We pride ourselves on our top-notch customer service. We’re in direct contact with you regarding your order from start to finish. We also send pictures of the finished sword for your approval (and excitement!) before shipping. Other companies may accept orders and rush to fulfill them as soon as possible, whereas all of our swords are hand-forged and made to order by master smiths using the time-honored traditional Japanese & Chinese techniques. These swords are not fashioned on an assembly line; each is crafted with the care & respect the heritage deserves.
Our swords are made in Longquan, a small town in China with a swordmaking history that goes back 2,600 years since the Spring & Autumn period. It is believed that Longquan is where the first iron sword was constructed. The legacy of the Longquan sword began when the legendary swordsmith Ou Yezi 歐冶子 forged a sword named Longyuan at the foot of Qingxi Mountain, an area with abundant iron ore, cold springs for quenching, and fine stones for polishing blades. The methods of traditional forging and hand crafting were passed down and improved upon from generation to generation, and still today Longquan is famous locally and abroad for the quality of their swords. We work directly with the most trusted swordsmiths and craftsmen in Longquan to bring you the highest quality, fully functional swords at an affordable price. Each sword comes with a certificate of authenticity from the smith.
Sharpened steel swords made in Japan, called Shinken, are considered a national treasure and there are strict laws governing sword production. Each sword must be made in the old traditional process and using the traditional blade material (tamahagane) which takes months including smelting, forging, and polishing. Each smith is only permitted to make a small number of swords each year. Because of these restrictions, real swords made in Japan are a rare and valuable commodity; most Shinken cost over $10,000. Swords in Longquan are also considered a national intangible cultural heritage, but smiths are not bound by the same restrictions - they are free to combine modern & traditional methods and materials to create some of the highest quality, fully functional swords in the world at affordable prices.
We refer to Japanese Quality to emphasize the difference from swords that are Made in China and of low quality & mass produced. All of our swords are fully handmade-to-order in the traditional way they have been forged for many generations. Many Longquan swordsmiths received their knowledge directly from Japanese forges; there is a rich history of information sharing between the two cultures. In these modern times, a Japanese Katana and a Longquan Katana are functionally the same.
Yes, every sword on our website is full tang and functional. The full width of the blade extends into the handle and is secured with two bamboo mekugi pegs. Even our most affordable swords, (1060 high carbon steel) are very capable when sharpened, and can cut through traditional tatami mats easily. 1060 steel is a great compromise between hardness and durability and is the best option for light to medium cutting and iaido forms.
For heavier cutting such as thick bamboo and bone, we suggest selecting one of our 1095 steel blades. It’s high hardness and excellent edge retention make it the best option for heavy duty cutting. We offer mono-tempered 1095 blades (same hardness throughout), or clay tempered blades (differentially hardened) to give the blade the dual benefit of a very hard/sharp cutting edge, and a softer, flexible spine for added shock absorption.
Our swords are constructed with traditional Japanese methods and can be fully disassembled for maintenance. The carved handle and scabbard are made of hardwood from a tree species local to Longquan called DU tree, it’s hard & durable and not prone to issues like splitting. The handles are wrapped with genuine rayskin, and the handle and tang are drilled with two holes (mekugi-ana) which will be used to secure the blade into the handle with tapered bamboo mekugi pegs.
The handle is wrapped tightly with silk or genuine leather ito. The sword can be disassembled by hammering out the two mekugi pegs and pulling the handle and fittings from the blade. Every sword is fitted very tightly and securely with the highest safety standards. When the sword is shaken, you will not hear any rattling of fittings. It can even take considerable strength to disassemble the sword because of how secure the fitting is.
We can ship to the United States, Canada, and Australia with no customs issues. Hand forged swords are perfectly fine to possess in these countries. We’ve shipped to each country hundreds of times before.
For other countries, we can consider using a package forwarding service. Please contact us for more information.
We can also ship to the following countries:
Papua New Guinea
Swords are legal to own in most countries, though it’s best to check directly with your local customs office to confirm there are no issues receiving a sword.
Forever guarantee: We stand behind the quality of our swords. After your sword is created at the forge, we will send you pictures and will only ship after your approval. If at any time you have issues with the craftsmanship of your sword, please reach out to us and we will do our best to make things right.
Custom engravings are laser engraved on the blade near the handle.
English engravings are done in a very nice cursive font, except if it’s in all caps - we'll use serif. We will hand pick a font that looks best for your engraving.
