Stock levels critically low – two suppliers bow out with no restock in sight..

It’s been a very, very strange time for the sword industry this year. Normally the first few months after Christmas are pretty slow, but due to the general trend worldwide towards online orders – we have seen a double whammy of a massive increase of the number of people trying to buy swords and an unprecedented inability to restock them anywhere near as fast as they are going out the door..

I have just emailed everyone on the official sword store mailing list the ins and outs of this double whammy, so rather than try to reword the same thing, here are some excepts from the newsletter to get you all up to speed as to what is going on behind the scenes.

From the SBG Sword Store Newsletter

Once again it is a mixed bag of news for the sword industry – some good, some bad – though none truly unexpected or out of the blue.

The bad news first? There are not many swords left after the ‘great sword buying frenzy’ of the last few months. Stock levels everywhere are quite dismal – to the point that two of our most important partners are about to close up shop, one temporarily – and one for good..

Ronin Katana is taking a short break from the 15th of this month until June the 9th as their shelves are more or less bare and after months or working at maximum shipping capacity – they are kind of beat.

But sadly, our friends at Cheness Cutlery have become a causality of the inability to restock – and announced late last month that they will NOT be restocking and once they have sold their existing stock – that’s it – there will be no more..
So the next few days and weeks are your LAST CHANCE to pick up what is remaining from stock at both of this suppliers – one temporarily closed and the other preparing to close its doors for the very last time..

Project X and Forge Direct Chinese

While stock levels in the US are for the most part at the bottom of the barrel, Longquan is working overtime to try and restock everyone. And with all this activity – we are finally catching a break and preparing to relaunch Project X Japanese and Forge Direct Chinese, last available in August and June 2020 respectively..!

An early bird special offer will be made for Project X Japanese to subscribers of the Project X exclusive newsletter – so if you are finding it hard to track down a reliable source for a high quality Katana at the moment, your golden opportunity is looming on the horizon – and it will be happening sooner rather than later..

And lovers of high quality traditional Chinese swords will also get an opportunity to secure a master smith forged blade from two premier forges – have a look now to see what is about to be re-released:

The re-release of all these swords is scheduled to occur around or before this time next week, so stay tuned..! It’s great to be able to bring back as many of these awesome swords as possible – especially in a time when many of the best ‘stocked’ swords are all sold out, so it makes sense to have something made to order.

The only caveat – delays are to be expected. But we have prepared and positioned ourselves to minimize any delays as much as possible – but in these all too ‘interesting’ times, a spanner may appear in the works at any time slowing things down – and people need to be aware that the environment is challenging and unpredictable. But we would not offer these again now if we did not think we are 99% clear of the worst of it..

And they are definitely worth the wait..

Talk to you all again soon.

  • Paul Southren, Store Owner

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..!

Assorted new blades

While stock levels continue to rapidly dwindle away with no restock yet in sight, it’s true that as each day goes by the pickings get slimmer..

But we buck the downwards stock trend here with some cool new blades from our friends at Ryujin and Proleria Knives.

The first item is a beautiful EDC Knife called the ‘Radioactive’

With a distinctive Tanto w/Swedge D2 Tool Steel blade in 6AL4V Titanium fittings, in terms of materials and construction – the Radioactive is an absolute steal at just $112.95 $69.99.

And then there is the latest addition to the Ryujin 1045 carbon steel ‘art should hurt’ line – two matched Daisho Sets consisting of a lightweight and fast (2.1lbs) monotempered 27 1/2″ bladed 1045 carbon steel Katana, 20 1/2″ Wakizashi and complimentary Tanto knife – plus it also includes a three tier sword stand for display..

Here’s a few closeup pictures of the blades common to both of the two available sets:

Whether you want a set for display purposes, light to medium backyard cutting or as a project piece – the blades are where the $$ are with these – for while 1045 carbon steel is the baseline carbon steel required for a functional sword – these blades are well made and properly tempered to such a degree that they could be passed off as 1060 (which sadly is a practice quite common to less scrupulous vendors) – but as usual at SBG you get what you pay for, and with 1045 carbon steel blades, you don’t have to pay too much..

Both sets are available for a crazy low price of just $109.99 for the whole kit and kaboodle and come in two styles, classic Black and Red saya variants.

Stocks on all items are limited and selling out fast – and at these prices, these new additions are not likely to be in stock for very long..

Project X and Forge Direct – the trials and tribulations

It has been a very, very rough 12 months for our flagship custom Japanese sword lines Project X and it’s offshoot, Project X – Forge Direct.

