Sometimes, things just keeping getting harder and harder.
First there was the Chinese New Year shut down, then the Covid-19 worldwide lockdown that resulted in the forges sitting idling for months longer than we ever expected..
Eventually, the forges began to re-open, but component supplies were and still are behind production schedules and international shipping ground to a halt (for a short time, it looked ok, but then all the orders bounced back at customs)..
FINALLY, things are starting to look more ‘normal’ and the forges are running at maximum capacity and slowly we are catching up on the extended backlog (though shipping costs have increased dramatically, literally sucking most of the humble profits out of all this years orders).
However, the backlog is still too large for my liking. Some component makers are STILL playing catch up, and so to ensure the forges focus their full attention on completing all the outstanding orders, we have no choice but to temporarily halt taking any and ALL new orders until we are properly caught up again.
Unfortunately, this also means that Project X Japanese has been pushed back yet another month or two – from a planned round of orders in February now looking likely to begin – well, who really knows right now..
Halting new orders is going to hurt both our and the forges bottom line – but at the end of the day, existing customers come first – and personally I just can’t keep taking orders until we have the backlog properly under control..
We will keep you updated as the backlog begins to look more manageable – in the meantime, our apologies for the inconvenience.
It’s clear that a lot of people out there are prepping for the worst – and with a very uncertain future – it makes a lot of sense to have a decent blade around the house somewhere as a weapon of last resort when thieves break in to take your stash..
But in all seriousness, putting aside the tragedy that is unfolding aside for a moment (as if that is possible, but you know what I mean) – many people are wondering what the direct impact of the Coronavirus on the store and when placing an order.
Simple questions like, are we still in business? Are we still shipping? Why is my order taking so long to ship out?
Well, we are most certainly still in business. As long as we have a skeleton crew in our network of warehouses and workshops, and as long as the delivery services keep running (and they are now an essential service) we will keep shipping, albeit a bit slower than usual as we can’t go to the post office or arrange pick ups quick as often as we could before the crisis and thank you for your understanding during this difficult period.
This aside, the pandemic has also effected our stock levels – for example we now have ZERO stock of the Ryujin Custom Katana and the next restock is not expected until the middle of JUNE – and this is happening across the board as everyone stocks up for a worst case scenario situation..
The best swords are selling out very, very fast..
Unfortunately, it would seem that again our international friends have been locked out again as the pandemic has also seen a worsening of the ongoing international shipping woes. So much so that regretfully, once again we have been forced to limit our orders to North America ONLY because, we just had everything sent overseas come bouncing back (many badly damaged and some confiscated too)..
It has also had an effect on our Forge Direct and Project X Orders in Longquan China.. To sum it up..
The Long awaited and much delayed relaunch of Project X Japanese has also been pushed back until the supply and shipping chains in China are fully operational again..
In the grand scheme of things, this are small problems – but it is our duty to try and keep you as informed as possible..
Yes we are in business. And yes, while shipping is a bit slower than usual, we are still shipping out the orders as they come in. But please be a little bit patient with us, we are doing our best under difficult circumstances and truly hope that this hideous situation will pass soon and we can try to put the pieces back together again..
In close association with the Master Smiths we work with, we have decided to trial a special ‘Blade of the Month’ deal on a selected piece from the Forge Direct line up. If sales go well, it will be an ongoing sale – if they do not meet the necessary sales target to be viable – then it will be a one off event.
Either way, the blade in question is not likely to be marked down like this for quite some time – so when you see a particular design you like come on special – grab it with both hands.
So without any further ado, here is the first Blade of the Month for March 2020 – the stunning Dragon Boar Killing Spear – now marked down by 25% until the end of March:
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus is having an extremely negative impact on the Sword industry. Most of the forges in China remain shut – with the primary sword making city of Longquan in lockdown – delaying production further after an already long break for Chinese New Year – and it is reflected in stock shortages and delays storewide – for example, we are completely out of stock of the Ryujin Custom Katana with bo-hi as well as many key components such as tsuka, saya and other bits and pieces.
But, as is often the case when things go bad, some extraordinary deals tend to pop up as we go into ‘survival mode’ – and this time around, there are plenty of awesome deals to choose from for lovers of Japanese styled swords..
First off, as the stock levels dwindle, our friends at Ryujin offer two limited edition offerings.
This one has all the bells and whistles, with a beautiful black iron, gold gilded tsuba depicting the circle of life as the Sparrow (Tsuzume) hunts a praying mantis as it in turn hunts a grasshopper and a highly detailed mother of pearl inlaid saya that is valued at $100 just by itself but the complete package can be yours for just $284.99..
With a solid bodied T10 tool steel blade, Hikata (hawk) themed gold inlaid tsuba and white glossy saya for $214.99 – this in itself is a good deal. But both swords come with a DELUXE leather bound sword case that we sell by itself in our store here for $74.99 – YOURS FREE with EITHER of these amazing deals..
