Just in time for Fathers Day

As we alluded to in the previous post, we have a LOT of new cool items about to hit the shelves at the SBG Sword Store. Here’s MY favorite (and its a great deal too, buy the big one, get the small one free!)..

Yes, it is the WORLDS LARGEST Wrench/Folding Knife Combination by one of Sam Sung, the owner of Ryujin Swords, Companies – S-TEC. I mean seriously, for $142 every Dad deserves one of these in his man cave (and it also comes with a smaller EDC version here for just $30 if you buy it by itself or FREE with every order of its big brother).

With that beast out of my system, here’s another by S-TEC, the most basic carbon steel chopper around with a price tag to match it ($19.99)

And then they offer what is perhaps my favorite type of knife next to a Tanto – the South East Asian Karambit with quick draw system (patent pending) for just – $24.99!

But if you like this basic entry level Karambit and want to get serious, another one of Sam’s companies – DEFCON – has you covered with the RAPTOR Karambit, available in Black or Bronze Finish.

EVERYTHING about these two blades screams premium quality – from the tempered CPM S35-VN w/ Silicon Nitride Coating blade to the milled
6AL4V Milled Titanium + Forged Carbon handles and smooth as silk cage bearing reinforced lock bar at $246.95 it’s worth every penny, and even better at our special price of just $185.95.

But we haven’t finished with our latest knifes just quite yet – for there is one more brand from Sam that spans the middle ground between S-TEC and DEFCON called Proelia.

My personal favorite, this little hard to classify D2 tool steel folder called the TX927 for $34.99 (which incidentally is a great price for properly tempered D2). But I have a soft spot for their interpretation of a Tactical folding Tanto, again D2 tool steel and again a bargain at $74.95.

That about catches us up with the knife expansion (well, we also quietly added a classic – the Hanwei Practical Plus Tanto for $194 here). After all, it was easy enough to list as we added not one but three new Hanwei Forge swords to the store – all Classics in their own right.

The first two are swords that are almost universally acclaimed by the community as worth every penny and then some, but are so rarely in stock in some cases nearly a decade has passed since they were last made available. But here they are, fresh stock straight off the boat of two swords that if you DON’T know about them, you owe it to yourself to have a look..

First up, the Banshee – an evolved, tactical version based on the Burmese Daab and a pattern typically found throughout what was once called ‘Indochina’ (Siam, Kampuchea, Burma, Laos, etc). But it’s really well made, incredibly good fun, and a steal at just $189.99.

But if you want to go beyond a steal and get a HEISTS worth of value, try this on for size – the Dark Sentinel!

Mixing elements of the Swiss Saber with the Japanese Katana, it is a solid performing cutting blade that tends to last for years and years without barely a scratch. And no, the $124.99 is NOT a typo..

And then one of Hanwei’s latest products, a special re-release of the Classic Tiger Katana designed by Paul Chen

Truly a sword we can strongly recommend – from the imported Japanese cotton ito to the brass leaf inlaid saya and absolutely stunning Swedish Powder Steel blade with real hada and hamon.. A tad expensive at its full price of $1650, but right on the money for $999.99 – you get your money’s worth and then some..

Well, hope you found something of interest for Dad this year.

PLEASE NOTE: While we will do our best to ship as fast as possible, orders placed now are NOT guaranteed to make it in time for fathers day. The sooner you get your order in, the better..

2 New Budget Medieval Swords via Ryujin

You may or may not recall a forge that was making some medieval swords and imported by our good friends at Ryujin Sword after the forge went out of business. This discontinued bad boy..

Well, while they don’t have that special deal again, the forge was purchased by a new one – and if this line proves popular, we will bring in more models over time..

And honestly, they have a lot going for them.

Basically the latest offering is two 13th-14th Century Archers Swords, really fast in the hand with great balance yet a lot of cutting power and one heck of a nasty point..

But here is where this sword ‘outshines’ (pardon the pun) the recent influx of low cost (and quite problematic) sword lines hitting the market recently..

For a start, where other sub $200 medieval use 1045 carbon steel, this baby uses 65MN Spring Steel, a very tough and affordable Chinese steel used for truck springs and even the bayonets of AK47s.. All the parts of steel, full tang construction and a comfortable wood core triple riser handle.

Even the scabbard is not bad as a FREEBIE – with steel throat and chape and complex faux leather suspension system for display or wearing. But don’t expect too much from the scabbard, the money is in the sword itself.. (as it SHOULD be!).

Two versions are available, the monotempered version and a folded version. As anyone who has read our basic guide to Sword Steels 101 will know, it takes a master smith to make a strong folded blade, so these are more for display than heavy duty use – but are, dare I say it, probably stronger than the historical originals..! (we really are spoiled for choice due to the quality and purity of modern crucible steel).

Anyway, have a look and see what you think. Stock are limited, and at these prices and not so many in stock, they will sell like hotcakes..

Only available while stocks last. They aren’t anywhere near the same league as Ronin’s Medieval selection, but for those on a tight budget or just like the design, they are better than similar knock offs on the market ripping off Ronin’s parts, designs and old suppliers (who made the first batch for Ronin, and had to quit them because the quality was awful and they lied about the steel used!).

At least with Ryujin, you know what you are getting!

Coronavirus: Practical Impacts on the SBG Store

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..

Only time will tell.

Take care of yourself and each other.

Project X Forge Direct: Blade of the Month

In March it was the Dragon Boar Killing Spear that was featured as Forge Directs Blade of the Month. And in April, it is another perennial favorite – and one of the most affordable entry level Master Smith money can buy – the Classic Peony Jian. (click any of the images for a larger, high resolution picture of the sword)

Some Background on Classic DanJian (one handed Jian)

Weight wise, most antique Jian like the one the Classic Peony is based on weighed between 1.76lbs to 2.42lbs (800 to 1100 grams) though some like this antique (3,500GBP) had slightly shorter blades and weighed a mere 732grams (1.61lbs) though this was relatively rare. Indeed, many people tend to think that functional Jian should be as light as the ultra flexible Wushu Training Swords such as shown in the video below.

