Samurai swords are known as swords originated from Japan and used by the Samurai warriors, in this guide you can expect to find a deep overview of the different Japanese and Samurai swords, we will cover their uses, materials, historical accounts, functions, treatments and modern day manufacturers.

We recommend you to bookmark this page, as it contains a lot of information that will help you make the right decision when purchasing your sword. We tried to cover various topics to give you the most extensive guide for Japanese swords and will continue to update this guide with more information as time goes.

Searching for Samurai Swords

If you are thinking of acquiring a Japanese sword and have searched on the internet, you have probably come across several options, different prices and many strange concepts.

Surely you realized by now how difficult it is to choose your Samurai swords in a place where everyone claims to have the best sword with very different prices.

But what makes a good Japanese sword? What factors should you consider before buying one? Which are the most important features?

What are the best places to buy Samurai swords that won’t break as soon as you wield them?

In this article you’ll find the answers to those and many other questions.

By the time you finish it, you’ll know exactly what you need and where to get it.

Ready? Let’s get started.

About Us

At Katanas for Sale, we aim for the perfect molding of balance, precision, and beauty that is worthy of embodying one’s spirit.

Like people, each blade is unique and therefore, suits its wielder differently.

Here, we’ll help you find the perfect fit, offering custom-made blades that will match whatever personality you have.

Hand forged with attention to details, you can be battle-ready while still being in style.

For your convenience, you can click on any of the topics in the menu below to navigate through the Samurai swords guide.

Types of Japanese Swords

If you are new to buying Samurai swords, the variety of terms and technicalities can seem overwhelming, especially when the differences between the swords appear minimal at first glance.

However, understanding the specific characteristics and historical uses of each type of Japanese Samurai sword can significantly enhance your appreciation and decision-making process.

Below, you’ll find descriptions of various Japanese Samurai swords, detailing how they differ and their unique historical uses.

While the array of names and technical details might initially seem daunting, becoming familiar with these distinctions will make your selection process more informed and enjoyable.


The Katana is a long, curved sword traditionally used by samurai, known for its sharp edge and versatility in both slashing and thrusting during combat.


The Wakizashi, is a shorter companion sword to the Katana, used for close combat and ritual purposes. It was often worn together with the Katana, forming a daisho pair.


The Tanto is a small, single-edged dagger, typically used as a backup weapon. The Tanto is also commonly utilized in ceremonial and ritualistic contexts.


Tachi was the predecessor to the Katana, featuring a more pronounced curve and typically worn edge-down. The Tachi was favored by cavalry for its effective slicing capability from horseback.


The Ninjato is a straight-bladed sword often associated with ninjas, characterized by its shorter length and simplistic design, making it ideal for stealth and quick draw.


The Nagmaki features a long blade and a handle of similar length, used primarily in sweeping and slicing motions. The Nagamaki was effective in infantry combat and against cavalry.


The Nodachi is a large, field sword with an extended blade, used by samurai on the battlefield. Its size provided greater reach and cutting power, particularly effective against cavalry.


Shirasaya are plain wooden scabbard and hilt designed for storing the blade when not in use. Shirasaya are often used for blade preservation and are not intended for combat.

What Use Do You Intend to Give Your Sword?

Now that we have covered the main Samurai swords throughout time, lets dive into their uses in modern day and the reasons you will want to have one.

There are many uses that can be given to a sword today: from cutting objects such as bamboo poles or Tatami mats to exhibit it or even everyday practice.

Depending on the use you will make to your Samurai sword, you will need it to meet certain requirements in the structure, the materials, and the forging process.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry. Below, we’ve wrote a list of possible uses that you may want to give your sword and we’ve detailed in them all the features you need for each one, so that you only have to look for the one that suits you best.

(Pss, do not be discouraged if you do not know any of the terms used, we will expand on them later. The important thing about this stage is that you know what do you need)

Are you ready? Here we go:

Iaito Swords

Practicing Iaido

Iaido is a martial art consisting of a person’s ability to draw a sword, among other similar things. Because of this, Iaido apprentices practice with real but blunt swords called Iaito.

If you are looking for a blunt edge Iaito, you still need to make sure that the sword has a Full Tang structure, otherwise it could  fly out of the handle with recurrent use.

