What should I look for when buying a katana Online

A katana is the pride and soul of Japanese culture and history. There is nothing else in this world that signifies the samurai period and their way better than a katana. That’s why authentic Japanese katanas are such a popular collector piece for any enthusiast interested in Japanese history and swords. Authentic katanas are very rare and hard to find, often requiring the buyer to travel deep into mainland Japan just to purchase them. Besides, even if you do find them, they come with a price tag of more than $10,000.

Not only is this not feasible for an average collector or fan, but it also doesn’t make sense to purchase them unless you are obsessed with authenticity and purity. That’s why many forgers are more than willing to forge Japanese katanas for you if you are just looking for a sword to use or keep it on your mantelpiece to display. These katanas may not have a history attached to them like an authentic katana does, but they serve the same function and look exactly the same, and at times better, too. If you want a real forged katana that is a valuable piece of Japanese history, then you can read more here to know how to get one.

Many websites serve hand-forged real katanas but there are also many which promise to give high-quality katanas at the lowest price possible which, after ordering, turn out to be cheap swords that can’t even be compared to the real thing. To avoid this and ensure you order the right katana for yourself, we have written this article that explains the things you should look for when buying a katana online.

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Verify the website selling the katanas.

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Not only with katanas, but buying items from any online website should be preceded by a thorough inspection and verification first. Check the website for signs that prove its authenticity and quality. Do they have a physical address? A working number? Are their verified reviews for their katanas assuring their quality? Are the prices for the katanas too good to be true?

Ask yourself these questions when looking through a website to buy a katana. If they don’t have a physical address or a working number, they are either scammers or unreliable sellers. Either way, you should stay away from them. If there aren’t any reviews, you have no way of telling the quality of their swords and will have to rely on their own word for it. Most importantly, don’t buy a katana that is unbelievably priced like $50-60. Even the most rudimentary katana is priced at $150 minimum. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Choose your steel properly according to your budget.

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First and foremost you need to check whether the katana you are buying is forged or not. There are many mass-produced cheap katanas available in the market that are manufactured in a factory line instead of being forged by hand. Unless your budget is tight and all you want is a showpiece or a prop, we strongly recommend you to not buy this type of katana. Hand-forged katanas are the best since each katana is made using the traditional Japanese katana-making techniques and traditions, which maintain its utility, honor, and uniqueness.

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After you verify this fact, you should then choose the type of steel you want on your katana which dictates its type and how it’s made. If you want your katana to be made from the oldest and most traditional Japanese techniques, then folded steel is the wisest choice for you. Not only does this technique stick the most to its old Japanese roots, which is time-consuming, but it also uses aged steel that is oxidized over time and helps make the perfect katana. If you don’t have much limit on your budget and want a katana that’s made from the best materials and a generations-old technique, then folded steel is the right choice for you.

On the other hand, there is also the stainless steel katana which is brittle and thus very useless in function. Its saving grace is it’s visually stunning, almost like the folded steel katanas but at a quarter of their price. These katanas are only good as showpieces and extremely light use.

Then there is the carbon steel katana which perfectly balances price and quality. For a decent amount of money, you get a katana that is durable, strong, and effective. They are the same as stainless steel katanas with the exception of chromium. This doesn’t make it shiny and resistant to corrosion but it does make it more durable and effective.

Check the size and balance of the blade.

Source: ottomanswords.com

Since you’ll be ordering online, there’ll be no way of physically telling how the balance of the blade is until you buy it and get it delivered to you. That’s why using proper measurements you need to determine the perfect size of katana for you.

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The general rule of thumb is, the handle of the katana (tsuka) should be about your forearm’s length. For most people, it is 11” that’s why it’s the standard tsuka size in today’s date. However, if by chance your forearm is really long or short, then we recommend you contact the website owner. Most of them will be happy to make a custom tsuka for you if you tell them beforehand.

The next thing you need to measure is your blade. What’s the size of your blade? Is it half the length of your entire body or more? In that case, it’s the wrong size for you. It’s generally advised to go for katanas that have blades that are shorter than half your body or otherwise it’ll be too unbalanced and you’ll mess up your strikes. There are various forums and websites that can tell you the perfect size of your katana blade according to your height, and if you contact the katana maker you are going to buy your katana from, they too can advise you on the length of your katana blade.


To buy the perfect katana for yourself online, there are several factors you need to consider and keep in mind. We hope this article helped you out, and if it did, please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us out immensely.