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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting a completely new board/binding setup for the season - just finished ordering the K2 Alchemist and need help deciding between the Cleaver/Katana to pair with it (or open to any other binding suggestions too). Was previously set on getting the Katana 20/21 Orange model since it would pair nicely with the Alchemist color scheme, but found a local dealer offering the Cleaver 21/22 model for the same price I would be paying for the Katana. I have not seen many detailed reviews on the Cleaver but it seems like it might be a better match for the board riding-wise.
 

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I own both, what do you wanna know?

Katana is more comfortable and a better all-around, do-anything binding and is plenty responsive for the Alchemist. Cleaver highback and baseplate are ultra-stiff and the extra metal on it makes it have that immediate response feeling. The Cleaver is no joke, but it's still comfortable and damp. Katana is more comfortable because the softer highback conforms to your boot - Cleaver highback does not conform to anything, so you have to set it up just right - I initially felt some pressure in my upper heel from it.

I've had a Cleaver baseplate break (Rome replaced it) and think it should only be mounted 4x4 for that reason. The Katana has a more flexible baseplate and the asymwrap puts less pressure on it so I don't worry about that one at all.

Cleaver is the Formula 1 car - top of the line everything but like anything that stiff and performant you're going to pay for it somewhere else like comfort or reliability. Katana is a high-performance production sports car. If you genuinely are between the two get the Katanas. If you know you absolutely need a very stiff but still comfy and damp binding, Cleaver. I guess there's something to be said for putting a "pull out all the stops" extreme binding like the Cleaver on a board like the Alchemist, but really either is going to work really well.
 

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Split the difference and get the orange D.O.Ds instead if you were trying to match?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I own both, what do you wanna know?

Katana is more comfortable and a better all-around, do-anything binding and is plenty responsive for the Alchemist. Cleaver highback and baseplate are ultra-stiff and the extra metal on it makes it have that immediate response feeling. The Cleaver is no joke, but it's still comfortable and damp. Katana is more comfortable because the softer highback conforms to your boot - Cleaver highback does not conform to anything, so you have to set it up just right - I initially felt some pressure in my upper heel from it.

I've had a Cleaver baseplate break (Rome replaced it) and think it should only be mounted 4x4 for that reason. The Katana has a more flexible baseplate and the asymwrap puts less pressure on it so I don't worry about that one at all.

Cleaver is the Formula 1 car - top of the line everything but like anything that stiff and performant you're going to pay for it somewhere else like comfort or reliability. Katana is a high-performance production sports car. If you genuinely are between the two get the Katanas. If you know you absolutely need a very stiff but still comfy and damp binding, Cleaver. I guess there's something to be said for putting a "pull out all the stops" extreme binding like the Cleaver on a board like the Alchemist, but really either is going to work really well.
Thank you very much for the detailed response! I agree that either of the bindings would work well in the end - I will probably end up getting the Katanas like you recommended for this season and if I want even more responsiveness I will probably get stiffer bindings like the Cleavers later on down the road (also slightly concerned reading about the baseplate breaking issue happening to multiple people which is another factor in why I'm hesitant in getting the Cleavers right now). I was definitely stuck in some analysis paralysis o_O since it seemed more "optimal" to pair the Alchemist with the Cleavers in order to get the absolute best out of the board and I was mostly worried that the lack of extreme stiffness from the Katanas would make them a poor binding choice for how stiff the board is. To be honest I would prefer the versatility of the Katanas both in riding and being able to swap it onto my other less-stiff boards, so I'm glad to hear feedback that the Katanas are a suitable enough binding for the Alchemist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Split the difference and get the orange D.O.Ds instead if you were trying to match?
I haven't really looked into the D.O.Ds at all since my initial impression was that were less suited for freeriding compared to the Katanas. I'm not a particular fan of the newer orange colorway on this years D.O.Ds either but last years Camo model looks neat and would also match the board. Binding aesthetics are way less important to me than the actual performance and features of the bindings - but it just so happens that Rome has the nicest orange bindings for my personal tastes :ROFLMAO:.
 

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@drblast what do you think would be better suited for boards like Korua CR and Amplid Centrifugals (Surfari/UNW8)? From the sounds of it the Katanas would do just fine I guess although the Formula 1 feelings is tempting ;)

I'm debating the same question re the bindings at the moment. Been on my Falcors for a few seasons now which I really like and used to ride the stiffer Burton bindings (CO2, Genesis X) for a long time but would like to try something new...
 

