Collecting Katanas: What to Look for and How to Start Your Collection

It is impossible not to devote special attention to a weapon whose origins and historical appearance can be traced in somewhat more detail, as well as the refined work of masters on these blades.

Starting a katana collection can be exciting whether their passion is history, art, or martial arts. Here is an extensive guide on what to do and where to start if you are thinking about kickstarting your katana collecting spree.

What to Look for in a Katana

Collecting katana is an art in itself. It shows how much you praise such centuries-old art. Below are some notable suggestions for the starters who admire the katana craft.


Antique katanas, in general, and especially those from the feudal period, are considered very valuable. When buying swords, be sure to look for swords with the correct paperwork to ascertain where they came from in case they were used in committing a crime.

The original Japanese katana sword is usually forged with a certificate of origin from various bodies or experienced personalities.

Blade Quality

Look at the blade in question and the artistry evident in the forging of it.

Hamon: This is, however, a visible line created by the differential hardening process. If the hamon is clearly defined, then the metal is high quality.

Kissaki: The edge of the blade should be sharp and well-finished in addition to being highly polished.

Swordsmith and School

The provenance of a katana can be the name of a particular swordsmith or the school it comes from, and such factors tend to drive up the price of the katana.


It is essential to note the state of the katana, whether it’s restored or original. Choose blades that are not rusty, badly chipped, or have hidden or apparent cracks.

The polish must be original, and the fittings (tsuba, habaki, etc.) should also not have significant damage. Although restoring is possible, it can be highly costly and lower the sword’s worth.

Fittings and Mountings

A katana’s other parts, such as its fittings (koshirae) and mountings (Gunto), may also possess worth.

Tsuba (guard), tsuka (handle), and Saya (scabbard) should be made of good quality material and artistry. Their exterior and usability attributes can greatly increase the sword’s value.

How do I Start My Collection

A checklist of what you need will act as your guideline, thus befitting your desire to establish a budget.

Set a Budget

Find out for yourself how much you are willing to spend. There is considerable price differentiation regarding katanas.

A modern katana is affordable for approximately 200-500 US dollars. In comparison, the historical one may cost half a million US dollars.

Research and Learn

Read as much as you can about katanas from various sources, including shops and the Internet, and find a collectors’ group.

Decision-making can be improved if one has more information concerning that particular decision.

Visit sword shows, exhibitions, and auctions to look at the katanas and meet other people from your hobby.

Caring for Your Collection

It is very important to take care of and maintain your katanas well to maintain their values and elegant looks. For this reason, humans should always clean the blade and apply oil to avoid the development of rust and corrosion.

To clean, use a soft cloth and avoid water on the blades. Keep your katanas in a dry area with low humidity, and avoid direct sunlight. Display stands or cases should ensure that your swords are well-protected and displayed.


Collecting katanas is exciting and inspiring, as this weapon is a multi-featured historical and artistic peculiarity of martial arts. Knowing what to search for and how to begin, one can accumulate various items that will be appreciated.

Thus, ensure you are up-to-date on your purchases, shop with care, and maintain your katanas so that they can become as valuable as possible.

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