Some masters in Iaido prefer their student to use fully functional and sharp swords (Shinken swords).

Shinken Swords

Real use (Iaido, Iaijutsu, Tameshigiri):

Whether you want a real sword for practicing Tameshigiri or to cut things in the backyard of your house or simply because you practice a martial art that requires it, what you will need is a Shinken sword, which in English means “living sword”.

This is a fully functional sword, ready to be subjected to rigorous practices.
For that reason, you’ll need it to be Full Tang, with a sharp or Ultra sharp blade, and made of good steel (we’ll see more specifications on the steel below).

In the case of shinken swords, heat treatment and clay tempering is highly recommended to make the sword more resistant to blows.

You can also find these swords under the name “Battle ready sword”. It’s exactly the same, but with a cooler name.

It is expected that a clay tempered Shinken Katana will last for around 10,000 Tatami omote cuts if sharpened, and will require minor sharpening every 500 Tatami cuts.


Decorative Swords

If what you are looking for is a decorative sword to have on an altar in your dojo or hung on the wall of your house, then what matters to you is more the style of the sword than the materials it is made of.

In these cases, although it doesn’t have to be Full Tang, it is still highly recommended in case the sword would be ever swung if the Tang is not full it could suffer an accident.

As for steel, the only thing you should care about are the processes it goes through. A Katana with folded steel will not look the same as a non folded one.

Just as Hamon will be different if it is created from clay tempereing or if it was simply drawn. All these specifications can be found below.

Personal Gifts

Gifts for Men

Samurai swords are probably amongst the best gifts for men, receiving a sword and buying one as gift is quite a spiritual process, and the receiver most likely will be extremely happy with the gift as long as you know the quality of the sword he will be interested with.

If he is a serious sword collector or martial art practitioner, he might have some expectation from the sword and it is better to get a Shinken sword. some gifts can be symbolic and feature a blunt edge with some quote engraved on the blade which symbolize the relations between the giver and receiver.

Will you give it to him in a silk bag, or do you prefer a box? Will you give him the sword alone or will you include a Kake so that he can display it? Do you know exactly what design he will like?

For the latter, we do have a variety of already made Samurai swords designs that may fit the personality of the person you give the sword to. And in case you want to make it more personal, you can always customize different Japanese swords using our custom made swords section.

Samurai Swords Structure

You’re probably looking for a battle ready Katana. If so, the first thing you should know is that since this is not an official term, it can be used in many ways.

Maybe someone can call his Katana a “battle ready Katana” just because it doesn’t detach from the handle as soon as it’s wielded in the air.

Thus, someone might end up trying to sell you a stainless steel sword by calling it “battle ready”. And, as we’ll see in the next section, that’s very bad.

To be more specific, and for the sake of the article, we will simply agree that a Katana prepared for combat must be one that does not split in two when coming into contact with something else.

And for this to be so, the sword must have a resistant structure. A good structure will make your Katana resistant to strong blows, while a cheap one will split at the first moderately serious use.

In this area we can distinguish two types of structures: Full Tang (which you should aim for if you want a functional Samurai sword) and Rat Tail Tang (which you should avoid with regards to Japanese swords).

Full Tang Sword

When a sword is Full Tang both the blade and the handle are made of the same piece of steel.

This means that the inner part of the handle is an extension of the blade itself, and not another piece of metal welded to it.

This way, the sword is consistent and you can use it without fear.

All of the Samurai swords on our website are full tang held by two mekugi pegs, while some Tanto blades are held by just one mekugi.

Rat Tail Tang

While some swords during history were made with a Rat tail tang, that is not the case for Japanese swords and should avoided at all cost.

Rat tail tang  can mean two things,

One, that the blade of the sword and the handle is one piece of metal but the tang itself is a very thin metal rod.

Two, Sometimes they are two distinct pieces of metal. while the thin metal rod is welded to the blade.

A Samurai sword in these conditions is extremely fragile: it cannot be used, it cannot be wielded, and some even say that it cannot be looked at very fixedly because it also runs the risk of breaking.

