How to Sharpen a Katana?

A sword is known to be a deadly weapon, and holding the sword is the only work of a brave person. In swords, nothing is as thrilling as possessing a Katana. Having a Katana or any sword comes with some responsibilities, like keeping them properly with care. You know the importance of sharpening the blades if you’re a martial artist. 

In today’s article, we will guide you on sharpening your Katana to have the least resistance so that your combat endurance will not get affected and you get that smooth flow while swinging a Katana.

Why Modern Katanas aren’t Pre-sharpened

Katanas are very expensive, and if you order a Katana, it takes at least 6-8 months to be completed. That’s where Katana for sale becomes necessary. But often, collectors tend to be disappointed when they receive a Japanese sword replica that is not as sharp as they would like. Katanas are known worldwide for obvious reasons, and sharpness is one among them.

Several reasons explain why this is the case – mostly because it’s impractical to expect a blade that is hand polished (along with being hand forged, mounted in fittings, packaged, and shipped halfway around the world) to be polished for many days of work to achieve the same level of perfection as an original Katana. Most entry-level swords require at least two to three hours of hand polishing.

How to Sharp Your Katana at Home- DIY

If you don’t want to spend the extra money on hand polishing, you can opt for the DIY method. You can sharpen a katana by hand or, even faster, using a belt sander.

There are two basic methods of sharpening Katana by hand:

  • Using 400-2000 grit sandpaper
  • A block of woodland
  • Some oil
  • Taking your time and getting your elbows dirty

Using sandpaper to sharpen by hand

To start, you’ll need a wooden board, 3 1 oil (or any oil you have in the house, Singer Machine Oil, honing oil, etc.), cloth, and 3M sandpaper.

As with traditional Japanese whetstones, tape the sandpaper to the board to be used as a sanding tool.

Using 400 grit is an excellent place to start – the key to successful sanding is uniform movements perpendicular to the blade, straight back and forth.

When polishing Katana blades, it is important to lift the mune (spine/back of the blade) slightly to not remove the ridge lines.

Every time you pass, add a very slight rolling motion. Early polishing will likely leave you with uneven scratches that wander all over the surface. Try the subtle rolling action with your thumbs and check it again. Ideally, you should see scratches across the spine from the early polishing.

Oiling the Sandpaper

Using a towel or piece of leather, place a small amount of oil on the sandpaper, place your sword on, lighten the mune and spine slightly, and start by running your blade in the same direction as shown below, always working in the same even motion.

Every time you push the blade toward the paper, you will dull the edge slightly, which is counterproductive if you rub it back and forth. That’s why It should always be rubbed toward you – in one direction.

Repeating The Rubbing Action

Repeat this action until the entire blade surface has been covered, then flip the blade over and do the other side.

If you want any blemishes or marks gone, use the 400-grit paper to replace them with nice, even scratches that are perpendicular to the surface.

After the whole surface has been buffed, switch up to 800 grit and move it diagonally using the same technique.

Finishing the process

As a final step, finish with 2000, going up the blade in the opposite direction to achieve that perfect mirror finish.


In this post, we showed you the process by which you can sharpen your Japanese sword. It’s a rather easy process, but you should also do it with proper safety and skill. 

Doing it incorrectly might cause the blade’s tipping point to bend. If you follow our instructions closely, then you will be able to sharpen your Katana at home.

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