Looking to connect to the infamous Japanese military nobility known as the samurai? Consider purchasing an authentic samurai sword.
In this day and age, samurai swords are in abundance, which can make it quite the task deciding which is the best samurai sword to invest in that’ll suit your needs, and which ones are just cheap kid toys.
Luckily for you, we’ve come up with five options that’ll look cool whether you’re swinging it outside or hanging it on your wall without breaking your wallet.
The Classic Crane Tsuba Handmade Samurai Katana Sharp Sword-Musha is made using 1045 high carbon steel, which can make it ideal for display purposes or some light to medium cutting. It has a simple design, and it comes with a black, cotton-made sword bag.
Musashi – 1060 Carbon Steel – Best Miyamoto Sword is made using 1060 high carbon steel to make it more durable and sharper. It has evidence of proper forming technique through the use of a real hamon as well as Sa-Me (ray skin).
Classic Handmade Samurai Katana Sharp Sword-Musha is crafted full tang with a 1045 high carbon steel, and it features the use of bo-hi to give it audible feedback when swung.
The Rising Metal Revengence Raiden Handmade Gear Sword is optimal for those interested in the videogame it is inspired by as it is an adequate replica. Using high carbon steel gives it additional realism.
The Handmade Japanese Shirasaya Samurai Katana Sharp Sword-Musha uses high carbon steel, and it has a decorative hamon. The lack of a Tsuba helps make it ideal for those practicing martial arts stances and forms.
This Japanese crane katana is made with 28 in. of 1045 high carbon steel.
It is handcrafted, full tang, and can be used well for practice or cutting as it has a decently sharp blade. A black, cotton-made sword bag accompanies it.
When it comes to cutting, it’s sharp enough to be used on soft to medium-hard objects, but it may not hold up so well in terms of ‘real’ sword fighting.
The Tsuka (complete handle) is wrapped tight, and the overall design has a simple elegance without being flashy. It has right balance so that it handles well.
If anything, it can work best for bargain hunters or for beginners interested in doing some mild cutting.
Made with 1060 high carbon steel, this full tang samurai sword is clay tempered. It comes with a black cotton storage bag, and it has a good balance to it for ease of use.
The blade is hand forged using a traditional Muku-kitae method.
With a cotton wrapping, you can have a better grip on this sword, something that is further helped due to the fact that underneath the cotton is Sa-Me (ray skin).
This feature assists in preventing the cotton from slipping. For those practicing Iaido, know that the blade comes out of the sheath rather easily.
Also, although the hamon is not as pronounced as a more expensive katana, it is indeed real. This authenticity is evidence of proper forming technique.
Crafted full tang, the blade on this samurai sword is from 1045 high carbon steel. Saya (scabbard) is hardwood with a black finish, while the Tsuba (crossguard) is polished steel.
The blade features bo-hi so that you can hear feedback while swinging it.
For the most part, this sword is well-balanced. Although it can hold up slicing through light or medium objects, anything harder can chip the edge, so it’s best to take caution with that.
The hamon is acid-etched, showcasing that it’s forged using one type of metal. However, the blade does appear to be fuller than other samurai swords within the price range.
The sword also comes with a protection cloth so that it is good on arrival.
For any videogame fans out there, this sword can help make you feel like you’re a part of the Metal Gear Rising world.
It is authentically made with 1045 high carbon steel construction, so be aware that although it looks like it’s from a game, it is not a toy. It’s full tang as well, so there’s little worry that it will break off.
Weight-wise, it may lean more toward the heavier end of the spectrum, a feature that can help with its realism to traditional samurai swords.
Concerning the design, it is spot-on in terms of matching the game it’s inspired from, so collectors or cosplayers can find enjoyment in this.
It may not be as sharpened as more expensive samurai swords, but there is sharpness to it upon arrival, especially the tip. This aids in its use for some mild cutting.
This 1045 carbon steel sword is made full tang. It has a decorative hamon and bo-hi for audible feedback when you swing.
Within its price range, it has a decent balance to it. However, it does lack an Ito, which can sometimes make it difficult to maintain a strong grip. Still, it’s sturdy and has an adequate weight to it, making it good for display or light practice.
The absence of a Tsuba can allow those practicing stances or forms in martial arts greater freedom. For those interested in cutting, consider lighter objects such as fruit or branches.
Harder ones may cause the blade to bend or break as it isn’t made for combat.
No weapon used by the samurai has garnered as much appeal as Japanese swords. They’ve long become interchangeable with the military nobility as they’re widely dubbed as ‘samurai swords’.
Several types exist, but the most common ones are tachi, wakizashi, and the katana.
Katana is used to describe a traditional sword that has curved blade that measures longer than 60 cm.
Tachi are more curved and much longer than the katana.
As for the wakizashi, samurai usually wore it along with the katana as it’s a shorter blade that measures anywhere between 30 cm and 60 cm.
Before you invest in any kind of samurai sword, it may be in your best interest to determine what you actually need the sword for.
Are you interested in just training with it?
Do you want it more ‘battle-ready’, thus as sharp as the classic blades used by samurai?
Or are you only interested in a display piece?
Lastly, how much are you willing to spend?
These questions can help steer you in the right direction so that you are never surprised or disappointed with your investment.
If you are in the market for a practice sword, you can look to swords that have durability, yet still have a dull blade as not to hurt anyone.
These unsharpened steel swords have a realistic weight to them so that you feel as though you’re wielding the real deal.
For those of you in the market for actually cutting things, consider samurai swords that aren’t made from stainless steel. Rather, search for carbon steel or equivalent as they tend to be sturdier.
Also, research whether or not the sword is full tang, which means that the blade extends throughout the entire handle of the sword. This extension prevents the sword from ever breaking off.
Typically, they land somewhere in the range of $50-$200 or higher. They also require maintenance as to preserve the sharpness of the blade.
If you rather have a sword that sits on your wall or in a display case, then you don’t need the best samurai sword. Your investment is based wholly on personal preference.
Avid collectors who aren’t concerned by budget can find themselves searching in the $500-$1000 range.
The ones mentioned in our review tend to stay within $40-$200, a decent range for display or cutting.
A samurai’s sword was always a vital aspect of their life, the importance of which can be seen in the martial arts sport kendo, a Japanese word that translates to ‘the way of the sword’.
In the golden age of samurai, swords were passed down generation to generation. Although other types of weapons were used, swords were one of the primary weapons used by the warrior class.
Specific swords were often used to carry out specific deeds. For example, prior to the katana, the tachi were widely used in battle.
As for seppuku (ritual suicide via disembowelment), a samurai would generally use the wakizashi as it was believed to be closer to the samurai’s soul than other weapons.
The making of a samurai sword was viewed to be a work of art in addition to being a formidable weapon. Each blade had a unique appearance, and the finished product was usually admired by the nobility.
Many of the famed samurai swords can be seen today in various museum collections.
The swords in our list can work well with many interested in Japanese swords, but we think the Musashi – 1060 Carbon Steel – Best Miyamoto Sword has beaten the others to earn the top spot as the best samurai sword.
It uses the highest level of high carbon steel out of the bunch, which can make it hold up better against stronger objects than the rest.
It is well-balanced overall, and it uses qualities found in authentic samurai swords such as Sa-Me (ray skin) and a real hamon.
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