Even if you hang it on the wall of your house you will live with the fear of it falling off. For this reason, it is best to avoid this type of structure.

How do you know if a sword is Full Tang or Rat Tail Tang?

Most of the Samurai swords you buy are going to have within the specified characteristics or description if they are Full Tang.

If a sword does not have this information, you may become suspicious. In case you are buying it in person, it is your seller’s obligation to give you this information.

Once you have it, however, if you still don’t trust it, you can check if it is Full Tang if you know how to properly disassemble and reassemble a Samurai sword, this is also useful for proper maintenance of the sword.


Samurai Swords Steel Types

When we take a first look at the different types of steel from which a sword can be forged, we can get confused; so many numbers, so many loose letters and weird names, what does it all mean?

The first thing you have to know is that when it comes to swords, steel can be a bit capricious. At first you might think that the harder the better, but that’s not always the case.

Here comes into play also the flexibility of the Samurai sword, the hardness of the edge, and the various treatments that have been used to create the perfect weapon.
But let’s go by parts. What types of Japanese sword steels exist and being used in modern days?

There are different types of steels, each with its pros and cons. Next, we will talk about the most common steels used when forging Samurai swords.

Stainless Steel Swords

While stainless steel finds many applications in today’s society, such as knife making, short blades, tools other types of accessories, under no circumstances stainless steel should be used to make Japanese swords.

Samurai swords created with this steel are extremely brittle and weak, and even their aesthetic value is questionable.

Stainless steel is great when it comes to relatively small blades, like tactical knives and daggers. However, when it comes to long swords it becomes brittle, and can cause the sword to break from a minor hit.

That’s why we say it’s not recommended even to display them!

Carbon Steel Swords

This is one of the most common types of steel found when looking for Japanese swords in today market.
When it comes to carbon steel, the number represents the amount of carbon in the blade.

The general rule is that the higher the carbon level, the more consistency the sword acquires. Thus, a high carbon 1095 (0.95% carbon) sword will be more hard than one made of 1060 steel (0.60%), and this in turn the 1060 carbon steel will be more hard than one of 1050 steel(0.50%).

Usually the lowest carbon content found on functional samurai swords is 0.45%. (1045 carbon steel).

This makes swords made of 1045 high carbon steel the cheapest and less durable, while the price and efficiency increases as the number increases.

Carbon Steel Samurai Swords

So, is a 1095 high carbon steel sword better than a 1060?
Well, that depends, as you may have seen, swords, like everything else in life, need a balance.

Consistency is not necessarily synonymous of a “better” sword. Yes, the more carbon the stronger and more resistant the sword will be, but in equal proportion it will be more brittle, sacrificing ductility and will also become more difficult to wield.

Under certain treatments like clay tempering the 1095 steel can become more efficient and durable than the 1060 steel, and will retain it’s sharp edge longer.

There is no clear answer to “which is the best sword” as it also depends on what you intend the sword for, Yet, Tamahagane steel is still considered as the best steel for Samurai sword making.

However, many experts agree that the ideal range for a strong, sharp sword is between 0.60% and 1.00% carbon content.

What do you prefer, hardness or flexibility?

T10 Steel Swords

Another type of steel that is superior to most other swords made of high carbon steel in terms of hardness and durability is T10 Steel.

T10 steel, also known as high speed steel, is an alloy of steel and tungsten. It has one of the highest carbon contents (1%) and a small fraction of silicone (0.35%).

The tungsten alloy makes this type of steel very resistant to scratches and abrasion, which makes the Samurai sword much more durable and requires less maintenance when not in use.

In addition, swords made of T10 steel keep their blades sharp for long periods of time.

Without a doubt, the T10 is an excellent steel if you are looking for a functional Katana that will be with you for a long period of time.

Spring Steel Swords

Spring steel, as its name suggests, is a much more flexible steel alloy than the previous ones.

This material allows the sword to bend much more, making it more resistant to impact while retaining its strength.

There are two main types of spring steel:

5160 and 9260, both with a carbon content of 0.60%, as the last two digits indicate.

Spring steel 5160, in addition to its carbon content, also has 0.7% chromium and 0.2% silicone.

This translates into an extremely hard and durable blade. This, plus a correct heating treatment when forging, can make a really powerful sword.

