Originally posted by jk
In my experience, shiro kashi does splinter, especially if you're as ham-fisted as we are.
All wood splinters, under the right conditions
I once spoke to a furniture maker who was, to put it mildly, horrified at the way we were using wood.
I'm using a pair of hickory bokuto that have received a severe dosing of tung oil. They will dent more, and are lighter than shiro kashi weapons, but so far they have never splintered. I figure tung oil impregnated/stabilized hickory would be hard to beat in terms of price/performance, at least for those of you with access to hickory.
I have a hickory bokuto that's held up pretty well - as well as my white oak one. A lot depends on the quality of the particular piece of wood used, there can be a lot of variation. Since white oak is hard to find outside of Japan if you're buying locally made weapons I'd say that hickory is usually a pretty good choice.
I actually haven't seen that much difference between oiling and not oiling, but YMMV if you live in a very dry area, I suppose. Rubbing two bokuto together can smooth out some of the surface grain (or so I'm told), which is supposed to help.