Samurai Sword Care
Sword maintenance is very important to preserve the finish of your sword. A sword maintenance kit allows you to maintain your blade to the same condition as new. Blade maintenance should be performed at least every three months and any time the blade is touched (skin oils will cause rapid corrosion of fine steels.
Contents of Maintenance Kit:
- Powder Ball, for applying polishing powder to blade
- Blade oil
- Rice Paper, for wiping oil from blade, polishing and applying oil to blade
- Brass Hammer, for removing and installing bamboo pins in tsuka
- Covered container, for saving oiled rice papers
While the brass hammer is a traditional part of the maintenance kit, we recommend against disassembly of the Katana as the bamboo pins will wear, resulting in a loose grip. First, use a sheet of rice paper to remove oil from previous maintenance, holding the edge away from you and working very carefully to avoid injury. (Note: if you wish to save the rice paper, a soft cotton cloth may be substituted). Then tap the powder ball lightly against the blade every two inches or so along its length, dusting the blade very lightly with powder. (Note: when using the ball for the first time, you may need to tap the ball against the blade a number of times to start the powder flow through the fabric of the ball.) Then use a clean piece of rice paper or cotton cloth to carefully rub over the powder and polish the blade. Repeat until both sides of the blade have been polished and the powder removed.
Apply a few drops of oil along the length of each side of the blade and use a clean piece of rice paper to spread the oil evenly over the blade. Be sure not to touch the blade again before re-sheathing.
Oil is made of 99% mineral oil and 1% of clove oil for fragrance. Japanese choji clove oil has worked for centuries and is completely time-proven.
Proper maintenance will keep your Japanese sword in top condition indefinitely.
The small brass hammer included in maintenance kits is for removing the pegs when disassembling the sword. We do not recommend doing this unless absolutely necessary, as repeated disassembly & reassembly will loosen the fit of the components, especially the critical fit of the tang in the tsuka.