Spring steel 9260 contains a 2% silicone content, which gives it even greater flexibility than the previous one, making it more resistant to side impacts and allowing it to bend to an angle of almost 90 degrees without breaking.

If you are looking for a very flexible blade the 9260 spring steel is a great choice.

Tamahagane Steel Swords

The word Tamahagane can be translated as Jewel Steel, and is the type of steel that was traditionally used to make Nihonto Samurai swords.

It had to be found in the volcanic sand of the Pacific and it was necessary to make it go through a complex casting process to separate the pieces that were worthwhile from those that were not,

Due to the low quality iron found in Japan during feudal times, swordsmiths had to find a way to make their steel better, getting out the best from the worst. this resulted in the refined steel called Tamahagane.

Tamahagane Katana Sword (3)

The high level of impurities found in the iron often pushed the blacksmiths to carry out different techniques to try to remove as much as possible of them.

Despite the complications involved in its making, the Tamahagane was capable of making extremely powerful swords, and could not be matched until long after the advent of the industrial revolution.

Due to the difficult process of making Tamahagane steel, the price is also very high with comparison to all other steel types, if you have the budget and want a Samurai sword made from traditional Japanese steel then Tamahagane is probably the best choice for your sword.

Damascus Steel Swords

There is Much mysticism surrounds Damascus Steel. This being the result of a technique that has been lost in history, like that of the famous Greek fire, it has been the target of a multiplicity of legends and myths.

It is important to note that there is a difference between Folded steel Samurai sword and actual Damascus steel.

What made Damascus steel special was the patterns that emerged along the blade. Today, however, we know that this is the result of a folding treatment of the metal, and that it does not endow the blade with any special attribute in modern times. Rather, it can even be harmful if done wrong.

Damascus steel pattern emerge on the sword when the steel is folded prior to forging, while Damascus steel was folded only several times, most of folded steel Japanese swords are folded multiple times (our standard is 13 folds) which creates thousands of layers of steel and results in a beautiful hada (grain pattern).

Folding the steel

Folded steel pattern

Folded Clay Tempered Steel with Polish

Today mostly the term “Damascus steel” is used as a marketing strategy to sell swords to enthusiasts as if they were fine pieces of engineering built with the remains of a meteorite fallen from the sky.

The truth is that, although today many claim to have found the recipe for Damascus steel, the swords made with it vary greatly depending on the blacksmith who forged it.

and if talking about folded steel for Samurai swords, it is important to note that the folding process on modern steel which is already pure, does not add any efficiency for the sword, moreover it is important that the folding is being done properly to prevent air sockets which can cause damage to the blade when it come in contact with a target while cutting.


Samurai Swords Steel Treatments

When we speak of treatment in steel, we refer to the different processes to which the blade of a sword is submitted in order to provide different qualities.

Some treatments are practically obligatory when it comes to forging a sword, such as heat treating and quenching, which consists of cooling the steel by submerging it in water (or oil). Others are optional.

In order not to extend the post too much and focus on what you came for, let’s skip the mandatory procedures -those that any store with minimum standards meets- and focus on those that you can choose during the purchase process.

Get ready.

Clay Tempering (Aka. Differential Hardening)

Clay tempering is also called Differential Hardening, if you’re into technical jargon.

This is a process in which, during forging, the body and back of the blade is covered with clay while removing the clay from the edge before reheating. In this way, the part covered by the clay will cool slower, becoming more soft and flexible , while the blade edge will cool much faster resulting in harder steel.

This process greatly increases the strength of a sword. On one hand, by making the body flexible, it is better able to resist blows.

On the other hand, its hardened blade allows it to split the hard objects and retain it’s sharpness for longer period of time before requires resharpening. The best of two worlds, one could say.

It is estimated that a sword that has undergone this procedure can resist at least 10,000 cuts of tatami omote (10 years of heavy use), and that it only needs a minor sharpening every 500 cuts (six months of heavy use).

For many, clay tempering is both an artistic and a scientific procedure, and with good reason. Not only does it endow the sword with the qualities mentioned above, but it also causes undulations known as Hamon to arise along the blade.

