Samurai Sword Care
How to care for your Samurai Sword
A samurai sword is an ancient weapon that not everyone is privileged enough to own. This is why as an owner of a samurai sword, you have to maintain it with some time, effort and of course, love and care. In return, you will be a proud owner of a tough and sharp samurai sword.
Make sure that your samurai sword is always properly sheathed in a strong and sturdy sheath. This prevents the sword from getting damaged from any bumps or jars when you store it.
Besides having a strong sheathe, you have to ensure that the sword is sheathed and unsheathed properly to prevent any damage to the sword. When you unsheathe the sword, make sure that the wrapped part of the scabbard is gripped with a hand, while the other hand grips the sword’s handle. The thumb has to be used to edge the guard away from the scabbard till you break friction.
The sword has to always be stored horizontally, with its edge facing up. This is why it is better to get a samurai sword stand to properly balance and store the sword. In addition to this, the stand provides protection to the blade from any damage that that can be caused by stress or a fall.
The sword scabbard has to be regularly wiped using a soft cloth to preserve the sheen of lacquer. Using a cloth, wipe only the wrapped parts of the scabbard once or twice.
The next step lies in cleaning its blade. Though it is better to use a blade cleaning kit for this, it is not necessary. While cleaning the blade, make sure that its sharp edge is always away from you. You have to first clean the blade of oil and debris using a sheet of harai gami. Then, using a piece of rice paper and residual oil, you have to clean the blade.
Then a powder ball has to be used to lightly apply a special sword polish equally over the blade in circular motion. Then, you have to apply a few drops of sword oil on the blade, spreading it gently along the blade using a piece of rice paper. This has to be repeated on the other side of the blade too. After resheathing the sword, make sure you do not touch its blade as the oils on your hand can promote the rusting of the blade.
Always remember to keep your sword away from humid environments as the entire samurai sword is susceptible to the condensation of water. If at all rust develops on the blade, it is important that it is cleaned off as soon as possible. This is because the longer you take to wipe off the rust; the deeper it pits your sword. By cleaning the rust immediately, you will be able to restore the original polish of the sword. The best way to get rid of the rust would be to use a little olive oil and a scotchbrite pad.
The wooden handle of the samurai sword is best treated using a light coating of lemon or tung oil to prevent the cracking of the handle. If you have a leather cover for the handle, you could clean it using a paste wax or mink oil.
Though it is necessary to store your samurai sword in a sheath, it should not be stored in it forever. This is because sheathes, especially leather ones, have dyes and other similar substances that can promote the formation of rust in the sword.
Never use your samurai sword to hack through trees, as shown in movies. This is because it can lead to the bending, cracking and even breaking of the sword. Remember that swords are weapons, and not meant for trimming bushes or cutting trees, so don’t attempt to do so!
Never attempt to sharpen a sword, as samurai swords are sharpened using a lot of skill. This is why it is a task best done by experts, wherein you have to contact a professional swordsmith to have it done. If you use a sharpening stone or turning wheel to sharpen the sword, you only end up scratching and possibly ruining the weapon.
With these tips in mind, you will find it much easier to care for your samurai sword to ensure it a longer life.