How to choose a right sword for yourself?
Many sword enthusiasts feel confusing when they plan to buy a right sword, especially for the beginners. Here, we summarize the most frequently concern for most of sword lover, these are the main questions you need to learn when you want to buy a sword.
1. How to choose the right material for your sword?
There are many materials to be made into a blade. As far as Japanese and Chinese hand-made sword is considered, the mostly used material is carbon steel. The fascination of ancient method is to make a combination of high quality blade and charming appearance sword only with common materials.
Following materials are mainly used to be made into a blade:
A. Low carbon steel: (1060/1050/1045...) Common low carbon steel is a kind of "soft material", Hardness and flexibility are both low comparing with other materials. A blade made from this material is suitable for decorated, tatami mats cutting practice, and it is good to be used as a practice sword for beginner of Dojo. It can¡¯t be used to cut bamboos, wood, and other hard things because of the strength.
B. Folded steel: Folded steel actually is made by forging the low carbon steel many times. 11-13 times fold will make the blade contains 4000-16000 layers. This folded forge will get rid of the impurity of the low carbon steel and make the blade looks charming with fine wavy lines. So this kind of blade is also called ¡°Damascus¡± steel. This blade is widely accepted by many practicers not only because of the performance price ratio but also the unique wavy line. This is a middle class strength blade, suitable for mats cutting, bamboo cutting, but not suitable to cut very hard thing such as bone, iron wire and so on.
C. High carbon steel (1095/T10) High carbon steel is also called tool steel in some countries, this is a strong material. A blade made from this material is not only for practice but also cutting. This is a real functional sword and it can cut bamboo, bone, iron wire and so on if the cutting edge are designed into right style.(see part 3)
D. Combined materials: This is high class productions and the technology of combining different material is the core of ancient making process. This kind of swords are not only a "sword", they are a kind of "collection" as well. They are the combination of art and craftsmanship.
2. About clay tempered and multiple step hand-abrasive
Clay tempered and hand abrasive is the unique process for the swords made by ancient method. This process is widely used when make a high quality blade. A top abrasive blade, only the abrasive step will cost an experienced craftsman about 4-5 days. Of course, this will increase a lot on selling price. But, clay tempered and abrasive can¡¯t improve the functional use very obviously. So if you only wanting to buy a practice sword or you are planning to buy a functional cutting sword, there is no need to pay that much for the properties you maybe never care.
3. What is suitable cutting edge structure?
Most of sword lover will ask the same question," is your blade razor sharp?" .Actually, sharpness is a parameter of the blade, but not the only. The different cutting edge is designed for different using. The first kind of cutting edge is for "heavy cut", it feels not very sharp; it is designed to cut such as iron pail, armor, big bone or other very hard things. The second one is a balanced one, it feels sharp and most of the blades are made this way. Iron wire, thin iron pail, bamboos, woods and thin bone are all ok for it. The style of the third kind of cutting edge is razor sharp; it is good enough for cutting "not hard thing", such as mat, bamboo, paper and so on. The razor sharp cutting edge will chip if we cut very hard thing, for example thick iron pail, it is nothing to do with the blade material, but the structure of the cutting edge.