These undulations are so longed for that in the case of cheap swords it is sometimes painted. However, a true Hamon is indistinguishable, completely unique to each sword, and will depend greatly of the artistic qualities of the one who carries out the process. This results in a wide variety of Hamon to choose from.

The Hamon

When choosing a sword, you will find a wide variety of Hamon patterns to choose from; sometimes specified, sometimes not. Here are some of the most common Hamon you can choose from when buying a sword.

Notare (Wave Hamon)

Everyone’s favorite. It is a pattern of very harmonious undulations, similar to the waves of the sea.

Gunome (Hamon in semicircles)

This type of Hamon is also one of the most famous. Unlike the Notare, here the pattern is more pronounced in the form of small semicircular mountains.

Sugu (Straight Hamon

This type of Hamon can hardly be called “pattern”. It is rather, as its name indicates, a straight line. Austere, simple, and elegant. 

Choji (Irregular Hamon)

This is a type of Hamon that is characterized by its small, irregular and pronounced waves.

These four are the most common you’ll find in stores. After that there are an infinite number of patterns that you can find out there.

Folded Steel VS Non Folded Steel

While many of the myths that once abounded about folded steel are now disproved, it is never too late to clear up the doubts: that a sword has this treatment does not make it any better.

But this was not always the case.

In the past, when the steel that was obtained had too many impurities, this was an almost obligatory process for a good blacksmith.

By folding the steel and hammering it multiple times, the steel was able to detach many of its impurities, resulting in a more consistent sword.

As a consequence of this process, a series of patterns known as Hada appear along the body of the blade, similar to those of wood grain -not to be confused with those of Hamon.

The number of lines that form these patterns will depend on the number of times the steel has been folded.

With an exponential growth, if you fold it once you will get 2 layers (the top and bottom), but if you fold it twice then you will get twice as many layers (4), and if you fold it three times you will get twice that (8).

Thus, it is normal for the steel of a sword to be folded, for example, 13 times, creating 8192 layers. A steel folded twenty times would get a million layers, but usually it is not folded as many times.

The most common is to find swords whose steel has been folded between 8 and, at most, 16 times. Less of that the result is poor, and more of that is practically indistinguishable.

As we mentioned before, although this process used to be necessary to eliminate impurities, today it is a purely aesthetic procedure.

For some it is worth it, because having a folded steel Katana is closer to the good Katana swords of feudal Japan.

At the end of the day, deciding whether or not to have a folded steel Katana is a matter of art. And it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not.

If you’re not sure what a folded steel Katana would look like, you can check out many of the folded steel Katanas we’ve designed here.

1095 Folded Steel

1095 Folded Carbon Steel

9260 Folded Spring Steel

Folded Clay Tempered Steel with Polish

Folded Steel with Purple Acid Dye

Hadori polish

Some shops selling Samurai swords like on our shop at there are extra options and services to enhance your sword beauty, one of the most saught after technique is the Hadori Polish.

The Hadori polish owes its name to the Hadori stone, the tool used for this task.

It is a water stone used due to its coarse surface, which helps highlight the hamon of the differentially hardened Samurai sword during polishing,

Giving a more striking finish to the blade. However, the quality of the result of the process will be strongly determined by the skill of the polisher.

Samurai Swords Mounts

The mount is the structure in which the sword will be found. It should not be confused with the Kake, which is where it is displayed. When we speak of mounts, we speak of the structure in which a Samurai would carry his Katana in his daily guard.

In this respect, we can find two types of mounts.

Koshirae Mount

Shirasaya Mount

Koshirae Mount

The first mount, Koshirae, is the one intended for daily use and is the one most Samurai swords bring by default.

It usually consists of a lacquered wooden scabbard (Saya), sometimes reinforced with horn inlays, and a piece of metal (Shitodome).

Through the Saya passes a silk or leather cord known as Sageo, which is tied to the Hime of the Samurai (part of the obi belt).

The Koshirae features important fittings such as the Tsuba (handguard) which help protect the hand from the opponent sword, Fuchi and Kashira (handle collar and pommel), ornamental menuki which help keep the handle intact and works together with the other fittings to provide better grip.

