How To Maintain A Katana?


How To Maintain A Katana?

How To Maintain A Katana

A heritage of Japanese history, the Katana is one of the most well-known swords in the world. It is mostly owned by martial arts enthusiasts with a knack for collecting swords. The katana generally has a single-edged curved blade made of high-carbon steel that can dull over time.  Given that it is not a cheap investment, knowing how to maintain it is the way to go.

If you happen to own one, you will find all the valuable notes about how to maintain a katana properly in this article. Like any other sword, katana owners should also exercise the necessary precautions to preserve the quality and integrity of their sword. Now, you will see a step-by-step guide as to how you can properly maintain a katana.

Removing Your Katana Sheath Regularly

If you keep your katana in a leather sheath, make sure that you remove it frequently from time to time when the katana is stored inside the sheath for an extended period, to prevent erosion and rust. Leather tends to soak up all the moisture from the air, causing rust on your katana’s blade.

Removing your katana from its sheath from time to time will maintain the strength of your sword and keep its shine intact for days to come. It is one of the most basic katana maintenance steps that every katana sword owner should follow.

Handling The Katana With Care While Displaying

If you have ever witnessed a katana being display, you will notice that it is traditionally kept by laying it horizontally. It is generally ensured that the blade faces up while placing it in a sheath. Many people often draw a wrong conclusion as they believe that the sword is being placed horizontally for aesthetic purposes, while it is quite the contrary.

The Katana is mostly placed horizontally to prevent as much contact with the sheath as possible. When you keep your katana with the edge up, it does not come in contact with the sheath, meaning your blade is protected from possible wear and tear.

Proper Handling Of The Katana 

Minimal physical contact with the blade of your sword is the most advisable way to preserve the sanctity of your sword. But in cases where you must touch the edge, make sure that your hands are as clean and neat as possible. In addition, you must also ensure the cleanliness of the blade of your katana.

In most cases, the katana is made of carbon steel, so it tends to preserve fingerprints on its surface as it is common knowledge that fingerprints often consist of dirt and oil. Therefore, you must clean your katana with proper care after handling the blade. Delaying the cleaning right after touching the katana could have a detrimental effect on the strength of your sword.

Coating Your Katana With Oil

Regularly oiling your katana is one of the most effective ways to preserve your katana sword’s blade. The oil can protect your katana from moisture damage, just as wax possesses the ability to maintain the coat of a car.

Many different oils and oil products are available online and at department stores that you can use on your katana. Experts on katana swords generally suggest Choji Oil, which is a mixture of mineral oil and clove oil. It is a very safe and productive solution that you can use to protect your katana from moisture.

Sharpening Your Katana To Maintain Its Flair

As is the case with every object, the katana is susceptible to wear and tear, which makes your sword appear flattened over time. If you feel that your katana has lost its sharpness, it is time for you to take some steps to sharpen your blade. But keep in mind that the effort to sharpen a katana requires an expert pair of hands.

If you are someone who does not have any prior experience with the katana, you must put it back in its sheath and let a professional take care of it. Even if you had previous experience with sharpening smaller sharp objects, having to sharpen a full-fledged sword is an entirely different ball game.

The first step of sharpening a katana entails changing the inherent shape of the entire blade so that the curve continues to preserve a continuous flow. Furthermore, both sides of the blade must remain symmetrical. It is one of the most critical distinctions between sharpening a katana and a knife, as the latter involves sharpening the edge of two cutting planes.

In addition, it is imperative to use multiple stones of differing grits, from coarse to fine. This particular process is extremely delicate as making a single mistake at one step can undo all the previous steps. As a result, the importance of keeping all these factors in mind can not be understated.

Cleaning Your Katana With Utmost Sincerity

If you wish to put your katana through a quick clean, make sure that you have some paper towels and mineral oils right by your side. A soft cloth can also work if you do not have any paper towels nearby. However, if you wish to do more in-depth cleaning, you will need to get an Uchiko ball.

Ensure that your clean oilcloth is ready to go once you pull your katana out of your scabbard. Hold your sword up so that the edge of your blade is sticking out. Take the clean cloth and put it on top of your katana blade using your fingers. Remember to keep your thumb placed to the back of your blade at all times.

It will ensure that your hand does not slip and suffer a cut during the cleaning process. Repeat the same process a few times in the same manner to get the optimal outcome. Furthermore, if you want to wipe the other side of your katana blade, you can just put the cloth down on your hand and wipe it from underneath.

Also, if you wish to do a quick clean, you can do the entire process once using an oiled cloth. Going for a fast and clean means that you are opting for a thin coat. Ensure that you are wiping off the extra layer of oil during the cleaning process.

If you are going for a complete and rigorous cleaning, use the Uchiko ball. But in the case of utilizing an Uchiko ball, keep in mind that any residue left on the blade can result in clogging Uchiko balls.

Once you take the Uchiko ball, tap the blade with it to get some of the powder. After repeating this process a few times, all the powder will have been extracted from the ball itself. Now, please take a careful look at your katana to witness the pristine and sublime look it has achieved.


Maintaining your katana requires a lot of diligence, effort, regularity, and sincerity. Katana is an expensive investment that costs a hefty sum of money. Therefore, you must take proper care of it to preserve its strength and appearance.

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