Katana Swords – The History and Creation of These Popular Swords
Katana Swords is perhaps the most recognizable of all the Japanese Samurai swords. In fact, many people today will know a Katana by one name if not all; this is because this type of sword is so popular and can be found in a variety of settings ranging from movies to sports. This sword is one of the most iconic Japanese swords and has an extensive history dating back almost 500 years. Katana swords were traditionally hand-made, crafted in the older, more authentic ways, probably dating back hundreds of years ago. These swords were used primarily for special purposes, including practicing karate and forms of martial arts.
The Katana Sword was first calling Tancho
which means “two-bladed sword,” based on the two curved blades attached to the handle. These swords were also called samurais, or long swords, a fitting name since the primary use of the weapon was for combat. It is thought that these words were initially forged from a single piece of carbon steel, with the two curved swords being added later. This carbon steel was boiled, cooled, and forged into the numerous styles and designs that we have today.
The primary method of making Katana Swords
in older times would be by combining tempered iron and water and adding a layer of clay. When heated the resulting sword was sturdy, but not indestructible. It was also very difficult to shape and was prone to rust once hardened. These words would be carried and stored in folders or pouches, and when required, sharpened. This process of folding and sharpening the blade repeatedly caused the blade to wear unevenly, even though the blade was essentially a single piece.
The method of folding steel today is much different
A hot piece of carbon steel is beaten into irregular shapes, such as a triangle or square, which are then folded over a sheet of stainless steel. By subjecting the steel to an extreme amount of pressure, the impurities are either drawn out of the material or pushed deeper into the fold, causing the sword to have a steeper, more even spine.
Today, the majority of modern katana swords
and sabers are made from carbon steels that don’t suffer from the same corrosion or wear and tear as their older counterparts. However, due to their use as straight-edged blades in modern combat, their edge profiles can still be quite severe, and their optimal sharpness is unlikely to be achieved with the traditional method. For this reason, most katana swords that are found in Japanese samurai swords stores are dulled. Dulling is achieved by exposing the metal to an acidic compound, such as Bayo (or bleach), or through vigorous rubbing with an abrasive material.
After the steel has been blued and tempered
it must undergo what is known as the folding process. Folded steel is essentially similar to a cookie-cutter, in that it has a single cutting edge with a single flat face and numerous ridges along its length. This face is what the katana’s blade is first transformed into as it passes through the folding mechanism. The metal is placed inside a tempering furnace where it is forced to expand while at the same time cooling to form a strong metal structure known as quenching. The resulting product is a sword that possesses a very high level of performance but is also stiff and thin, lacking the ability to cut.