Forge Direct Wakizashi Back on the Table!

It has been nearly 3 years since we were able to last offer the acclaimed Forge Direct Custom Wakizashi/Ko Katana to compliment the matching Forge Direct Custom Katana – with supply chain issues coming to a head for us in June 2020 and taking 2 years and 10 months to retool and get us back into the game..

But back we are – so without any further ado, some great news for lovers of the shorter Japanese styled blades and fans of premium quality custom Daisho Sets (the two swords that were the badge of honor and representative the station of the Samurai, the Katana and the Wakizashi).

FORGE DIRECT CUSTOM WAKIZASHI/KO KATANA

The only caveat we would add is that there are some delays still associated with Forge Direct Optional Extras – Premium Matching Tsuba and Fitting Sets which are one of the few components the forge does not make in house and with quite a few different available options, can be hard to predict which ones are readily available and how long they might take to produce. But as a general rule of thumb, ordering without this option will likely see your order come in slightly earlier than the 6-8 weeks stated and ordering with could add up to an additional 8 weeks..

So only choose this option if it is a must have addition and you aren’t too concerned about delays and lead time.

Otherwise, time to start designing your own Custom Wakizashi or two handed grip Ko Katana!

Forge Direct Chinese New Year Sale Now On!

It is that time of year again – the Forge Direct 25% off super sale is now on!

With price pressure pushing EVERYTHING to new levels, this might be one of the last chances to pick up these swords at these discounted prices (indeed, after the sale we will almost certainly have to raise the base prices, as production costs, material costs and shipping costs have exploded in the last year and are getting increasingly steep at an unprecedented rate)..

The only downside? Production may be delayed by 2-4 weeks from the usual quoted turn around times. But take a look at some of the gorgeous swords we have on offer right now and make up your own mind if the discount is worth the extra wait..

Some of our top picks:

Sword of the Ancients

Truly unique, this fantasy blade forged by Master Michael Ye is a work of functional sword art unlike any other. Normally $900 but available for just $675 while the sale lasts.

Cloud Dragon Willow Leaf Dao

It is an entry level Master Smith forged Chinese Broadsword – and one of the most affordable blades in the entire line up. At $599.99 it is a bargain, but at $449.99 during the sale it is an absolute STEAL.

Laminated Duan Dao

Extremely popular and affordable, tradition meets science with this highly innovative laminated blade. Great quality all around and a true bargain at the current discounted price of $622.49.

This is of course just the tip of the iceberg – have a look at the entire collection and see if there is something that you like:

Forge Direct Temporary Shutdown..

With China soon to shut down all the forges for between 1-2 months starting towards the end of this month, and with a lot of price pressure on us that has been building since the beginning of 2020, we are temporarily closing down on any new orders for the Forge Direct Custom Katana 4.0 until the end of February/early March..

This is only a temporary shutdown to prevent customers getting frustrated by the long delays, and while there still are a few orders in the system we are still processing that may be impacted – we hope that the savings they made by buying it at what has become the old sale price of $779.99 with free shipping will make up for it because there is no way we will be able to maintain this price once we re-open in Feb/March (tentatively, the new price will be back to $899 – but even that is cutting it a bit too fine.. Only time will tell..)

Forge Direct’s Elite Custom Katana is finally accepting new commissions!

It has been over a year in the making, but we are over the moon to advise our customers that one of our best quality products – our flagship of the Forge Direct Japanese Sword line – the Custom Katana, is finally taking new commissions!

The biggest change between the current version, the Custom Katana 4.70 and 3.0 is we have had to re-release it with a standard blade length of 28″ (measured from the munemachi – the back notch of the habaki to the tip, add around an extra 1.5″ if measuring from the guard) which is pretty much the default for a comfortable feeling sword for the majority of modern practitioners (who are on the average, a fair bit taller than historical Samurai).

While we realize that this may preclude some people with specific blade lengths in mind from ordering this time around, it was either this or order 400 saya just to be able to take the first order, so for those of you requiring different blade lengths, please wait until we release a specific new sword design in a specific blade length (feel free to email me with suggestions as to what blade length you might need).

For everyone else who just wants a REALLY nicely made blade in beautiful custom fittings (now with hishigami as standard, plus buffalo horn kurikata on the saya), the wait is finally over and it is time to fire up the forge..

Some of the biggest changes

We already mentioned it, but there are four main changes between the current incarnation of this sword (version 4.0) and when we closed off on new orders in June 2020 (version 3.0):

  • Fixed blade length of 28″ (this is non-negotiable)
  • Hishigami triangles now used as standard
  • Buffalo horn kurikata on every saya (the higher end ones often have more)
  • And we have narrowed down the saya selection to only the most popular models

To this end, I want to preserve the old pics of the previous saya options in case previous customers need it as a reference, so here it is. The old saya options from the Custom Options Page (which has of course been updated to reflect what is on offer for version 4.0).

FOR POSTERITY: The Old Forge Direct Saya Options

S1 – Maroon Brown (Free)
S2 – Pure White (Free)
S3 – Red with Gold Maki-e sparkling (Free)
S4 – Standard Glossy Black Saya (Free)
S5 – Textured Saya, good for minimizing appearance of knocks and scratches (Free)
S6 – Black Glossy Saya with subtle red ‘claw’ marks at two locations (Free)
S7 – Glossy Black with luminescent green colored bamboo theme engraving (Free)
S8 – Glossy Blue Saya (Free)
S9 – ‘Kill Bill’ themed sword with Oni engraving (Free)
S10 – Glossy Red with Black Speckled Maki-e (Free)
S11 – Glossy Brown with sparkling gold maki-e finish (Free)
S12 – Natural Wood (Free)

Elite Saya (additional charges usually apply)

We absorb as much and sometimes ALL of the extra charges we face with these higher end to truly Elite level Saya. Because of this, they are not sold separately and only one saya can be ordered per sword.