Another important aspects in the differences between Koshirae and Shirasaya is that the Koshirae Tsuka uses a wooden core handle wrapped with ray skin samegawa,

The Samegawa provides non slip grip even if the hands were sweaty or soaked with blood. (imagine Samurai in the battlefield, the Samegawa is extremely important to allow the wielder stable grip on the sword).

The ito wrap covers the Samegawa and helps keep the handle and fittings in place while the sword comes in contact with the target.

Shirasaya Mount

In the other hand is the Shirasaya.

This type of mount is completely opposite to the previous one, in the way that while the Koshirae is intended for regular use of the sword.

The Shirasaya is used to hold the sword for long periods of inactivity.

This mount consists of a simple wooden structure involving both the handle and the Saya, so that when the Katana is sheathed it looks like a single piece.

Not having the accessories required for a functional sword, such as the ray skin for the grip of the handle and the Sageo for tying the saya to the belt, this type of pieces are relegated only to the exhibition.

At first, what you will surely be looking for is a conventional sword with a Koshirae mount.

However, having a Shirasaya, especially if it’s your favorite sword and you want to keep it intact for many years, is always a good option.

Not to mention, of course, how elegant it is to display a Shirasaya in your home or Dojo.

Samurai Swords Parts

Samurai Sword Handle

What we might call the Katana handle is somewhat more complex than that of normal swords, and is divided into several parts which works together in perfect harmony.

Let’s go by part by part.

Why is it important to know the pieces of the handle of the Katana?

Well, as you enter this world you will discover that Samurai swords are enormously complex.

As you’ll see in this section, the handle itself is made up of a variety of accessories, each with a purpose. Best of all, it can be assembled and disassembled at will.

This means that if one day you want to change some part of your Katana, either because you want to design it to your liking or because you want to replace some damaged part, you can do it without any major inconvenience.


What is the handle of a Katana composed of?

Tsuka, is the handle itself.

The handle of a Katana is a complex piece, the result of years of perfecting the creation of swords.

While in other parts of the world the handles were limited to being a piece from which to grab the weapon, in Japan were a whole system in which each small part played a role.

The handle of a Katana consists of a wooden core. This is secured to the blade by one or two pegs, usually made of bamboo, known as Mekugi.

The wood core is wrapped in ray skin, known as Samegawa, which gives the wearer an excellent grip.

Then the entire handle is wrapped in a cotton, silk or leather ribbon known as Ito. This wrapping makes the handle more comfortable and in turn allows it to attenuate shocks greatly, there are several types of wrapping styles.

Samurai Sword Fittings

Below you can find some photos and descriptions of each samurai sword fittings parts.


Seppa are the spacers that can be found on top and below the Tsuba, together with the Fuchi, it serves to absorb the vibration of the blade at the moment of impact and for the Tsuba to adjust better.



Fuchi is the hilt collar that can be found between the Tsuka and Tsuba. The fuchi covers the opening of the Japanese sword handle. The tang of a sword goes into the tsuka through the opening in the fuchi.



At the base of the grip is a piece known as Kashira, which is the pommel, not only it helps to hold the Ito intact but also can be used to give non-lethal blows to the opponent from short range.



Underneath the Ito are metal ornaments known as Menuki, which can have different shapes. The Menuki also helps securing the ito and Kashira in place when the sword is being used.


Tsuba – Handguard

Tsuba, is the handguard that protects the Samurai’s fingers from both the rival’s sword and his own -for, in case the sword slips, the blade of the sword could come into contact with his hand, cutting it.

The Tsuba is basically a disc that can be made with different artistically worked materials. Some special specimens can be worth as much as a sword.

The Tsuba consists of a main hole to fix it to the handle, but it also usually has two lateral spaces.

These were traditionally used to hold a small knife (Kozuka) and a stiletto (Kogai).

Habaki – Blade Colar

Above the Tsuba itself is the Habaki. This is the blade collar that secures the Tsuba to the handle and helps secure the sword in the saya.

Habaki, is a copper or brass band that wraps around the blade and serves to protect the Samurai when drawing the sword.

The Samurai used it with the same function with which a cowboy would cock a revolver: to prepare for the attack.

