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Top Things You Should Know About Japanese Samurai Sword Polishing

Besides forging the blades, cooling the metal, and removing the mud, a typical Japanese sword should be polished. Polishing finalizes the sword. Also, you should get it right when polishing the sword. The following are key nuggets you should know when polishing Samurai Swords.

Leave It to A Specialist

Sword polishing is a profession. It’s an art. It requires skills. In most cases, sword polishing is done by a specialist known as togishi. A togishi uses stone to polish your sword. Thus, if you want to shine like a traditional Japanese sword, take it to a togishi.

It Takes Time

Polishing isn’t a 2-minute process. It takes a lot of time. You have to exercise patience to have your sword professionally polished. According to experts, polishing takes longer than forging the blades. On average, polishing can take between 2 and 3 weeks. This time-consuming process is methodical. Thus, patience is key.

Poor Polishing Destroys Blades

Polishing is everything when it comes to the life of your blade. Poor polishing can mess up the blades. The work of polishing is to improve the clarity as well as the beauty of the blades. However, when badly done, polishing can change its geometry, which can cause the steel to wear too quickly.


Glazing is one of the best processes for polishing a Japanese sword.  The glazing process leverages fine-grain polishing-based stones to get a mirror finish on your blade’s cutting edge. However, if the edge is blunt, the togishi will try to achieve a matte finish.  This will make it appealing as well as visible.

It Tells You About Production Process

Polishing will reveal the key attributes of your sword. Well-polished katana swords will reveal how the sword was manufactured. Information like the cooling rate of the blade can be revealed through polishing. It will also reveal the carbon content of the blade. That’s why meticulous polishing is important.

Remove All the Polish

After fully polishing the blades, the togishi will remove all the polish. Removing any trace of oil is very important. Remember, leaving behind oil can promote the process of rusting. Also, removing all the impurities ensures that the blades don’t have any trace of salt, which can accelerate corrosion on the side of the blades. Moreover, oil can be a good breeding ground for things like mildew, mold, etc.

Key Takeaway

Japanese swords are a symbol of confidence, endurance, and resilience. They were used by the warriors to defend themselves. Owning these swords is a good thing. However, polishing the swords is key. Doing it on your own can be challenging. That’s why you need a professional to help you. A togishi is trained to professionally polish your sword.

The Bottom-Line

Polishing a Japanese sword is a key step toward making it look authentic, aesthetically appealing, and sharp. However, polishing these swords is an art. You need to master a few basics. The above are key things worth knowing regarding polishing Japanese swords.

Jeff Campbell