Japanese/Chinese engravings are done in a beautiful stylized calligraphic Kanji. When picking a Kanji engraving option, feel free to submit in English in the engraving box, and we will translate it to Kanji for you. The smith's name on the blade option is done in Kanji by default
Shipping usually takes around 7-10 days to most countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. In some cases bad weather and also the pre-Christmas rush can delay shipping by about 1-2 weeks. We’ll provide a tracking number when your sword ships that you’ll be able to track with both EMS and your national post office. For most orders, we estimate 4-6 weeks from the time the order is submitted to when you receive it. If you need a sword by a specific date or within a shorter time frame, contact us and we can see about prioritizing your order.
Unless indicated otherwise, every sword is hand-forged and made-to-order for a high-quality & unique product created for you. This intricate process takes 3-4 weeks to complete. We’ll send pictures of your sword by email for confirmation (please whitelist firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you get our email). Tanto and wakizashi swords usually take around 4 weeks. Highly customized swords such as blades of a custom length or custom painted scabbards will typically take 4-5 weeks. For most orders, we estimate 4-6 weeks from the time the order is submitted to when you receive it. If you need a sword by a specific date or within a shorter time frame, contact us and we can see about prioritizing your order.
Our swords are shipped very securely in form-fitted styrofoam that matches the shape of the sword so it won’t have any room to rattle around, even when abused by post office workers. The foam encasing is wrapped tightly with plenty of packing tape which keeps it waterproof. The package can be opened by cutting down the middle of the thin side.
We ship to anywhere in the United States for free! For all other countries, we offer a flat shipping rate of $19 USD.
Customers are responsible for customs taxes & duties.
You can contact us directly and we can provide an update on your order. Otherwise, we do send finished pictures of your sword for approval once it’s completed.
Yes, you can customize every sword on our website. Even if you’re not happy with the existing options available to you, you can request just about any change you could think of. We can change most fittings, wrappings, and blade coloring (black, red, or blue) for free. These kinds of requests can be made in the order comments section during checkout. If what you need done is more complex and might cost extra, please contact us with your request. If you make a request in the comments section when ordering your sword and it happens to cost extra we’ll kindly follow-up and explain the cost difference and send an invoice for the cost if you’re happy with it.
Yes, please contact us for our full fittings catalog which features more options not listed on our website.
We’re able to make simple cut iron fittings if none of the fittings from our catalog suit your blade, though it’s best to reach out to us directly in this case to be sure we can craft the perfect sword for you!
The longest sword we’re able to forge uses these dimensions:
Handle Length: 15.7”
Blade Length: 35.4”
Overall Length: 53.1”
If you’d like a sword of similar dimensions, we can customize the length of most of our swords. You can reach out to us if you’re interested in a custom blade length, we can use any length under these maximum dimensions with no issue.
Our default menuki placement is Gyaku-Menuki, this places the menuki in the palms of a right-handed wielder. If you’d like the menuki placed for your fingertips, you can contact us with your order number and request this change.
Absolutely! It’s best to reach out to us directly and receive our full fittings catalog, this will give you a full selection of fittings and saya to choose from. We process orders for spare fittings directly through email, though you can place an order for spare saya manually here.
If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities or would just like to understand each customizable option, feel free to contact us and we’d love to talk you through it. There are many intricate details to consider and we are more than happy to share how each may be relevant. We want to make sure the sword you create is the reflection of what you’ve envisioned.
Yes we've recreated many customer's favorite swords, please send details and pictures to email@example.com and we’ll let you know about the possibilities and quote.
If you want to gift a custom sword but want to leave the customization to the lucky recipient, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a gift certificate on file for them.
Each sword begins with a bar of high quality carbon steel. If the sword should be folded, the master smith heats the steel in a coal furnace until it is red hot and then hammers the steel flat, chisels a cut into the center, and folds the steel on top of itself around 12-13 times (4,096-8,192 layers). Any more is unnecessary and would cause too much carbon to be lost in the process. The fold cuts are alternated cross-wise and length-wise to achieve a unique grain pattern (hada) on the blade.
The blade is repeatedly heated-treated in the process of shaping to keep the steel malleable while the smith hammers the steel into the rough desired shape of the blade. It’s crucial at this stage to minimize the number of times the blade is heated up; the smith must move at a very fast pace to prevent any more carbon on the surface from dissipating. Once the blade is shaped, the smith then begins the finishing process. First he does a rough filing, and then the blade is grinded with a whetstone to achieve the desired blade geometry.
