Custom Katana Buyers Guide – How To Get A Custom Katana
If you are really into swords, then one type of sword you might be interested in purchasing is the Katana. In case you don’t know what a Katana is, no worries, because this is something that we will explain in detail below.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a very unique sword, one that literally nobody else on the planet has, then a custom made katana is definitely something cool to look into. If you want a nice katana, you want it to be unique, and you want to be able to decide what it looks like and what it is made of, then you have come to the right place.
What is a Katana
The Katana is a special type of Japanese sword that is characterized mainly by a curved and single edged blade that has either a circular of square guard, combined with a very long grip that is designed to allow for two handed use. What is interesting to note is that many samurais actually used these katanas with the blades turned upwards. In case you were wondering, the official word or name for this sword in Japanese is uchigatana.
The first records of katana swords being made date back to the early 13th century, and are still made to this day. For the most part, you can expect a katana to have a blade between 60 cm and 80 cm, or between 23 and 32 inches, with an average weight of 1.1 kg to 1.5 kg, or just over three pounds at the upper limit. The katana is often regarded as one of the finest sword and cutting weapons in all of history.
What are Katanas Used for?
Something that you might be wondering is what katana swords were actually used for. Well, in the beginning, the katan sword was developed in feudal Japan and designed for battle purposes. It was most often used by the famous samurai warriors of feudal Japan, and was indeed the weapon of choice. Of course, back then, the katana was used for actual war and battle purposes.
However, with the advent of modern technology, the katana, or really any other sword for that matter, has become completely obsolete as far as the battlefield is concerned. It’s not like you can defend against a drone dropping a two thousand pound bomb on you with a blade, no matter how good that blade may be. Of course, the katana was used by samurais, which was a big part of their Jujitsu training.
Yes, for those of you who don’t know, the martial art practiced by samurais is Jujitsu. Now, samurais do of course not exist anymore, but that said, katanas are still used in training in modern martial arts, mainly in Jujitsu, kenjutsu, and iaijutsu.
What is a Custom Katana?
Ok, so what you need to know here is that it is possible to get yourself a custom katana made by the very best in the business. Of course, when something is custom made, it means that it is made to order following specific instructions as set out by you. This means that you can choose how big the katana will be, what the handle is made of, what the blade is made of, and more. With that being said, it does serve to reason that custom katanas are quite expensive, something that we will talk about later on.
How Much do Custom Katanas Cost
It is fair to wonder how much a custom katana costs. After all, a high quality katana that is not custom made can already cost several thousand dollars. In terms of a custom made katana, depending on where you have it made, who the bladesmith is, and what materials the sword is made of (as well as the forging process and the size), will determine the cost. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $4,000 and $10,000+ on a high quality custom made katana.
How to Buy a Custom Katana
The most important thing that we are here to talk about today is how to actually choose a custom katana. Of course, if you plan on buying your own custom katana, you will need to know all about the various choices that you have at your disposal.
So, what we are here to do right now is to provide you with all of the information you need in order to create your own awesome custom katana. Now, this is actually quite the long process, because there is a total of 14 steps that go into choosing and making a custom katana. Right now, let’s go over this step by step process on how to choose a custom katana.
Step 1: To Sharpen or Not
The first step here is to choose whether or not you want the sword to be sharpened when it leaves the forgery. If you want the sword to actually be functional, then you of course do want to have it sharpened. However, if you are planning to use this sword for display purposes, or if you are planning to give it to somebody as a gift, especially to children, then you probably want the blade to be dull.
Step 2: Choosing the Metal
Perhaps one of the most important choices that you are going to make when designing your own custom sword is what type of metal do you want it to be made out of. There are various options to go with here, so let’s take a good bit of time to explain what each type of metal ends and how it will perform.
- The first type of steel that is often used for this type of sword is 1060 steel. This type of steel is ideal for use on light to moderate targets such as foam rolls and rolled mats, and it features a good balance of hardness and durability.
- The next option you have at your disposal is 1095 Steel, which is extremely hard steel that is mostly used for cutting heavier targets. This type of steel is very hard, but it is somewhat inflexible, which means that there is a chance of the blade breaking when you hit a hard target.
