So, you’re searching for a samurai sword. You don’t need to be a hardened samurai to choose the proper one, so don’t worry. Selecting the right Katana can be challenging, mainly if you are unsure of which kind of Katana would work best for your needs. Some swords are suitable for your collection, some are good for learning fighting moves, and some are only for show. Let’s get started with the best advice for selecting the best samurai sword for you.
Choosing the Right Katana for Yourself
The curving blade of the Katana, which resembles a saber in specific ways, makes it simple to identify them. The sword has a single-edged blade (called a “ha” in Japanese) and a set of two parts.
The first is the guard, or tsuba, which guards against strikes from the foe. Moreover, this part also keeps the hand from slipping onto the blade when launching an assault. The handle is the other important element.
You may not be aware that an authentic samurai Katana may cost up to 4,000 EUR. Therefore, it is more probable that you might go for a replica samurai sword. Replicas may be pretty effective and are substantially less expensive. Therefore, you will often see a Katana for sale on online websites and social media platforms. However, you need to pick wisely and stick to the tips below.
Take A Look at The Quality
You ought to be able to reach out and touch the weapon. The correct one will be obvious at first glance or touch. However, there are various methods for determining the sword’s quality online. Examining the blade is the key. The steel of superior grade ought to be part of the right Katana.
A high-carbon, more rigid layer, and a low-carbon, softer layer are often combined to create steel. Various production processes, such as pattern welding or folding (as seen in Damascus steel), have been historically documented and are still in use today.
The blade’s outer sheath, including the edge, was made of high carbon steel, incredibly durable. On the other hand, low-carbon steel is flexible, which aids in absorbing the force of hits. It served as the blade’s central component. Only one kind of steel would be inappropriate. As a result, various steel kinds with different carbon contents were mixed to achieve hardness and flexibility.
So, consider the quality before buying the right Katana for yourself. It should offer a harmonious mix of the different materials. Take a look at the specifications and the manufacturing process before deciding.
Take A Look at the Handle
No handle looseness is permissible if you seek a well-built Katana for yourself. A Japanese swordsmith would likely be forced to commit suicide (seppuku) to protect his dignity if he produced a Katana that was so poorly constructed. Therefore, the handle’s hardwood core must be fitted to the blade shaft.
Authentic Katanas also have stingrays or sharkskin on the tsuka, or hilt, which has a hard texture and enhances grip strength. The blade and hilt are connected by using tiny pegs called mekugi and a metal collar called a habaki. Tsuka-Ito, a leather or cotton band, can be used to increase the grip further.
Therefore, you have to take a look at the handle and ensure that it offers a firm grip. The handle and the blade are the core ingredients of any sword, and you need to check to see if the handle is up to the mark.
Take A Look at The Hamon Effect
The final shaping and curvature of a blade—two crucial aspects—are determined by the grinding and polishing steps in manufacturing the blade. Swordsmiths (or grinders and polishers) give it significant consideration and complete both steps by hand. But just because the majority of Katanas sold today were made by machines doesn’t always indicate they are of poorer quality.
The process used to harden the blade could also be of interest to you. Different regions of the steel item are made tougher than others by the process of differential hardening. The edge of the blade produces more hardness, whereas the rest of the blade produces less hardness. A surface effect known as Hamon is produced when the patches of varying hardness transition to one another.
Always seek the Hamon effect while searching for a genuine sword. The computer-controlled thermal treatment may produce a desirable balance of hardness and flexibility with high-end contemporary materials. Therefore, high-quality Katanas without Hamon are still available. Always pay close attention to the blade’s technical specifications (the steel used and its hardness).
The finished product cannot be too hard or too soft, and the steel must never break. Trusting only one blacksmith or sword manufacturer is thus a wise idea. Due to various thermal treatment options, two swords produced from the same steel by two various manufacturers may have distinct characteristics. So, choose the Hamon effect in your Katana if you can.
Take A Look at The Length
The length of a sword is frequently the deciding element in a duel’s outcome. However, certain samurai schools call for particular lengths or a mix of different lengths to disarm an adversary or for indoor or close-combat fighting. A Katana’s typical length is in the range of 40 inches.
A sword’s length is determined by drawing a straight line from one end to the other. A standard 40-inch Katana’s blade is typically between 27 and 29 inches long. Some manufacturers may occasionally specify the length of the blade individually.
Therefore, you could encounter descriptions of swords that look like this: 29 x 40, where the first number denotes the length of the blade and the second the length of the entire sword. Choose the right length based on your personal preferences and circumstances.
The Ideal Katana for You
The ideal Katana depends on your personal preferences and usage scenario. However, if you stick to the tips above, you can find the right blade for your collection and show off your favorite Katanas to your friends. Take a look at the quality, materials, the Hamon effect, and the overall length of the blade, and you can quickly get the right Katana for yourself.