This involved pressing the Saya with the thumb until the Habaki, which held the sword secured to it, emerged. Once the blade was released, it could be drawn in less than a fraction of a second to deliver a deadly blow to its opponent. This is known as koiguchi-o-kiru.

In koiguchi-o-kiru, the Samurai pulls the sword with his finger, leaving the Habaki free. Like cocking a revolver, this is a threatening gesture.

Samurai Sword Saya

“Saya” is the name given to Japanese sword scabbard.

They are made of lightweight materials; usually some type of wood with a lacquered finish.

In addition, unlike a normal scabbard, it has several characteristics that make it more efficient and transform it into a unique object in its class.

Everything in the design of the saya is made to provide optimal protection for the sword while facilitating the drawing. So effective is this one that the samurai had developed a unique fighting style that consisted of drawing and attacking at the same time, delivering deadly blows in fractions of a second, with a speed impossible to match for conventional swords.

The saya is made up of different parts and pieces:

Kurikata: This is a wooden knob in which the sageo is adjusted.

Shitodome: Metal inlay that goes inside the kurikata. This prevents the sageo from wearing away with friction, as it would if it were in direct contact with the kurikata.

Sageo: The cotton, silk, or leather cord that connects the sheath to the samurai’s belt. It serves so that he can comfortably carry the sword when walking and always have it at hand.

Koiguchi: This is the hole in which the blade of the sword is inserted into the saya. (Usually made of buffalo horn)

Kojiri: It is the end part of the saya. (Usually made of buffalo horn)

Where to Buy Samurai Swords?

Well, you know what you can expect from a sword depending on its materials, the different uses of these, and the parts of which they are composed. Now comes the hour of truth; to seek them out.

The first thing you should know is that 90% of the swords distributed around the world come from Asia. Whether from Japan, China, the Philippines, or India. And in these countries, you can find both good and bad practices.

In this section we have separated the different types of places where you can buy Katana blades and other Samurai swords, analyzing the pros and cons of each, and what you can expect from them.

Mass Produced swords

If you have searched the internet you probably came around different types of massive marketplaces, you will have noticed that many swords can be found in them from different sellers.

Everyone who sells there say that their swords are made of the best steel and all that stuff. However, searching for swords in this type of stores is the equivalent of buying a computer in a hypermarket.

Do you have options? Lots. Do they claim to be the best? Sure. Do they really work? Well…

Most of the time, no.

So, where to buy Samurai swords? Well, while not all swords sold in these stores are bad, and there are honest sellers, it is very difficult to discern which is the real deal and which is not.

And if you fail, sometimes what you can expect from one of these swords is that it breaks at first use. This is fine if you don’t intend to use it and if it was sold to you at a cheap price.

However, the problem is if they sold you that sword for functional and aesthetic purposes and they are not as claimed.

Join our VIP club to enjoy discount when you place your order!

If you are going to buy in these hyper markets, the best thing is to limit yourself to buying cheap products, which can’t disappoint you. And in case they do, at least have a clear conscience for not having spent too much on them.

The vast majority of the vendors in these stores claim to have forged the swords themselves. This is, if not false, at least doubtful.

Some sellers buy their swords from Chinese factories that produce them in mass.


In them there are no master blacksmiths, only workers.

These, though experienced, lack the skills necessary to make real Samurai swords or the time to devote to each one the required attention.

In these places one comes to work. And thanks to this, they are able to produce up to 100 swords per day.

All of them, as you would expect, made of cheap materials such as stainless steel. And even, to top it all, with Rat Tail Tang!

At the end of the day, when you are looking for Samurai sword with a minimum standard of quality, you move away from hypermarkets, because you know everything is dispensing there to be sold in mass, reducing costs as much as possible.

Similarly, if you are looking for a functional sword the best thing would be to find someone you can trust and that will provide you with great customer service and care.

Hand Forged Swords

This is where the goods starts.

When it comes to hand-forged swords, instead of mass production factories we find the most varied organizations.

From sheds with blacksmiths, small private workshops to families forging swords in their backyard. They are all moved by the same thing: the love for Japanese swords and the desire to create the next valuable piece.

