Should I worry about the strength of my sword after I sanded on it?

by Matthew Palmer
(Altus, OK)

So I have a Cheness Kurome that had two small "nicks" on the right face of the sword close to the habaki. I was worried about dirt and grime getting caught in it, and causing a pit over time. So, I bought some fine sandpaper and sanded away the nicks until they were gone. No there is a slight "dent" look on this part of the sword. I know this is minor.. but I was wondering if I had to worry about the strength of the blade?

Also, when the time came, would anyone know of a reasonably priced sharpener/shaper of Japanese swords? I apologize if this is a dumb question, but I really wanted to know. Thank you for your time.

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by: Paul

Hi Matthew,

The short answer to your first question is it should not be a problem for two reasons:

1) The very tip of the sword is not used for cutting very much, so would be unlikely to sustain any impacts that would seriously test it.

2) The blade of the Cheness Kurome is through hardened - this means that you are not losing any critical material near the tip that will expose softer laminated surfaces or destroy the boshi/hamon.

Historically, many Japanese swords used over the centuries were polished many times and many did end up with minor irregular surfaces. The only thing that would be a concern if there was some kind of chip extending into the steel. If not, from what you describe, it is not a problem.

With regards to your second question on sword sharpeners - most are super expensive (several times the cost of the Kurome) and only work on high end swords. It is quite a labor intensive, specialized process, so for entry level sub $300 swords, it is usually cheaper to just buy another one or learn to DIY it..

The absolute lowest price option is here at Nihonzashi for $79.95 for the Monouchi (cutting portion of the blade, roughly around the top 1/3rd) or $149.95 for the whole blade, plus shipping and return shipping..

As the Kurome is $250, it is probably cheaper and easier to get a new one unless it has been customized..

Hope this helps!
- Paul

by: Anonymous

I appreciate the response, it makes me feel a whole lot better. Thanks for your time and knowledge.

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