This is where the forging process will differ depending on the type of sword. If the blade is mono-tempered (through hardened) like all of our 1060 steel swords, the blade will be re-heated (tempered) and then quenched in oil. This cools the blade quickly, giving it the desired hardness and durability needed to make a functional sword. Heating and quenching the blade at the perfect temperature is something of instinct that can only be mastered through years of experience by a skilled swordsmith.
If the sword is clay tempered, the smith will apply a special clay mixture to the blade before tempering and quenching (performed with water in this case). The adhesive clay is made out of a mixture of charcoal, pulverized wet stone, and other ingredients; the exact proportions and ingredients are the smith’s own personal secret. After the mixture is carefully prepared, the smith applies it to the roughly ground sword with equal delicacy. The clay is painted on to the blade in a thin layer. Once the light layer of clay is applied to the cutting edge, the smith will use a thicker clay mixture for the spine of the blade. This coating is to ensure the blade does not heat up too much and over-harden. After both layers are applied, the smith will go to work with a small spatula, arranging the clay in a specific pattern on the blade to create the beautiful, unique temper line.
After shaping, finishing, and tempering, it is the job of the polisher to reveal the true beauty and soul of the sword. Our swords are polished with a series of 13 different water stones by an expert polisher, starting with coarse stones that finalize the shaping of the geometry of the blade, creating crisp and proper surfaces, and ending with fine stones that bring the sword to a mirror polish, revealing the beautiful grain pattern (hada) and temper line (hamon) that laid dormant within the steel, bringing the sword to life.
The blade attains its sharp edge during the polishing process, with the final stages of fine stone polishing. Our swords are made with a traditional niku edge by default, meaning the cutting edge side of the blade is convex, slightly rounded for maximum durability. Traditionally, Japanese swords are made with niku so the samurai’s blade could retain its cutting edge even after cutting through his enemy’s bones and clashing against iron armor. Additionally, the added thickness meant the edge could be resharpened several times which was important considering the sword’s value. While we always recommend niku sharpness which is still very sharp and functional, we also offer a razor sharp option, which offers a sharper edge but sacrifices some durability, only suggested for light cutting such as tatami mats.
In feudal Japan, swordsmiths used a material called tamahagane which consisted of iron sands and charcoal smelted in a clay tatara furnace. This blade material was very impure, with gaps in the steel, less desirable elements, and an uneven distribution of carbon throughout. The steel was folded around a dozen times to even out the carbon content and remove impurities, creating a strong blade without any weak points in the steel.
Though folding was once a vital process in making a quality sword, modern steel is already pure and possesses even carbon throughout, which eliminates the need for folding. Now it is done out of tradition and to create the beautiful grain pattern (hada) on the blade which samurai swords are famous for. We offer folded 1060 and 1095 steel as an option for those who value the traditional forging process and unique beauty of traditional Japanese swords.
Our 1060 High Carbon Steel makes for a great starter sword or practice sword, and can be used for light to medium cutting (tatami mats and fresh bamboo).
Our 9260 Spring Steel holds a similar blade hardness but is much more durable/flexible, it's the best option for Iaido practice and light/medium cutting. With the flexibility of the blade, it’s also the most forgiving on poor cut angles, making it a great blade for a new swordsman.
Our 1095 High Carbon Steel is the hardest steel we offer and holds the sharpest, most durable edge, it's best for heavy duty cutting and can cut through thick bamboo, bone, and iron wire with ease.
Finally, our Tamahagane steel is forged directly from iron sand, in the exact traditional way it was forged during feudal Japan, and finished with hazuya/jizuya polishing stones. This makes the blade a wonderful choice for a gorgeous display piece, a gift, or even an heirloom. It’s also a durable blade and can be used for medium cutting with no issue.
1095 High Carbon Steel is what we recommend for a no-nonsense fully functional sword. Clay tempering improves shock absorption slightly but isn't required for a powerful sword.
We do currently have a virtual guide for sword maintenance, you can contact us to request the guide, we’re happy to send it over! For sharpening the sword, our swords are sharpened in a way that will keep the cutting edge sharp and durable for many years if cared for properly, there’s no need to sharpen the sword for a very long time.
Not to worry, it’s no defect! It’s possible for the scabbard to swell from moisture during the shipping process, this could make the scabbard fit a bit tighter. You can use more force when drawing the sword the first few times, this will normalize the scabbard fit.