To begin with, a sword "second" can be defined as sword that came from our manufacturer and does not meet our standards of quality. The quality issues are generally cosmetic and do not affect the performance potential of a Sword Second. For example the heat treatment and edge holding ability of a Cold Steel Sword Second have not been compromised or diminished.
Think of when you go to a factory outlet store and buy a pair of jeans. Jeans usually sell very well, so you won't find overstock or closeouts being sold out at an outlet store. What you will find are seconds or to use the language the stores use, "irregulars". The jeans might have an unsightly imperfection in the fabric or one leg might be 2 centimeters longer than the other. Small, cosmetic problems, yet the jeans are still useable, still can be worn as they were meant to be and used as intended. It is not that the jeans are defective they are just flawed. It is the same with a Cold Steel Sword Second.
All of our Sword Seconds are permanently marked with a numeral "2" somewhere on the handle and the scabbard. We have, in the past, had customers purchase a Cold Steel second and then try to re-sell it online or at a swap meet for top dollar as a first. With a "2" etched on the handle and the scabbard, these swords are forever designated as seconds no matter how many times they are re-sold.
You should also know that all sales of Sword Seconds are final. They are sold without any warranty and we will not accept returns for any reason, under any circumstances at any time. However, at our extremely low prices, we feel confident that our customers will be receiving outstanding value for their money.
Cold Steel's staff has had years of experience with all of our swords. In practice, every shipment of swords from our manufacturers is inspected upon arrival. Those that do not meet our standards are summarily designated as seconds and put aside for possible later sale at a discount. In the case of the Sword Seconds we are offering here, we took an extra step. Each sword was hand inspected again and personally evaluated by our staff. The Swords were carefully assessed and given a unique grade "level" corresponding to the amount of flaws or imperfections that were present.
Has small cosmetic imperfections. To an untrained eye, an "A" sword may look just like a first. It will have one or more imperfections that disqualify it as a first quality sword. For example, the scabbard might be slightly worn, scratched, or have a small chip. The blade may not be perfectly true, or be slightly out of specification in size or length. It might be simply shopworn, having been used as a sample at a trade show or in our showroom, or possibly as a demonstration model from one of our videos.
A "B" level sword could possibly have all of the cosmetic imperfections of a level "A" sword, but have additional, more problematic flaws as well. The guard might be marginally loose, or the scabbard might not be as snug fitting. The blade could be imperfectly ground or incorrectly centered in its grip. Unlike the "A" level swords that fall just shy of being a first quality sword, a level "B" sword is obviously a second quality and flawed sword.
A level "C" sword will most likely have all of the imperfections of levels "A" and "B" and those imperfections will be more apparent and more pronounced. Plus, a level "C" sword might have the additional possibility of rust or pitting on the blade. However, these shortcomings also make them very inexpensive in price, and they can be purchased as practice swords. Kind of like the automobiles driven around in demolition derbies. For example, say you purchased a first quality Katana, and you want to hack through a couple of dozen watermelons to show your friends. You could, of course do it with your first quality Katana, and get sticky watermelon juice, seeds, and bits all over it in the process and spend hours cleaning it. Or you could use a "C" level Katana Second, which will have the same heft and feel of the first quality Katana, but because you did not pay a lot of money for it you won't feel intimidated to use it on the watermelons.
Sword Seconds : Grade Diagram (click images to enlarge)