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I haven't really looked into the D.O.Ds at all since my initial impression was that were less suited for freeriding compared to the Katanas. I'm not a particular fan of the newer orange colorway on this years D.O.Ds either but last years Camo model looks neat and would also match the board. Binding aesthetics are way less important to me than the actual performance and features of the bindings - but it just so happens that Rome has the nicest orange bindings for my personal tastes :ROFLMAO:.
I find the DoD highback to be stiffer than the Katanas. The katanas have a stiffer ankle strap, but you can buy the straps on Rome’s website and throw them on the DoDs.
 

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I haven't really looked into the D.O.Ds at all since my initial impression was that were less suited for freeriding compared to the Katanas. I'm not a particular fan of the newer orange colorway on this years D.O.Ds either but last years Camo model looks neat and would also match the board. Binding aesthetics are way less important to me than the actual performance and features of the bindings - but it just so happens that Rome has the nicest orange bindings for my personal tastes :ROFLMAO:.
Hopefully this will not add to your “analysis paralysis,” but also consider that the Katana has Rome’s Asym Wrap vs the Full Wrap on the D.O.D.
 

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Depends on how you ride. More drive and power through the board then Cleaver. More " light footed" ot flowy power then Katana.

Can't decide, feel like a little bit of both? DoD.
 

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How much softer are the Vice?
Its a solid mid flex. Most people would find them a little lacking for freeride unless you're a lightweight rider.
 
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How much softer are the Vice?
you notice it’s softer but there’s a solid amount of overlap. If the Katana is all mountain free ride the Vice is all mountain freestyle, but more all mountain than freestyle. Might say 60% of the time it’s interchangeable but I prefer my Katanas for carving and charging.

To me, more noticeable than the actually stiffness of materials is the Katana has more positions for the ankle strap. Basically anywhere you want on a 360 degree rotation where the Vice has just 4. Positioned at the 4 corners of a square. I like to run my ankle strap in the vertical position which isn’t possible on the Vice. To me this is the most distinct difference in feel and response.
 

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@drblast what do you think would be better suited for boards like Korua CR and Amplid Centrifugals (Surfari/UNW8)? From the sounds of it the Katanas would do just fine I guess although the Formula 1 feelings is tempting ;)

I'm debating the same question re the bindings at the moment. Been on my Falcors for a few seasons now which I really like and used to ride the stiffer Burton bindings (CO2, Genesis X) for a long time but would like to try something new...
I know nothing about those boards, but really I'd put the Katana on anything, especially if you've been happy with the stiffer Burton bindings.

Maybe this helps: A few years ago, my go-to binding was the Rome Targa which was Rome's most burly/freeridish binding before the Cleaver. Then I tried the new Katanas and they easily replaced the Targas on any board, and my daily driver is a last-gen Rome Mod 162 which is like an 8/10 stiffness.

I picked up a set of Cleavers used and was mentally prepared to like them more than the Katanas and want to spend even more money on Cleaver-everywhere, but that didn't happen. Cleavers are great but not life-changing and Katanas are more comfortable and drive even my stiffest boards just fine.
 

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Cleavers are great but not life-changing and Katanas are more comfortable and drive even my stiffest boards just fine.
Bump here.
No experience with riding the Cleavers (this will change this season) but the Katanas are indeed super versatile. I’ve been happily running them on my daily drivers Amplid Unw8/Pentaquark last seasons without any issues. The Katanas can handle any board. It’s just up to the preference for more lateral movement (but don’t mistake it with a loose feel, you feel locked-in).

For reference my other bindings are Burton X-Base and Now Drives (and I used to own/regularly ride Union Falcors, Nitro Machine or Flux TM/XF that are all considered the top tier of response).
 

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Bump here.
No experience with riding the Cleavers (this will change this season) but the Katanas are indeed super versatile. I’ve been happily running them on my daily drivers Amplid Unw8/Pentaquark last seasons without any issues. The Katanas can handle any board. It’s just up to the preference for more lateral movement (but don’t mistake it with a loose feel, you feel locked-in).

For reference my other bindings are Burton X-Base and Now Drives (and I used to own/regularly ride Union Falcors, Nitro Machine or Flux TM/XF that are all considered the top tier of response).
You like those Rome katanas better than all these high end bindings?
 

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You like those Rome katanas better than all these high end bindings?
On par with my Burton X-Base Reflex (ultra expensive and not produced anymore).

For do-it-all, yes, the Katanas.
Pivot mount is my fav binding tech (will try the Cleavers and Vices this season).
Having the strap that high on your ankle gives you so much more response/support.

All the other bindings have some irritating downside for me like no adjustability for my Adidas Tactical/riding style combo (I want zero forward lean option), inferior straps, zero dampening etc.
 
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