P.O. Box 474, Kloof, 3640, Republic of South Africa

Contact us

Join us at a preview on the latest 2011 blades!


Custom Japanese-style swords by James Raw


James doing a test cut


Welcome to Rawblades!

James Raw makes custom Japanese-style swords. The blades are hand forged from EN45 (spring steel) and are hardened in the traditional Japanese way, by applying clay to the blade and quenching in water.

He can make blades to your specifications, along with other styles associated with the Samurai era, such as Yari (spears) or Naginata (polearms), giving you the opportunity to own a one of a kind handcrafted item.

Although specialising in blades, polishing and habaki, James does make fittings and mounts for his blades on request.

James made his first sword in 1987, and in 1992 became a full-time swordsmith. Since then much research and development has gone into ensuring that today his blades are of an exceptionally high quality and are made using the following Japanese methods:

Hi-Zukuri (shaping of the blank) (sunabe)

Shiage (rough grinding and filing)

Tsuchi-aki (placing the clay)

Yaki-ire (quenching to harden the edge and create hamon)

Sori Naoshi (adjusting the curvature)

Kaji-Tagu (rough polishing)

Mei-kiri (carving the signature)

Although James creates his swords as objects of beauty, he keeps in mind the original purpose of a sword, including the Japanese sword arts such as Iaido, Iaijutsu and Tameshigiri. The swords are designed to perform and cut like Nihonto and should be handled with care as they are extremely sharp.