Lyle- I understand the car comparison, but I'd like my first bokken to stay around for a while. My Sensei has a bit of his made into a Tanto and Wakazashi (can't spell it), but it lasted a zillion years..I think it was from Bujin. Anyways, thanks for your help.
Thanks for the links everyone.
I still have part of my first bokken. It was a red oak, and lasted probably 10 years. I still have my first jo, red oak, and it is now almost 20 years. It really depends on how it is being used. Currently I am also studying Japanese swordsmanship and we make a fair amount of contact. A pretty bokken doesn't stay pretty. I currently use a blood wood bokken. Most would say that it is more of a subrito. Anyway, being more dense the blood wood holds up well.