Care of Your Japanese Sword

Cleaning, oiling and occasional sharpening your Samurai sword should be performed as part of regular sword maintenance. The blade should be cleaned and oiled after cutting or every few months if the sword has not been used.
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HOW TO CLEAN and OIL YOUR BLADE

We recommend you purchase a sword maintenance kit. A traditional sword maintenance kit includes everything needed to care for your sword; blade oil, rice papers, oiling cloth, a powder ball, and a brass awl or hammer.

  1. Remove the old oil from your blade with a sheet of rice paper.
  2. Tap the powder ball against the blade every two inches or so. This will lightly coat the blade with power. You may need to tap the ball a few times to get the powder flowing through the fabric.
  3. Use a clean piece of rice paper or a cotton cloth to rub over the powder. Repeat this until both sides of the blade are clean and polished.
  4. Apply a few drops of oil to each side of the blade. Use a clean rice paper or a cotton cloth to spread the oil evenly over the blade.


Do not directly handle the blade of your sword when cleaning (especially when reapplying the oil) use a cloth or gloves to hold the blade. Extreme care should be taken handling the blade since will be slippery.

Proper sword maintenance is important to extend the life of your Katana, Wakizashi or Tanto. Follow the cleaning instructions in your sword maintenance kit. Clean and re-oil the blade after cutting and oil every few months if the sword has not been used. Remember not to handle the blade without gloves or a cloth.

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.