You must maintain your katana blade if you own one. As a katana owner, you should learn how to disassemble, replace and reassemble the handle.
This blog post wants to teach you how to replace the meticulous sword’s handle.
The saya is a Japanese sword’s scabbard, and the tsuba serves as its handguard. The two pieces often work in tandem to represent individual works of art that are both functional for different purposes: one protects from cuts on your hands while allowing you to wield the blade, but still shows off an artistically designed motif well suited for day-to-day use.
The tsuba provides a protective barrier between you and the blade when not in use, but is still aesthetically pleasing. As mentioned earlier, the tsuba can also be a sign of status or historical importance.
When to Replace the Handle
1. When the handle has defects
The wood that forms the handle of your sword will inevitably decay and crack when used regularly. It is important to acknowledge any damages, so they don’t get worse. Even if you notice small scratches or cracks, it’s best to replace the entire handle before anything bad happens.
2. When the handle has shrunken
Some wood will shrink when it gets too wet. When the handle becomes too small, you may have to replace it.
To do this properly, microwave the old handle with water for three minutes and use a hairdryer on high heat to stretch the wood out over a longer period of time. This should give your sword back its original feel and look.
3. When the sword has a short blade
Replacing your handle only requires the purchase of wood, so even if your blade is too short to be functional anymore, you can still make it look good as new. Some people also like making handles out of expensive materials such as gold or silver for aesthetic purposes.
How to Replace the Katana Handle
1. Get a New Handle
Certain stores sell wooden handles for katanas on their own and come in a variety of colors. You can look online or visit local shops to find different options. The handle isn’t too heavy, since it’s made out of wood, so shipping is cheap.
2. Remove the Old Handle
The actual process of replacing your sword’s handle is pretty simple, even if you’re a novice. It involves removing the old handle and inserting the new one.
First, set the sword on its side with the blade facing up to access where it connects under the tsuba, which can simply be lifted to remove the old handle.
3. Insert New Handle
When inserting the new handle, simply push it through where you took out the old one. It should either just pop in or require a little pressure to keep it from falling back out.
4. Fix Any Damage
If any of your sword’s components have been damaged, they must be repaired. This is especially important if you plan to display your katana since cracked or broken pieces would greatly detract from its appearance.
To do this, you must first clean the damaged area with a damp cloth before painting over it with wood filler or superglue and allowing it to dry for several hours.
5. Place It in the Saya
When the handle is secure, slip it into the saya and use a rubber stopper to keep it from falling out. Once everything is reassembled, admire your new masterpiece.
Katanas are made to last with the help of replacement parts. If it’s due to wear and tear or physical damage, you can get a new handle for your sword.