Temporary Suspension of International Shipping to Australia and New Zealand

As we draw close to Halloween, the sword industry is experiencing it’s own little horror show..

International shipping has been problematic for quite a few years now as carriers and customs agents across the world become increasingly paranoid and incredibly difficult to deal with, stepping up to an almost complete halt to sword shipping worldwide in 2019..


Of course, we all know what happened in 2020..

But now in late 2021, long term effects of shutdowns and lockdowns has shaken our rather fragile niche industry to its foundations. Prices are skyrocketing, shipping is jammed up, stock is out across the board and restocks are gobbled up faster than they can come in and as of the 25th of October – suddenly brings the majority of International shipping options to a complete halt with this announcement..

The Postal Service™ is temporarily suspending international mail acceptance for certain destinations due to impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other unrelated service disruptions. Customers: please refrain from mailing items addressed to the countries listed here, until further notice.

While most the countries they listed we don’t usually ship to anyway, Australia and New Zealand certainly do effect us (we already had some idea this may be happening ahead of this announcement when we had a few shipments to New Zealand rejected and are currently dealing with the fallout -average cost to ship is $60, so it hurts a lot when we lose shipments suddenly for no good reason!).

Add this these losses extremely low stock levels across the board (heck, despite some successful restocks this year, we no longer have ANY Hanwei Swords available, have seen a couple of suppliers exit the industry, are suffering from lower sales, lower margins and higher prices – it just keeps on getting better and better!

Will definitely want to blow off some steam this Halloween – in the meantime, our apologies to our Australasian customers – we will do our best to update you as soon as this situation changes. Our little industry must be due for a break sometime soon right? (You would certainly think so, the last 3 years have been extraordinarily challenging)..

Small restock (and sadly, higher prices again)..

It is becoming a trend now – with the global supply chain officially and royally screwed, shipping prices at insane levels and higher costs across the board, the price pressure that the sword industry has managed to resist for many years can be resisted no longer – and with each restock, prices are getting nudged upwards every time..

This most recent restock was no exception, and while we have done our very best to absorb as much of the increases as we can – the overflow is significant. However, while the prices have gone up, have a look at the restocked items below to see if you feel that despite higher prices, many still offer great value for money..

Case in point, our ‘generic’ medieval arming sword – previously we squeezed the margins to bring the base model (65mn spring steel blade, peened pommel, steel fittings, leather grip and scabbard) to you for just $184.99..

This price was never really sustainable, and recent price hikes have forced the price up to $229.99 – but if you have a close look and compare it to other similar swords on the market (even those selling ‘older stock’ that has not yet been impacted by the cost increases) you will see it is still definitely great bang for your buck.

65MN Spring Steel Arming Sword – $229.99

This model was hit hardest by the price increases because the original price was simply too low and washed us out when the costs increased above our price… But for the following items in the restock, this time around at least, we were able to absorb most of the increased cost – though for how much longer we can hold prices down remains to be seen..

Giant (nearly 40″ blade) Miao Dao

PRICE $229.99 (+$30)

Han Dynasty Chinese Longsword

PRICE $164.99 (+$15)

Gold Dragon – 1045 Carbon Steel Art Sword

PRICE $69.99 (+$5)

Blue Geisha – 1045 Carbon Steel Art Sword

PRICE $79.99 (+$10)

Despite our best efforts, prices are going to keep ticking up incrementally for the foreseeable future – and with no margins to absorb the costs, I am afraid to say that price increases with each restock cannot really be considered ‘newsworthy’ anymore.. It is, I am sorry to say, the ‘new normal’..

But even with this bad news and higher prices, I think you will agree that we have made sure you always get the very best deal possible – and as the sword market has been under-priced for many years, in this turbulent time, such increases are unavoidable.

Seems to have taken nearly 6 months to get here, but Cas Iberia just restocked

If you have been even casually following this blog recently you will notice that a lot of our favorite sword suppliers (and indeed, it’s an industry wide thing) have been running out of stock recently – ESPECIALLY Cas Iberia, one of the worlds largest sword distributors and who supply us with our lines of blades from the Hanwei Forge, A.P.O.C. Tactical, Dragon King, Kingston Arms and others.

So we are very pleased to see that the restock that was first expected in November of 2020 (yup, it was supposed to be there for Christmas – that is how badly supply chains are screwed up right now) has finally arrived and we have restocked all of the above mentioned brands – some of them partially, others almost back to 100%.


81% stocked – almost EVERYTHING is back in stock

85% stocked – many Katana not in stock since before November once again available

44% stocked – considering we stock over 50 Hanwei swords and that previously we had only 3 models left in stock, 44% stocked is lot better than it sounds!

76% stocked – almost a full restock, blunts 90% restocked.

Of course, as there is still something of a sword buying frenzy happening at the moment – mostly because there are more people than ever before buying things online generally, and many are discovering the wonderful world of swords for the first time. And while this will probably not help, the raw truth is that it’s really hard to know when the NEXT restock will be after this one and just how long stocks will last, especially for the most popular items..

