, rust, etc.) that I have noticed, yet... the habaki/tsuka both fit tight and I have not noticed any rattle within the saya.

Now, I am a little more OCD than most so what some might consider "small" things, those small things bug me. I only have two real annoyances with this bare blade and they're minor at best, considering I am planning on getting this blade customized.

The bad: There's a few small blemishes I am not pleased about on the lacquered tsuka and buffalo horn kashira but again not a big deal since I am planning on customizing this blade... but I may want to keep the lacquered saya/tsuka and for the price point of an elite bare blade, not a scratch/dent sale blade, there shouldn't be any blemishes. The other issue is the single mekugi, which is lacquered into the tsuka which will require drilling out when the time comes to start planning the custom project. Again, not a big deal, but if I were inclined to disassemble the tsuka to inspect the tang, i'd have to drill this sword to do so.

Overall, these are not "bad" issues to have but rather small annoyances that in the grand scheme of things aren't a big deal considering the reason for purchasing the bare blade. These "issues" will not discourage me from future purchases through RK as I am now aware of what to expect within the different lines of their swords.


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