New to SBG: Kingdom of Arms!

We are always very excited when we announce a new product line. As you all know, it is not something we take lightly – as every new alliance puts our hard earned reputation on the line.

But with quality hand crafted swords made by my friends at Blade Culture International in the Philippines directed and made to the specifications of the brainchild of Kingdom of Arms, Clyde Hollis (pictured left), joining forces in this case was a no brainer..

Few members of the sword community have as much well deserved respect as Clyde. After all, Generation 2 swords – which he started way back in the late 1990s, were some of my first experiences with well built and affordable European styled historical weapons. And those swords were all made next door, not by the cream of the crop – BCI..

Now it’s not a lot of swords available with this particular launch. Indeed, there are only 1 or 2 of each model, and with FREE SHIPPING in the USA (and reduced shipping costs internationally) if you see one you like you had better be quick

THE SWORDS

First one is going to go super fast because of the low price – and that is the beautifully made and more or less historically plausible fully functional replica of a Roman Pompeii Gladius.

Normal price on this one is $569 – and that’s not too steep for a hand forged 5160 spring steel blade with all wooden hand crafted fittings and scabbard – but the two that are available are just $386.

Next up, another Gladius – this one with a rather sexy wasp waist – the Kingdom of Arms Mainz Gladius.

There is only ONE available, so some lucky person is in for a real treat with that..

And then finally, the archers sword – a short arming sword called the Crecy with a truly gorgeous looking and very well made custom fitted scabbard.

Great value at $580 for a complete package like this and only 2 available until more swords come in sometime around April-May.

But for a lucky few early-birds – well, here is your chance. Click the pics or check out everything in our store here:

Limited Specials, Closeouts, New Products AND a general sword industry update!

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.

The first is the Ryujin T10 Tsuzume Kamakiri Mother of Pearl Special

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..

And then there is the simpler Ryujin Shirohikata Katana

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.

New to SBG – Blades of Japan: Anique Japanese Nihonto!

I posted the first ‘teaser’ about this upcoming Project in the December issue of the Sword Buyers Digest – followed shortly by another mysterious post called ‘Store Officially Opened’ made on the 14th of January – but the time has come to lift the lid and show what a goodly portion of the trip to Japan that I document in this months edition of the Sword Buyers Digest (click here to read it online) was all about..

INTRODUCING: Blades of Japan at SBG

The full backstory of how this project came about is explained in detail in our new article on the main site “Antique Samurai Swords: a personal journey” – but the long and short of it is that the Japanese economy, which has been on a steady downwards incline since the late 1980s – has reached a point where the market for Antique Nihonto has pretty much dried up..

This has led to a series of price drops and devaluations, but despite lower pricing, the swords are STILL not selling in Japan like they used to. So, with dramatically discounted Nihonto under their belt, SBG was contacted by Chris Loeber and the Japanese Blacksmith Shinsuke-san, to help try and move some of these amazing historical blades and offer them to the SBG Sword Buying community.

So what do we have to offer in round one?

  • 5 Antique Edo Period Katana
  • 2 recently made Gendaito
  • 1 Amazing fully furnished Daisho Set
  • 1 Shin-Gunto with antique Edo period blade
  • 1 Wakizashi
  • 1 700 year old Tanto
  • 1 Full set of demon themed Koshirae
  • A set of antique menuki in an antique lacquer-wear box
  • A large selection of hand made tsuba

Some of these swords have quite an interesting backstory to them. For example, the Gunto was an older blade mounted in military fittings for the war and both the soldier and the blade returned to Japan safely, only to be found decades later when the old soldier passed away and it was found hidden away in a barn.

And then there is a restored Echizen Kanetane (the name of the Sword Smith) blade that has already received a free upgraded machine polish (valued at $750) and has a couple of unique ‘dings’ in the saya that suggest a very curious encounter at some point in the sword long history..

Or for anyone with a quality bare blade or an iaidoka looking to have the best looking ‘dripping with history’ iaito in the dojo – a full set of extremely cool looking Edo period fittings for a Sword that belonged to a Samurai who most definitely was not the shy and retiring type..

Plus, for those who cannot necessarily afford a complete new antique, why not upgrade the best Katana in your collection with some antique tsuba – from simple and affordable iron tsuba to hand made (not cast) brass tsuba that would have taken weeks to make, such is the level of detail..

More swords and components will be added over the following weeks and months, but for the time being, check out the heavily discounted Nihonto sales we currently have available while they are still up for grabs (naturally as there is only one of each sword or component available, they are sold on a first come, first served basis).

Two New Cool Designs from Scorpion Swords

As the month draws to a close we are delighted to announce not one but TWO new designs from our friends at Scorpion Swords.

The first was designed by a customer who was looking for an Orcish themed weapon different than the existing Orc War Cleaver – and so came up with the second ‘Orc’ weapon by Scorpion, the ‘Orc Chopper’

It is, as you might expect from anything with “Orc” in the title, a brutish weapon – capable of generating tremendous force and with a long two handed grip, extremely versatile in the ways it can be wielded and quite a bargain for a blade hand made in the USA, just $274.99.

And the second blade is the first Axe we have released and the 3rd design by Jason Woodard as a part of his Doomsday Series – the Boarding Axe.

Inspired by the Boarding Axes used by 19th century sailors, this utilitarian Apocalypse Ready multi-tool is the ultimate end of the world insurance policy.

Made from one solid slab of hardened and tempered 1095 carbon steel it is virtually indestructible and tough enough to demolish a car and then cleave through a horde of rampaging zombies like they were not even there..

Here is a quick behind the scenes look at how it is made – first up – referencing Jasons’ design notes along with the first 1:1 scale paper blank cut to shape.

Then, the shape is cut out from a sheet of premium 1095 carbon steel – ground to shape, heat treated, colored and the two slabs of the Black Linen Mircarta handle prepared to be pinned and gorilla glued into place so that it is essentially of a one piece construction with no loose or moving parts.

And then it is done – and one of the most affordable designs to boot at just $229.99

Check it out below:

Or click here for the full Scorpion Swords line up, including many SBG exclusive designs.

Back by Popular Demand – the Ryujin Custom Wakizashi

First time around, they didn’t get them quite right..

For the goal to create an affordable custom Daisho set (the classic Samurai sword set of the Katana and the shorter companion sword, the Wakizashi) was messed up when it was discovered that instead of the entry level blades the Wakizashi made turned out to match the $430 Ryujin Elites..

It took a while to liquidate the stock below cost price and lick the associated financial wounds this mistake had caused. But since so many people kept asking for it, Ryujin listened – and we are delighted to announce that the companion Wakizashi for both the solid bodied and bo-hi versions of the custom Katana is now available for immediate purchase!

First off, some pics of the standard solid bodied blade with a surprisingly active and very prominent hamon temper line.

And next, some pics of the bo-hi version. Note the termination of the bo-hi above the habaki rather than under it.

No matter which way you cut it, at $199.99 each these are a fantastic deal. And what is more, until the end of the month, they also come with a Wakizashi display and storage box that we usually sell separately for an additional $22.99.

But from now until the end of the month they are completely and genuinely free (most other places that offer them build them into the price and call it free. We prefer to set a low price and let you decide what extras, if any you need. But this time around, it is GENUINELY FREE and was NOT built into the final price)..