View Full Version : Quality Iaito?

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08-18-2001, 02:04 AM

Just wondering if anyone knows where I can find a good quality Iaito that won't break the bank? I realy like the one from Bu Jin Design, but its over 1,200 dollars. Ooouch!

This would be my first Iaito, and I'd like to get somthing that will last for a while. How much should I look at spending? Are there other considerations that should be taken into account?

Thanks for your help!


Tony Peters
08-18-2001, 08:50 AM
Iaito are all really the about the same when it comes to blade strength. Handles and the "pretty design" on the blade are what make up the cost difference. Understand that if you try and cut with an iaito it will break. That said I am quite pleased with my iaito from www.tozando.com though http://www.nosyuiaido.com and http://www.ecmas.com/are also good.

08-18-2001, 01:46 PM
Some people from our dojo got their new iaitos from nosyuiaido and are very satisfied with them. Depending on the price class you have in mind you can choose a variety of parts, they are perfectly balanced and because of a relatively long handle are nice to cut with.


Tony Peters
08-18-2001, 05:46 PM
Nosyuiaido's iaido that cut are not Mogito (dull aluminum) but rather Chinese katana's that have Japanese parts on them (there is a big difference). These cost well over $1000 (actually almost $2000) and you can cut with them (think of them as better versions of Paul Chen swords) True Iaito you cannot cut with. You will likely hurt someone if you try. FYI the cost on my Iaito from Tozando was less than $300 including shipping.

08-30-2001, 09:13 PM
it might be kinda hokey, but there are a few on ebay. 2 cents

peter martin-browning
05-30-2006, 12:38 PM
Hello Scott

My Sensei recommended Tozando. I bought one of their cheaper iaito. It is very well made. Even this cheap iaito has a horn lining to the koiguchi, and there is no play at all in the parts of the sword. Not only that, but it arrived in very good time.
Do be aware that, if you buy your iaito from Japan (assuming your country has controls similar to those that obtain in the UK) you will also have to pay import duty.
Balance is a most important consideration, and I would urge you to save for a long time/rob banks/sell your soul etc to gather enough money to get a good quality iaito. Buying cheaper models will have long-term implications for your joints, as well as your technique.
Also, I would urge you to swing as many iaito as you can before choosing. I have noticed that my Sensei lays great importance on a student starting out with the correct weight of iaito, otherwise technique suffers. If you can, swing each one you try for an hour. The first sword I bought felt like the perfect weight, but I later realised this was because I had swung it for just a few minutes.
Better, I think, to train with bokken for a longer time so that you can afford a quality iaito, than buy cheaply or in a hurry and undermine your technique and your health.

Good luck in your search.

At your service.

Peter Martin-Browning

05-30-2006, 02:57 PM
I have bought three Iaito from Tozando, and my students have bought more because while I have heard nothing but high praise about swordstore.com it's difficult to buy iaito from them for under $400. Even at the low-end they are bit pricy.

The first one I bought from Tozando years ago was the longest of standard size (2.5 shaku). It had very good balance and I enjoyed using it for a number of years.

I ultimately decided to with the a longer blade - Tozando has sales during the year and it is possible to get a blade for as much as half price. My students have gotten some decent iaito on sale for under $200 from Tozando. The furnishings were basic but durable and blades with reasonably good balance.

The 2.7 shaku long Iaito I currently use from Tozando was originally going for over $900, but I got it on sale for about $550 including shipping. It has a great feel and balance for it's length.

For an iaito, typically a higher price does not buy you a better blade - more often you are simply paying for fancier furnishings.

One student bought an Iaito from e-bogu in California because it was much faster to get and only $200. The blade was okay but the furnishings were S&*!.

- Craig

p.s. The second blade I got from Tozando I did not like, it was too tip heavy. did not feel right. so they are not perfect by any means.
should have sent it back right away, but I used it for several months thinking maybe it was just the fact it was such a long blade. Finally I decided to buy another long blade from them, it was so much much better that I realized it was that blade. Someone had an off day in the shop.

05-31-2006, 06:11 PM
There has been a discussion recently on the Iaido-L list that the best way to deal Nosyuiaido is to call them by phone to order a sword.

A person was complaining that he had order an iaito from their website and then was notified a couple of days later that the configuration he ordered was not available. He was charged a $113 cancellation fee !
Seemed to be quite upset.

Others said they had good experience with Nosyuiaido, but recommended not ordering an Iaito from them online. The best way to order is by phone so you can find out right then whether or not what you want is possible.

IMO that means the website is misleading in this regard about what options you have.

Some commented that the wait can be very long (6 months or so) for an iaito from nosyuiaido. One teacher went so far as to say he has his students avoid nosyuiaido.com but I think that's a bit extreme. Delays are possible with any of the internet suppliers that don't keep stock. Tozando.com has sometimes had delays of several months.


05-31-2006, 06:13 PM
Peter Boylan's http://budogu.com site is another source of decent Iaito. He is an active student of Iaido.

The imagery on the site isn't great so you have to talk to him to get a better sense of what you order. What he calls mid-grade goes for $385. Never ordered from him because he only offers standard sizes.


05-31-2006, 06:16 PM
aagh !

just realized the original posts were in 2001 !

oh well....

Jack Simpson
06-28-2006, 04:30 PM

No worries here. I happily scrolled throught the thread and didn't realize it was old til the bottom. Thanks for the info anyhoo.

Jack :ai:

07-14-2006, 05:51 PM
Any decent iaito will last you as many years as you want it to. They arn't hard to maintain, you rarely ever need to oil them. Just don't swing it sideways and don't get drunk and try to see how 'sharp' or otherwise, it really is. Don't spend more than $450 on one. It's a training tool not the real thing.

swordstore.com has a 350$ model and tozando.com has some for cheaper.

Save the big spending for that koto period blade that will make your training partners wet themselves..

07-14-2006, 05:52 PM
damnit i made the same mistake.