Caring for your Blade

 

These fine blades need and deserve care and attention. The blade should be wiped with an oil cloth every time it’s removed from the saya (scabbard), and also at regular intervals when not in use.


The traditional method of cleaning and maintaining a Japanese sword involves the use of Choji (clove-scented mineral oil), Uchiko (abrasive powder made from polishing stones) and a special cleaning paper called Nuguigami. For an outline of the procedure, see this article: Proper Maintenance of Japanese Swords by Charles L. Ham


Pure mineral oil (liquid paraffin) can be used as a substitute for Choji. Vegetable oils and oils that contain solvents etc. should be avoided. A light mineral oil with 1% clove oil (choji) is best. Do NOT use pure clove oil as it will oxidize or rust the blade. Apply only a thin layer of oil on the blade. If the oil forms into drops on the blade's surface, you’re using too much. Always remove old oil before applying new.


If you intend to use the blade for cutting (see below), you should expect light scuffs on the blade…………………………