why not include tamahagane in your "sword steels 101" section

by Joshua
(USA ohio)

I was wondering why you didn't include a tamahagane section in your "real swords 101/sword steels 101".


Tamahagane steel would be the most authentic Japanese katana there is it would be nice if you included at least a mention of it in "sword steels 101" best regards Josh.

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A brief mention will be made..
by: Paul

A good and timely question Joshua!

The main reason we have not added Tamahagane to our list of steel types is only because we are looking at the most commonly encountered steel types someone just starting out collecting functional swords are likely to stumble upon. And until recently, it has not really been relevant..

However, a brief mention of Tamahagane will be made soon because of late we have noticed quite a few eBay sellers claiming swords made from Tamahagane - which for the most part this is marketing BS..

There is only one place in Japan where Tamahagane is made and it is all used domestically. While the same process can and is replicated, both in China and the USA, it is a bit misleading to label these steels as true Tamahagane - just as it is misleading to label any sword made outside of Japan by non Japanese swordsmiths "Nihonto"..

It must be remembered that overall, Japan had/has few natural resources and the iron they had access to was riddled with impurities. The only way to salvage some useable material was to make Tamahagane - but it does not and did not make the steel any better than modern steel (which is, by comparison, free of any impurities)..

Japanese made Nihonto are not made from inherently better materials - what makes real Japanese swords high quality items is the skill and the amount of time and care taken by the people making it..

As such, unless you are referring to a sword made in Japan by Japanese smiths, there is no actual benefit to a sword made using Chinese or American "Tamahagane" - if anything, it is worse than basic 1095 carbon steel..

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