I took it outside and attempted to cut one of those flimsy grass mats, but it wouldn't cut past a laceration on the outer layer, no matter what orientation I put it in. These mats aren't wound tightly though, it could be that. I took a half-gallon milk jug out, filled it with water and stood it on my short pell, and cut at it, and on the first cut I very cleanly clipped off the top 1/2 to 1 inch, at the thick part of the opening. The second cut sliced it in half, not as cleanly but still pretty good. I believe my edge alignment needs some practice. However when empty the bottom part could not be cut, even vertically sitting on a foam pad. I am wondering if the blade isn't sharp enough, although I admit I have little reference to go by. If the weather permits I will be practicing a lot more, with some beef roasts and other bottles, and again with the mats if I can. I need to do more of the cutting to get a feel for if the blade needs to be sent back for sharpening or not.
Visually the sword is very pretty, with a very tight black leather grip (it stinks, but new leather tends to sometimes) and nicely polished to give a wire-wheeled look. There are several small eccentricities/assymetries, which I believe are introduced deliberately. The blade looks to have a mean thrusting tip, but I belive it has enough mass to effectively cut on some resistive targets (as long as the blade proves sharp enough). I am pleased with the sword (and I think all reservations will be laid to rest once I know either now or after I get the blade keened that this sword is up for the extensive test-cutting I will use it for). Pictures from the maker are here.