Re: purchasing a katana
I have a more general question on this topic. It seems like a lot of people are using katanas either for iaido, in which case they get the alloy blades which can't be sharpened or take hard contact, or for cutting practice, in which case they get a strong, sharp, cutting sword.
Since this is an aikido forum, what about aikido uses? In my school we don't do any actual cutting, and only a little iaido. We mostly just use live blades for individual suburi; but every once in a while, to show the difference between wood and metal, sensei will demonstrate a kata with live blades. This is always with an advanced partner, and in theory the contact in such cases is not hard, but I'm always worried someday one of those alloy blades will snap (and maybe fly and injure someone).
So is there a good choice for a sword that is economical, strong, not sharp, and well-balanced for iaido and suburi practice?