The properties that make a Samurai sword popular

0
41
Advertisement

If you are looking for a samurai sword, then you may find various types of swords on the market. Remember that a Samurai Sword can be utilized for practicing fighting techniques, collection, or even for decoration. One of the samurai swords you can find out there is called the katana sword. You can easily recognize this sword by its curved blade that resembles a saber. 

The katana sword has a single-edged blade and has several features. This includes the guard designed to protect your hand from the blows of your opponent and it can also prevent your hand from touching the blade while fighting.  Besides this, there are also several factors that make this sword stand out. This page discusses the properties that make a samurai sword popular. 

The tamahagane steel production and steel folding

The crucial component of steel is iron, and swordsmiths extra it from iron ore in iron smelters. You should note that Japan used to import iron because the smelting furnaces were not yet available during the ancient times. The metal derived from the smelters is known as tamahagane. It has several impurities and other elements that need further processing.

The blacksmith requires using lumps that have similar composition and process them. Similar bits can then be combined to make a single lump and folded several times during the forging process.  

When it comes to the blade that is produced from modern steel, it’s not necessary to use this folding technique. This is because the steel extracted from a modern smelter is already homogenous and folding can damage its condition. With these modern blades, their layers are there for aesthetic purposes. You should remember that most modern homogenized steels can also give great test cutting results. 

Advertisement

Therefore, you can find a sword that is made up of traditional steel and features several multiple layers and modern industrially produced steel. In such cases, you can consider the difference in their prices, though the quality of steel is always important. 

Modern replica swords usually utilize spring steel and high-carbon steel. But it makes sense to get an authentic Japanese sword that is laboriously folded using both types of steel because they can be durable. 

Also, make sure that the guard and handle are solid. The handle was traditionally made up of soft wood, such as magnolia wood. Ideally, the handle needs to be tightly attached to the blade. There are also properly crafted katana swords that have a well-connected handle. The wooden core of these handles tends to fit tightly to the shaft of the blades.

The hilt or tsuka of genuine katana swords also feature sharkskin or stingray covers. These covers have a rough surface to help improve the tightness of your grip. You can further improve your grip as some katana swords come with a cotton band or leather strap. The hilt and the blade are joined together using small pegs known as mekugi as well as a metal collar known as habaki. 

Also, the sheath is important, so most samurai swords have sheaths that are made up of lacquered and high-quality wood. The wooden scabbard has the cavity that perfectly fits the shape and profile of the blade. This allows the scabbard to protect the blade.  

Hamon

You should note that the finishing process associated with the blade production involves grinding and polishing. This tends to define the final curvature and shape of the properties of a blade. Grinders and polishers usually make sure that they handle this process properly, so they do this process manually. Some of the katana swords you find on the market nowadays were made by machines, but this doesn’t mean that they are of lower quality.

Aside from this, it’s worth considering the blade hardening process. During the differential hardening process, different parts of the steel object can be made harder than others. The manufacturers can achieve greater hardness at the edge while lower hardness can be made at the rest parts of the blade. And, the transition between the parts of different hardness can produce a visible surface known as hamon. 

Therefore, you can find many authentic samurai swords that have this hamon effect. That said, because there is now computer-controlled heat treatment and high-quality modern materials, this is a chance that you can find a good combination of flexibility and hardness, so you may find good katana swords without this hamon effect. As a result, you need to look out for the technical specification of the samurai sword, meaning check the steel utilized and its hardness.

Types of steel

Most blades that are hard tend to have higher levels of carbon. Carbon steel usually has carbon content between 0.4 and 1 percent. High carbon steels are ideal for differential hardening utilizing layers and this can produce the hamon effect. In most cases, carbon steel is utilized in industries and has an affordable price. But there are also some specific types of steel that have high nickel content, and these are more durable and expensive. This type of steel is more suitable for test cutting. 

Steel is elastic that allows it to retain its original shape after deforming it. Elasticity can be achieved by adding more silicon. Blades that are made up of spring steel are usually utilized for producing steel-on-steel clashes and stage fencing swords. Spring steel can resist cuts that are caused by impact. It’s also ideal for test cutting as it can absorb the force from the impact.  

Some manufacturers also produce blades using stainless steel. The good thing about stainless steel is that it is resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel can resist corrosion because it has a high content of chromium of at least 10.5 percent. You should note that stainless steel is usually used for outdoor and kitchen knives. Many manufacturers avoid utilizing stainless steel. But if they do, then the sword can be utilized as a blunt training sword or a decorative sword. This is because stainless steel is just too brittle to be used for test cutting.

Advertisement