Katana - Samurai Sword
The most popular of our Samurai Swords for sale, our traditional hand forged functional battle ready authentic Katana (Samurai Swords) are exceptionally high quality products which made in the style of traditional Japanese Nihonto.
All of our authentic beautiful swords are full tang and are constructed from high quality 1060 or 1095 carbon steel, ensuring a strong flexible blade capable of taking and retaining an edge and will last a lifetime of use if cared for correctly.
The Swords we offer are perfect for expert and amateur users alike and are an ideal sword for martial arts practise which requires a live blade, for example, iado, battodo, or kenjutsu.
You may be tempted by cheap katanas for sale, but they are a liability and can cause serious damage to you or others due to increased likelihood of breakage.
Born from the desire to offer beautiful Japanese inspired blades at excellent prices, we have developed a line of cool swords which are practical, professional, long lasting, and works of art.
What is a Samurai Sword?
Traditionally, the name Katana is used to describe a Nihionto, or Japanese made sword, which were employed by the Samurai in feudal Japan. The Katana sword is instantly recognisable to most people, having featured heavily in popular culture for several decades. The distinct curved, single-edged blade with a guard and long grip is unique within the sword world and is strongly linked to legendary blades and superior craftsmanship.
Katana evolved from the straight-edged tachi sword imported from China. It’s theorised that the Mongol invasion prompted a redesign and improvement of the tachi. Simply put, the existing straight tachi swords could not impart sufficient damage to the Mongol leather armour, resulting in the swords chipping and breaking. To cope with the armour penetrating requirements, the curved cutting edge tachi started to emerge and quickly gained favour amongst Samurai.
We can at least partially attribute the rise in popularity of this sword due to the changes that happened in close quarters combat in warfare. A fast draw and strike could ultimately lead to the fight being over in a couple of seconds, and the samurai sword facilitated this form of combat by being worn on the waist with the edge up. This allowed for the blade to be drawn and used to strike the enemy in a single fluid movement. In comparison, the tachi, which the samurai sword replaced, would traditionally be worn suspended from the belt and with the edge facing down.
The katana is now synonymous with samurai swords, and with good reason, it was the primary weapon favoured by the Samurai for hundreds of years and could only legally be worn by samurai. Any lesser caste found with a sword would face instant execution.
Samurai swords would often be worn in a pairing called a daisho, which roughly translates as little big. The samurai sword is the big sword while a wakizashi or a tanto would be the smaller sidekick. It was extremely rare for samurai to wield two swords at the same time. Miyamoto Musashi developed a technique of fighting with two swords, the method was named Niten Ichi or two heavens as one.
Creating a Samurai Sword
Beginning in 1953, Japanese swordsmiths have been restricted to the amount of swords they are allowed to produce. Each swordsmith is limited to producing two swords a month and the swordsmith must have undergone a 5-year apprenticeship. Each sword produced must then be registered with the Japanese government to allow it to be tracked and catalogued.
Due to the lackluster availability of quality steel within Japan, the Japanese swordsmiths were required to even out and mix steel with different quantities of carbon in order to create a sufficiently strong blade. The result of this process is the now famous folded steel Japanese swords. This process is largely redundant for modern day swords due to the quality of modern day steel available, it can however produce an aesthetically pleasing Damascus steel look.
Japanese swords are equally famous for the hardened edge present on their blades, which is formed in the clay tempering and differential hardening process. Essentially the cutting edge of the blade is coated in a thin layer of clay, while the spine and sides of the blade have a ticker layer applied. The clay enclosed blade is then heated to 750 degrees and then submerged in water (or oil). Due to the thinner layer of clay, the cutting edge cools much faster than the spine, creating two different types of steel. The rapidly cooled cutting edge forms a steel called martensite, which is very hard, while the spine and sides cool slower and produce more flexible softer steel which is a mixture of ferrite and pearlite. It’s this process which produces the strong yet flexible blade and also produces the distinct hamon present on samurai swords.
Maintenance and Storage of Samurai Swords
Our swords are capable of providing a lifetime of use if correctly cared for and maintained. The sword should stored in its sheath with the edge facing upward in order to preserve the edge. As with most steel items, it is very important that the blade be well oiled, cleaned, and polished after each use. The salt and sweat from hands can cause rust, so it’s imperative that they be cleaned off.
If storing the sword for a long period of time, the sword should be regularly inspected, aired, and oiled as required in order to preserve the blade and handle
UK Katana Law
Samurai and other curved Swords – On April 6th 2008 a law came into effect banning samurai and other curved swords with a blade length of 50cm or more. However, there are some exceptions for registered martial artists, re-enactors and swords produced using traditional forging methods.
All of our swords are made using traditional hand forging methods and thus are exempt from this law. However, we would ask that only martial artists and collectors consider buying any of our swords.
All of the items on our site are legal to own in the UK and no license is required. By law you must be over 18 years or older to purchase any sword and you must act in a responsible manner. Our swords are not toys and must be treated with respect; nobody should ever use a sword in an aggressive manner nor should you every carry a sword in public. More details on UK laws related to swords can be found here.
We are the UK’s leading online retailer specialising in authentic high quality swords for sale. Our swords would never be considered cheap in quality, but they do offer exceptional value for money and are the best swords available for a range of budgets.