A samurai sword is one of the most iconic weapons in Japanese history and culture. While its legacy among the samurai population has been largely preserved, katana production has lost much of its prominence each year due to the trade of modern day weapons, such as guns and knives. However, many people still consider the katana and its tradition to be an integral part of Japanese culture. Here are things that make a real katana different from a fake one.

The Steel Used To Make the Sword

Of all things that makes a real katana stand out from fakes is its steel. Simply put, it is a big difference between the steel that was used to forge the blade and the one that we find in a fake sword. In fakes, most of the swords are made with stainless steel because it is affordable and easy to acquire. The major drawback is that stainless steel is easy to corrode and harden, making it susceptible to rusting. The only way to prevent this from occurring is by immersing them in water for at least 2 weeks after purchase. However, water also makes the blade and other parts of the sword prone to corrosion.

The Handles

The biggest difference to note is that fake katsanas have handles that are made out of different types of wood. Because the samurai population was troubled by a lack of timber and materials for crafting, fake ones use carbon steel for their handles in order to give it a more expensive look. The core structure is just made out of stainless steel.

The handles of genuine katanas are made out of iron-core bamboo. Depending on the quality and how it is made, the handle can be smooth as silk or rock hard like a lump of granite.

It is no wonder that most fake katanas are found to use imitation handles; this is because the real ones must be expensive and difficult to craft. The bamboo used for handles must be cut and dried perfectly, which cannot happen without experience or a machine that allows following precise instructions.

The Shape and Profile

A fake katana has a distinct shape compared to an authentic one. The tip of the blade is slimmer than the rest of the sword, which will cause it to be less capable for slashing. In addition, the handle is usually made out stainless steel, which does not carve as deeply into a katana’s design as iron-core bamboo would.