How the Most Expensive Swords in the World Are Made

How the Most Expensive Swords in the World Are Made

Japanese Sword Making Process

  • Japanese swords are renowned for their strength and sharpness, capable of slicing a bullet in half.
  • The traditional method of making these swords has remained unchanged for centuries, with everything done by hand.
  • The swords are made from steel, an alloy of iron and carbon, which is stronger than pure iron.
  • The iron sand used to make the steel is obtained from river sand, where iron oxides accumulate due to their higher density.
  • The iron sand is mixed with water and charcoal and heated in a smelter to produce steel.
  • The smelter is lit for only one night each year, using the traditional Tatara method, which dates back 1300 years.
  • The process requires careful control of temperature and oxygen supply to achieve the desired properties of the steel.
  • Impurities in the iron sand form slag, which is removed during the smelting process.
  • The steel is then forged, sharpened, and polished to create the final sword.

Japanese Sword Characteristics

  • Japanese swords are highly regarded and can be extremely valuable, with one from the 16th century appraised at $105 million.
  • The iconic curve of a samurai sword comes from the formation of martensite during the quenching process.
  • About one-third of all blades shatter during the quenching process.
  • Sometimes the swords are engraved with beautiful patterns.

Learning to Use a Japanese Sword

  • To learn how to use a Japanese sword, Petr received a lesson from a master swordsman, Takara Takanashi, a 10th-generation student of Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Musashi, a renowned swordsman, killed his first opponent in single combat at the age of 13 and went on to win over 60 duels to the death.
  • During a snowy duel, Musashi remained so calm and still that snowflakes accumulated on his sword's blade.
  • Despite initial expectations, a lesson on using a katana focused on properly drawing and sheathing the sword rather than actual combat techniques.

Henson Shaving Razors

  • Henson Shaving, known for their high-quality razors, understands the physics of shaving and has created a single-blade razor that provides an effective cut without causing skin irritation.

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