Please also note that the hand painted swords may add additional time to the total lead time as each colored layer is allowed to dry.

S13 – Red Wood Grain Style with Speckled Mother of Pearl (+$39)
S14 – Glossy Black with Gold Leaf Star Patterns (+$39)
S15 – Black Glossy Scabbard with Mother of Pearl Bamboo grove pattern (+$49)
S16 – Wood grain style Red Saya with Mother of Pearl Fire Breathing Dragon (+65)
S17 – Black Glossy Saya with Mother of Pearl Sky Dragon (+$65)
S18 – Black Glossy Saya with Mother of Pearl Branch and Cherry Blossoms (+$49)
S19 – Red Wood Grain Style with Mother of Pearl Bamboo Grove theme (+$49)
S20 – Red Wood Grain Style with Small Mother of Pearl Dragon ($49)
S21 -Red Wood Grain Style with Mother of Pearl Branch and Cherry Blossoms (+$49)
S22 – Medium Sized Mother of Pearl Dragon on Red Wood Grain Style Saya (+$59)
S23 – Gold Saya with maki-e sparkle and real gold floral imprints (+$39)
S24 – Glossy Red Saya with Black Rattan Wrapped upper section (+$39)
S25 -Black Glossy Saya with Speckled Mother of Pearl (+$39)
S26 – Black Glossy Saya with Medium Sized Mother of Pearl Dragon (+$65)
S27 – Glossy Black, Inlaid real gold hand painted Tokugawa style pattern (+$69)
S28 – Black Glossy base saya with hand painted Japanese village and hills scene (+$79)
S29 – Hand painted Autumn leaves (+$79)
S30 – Glossy Black Saya with the Shinto Demon God Fujin (+$79)
S31 – Glossy Black with stunningly detailed hand painted Dragon (+$89)
S32 – Gold and Gold Maki-e hand painted Sakura theme (+$89)
S33 – Black Glossy Saya with Rayskin Wrap and Buffalo Horn (+$89)
S34 – Red Saya with highly detailed Sakura flowers in full bloom (+$89)
S35 – The ultimate (+$99)

While it does seem a little sad to have to reduce the saya options down from 35 choices to only 8 – when we checked our records we found that time and time again, our customers selected almost exclusively from the 8 saya we selected. And so being forced to have to try and make saya ahead of taking orders to keep production times tight, we let our past customers good taste guide us and so what is available is the most popular designs around.

It seems that while the other saya are nice to look at, the 8 we settled on are the ones that people actually want to own..

When I see what they choose from, I have to admit – our customers have good taste!

MORE INFO

General Overview (blog page)

High Resolution Pics of all the Custom Options (blog page)

Review and Product Testing (SBG.com)

Project X and Forge Direct Chinese are BACK!

Almost 12 months ago one of our most popular, best selling premium sword lines – Forge Direct Chinese, ground to a screeching halt due to production and shipping issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While worldwide the pandemic continues indefinitely, in the last few months we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring both Forge Direct Chinese and our elite Japanese line from Project X back online. And we are delighted to say that with this post we announce that Project X and Forge Direct Chinese are BACK and taking new orders..!

Project X

For those of you not familiar with it, Project X was founded 10 years ago and grew out of Ronin Katana’s Elite Soshu Kitae Laminated Katana sword series with many extra tweaks and upgrades, eventually supplanting the Elite line in 2019.

With many customization options, there are 9 basic models in the series ranging from normal Katana styles to O-Katana, Gunto and a basic stripped down model known as the ‘Kihon’ – but all have several defining important characteristics.

While every aspect of this sword line is as premium as it gets, naturally the blades are a special focus for extra attention to detail and do not disappoint with a complex lamination known as ‘Soshu Kitae’ complimented by a clear and expertly polished hamon line and option to add elite folding to produce the most traditionally constructed Katana possible outside of Japan – at a fraction of the price it would cost to have it made there.

More information on Project X on the main site here

Due to our policy to providing the best quality at the lowest possible price point, and the fact that we can only make these swords one or two times a year, and it’s no surprise that when we offer the chance to have one made, available spots fill up VERY fast – and the majority are reserved for subscribers of a dedicated Project X newsletter – so that by the time we make THIS announcement, many of the available spots are already taken.

Indeed, this is where we are at in terms of the forges comfortable production capacity at the time of the general re-release of these swords to the sword buying public:

In previous batches when we reach this point and open up to the general sword buying public – it is expected that all available production slots will be used up within the next 3-5 days as demand far exceeds our ability to produce the swords (a common problem with the industry generally right now).

So long story short, if you are a fan of high end production Katana with a lot of great customization options designed to minimize bad designs or unappealing component combinations – you should give this batch serious consideration while there is still time..

Forge Direct Chinese

At the same time we re-release Project X – it’s offshoot, Forge Direct Chinese – has also just come back online, and celebrates its return with a 20% discount on every model until midnight the 9th of June 2021.

In addition to the classic line up from Master Smith Zhangshu Ji from the Baojian Forge and Master Smith Xiaolong Jiang, Master Michael Ye has also partially returned from retirement early in the year with two new elite level ‘Wuxia’ fantasy designs of his own that he has become famous for with the Windsteel blade ‘the Sword of the Monkey King’ and the very unique, one piece forged Damascus Steel Warsword ‘the Sword of the Ancients’:

While we intend to be able to offer Forge Direct Chinese on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future, the 20% discount sale must end on the 9th of June. So to secure the best deal possible on these swords, now is your opportunity.