So here’s what I would buy from the recent restock – based on popularity, how likely it is to sell out very fast, and my own personal favorite/top recommended picks! So let’s take a look:

Cream of the Crop – Paul’s Picks from the Restock


Iga Ninja-to $406.98: It is rarely in stock, and when it is, not for very long. But considering it is almost an exact replica of the sword featured in the Iga museum in Japan (not to mention, a fantastic sword in its own right) it and the slightly cheaper $362. 98 Kouga Ninja-to are a must to round out a collection and highly recommended to grab them while you can.

Tinker Pearce Norman Sword $239.98: Great distal tapered and perfectly heat treated with handling and cutting ability first and foremost in mind, it’s an exceptional almost textbook example of an Oakeshott Type Xa – but what else would you expect for a sword designed and approved by Michael ‘Tinker’ Pearce? Simply one of the best bang for your buck arming swords around.

A.P.O.C. Wasteland Gladius $175.95: Monotempered 9260 Spring Steel leaf blade sword with tactical one piece design? What is not to love about this truly ‘apocalypse ready’ – super versatile sword? Apparently, it’s loved too much – expect it to sell out first in second place only to the $164.95 A.P.O.C. Survival Katana which has been (not surprisingly) a solid seller and popular choice ever since it was first released.

Dragon King Tatsumaki Katana $879.98: At the high end price wise perhaps, but it is such a gorgeous piece that the sword market vote with their $$$ and it is rarely in stock as long as any other piece in Dragon Kings now very well rounded and beautifully made Japanese Sword Series.

Kingston Arms Cutlass $349.98: This one sold out super fast after it was only just recently introducted – and when you consider it is the brainchild of none other than Angus Trim given free reign to design a fighting Cutlass HIS way – for under $350 – yeah, it’s no wonder..

Nothing new uncovered in the restock yet – but ‘treasure seekers’ will enjoy looking through all the swords that haven’t been around for at least the last 6 months or so and snapping up their own ‘cream of the crop’ before they are sold out for another 6 months or so..

Interesting times as they say..!

Ryujin Back to Business as Usual

At the start of this month we were saddened to hear that our good friends at Ryujin Swords had several workers and bosses test positive for Covid-19 and while their symptoms were minimal (most were only sick for 3-4 days with a fever and some coughing) the warehouse was reduced to a skeleton crew and we had to temporarily suspend the Ryujin line of Custom swords as the key workers were simply not around..

Well, as the title says – the tests are coming back negative, and as the tests come back, so do the workers – and we are delighted to say that Ryujin is back to business as usual!


Image courtesy of lastbottle wines.com – click for an article on ‘Sabering’

Definitely some good news in what has been a not so great month..

Back to Business!

Though it ain’t all sunshine and lollypops..

And boy do we have a lot of catching up to do..

First there is a backlog at Ryujin that we are working through, then there are a ton of emails that need urgent attention, and we need to make a few changes and update the site and stock levels (which are, for most of our suppliers, very limited!).

Personally I spent at least 3 hours a day over the holidays working on the site so that there was no mountain of work to come back to – and also unable to see my family being locked away overseas since the pandemic started, had plenty of time up my sleeve..

But it has NOT been a positive start to the year at all. The industry in Longquan is more or less decimated – we warned about this for years, but the eBay guys have stripped it like locusts and we have seen many talented smiths retire or forges change to producing Celedon ceramics. But personally, I am saddest to see Master Michael Ye move on from sword making – and taking all his products from the Forge Direct Line up with him..

The Wuxia line he made for Legendary Swords have been discontinued for a long time. But here are the swords that have since joined the permanently retired archive..

Classic Peony Jian
Han Dynasty
Yong Lo Mk II
Feathersteel Golden Dragon
Dragon Fire
Golden Peony
Tiger Jian
Imperial Dragon
Emperor Qianlong
Shengxiao Jian
Double Dragon
Black Ebony
Dragon Sword
Boar Killing Spear

Honestly, it does not leave us with anywhere near as many Forge Direct Chinese Swords to Choose from – and as the industry continues to shrink, chances are so will the number and possibility of obtaining new models..

Anyway, it’s real shame to see him go – and sadly, the writing is on the wall. Many others are soon to follow his lead. He did some amazing work, and was part of the collaborative project to create the fantasy blade the Seraph Aegis with US artisan Jeffrey Robinson

Add to this extremely low stock levels at Hanwei – with restock expected first in November, then December and now, unknown…

But it’s not ALL bad news..

BCI USA advised me that we have a single new and unshipped Zelda inspired Master Sword still in stock! And one that was returned because the customer did not like the construction techniques and was upset that the hilt is 2mm different on one side than the other..

Have a look and tell me if you think it looks terrible or not,

Anyway, you can find them both for sale on the main page of the site. So grab them while you can!!

Okay, now I have an absolute TON of work to get to, so will post again when I get a chance or if something new and noteworthy happens. But I must say, 2021 feels like 2020 but worse..