Store and Blog Overhaul Stage One Complete!

It has been a looong 24 hours with few breaks, but the blog AND store overhaul stage one is finally complete!

The Blog overhaul was the quickest and easiest – we just updated a few pages, reorganized the blog navigation to make it a bit cleaner, added a new themed header and made links back to the main site easier and more prominent. This has all been done in such a way to allow the blog to expand both its scope and its content over the coming months.

The Store overhaul was a little more complicated, but I am quite pleased with the results so far.

Page load time has improved dramatically, consistency across product lines while not yet quite ‘perfect’ is considerably better, categories have been cleaned up a bit and the whole thing just feels fresher and better than ever before. Plus there are many more links to the blog. 🙂

Overall, I am pretty happy with the way things are shaping up. So time to get back into the regular swing of things for a bit, update the Hot Specials Page with the latest offering from Hanwei – and take a short rest before the final overhaul of the main site.

Talk to you all again soon!

– Paul

Holiday Schedule, Site Tweaks and Overhaul..

I would think that by now with just over a week to go until Christmas, most of you who were planning to order a sword for Christmas have already done so by now. Or at least, I certainly hope you have – as we wrote in our Christmas Sword Buyers Guide special article – the later you leave it the greater the chances that your gift will be lost, banged up or delayed as couriers and delivery services are always near the breaking point right around now.

And requesting overnight delivery, or otherwise trying to rush things is honestly NOT a good idea. Much better to simply buy a gift certificate if you are leaving it to the last minute and let your loved one calmly select a sword of their choice at a more leisurely pace. SBG Sword Store Gift Certificates never expire and can be purchased in $10 increments from as little as $10 to as much as $500..

This actually brings me neatly to my next point – I just noticed that the Gift Certificate page is a completely different format than the rest of the store. Our last store overhaul was in December 2015 and since then I have noticed lots of annoying little glitches and things that just don’t display the way I want them to..

So despite paying professionals, it seems that the only way to get something done right is to do it yourself – so in the lead up to Christmas I will be burning the midnight oil to tweak and overhaul the blog, the store and the main site to finally give it a completely consistent look and feel that no professional would bother to do.. (or at least, not a price that I could afford..!).

The change should not be TOO jarring or dramatic, and the basic theme will remain the same – for example, just cleaner, more consistent and faster loading across the board.

I am kind of looking forward to it as those small inconsistencies have been bugging the heck out of my OCD. But it is going to be a mammoth task – so please bear with me if I am a little slow to reply to emails or if you stumble upon the site(s) looking a little bit funny. The store security will not be compromised at any time during this process – so no need to worry about that. But it MAY (especially if you pop in during the wee hours when I hope not too many people are looking) appear completely weird looking at times if some of the cosmetic changes don’t work as planned (which always happens)..

The first overhaul is the blog, which will take place in the next few hours – then the store and finally the main site. After which, I will be exhausted at just the right time – so please note that I will be taking a break from the 25th of December to the 1st of January and we will resume business as usual from Monday the 2nd of January 2017.

Time to roll up my sleeves and get into it. I will update you all here as we go as I do plan to expand the scope and the frequency of posting on the blog. So see you all on the other side. 🙂

– Paul

Custom Katana – New Options for Ryujin and Forge Direct

It is PROBABLY too late for Christmas to get one of these delivered in time (unless you order a Ryujin Custom Katana and live close to California – the elves at the Ryujin workshop have gone into overdrive and have been assembling and sending out swords within 48 hours recently instead of the usual week!) but Christmas aside for a moment – just a quick update on our current two main custom Katana lines.

First off, the elite level Forge Direct Custom Katana now has the O-Katana as a separate product in its own right.

fd-custom-okatanaThe reason for this is two fold:

  1. I was not comfortable with the necessary price fluctuation on the Custom Katana to make it an O-Katana. The idea was to have ONE flat rate price regardless of your customization choices OR where you live in the world, but we simply could not offer an O-katana for the price of a standard length Katana, so made it a break away product in its own right and..
  2. It became apparant that it was not always feasible for the O-Katana to have every saya made that can be offered for the standard Katana line. The reason is that the saya come from a third party saya specialist provider, and we could not afford to buy in bulk every type of saya as they don’t deal in single quantity orders. Additionally, the time frame of the O-Katana is about 2 weeks longer than the standard Katana. So we changed the saya options, info – and dropped the price from just over to just under $1000..

Check it out HERE

WIth the Ryujin custom Katana line, we added 2 new saya options:


New Option 1: Gun Metal Grey

Saya Option 2: Matt Dark Red

Saya Option 2: Matt Dark Red

And finally, the Gold ito wrap is back in stock if you want to get regal with it.


Check out the full Ryujin Custom Katana line up HERE

Cold Steel Restock

cold_steel_logoIt has been several months since we have had them available, but pretty much the full range of Cold Steel Swords have just been restocked at SBG and with limited quantities and Christmas just around the corner, there has never been a better time to get one..

From Katana to English Backswords, Cinqueda to Tactical Machetes under $50, they have something for everyone at pretty much every price point, including one of my favorites – the Italian Long Sword!

Click here to see every sword we stock

Christmas Special – Hanwei Wind and Thunder Daisho

wind-and-thunderThe Wind and Thunder Katana and Wakizashi are two of their most powerful cutting blades. Designed for the Dojo and with heavier and thicker blades than any other Hanwei Katana, these T10 tool steel swords are some of the best made cutters around – and normally priced between $650 to $990 for the Katana and $499 to $700 for the matching Wakizashi.

But from now until the 18th of December, just in time for Christmas, you can get them at BELOW WHOLESALE prices – just $529.99 for the Katana and $379.99 for the Wakizashi. That means you can get the Daisho set of two swords for LESS than the retail price of the Katana by itself..!

An ideal gift to take a collector to the next level of quality – these swords have it all, imported Japanese cotton ito wraps, Iron raiden god of thunder themed fittings and of course, a stunning differentially hardened T10 tool steel blade with real suguha hamon.

Check them out here in the Hot Specials Section of the Store