When it comes to hand-forged Samurai swords, each blacksmith devotes the time needed to the swords. They forge them, usually by hammering them by hand, with authentic materials and subject them to the necessary treatments to make functional swords.

And even, depending on the buyer’s needs, they submit them to optional treatments in order to enhance the power of the sword or it’s appearance as well as you are able to customize the size and shape of the sword among other treats.

Sometimes the process may not be as “fashionable” as we might have expected from an ancestral culture in the forging of swords.

The truth is that nowadays few are the places that comply with all these characteristics.

Eventually it is all depends on the swordmaker, his experience and expertise. When putting those into the craft the result is unquestionably strong sword.

There is a reason why most buyers looking for functional swords choose these handmade Samurai swords.

they are strong and affordable.

And many of them are as good for practice and cutting as Katana swords made in Japan. Which, just because they were made there, can cost between $12,000 and $50,000.

When to buy handmade swords?

Well, if what you are looking for is a functional and resistant sword, have limited budget and you don’t care about the nationality of the blacksmith but about the result he offers, then these are the swords for you.

Newly Made Samurai Swords of Japanese Craftsmen

First of all, you should know that Japan is not allowed by law to produce mass functional swords.

The only thing they can do is to make aluminium zinc swords that cannot have a sharp edge and are only used for training. (Iaito)

Real swords are sparingly produced by experienced masters who use Tamahagane steel.

These are created mostly with traditional tools, but some modern machinery such as power hammers are also used to shape the metal at first.

In addition, the entire process is highly mystified, and the swords go through a serious spiritual ritual that seeks to endow them with a special power.

Due to the limitation on sword forging in Japan and the care that goes into each of these, prices can become really high.

We are talking about prices ranging from $5000 to $13,000, just for a bare blade.

When it comes to whole swords, they range from $12,000 to $50,000. Some can be even more.

When to buy swords made by Japanese craftsmen?

When what you are looking for is a sword made in Japan, pampered to the utmost detail, and you have no problem paying for it.

If you are with the budget, you can contact us for arranging for you a sword made in Japan, please note that waiting time can be 1-2 years for a custom made blade.

Antique Samurai swords

In the online markets you can also find antique Samurai swords.

If you search on different websites you will find a variety of antique (or so called antiques) swords to buy.

Most of them are from the Second World War. However, there are also several that are from earlier times.

Antique Samurai swords are pieces of history rather than just swords, and are therefore not intended for use but for exhibition.

This does not mean that they are not able to cut as well as a functional Katana. However, you must keep in mind that the years take their toll on the metal. And you don’t want to spoil an expensive old sword.

When to buy antique Japanese swords?

When you don’t plan to use the sword but to exhibit it, either in your home or Dojo, and you also recognize the historical value in it.

Also beware of counterfeits as, those are numerous and it is better to consult with an antique expert before purchasing any antique Samurai sword.

Custom Made Swords

The Advantages of Customizing Your Own Sword

We have seen the different markets that exist to which one can turn when looking for a sword. Each with its advantages and disadvantages.

What we are about to see is a variant of the market of hand forged swords, and that is that of customization.

All custom swords are hand forged, so you can expect them to be fully functional and affordable, depending on their components.

Here, from the quality of the steel to the design of the sword, it’s up to you to decide what you want.

You can bring out your creative side and create a unique sword that reflects your ideals -with your colours, your animals, and even engraving the phrase you want on it.

Or, if you’re a practical person, you’ll be happy to know that you have total control over the blade and the procedures it goes through.

Sword Customization Options

Using our designated forms that can be found on each sword below, you can start creating your custom sword as per your specs, requirements and needs. or scroll down to get a sneak peek on the future of Samurai swords customization.

Custom Katana Sword
Custom Katana
Custom Wakizashi Sword
Custom Wakizashi
Custom Tanto Blade
Custom Tanto
Custom Nagamaki
Custom Nodachi
Custom Ninjato Sword
Custom Ninjato

We are Proud to Present:

The 3D Samurai Swords Customization App

Samurai Swords Store App

If you have a little time, you can create an exclusive sword for yourself like the one you’ve always wanted.

You can start customizing your own Samurai sword right now 
It’s easy and fun.

Try it now!

Download App