- The next type of steel that you can use for a custom made Cortana sword in 926 old Spring Steel. Its type of skill is extremely durable and it is also very flexible, thus allowing it to go back to its original curvature with very little chance of it breaking.
- Yet another option that you have at your disposal in terms of blade metal here is 1095 high carbon steel, which is a very special type of steel that contains a whole lot of carbon which therefore allows it to retain its edge very well. But this also does make it a bit brittle.
- If you are going for the best type of samurai blade as well as the most authentic type of samurai blade, what you want to go with is a material that is made out of a combination of iron and sand. This combination is known as Tamahagane. In terms of durability, functionality and authenticity, this is absolutely the best option that you can go with.
On a side note, you should also go for a Katana sword that features folded steel because folding the steel allows it to be extremely durable and it also helps to spread out the carbon content, which therefore helps to remove impurities and also helps develop a grainy pattern on the blade. Folded steel does take a lot longer to produce, but it is the better option to go with.
The other thing that you should look out for here when it comes to the materials is that the blade is clay tempered before it comes to you. Play temporary allows for a very hard edge for good cutting, but also allows for a more flexible back for absorbing shock.
Step 3: Choosing the Length
Keep in mind that most katanas have blades that are 28 inches long. However, remember that you are custom making you own sword, so technically speaking, you can choose how long you want it to be. You could get a 40 inch katana or a 12 inch katana. The world is your oyster and the choice is yours. Of course, the longer the sword, the higher the cost.
Step 4: To Groove or Not to Groove
What you need to do now is to choose whether or not you want a groove carved down the middle of the blade. This groove is known as a bo-hi. That groove in the middle of the blade does take away a lot of the weight, which allows for much easier use. But with that being said, it also means that there is less material on the sword and therefore less durable. If what you are going for is durability, then you will probably want to forgo having a groove made in your sword.
Step 5: The Hamon
A hamon is a wavy line that can be seen on katana swords. Unless you have a Tamahagane blade, you either won’t have a hamon, or you will need to have an artificial one attached to the blade.
Step 6: Color of the Scabbard & Sageo
The scabbard is what the sword slides into when you are not using it. Now is when you want to choose the color of the scabbard. There are many colors to choose from, and of course you are having this thing custom made so you should be able to choose any color that you want. This is also the point where you want to choose the color of the sageo, which is the rope that ties onto your belt to hold the scabbard and sword on your body.
Step 7: Choosing the Guard
What you need to do now is to choose what type of guard your sword will have, and generally speaking, this type of sword will have either a square or a round guard. Moreover, this card can also come in many different colors. Exactly what choices you have at your disposal will depend what blade smith you choose, but with that being said, if you are willing to spend enough money, you should be able to choose anything that you wish.
Step 8: The Fuchi, Kashira, and the Same’gawa
You can now choose what your fuchi and kashira will look like, which are the two end pieces that get fitted to the bottom of the handle and the bottom of the blade. There are tons to choose from! You can now also choose what kind and style of same’gawa you want, which is the wrap that goes around the handle.
Step 9: The Menuki
What you need to do now is to choose the menuki, and there are many choices here. The menuki is the metal fitting that goes into the hole of the handle to hold the blade in place. This covers the mekugi, the nail.
Step 10: Engraving
Although this is of course not 100% necessary, you could always choose to have your custom made sword engraved.
Best Brands for Custom Katanas
Ok, so the other thing that you probably want to know is where to get your custom katana made. There are many makers out there that will accommodate custom requests. One of the most popular custom sword makers out there at this time is Swords of Northshire. There are plenty of others to go with including Hanbon Forge, YarinoHanzo, katana craft, Unique Japan, Katanas for Sale, and many more.
The Bottom Line
When all has been said and done, if you are willing to spend a good bit of money, you can have your own custom katana made especially for you. The fact that you get to choose everything that goes into making this awesome weapons is amazing. No, it’s not a cheap undertaking, but most would agree that it is well worth the investment.