By June 2020 it had become apparent that the Pandemic had ground production to a halt and on the 23rd of June 2020 Forge Direct, which was usually available all year round, had been put on hold and remains on hold to this day..

In addition to shipping issues (when in June, nothing was going anywhere – but now simply limit shipments from the Forge to North America only) supply chain issues have been a MASSIVE headache. On top of everything else, the regions only major supplier of sword parts was temporarily shut down, and when it re-opened it found itself – like almost every business in the Sword Making Capital of the world – Longquan, overwhelmed with new orders as online sword sales exploded, draining stock levels down to never before seen levels.

Here’s an Infographic that clearly shows the quadruple whammy we have been experiencing..

As you can plainly see, it is less than ideal..

We have taken quite a few steps to try and get back in the saddle – and while there is nothing we can do about the direct shipping issue, behind the scenes we have been preparing as best as we can – so here is where we are up to now..


In late August 2020 the shipping situation had cleared enough for us to resume North American orders – and at the time we confirmed with the Forge that everything would be complete within the usual 4 month time frame..

Well, this is what the orders look like running 2 months behind schedule (the reason why is that for a handful of blades a few cracks were found during the polishing stage, and the swords had to be re-made, but first Chinese New Year, and now the sheer number of orders the forge is dealing with – have pushed it back so the last few swords are running 2 months late).

Because it is STILL not quite completed – and yet due to open for new orders around, well, around NOW – we have decided to simply focus on getting these last few orders completed and wait until the forge is not so swamped with production sword orders..

Exactly when this will be is unknown but I would estimate it will be sometime in late Summer/early Autumn this year..

In the meantime:

Forge Direct

Once again, we still have around half a dozen orders that are trapped in a kind of Limbo – mostly due to the ‘great saya shortage of 2021’ and the fact that we need to get these orders addressed before we can take new orders with a clear conscience (we always prioritize existing orders over future ones, business 101 is taking care of your existing customers first – we believe in lifelong customer service, not ‘churning’ and always fishing for new ones!).

Steps have been taken to address this as best we can – for our Forge Direct Custom Katana – we have dramatically decreased the number of available saya options to only the best and most popular our customers have actually ordered in the past – and of course, this means that if we want different blade lengths, we will have to create a dedicated product based around the different length – and so we will start with a fairly generic blade and expand as we go..

Forge Direct Chinese has also been trimmed down – first due to the retirement of Master Michael Yi, who was quite prolific for our project, and then from shortages in parts and supplies. But the good news is that other than the limitation of only being able to ship to North America – Forge Direct Chinese is only held back by the ‘straggler’ orders that are still blocking up the whole thing..

To say it is frustrating for everyone involved is an understatement – after all, this project was a culmination of many years of experience dealing with custom made items – but I must thank our customers for being so patient and understanding..

The good news is that we do seem to be on the home stretch for Forge Direct – and if all goes well, we could see it return next month. But for now, our priority remains on getting those last orders fixed up – and when we do, I think a celebration will be in order as we re-launch.

So as we are fond to say, stay tuned..!

Doomsday Sword # 5: Scorpion Swords ‘Doomsday Cutlass’

When the you know what hits the fan – you will likely find that a hefty, utilitarian and rather brutal cutlass will serve you well – and just one look at the latest edition to the Doomsday series designed by esteemed sword tester and designer Jason Woodard will tell you that if the fifth seal is broken, you could do a lot worse than to have one of these beasties strapped to your side..

Behind the Scenes: How it is Made

Hand made from start to finish at Chris Palmers Workshop in Springfield, Missouri – the Doomsday Cutlass was sketched and designed by Jason Woodard using a 1:1 scale blueprint hand drawn on butchers paper.

Chris takes the design into the workshop, creating a template and cutting a sheet of 1095 carbon steel to shape.

Note the characteristic ‘knuckle duster’ hand guard – this bad boy sure does pack a mean punch along almost every inch of its surface!

From here, the sword blank is hand shaped and hardened by heating the steel to 1500 degrees until it becomes non-magnetic and then quenching it in brine. Each blade is then hand tempered, heating the steel to 500 degrees for 2 hours and letting it air cool – resulting in an even HRC of approx 57 for the entirety of the blade. Below you can see how the heat treatments have changed the base color of the steel.

Finally, before the blade is polished, the blade blued and the sword itself finished up, the walnut wood sandwich tang handle is affixed in place with a combination of several metal pins and a generous coat of epoxy – essentially making these swords of solid one piece construction with no weak points or ‘moving parts’.

And here, the end result!

Exclusively available at Sword Buyers Guide for just $269.99!