These guides are intended for those who want to
maintain, repair, or upgrade their sword. They are focused on those who
study swordsmanship and not those who collect Nihonto. Please do not make
a sword that could be a valuable heirloom your DIY project. You could be
destroying an irreplaceable piece of history and costing yourself hundreds of
thousands. We recommend having your katana repaired by an experienced
professional and not doing it yourself. We also offer a wide range of
specialty tools and supplies.
Nihonzashi LLC, its employees, and associated companies
are not responsibility for any injury, damage or loss incurred by following any
advice given on this site. Katana are dangerous objects and the utmost
care should be given when working with them.
You've stepped up and gotten a real sword but don't have a clue on how to
maintain it. We'll let you know what you supplies you need and how to
use them. Unlike most decorative wall hangers - real katana rust!
If the blade is touched - it needs to be immediately cleaned unless you want
to personalize your blade with rust fingerprints.
A traditional nihonto (Japanese made sword)
is held together with a single small bamboo peg called a mekugi. They
are not riveted, glued, or screwed together. A samurai staked his life
on that one small peg. Two or three poorly done mekugi are not as good
as a single properly done one. It is our opinion that mekugi on most
production katana (including the ones we sell) should be replaced.
A proper katana can be disassembled for inspection, repair, or a thorough
cleaning. It is also fairly easy to customize you katana by swapping
tsuba. This guide will walk you through the process of disassembling
and reassembling your katana or wakizashi.
Is my Sword Sharp?
If you are not sure your katana needs sharpening this is the page for you
to checkout. There are plenty of questionable tests like cutting
paper, shaving the hair off your arm, or scraping your thumb on the edge
with a sage expression on your face. If you are asking the question, you
probably already know the answer. It is important to understand what makes
your katana dull. We have found six things you should watch out for. These
are Abrasion, Rolled Edge, Flattened Edge, Chipped Edge, Corrosion, and Self
Mutilation. We cover each of these in their own section.
Discusses sharpening of katana and wakizashi using Japanese water stones.
This is not a cosmetic polish but intended to make the sword cut better.
Use a series of Japanese water stones ranging from 80 to 10,000 grit to put
a razor edge and polished surface on your katana.
This section discusses the surface polish of a katana and what grit
abrasives are used. The surface polish of a katana is as important to
cutting as the geometry. It is especially important for the durability of
the edge and surface friction of the blade. An edge from a coarse grit stone
may feel very sharp and cut well for the first few times, but it will
quickly become dull. A rough finish will also bind up in the target.
Polishing and sharpening a katana are the same process.
This section discusses proper and improper edge geometry for tameshigiri.
Knifes are usually sharpened by beveling the edge and leaving the main
surface of the blade untouched. A katana should have continuous polished
surfaces right up to the edge. The entire surface of the blade must be
reworked to sharpen it. A katana might come with a badly shaped edge from
the maker or it might be a result of amateur sharpening. Most katana come
from the maker with an edge optimized for hard targets. They don't know what
you are going to do with it, and this is the most durable