Closeouts and Liquidations
It’s always a bittersweet moment when a product is sold off at a special price for final liquidation..
One I always liked in both concept and form was the Survival Kukri, but sadly the blade market was not sure what to make of it – sword lovers thought of it as a knife and knife lovers saw it as a sword, but for those few like myself whom it calls to – this is it’s final siren call at just $137.50..
In the short term, its a great deal for the lucky few – but in the long term, always sad to see one less quality blade on the market. But in this case, Paul Chen’s Hanwei Forge are shedding not just one product but an entire product line..
In this case all THREE Katana from the ‘Musashi’ performance series, including the razor sharp XL light and XL Katana and the T10 tool steel ELITE – now each one discontinued and being liquidated at BELOW WHOLESALE pricing
First in the series, the Musashi XL Light – a narrow entry razor sharp blade, this version with a bo-hi for extra speed..
Next up, it’s close cousin the Musashi XL – which is basically the same design and blade profile, but with a solid bodied blade for a little more cutting power and overall blade strength.
And then finally, the Musashi ELITE – this time a T10 tool steel blade with a more traditional geometry, but a slightly wider entry angle for easier cuts on traditional targets..
Click the images for the full product description and to understand the subtle differences between each type in the Musashi Performance series – this is a FINAL LIQUIDATION sale, so once each one is gone they are gone forever – and at just $475 each (usually closer to $700 – with a MSRP closer to $1000) they are not likely to be around for much longer..
News and Industry Updates – Prices are on the rise, so grab every bargain you can..
It is very much looking like the sword industry is facing a tough year ahead..
As you probably know, maybe something like 80% of all modern production swords are made in China – and a combination of pressure from the ongoing trade war and prices largely unchanged for over a decade has seen yet another key sword maker raise their prices hot on the heels of Hanwei, this time Cheness Cutlery..
In a statement on their website they noted on Valentines Day, Feb 14th:
Due to the current trade war between the US and China, we have been imposed a drastic increase in import duty from just over 2% to well over 17%. Coupling the new duty rate with rising production and shipping costs over the last few years, we can no longer keep our pricing the same. We often took pride in keeping our pricing the same as when we first opened over a decade and a half ago, but we can no longer maintain the current pricing. Price increase is to take effect on 2/14/2020. Thank you for your understanding.
CHENESS CUTLERY – NEWS
Being their exclusive distributor, SBG has also been forced to raise our prices to the same level while also working with even narrower wholesale margins, and now with two major players forced to give way to higher prices or go out of business, the writing is on the wall and it is only a question of time before prices start going up on swords EVERYWHERE..
Add to this supply chain issues from an extended Chinese New Year due to the Coronavirus and many sellers are also running out of stock – suggesting that next time they bring in a shipment prices will almost CERTAINLY be higher yet again..
Bargain hunters be on notice – while none of this is good news for a tiny industry that has been struggling for quite some time now – manufacturers will continue to try to generate sales by liquidating off selected product lines like you see with the Hanwei Musashi series above. So when you see opportunities like these, do not miss out. NOW is most definitely the time to grab as many bargains as you can..
A NOTE ON PROJECT X AND FORGE DIRECT
Due to the aforementioned Corona virus – production of swords in Longquan is still at a standstill after an already extended period of closure due to the Lunar New year celebrations.
With the city of Longquan itself still in lockdown in an attempt to prevent a local outbreak of the Coronavirus, we are all waiting for the all clear from the Chinese government before the smiths can start to filter back and commence work again – and as such, ongoing delays with Forge Direct orders of several weeks is to be expected.
Likewise, we have also postponed our scheduled re-release of Project X Japanese until the situation becomes clearer and have sent out email updates to all effected customers to let them know we haven’t forgotten about them and are doing our best to work through what is a very difficult situation.
We will continue to update you here as more information becomes available – our sincere apologies for this totally unexpected situation.
It went out with more of a whimper than a bang – rather fitting for the ‘year of the rat’..
Complicated by the spread of the Coronavirus, despite the heaviest discounts EVER seen on Forge Direct Chinese, the sale was a bit of a flop.
As such, we will confer with the smiths, our partners and our associates in this project and see about re-releasing some of these specials later in the year when all the Coronavirus panic has subsided.
But in the meantime we have one final special offer – an EXTENSION of the sale on the two most iconic, and most affordable, entry level Master Smith swords – the Classic Peony Jian and the Cloud Dragon Dao respectively.
While both of these are made by different forges (the Classic Peony is made by Master Michael Ye, while the Cloud Dragon is made by the Baojian Forge) each is an excellent example of the two main types of historical Chinese Swords and represent the pinnacle of each design accordingly,
Price for these is usually a very reasonable $599.99 – but with the 25% off sale extended until the end of February on these two, they are available for a crazy low price of just $449.99 SHIPPED
Don’t miss out, click on the images above for the full product description and to get yours before the special discounted rate disappears for good.