What you should look out for before you decide to purchase a Japanese sword


You can find various types of samurai swords out there, and the katana sword is one of them. Remember that Japanese sword collecting can be a hobby, so you can get used to it with time. But there are still many things that you need to know right away, especially when it comes to understanding what makes a sword functional. When you decide to buy Japanese swords, make sure that the swords have full tang. There are also other things that can prove that the sword is authentic. This article discusses what you should look out for before you decide to purchase a Japanese sword.

The steel

One of the most crucial considerations when it comes to purchasing a Japanese sword is the steel. The steel that the swordsmiths used to make the samurai swords was extraordinary. It has to go through the forging and folding process to remove the impurities from the raw iron ore. Over the years, metallurgy technology has progressed, making sure that there is pure steel as a starting material. 

For example, there is Swedish Powdered steel that is considered to be the purest form of steel that has fewer impurities. Choosing the type of steel that has the even carbon distribution can ensure that there are no weak areas in the finished forged blade. In the ancient Japanese era, the swordsmith used a type of steel called Tamahagane which was the purest type of steel used in making the samurai swords. 


The samurai sword is defined by the forging process, and an authentic Japanese sword is forged. Today, there are many companies that are selling steel swords, but these blades are not forged. Unfortunately, they also don’t have the quality of a forged blade. Therefore, if you want to have an authentic Japanese sword, you should ask for the one with a forged steel blade.

The good thing about a forged blade is that it’s unique and is made by a skilled craftsman. Every forged blade is usually a unique piece of art. Forging allows a swordsmith to figure out how much each sword needs to be worked so that they get the best results. In most cases, a piece of steel is worked and folded repeatedly. This means that your sword can be different from any other swords out there. 

Heat treating

An authentic Japanese sword tends to have a differentially heat treated edge. The pattern that you can see on the sharpened edge is considered to be the signature of the heat-treating process. This attribute is often called the Hamon, which you can find on all samurai swords. 

You should note that the heat treatment can change the steel’s molecular structure into martensite at the edge. It can also have a more ductile pearlite body. Remember that the heat treated Hamon can allow you to take a look at the steel and you can see the different crystalline structure. There are some manufacturers that try to polish the blade to have this look or they even utilize a chemical etching to get this look. But this often offers a cosmetic look and doesn’t give the purpose of heat-treating. The purpose of heat-treating is to transform the steel into a different molecular structure.

Design and shape

It’s important for the design and shape of the samurai sword to be historically accurate. An authentic samurai sword follows historical tradition. You can find various shapes and designs out there nowadays that share little qualities with the feudal era sword. The balance and shape of the properly made samurai sword has evolved over centuries. 

You should remember that the life of a samurai warrior usually depended on their sword, and they also depended on the swordsmith to produce a sword that they could rely upon during battles. Therefore, it makes sense to purchase your samurai sword from the suppliers that honor this tradition.


The balance of the sword is also a crucial aspect you need to consider. Take note that balance is functionality. Samurai warriors were highly trained and their swords needed to work in extreme combat situations. 

Most modern swords don’t have this functionality and cannot withstand the strains and stresses of serious use. While practicing and training with your Japanese sword, you can gain the strength to handle it properly. Keep in mind that it’s the balance that can give you this advantage of strength when utilizing a traditionally balanced sword in your training. 

In conclusion, a samurai sword goes through several processes that include forging, heat treatment, and many. This makes the sword durable and suitable for use. Before you purchase a Japanese sword, make sure that it’s authentic. One of the features you can prove that it’s authentic is the Hamon. Also, make sure that the Japanese sword has the right design, shape, and balance.

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