Caring for Your Sword

It’s not enough just to own a genuine Japanese sword and hang it from the wall. Even though you may not use it in traditional sword-fighting, you still have to take care of your new sword so it continues to look as good as the day you bought it. Another issue to consider: Making sure that your sword is kept out of the way of children or inexperienced people, who could hurt themselves or others if they try playing with your sword.

What is the Blade Surface Made From?

The materials used in making your sword affect how you will care for it and how often you will have to do so. If your sword is a replica, it is likely to have been made from less than high-quality materials.

The manufacturing process for a genuine samurai sword means that the forge put the steel through a process known as folding. Looking at a genuine sword, you will see that it looks different from a replica sword, which may have a bright, mirror-like finish. A genuine samurai sword has a darker, duller appearance. The blade also has imperfections, caused by the forging and folding process. Look at the swords at Swords of the East, where you will be able to get a better idea about genuine versus replica samurai swords.

Why Should You Take Care of Your Sword

For replica swords, which are made from alloys such as zinc or aluminum, these are actually weaker and more fragile than the genuine samurai sword. The genuine article is usually made using carbon steel, which is much stronger than stainless steel.

If you have a replica sword, you will rarely have to put any time or effort into upkeep. Instead, look at the genuine samurai sword, which will require monthly maintenance and upkeep. You’ll find good examples at Swords of the East.

How to Care for an Antique Japanese Sword

Buy the following sword maintenance supplies:

* Uchiko powder

* Choji oil

* Tissue paper (although rice paper is the best choice

Regarding the paper, it has to be lint-free and soft. Steer clear of any tissues that have been impregnated with any substance or perfume.

After removing the blade from its scabbard, dismantle all the fittings. You’ll be holding only the tang. Fold tissue paper over until it is a wad. Wrap it around the dull edge of the blade and wipe carefully from tip down to handle. Use a gentle pressure as you rub. Keep doing this until you see no oil on the surface of the sword. You’ll have to use several pieces of tissue paper for this part of the cleaning.

Look your sword over and search out any damage or signs that rust is forming. If you see any rust, treat it with the uchiko powder. If the rust is significant, a professional polisher will have to remove the rust for you.

To clean your sword, apply a little uchiko powder to the sword surface, and then begin wiping from the tip all the way down to the tang. Repeat this for the opposite side of the sword. Coat both sides of the blade with the choji oil. Coat the entire blade to prevent the formation of rust.

When putting the fittings back on, make sure to replace the bamboo pin in the hilt. This keeps the sword blade from flying out of the fittings.

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Caring for Your Sword

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