This idea that antique Jian are super lightweight is compounded by the fact that many antique blades are weighed WITHOUT the fittings. But to get the complete picture most later period Jian that surviving martial arts such as Taiji,Wudang, Shaolin, etc still use – the so called Danjian 单​劍 –weigh and balance about the same as a Viking sword, that is to say, approximately 2-3lbs and balanced at 5.5″ with fittings.

Indeed, it even had similar dimensions with an blade around 30″ long and a 6″ long handle – though that is of course where all similarities end as the Viking sword has a broad, flat cutting blade while the Jian has a raised central ridge to reinforce the thrusting point (though was no slouch in the cutting department either).

The ideal point of balance for a Jian with a 30″ does vary, some suggest they should be balanced at the guard, two fingers width from the guard, at the pommel (impossible) or even up to almost half the way up the blade. But again, the Viking sword analogy holds true. with most antiques balanced around 5.5″ from the hand guard.

The reason we bring all this up is because there really is a lot of misinformation out there about what the correct or ideal weight and balance of a functional Jian should be (for example at the other end of the spectrum this post on quora.com someone states with authority Jian should weigh ‘between 3 to 7lbs’!!).

Our Classic Peony

The Classic Peony Jian is based on an antique Qing Dynasty design with a beautifully folded blade typical of the period.

The fittings of the Classic Peony are dark brass with polished highlights detailing the Peony theme throughout (once exclusively the domain of the Emperor, the Peony came to represent good fortune, wealth, honor and success) and it comes complete with a matching black ebony wood scabbard.

Blade wise, it is approx 29.5″ from guard to tip with a slightly longer 7.1″ Ebony wood handle to accommodate those with larger hands.

Weighing in at 2.86lbs (1.3kg) it is on the heavier side for a Jian, though still within the ideal weight of 2-3lbs, and is balanced at 3.93″ from the guard, resulting in a Jian that is forceful and strong, yet balanced close enough to the guard to allow easy transition from one movement to the next.

With a relatively common blade style requiring only expert folding technique, the blades are simple for the Master Smith to make – taking much less time and with a lower error rate than the more challenging blades in the collection (Wind Steel, Differential Hardening, Pattern welding, etc). Once forged and shaped, the blades are completed by the smiths team of workers – thus the rather shockingly low price point of $599.99 SHIPPED.

But as Forge Direct Blade of the Month, you can pick it up with a whopping 25% discount – down to only $449.99 all month long!

If you are a practitioner of Taiji or a traditional Chinese martial art and want a blade based on an antique that handles close to the how the original should (and much closer than the vast majority of replicas out there) THIS would have to be your best bet.

“The Peony Jian may be the Forge Direct entry level Jian, but nobody would ever guess it isn’t the best. If you tell your friends it is the best, then they will believe it is the best. I love mine. ”

Richard R. Rose

Store Officially Re-Opened!

Plus Some Sneak Peaks at what is planned for the first couple of months…

Hey everyone,

Thanks for bearing with us while we took some time off during the holidays. As of today we are officially back to work, though personally I am still in transit back and there might be some minor delays with personal correspondence until the end of the week as there is a ton of stuff to catch up with, and as you will see in this blog post, a ton of new projects and ideas that need to be addressed..

So in the meantime, we are pleased to advise that the 5% coupon code will remain active until the 17th of January!


5% OFF STORE-WIDE COUPON CODE:

SALE2020


Simply click the coupon code to automatically add it to any and all products in your cart.

CONDITIONS: Please note that this coupon MUST be used at the time of purchase to qualify. It cannot be retroactively applied to an order, so please ensure you double check it has been applied BEFORE you pay for your order. The coupon code will become inactive at midnight the 17th of January 2020.

What is planned for Jan-Feb 2020..

A sneak peak…

First off, January is the lunar new year – and so as it has become something of a tradition over the previous years, stay tuned for the CHINESE NEW YEAR MEGA-SALE on Forge Direct Chinese..

But another HUGE new project planned that will dominate the early part of 2020 (and continue to expand and grow over the course of the whole year) is related to my current trip to Japan – our first offering of genuine ANTIQUE and GENDAITO Nihonto (Katana made in Japan!).

More on this will be released on the blog, social media and our various newsletters over the course of the coming days and weeks, but in the meantme, here are a few sneak previews..

First off, the Japanese Sword Smith who has made all of this possible as we took a stroll around the Masumida-jinja Shrine in Aichi province, a relatively short distance from his forge on the outskirts of Seki City.

Yours truly inspecting one of the many Nihonto antique swords that we will be making availble to collectors and enthuisiasts over the following weeks right here at the SBG sword store (and yes, it is hard to disguise my feeling of AWE looking at these blades, almost all of which are several hundred years old..)

And just a sneak peak at two of the actual antiques that we will be offering at the most reasonable price possible.. (though naturally, being the real deal – they will be more than most swords we usually offer at SBG, but as always, sold with the fairest and best margins we can muster to give collectors the world over a fighting chance to own one).

Naturally this ‘working holiday’ was extremely educational, and I will be doing my best to share what I learned with all of you as many questions I had about Japanese swords were clarified, and I have necer seen or handled as many genuine antiques at one time as I have during this incredibly eye opening trip.

So I hope that you will all bear with me over the coming days as I catch up and prepare to share everything I have learned and everything that we can offer you!

Talk again soon.

  • Paul