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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Militaria > Swords & Daggers > Japanese Samurai Swords Buying Guide

 

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 Japanese Samurai Swords Buying Guide
By John Gottshall

At Japanese Swords 4 Samurai we offer a wide selection of samurai swords and other oriental weapons, such as ninja swords & weapons and various other Chinese swords & weapons. You will also find several authentic samurai swords to choose from. Our most popular are Paul Chen Swords and Thaitsuki Nihonto Swords.

When it comes to samurai swords, there is quite a bit of terminology for the new collector to understand. But we want to make it easy for anyone to find a good quality samurai sword that will last a lifetime, no matter if you're looking for one of the very sought after Paul Chen Katana swords for battle or just a quality sword to hang over the mantle.

The first thing to consider for your new samurai sword is the type and quality of the blade. If you're looking for a battle ready samurai sword you want to be sure and choose a full tang blade, which all of our authentic samurai swords feature as well as all of our battle ready swords. The term "full tang" means that the blade and the part of the sword under the Tsuka (handle) is one long piece of steel. If you get a sword that is not full tang then you're basically buying it to hang on the wall and nothing more.

The next thing to consider when choosing a sword is the type of steel that the blade is made of. There are basically 3 types of steel, 420 J2 (Stainless steel), High Carbon, and Folded steel. If you are looking for a battle ready sword you'll want to stay away from the 420 J2 Stainless. High carbon steel is very high quality steel; however folded steel is the strongest. Actually it's not that the folded steel is a different type of steel, but how the blade is forged.

A folded steel blade is typically made from high carbon steel. The difference is that a folded steel blade is just like it says; the steel is folded over and over again until the smith believes that it is adequate.

Some people say that a good high carbon steel blade can be just as strong as a folded steel blade. The smiths for the Thaitsuki Nihonto Swords claim to have mastered a form of forging high carbon steel blades that is just as strong if not stronger than many of the folded steel blades.

When choosing a sword samurai sword there are basically 3 different styles to consider, the katana sword, the Wakizashi sword and the Tanto sword. The Japanese Katana Sword is the most popular among collectors and martial arts students alike.

The katana sword was the first and is still the most popular of all samurai swords. The blade is typically 29" long with an overall length around 40"

The Wakizashi sword is the shorter companion blade of the katana sword. We first see the Wakizashi sword during the Muromachi period (1568-1603). The Wakizashi was about 18" long and only allowed to be carried by a samurai. Carrying both the katana and the Wakizashi was popular for the next few hundred years.

The smallest samurai sword would be the tanto sword or dagger. Originally tanto swords were 12" in length or less but it's not out of the ordinary to come across a Tanto that is 15" long.

Samurai sword collecting is a very popular past time for many Americans. Something that is becoming even more popular is martial arts that make use of samurai sword for fighting and cutting exercises. The most popular and affordable authentic samurai swords are the Paul Chen Swords. You can find a decent Paul Chen Practical Katana Sword for under $200. However for less than a hundred more you can get yourself a Paul Chen Practical Plus Katana. If you're looking for something a little more pricy the Paul Chen Bushido Katana or Orchid Katana will last a lifetime and can take quite a beating. The Orchid and Bushido also come in a Wakizashi and Tanto.

In conclusion, the most important thing when buying your sword is that you know what kind of blade you're getting. If you want a functional sword be sure that you're not getting one that's only made to hang on the wall. If it's not clearly stated on the page for the sword, don't hesitate to contact the store to ask any questions you might have.

Decorative replica Samurai Set with wooden scabbard. Only USD $175.00

 John Gottshall is the owner of Japanese Swords 4 Samurai. Your source for quality Chinese Swords & Weapons.

 



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