Project X Japanese


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Project X Japanese was first started in 2012 and was a no holds barred improvement of Ronin Katana’s acclaimed Elite Laminated swords series. The blades are painstakingly hand made by certified level 1 and level 2 Master Smiths using the most complex of all the lamination methods – Soshu Kitae.

Lamination (and differential hardening) are the two main methods of creating a Katana that has the same qualities as a genuine Japanese made Nihonto – that is to say a hard edge with soft, flexible core and two progressively harder sides of steel to protect against lateral impacts.

To create such a blade, several billets of steel, from hardest to softest – 1095, 1060 and 1045 carbon steel are placed in position and then hand forged until each lamination is perfectly positioned for shaping.

3 types of steel are fused together
This requires a very high level of skill and experience. Only a Master Smith can do it right.

Quite often, it takes several attempts to get the positioning just right. But once a valid billet has been made, not one but two Master Smiths work together hand hammering the blade to shape.

Two Master Smiths work side by side to speed up the long process
Watch those sparks fly..

Once a basic blade shape has been made, it checked carefully for any flaws and if found, discarded and the process begins again. If they pass the first inspection, they are then hand shaped, clayed, tempered, differentially hardened and sent off to the master polisher who will spend a full day (sometimes more if a flaw is discovered) painstakingly polishing and sharpening the blade to the highest possible standard.

No machine polish here
Just hours and hours of hard work

Years of experience (the apprenticeship for a Master Polisher is several years longer than that of a Master Smith – and there are only a handful of them still around) lets the smith know by feel and sight alone when the entire blade is perfectly smooth – for the smoother the blade, the cleaner and easier the cutting with it becomes.

Continually feeling and checking the smoothness of the blade

One of the most time intensive parts of the polishing/sharpening process is the kissaki (tip) as the yokote (separation line) and tip have so many angles it takes almost as long to polish as the rest of the blade entirely.

Ensuring a perfect kissaki, one of the hardest parts of a Katana to polish

At times, the smith uncovers deep scratches caused during the shaping that cannot be polished out. When this happens, the sword is discarded and we start again from the very beginning. As such, it usually takes 4-5 attempts to make the perfect sword that passes our strict QC standard (with the rejects being picked up by eBay vendors and sold off as brand new and perfect) – and this is one of the reasons why it takes so long to make – Forge about 2-3 times longer than any other custom made swords on the market.

But the end result speaks for itself. Below is a close up of the blade.

Click on the pic for close up details (then click escape or back to return to this page)

And below, all the effort into shaping the kissaki tip pays off, with a very clear geometric Yokote, traditionally hand carved bo-hi (fuller) termination and clean polish so you can clearly see the boshi (part of the hamon that runs to the very tip).

So good it could be mistaken for a Japanese made Nihonto

Note the beautiful interplay between the hamon and lamination lines – each sword is 100% unique.

While these blades are the very best of the best in every aspect, a sword is only as good as its weakest point and so we compliment it with the same wide range of fittings we use on our Forge Direct Custom Line – with additional extras such as premium matching fitting sets, black leather ito and/or a full rayskin for the complete package.

FULL rayskin wrap with, in this case, three prominent ‘Emperor’ nodes.

The focus on the Project X series is traditional construction methods and supreme quality to create a blade as close to a genuine Nihonto as possible. In all honesty, the full price should be the DEPOSIT price..


In 2024 we added a new custom sword option to Project X Japanese – basically taking the core concept of the Forge Direct series and upgrading the blade to Tier IV Project X by improving the quality of the blades hamon temper line and the final polish, which is completed using Japanese fingerstones.

The end result is a best of breed T10 tool steel Katana that is not quite as traditional as the laminated blades, but is perhaps the most practical and highest possible finish for a T10 blade.

At the end of the day, whether you go for the original laminated blades or the new T10 hi polish options, if you want the most traditional, best quality custom Katana on the market – this is IT. Only our other custom line – Forge Direct – comes close. They are not cheap, but if you knew how much work goes into making them and how much they cost us to make and ship out to you, it would still be great value at double the price..


  • Stunningly beautiful blades equally at home at the dojo or as an heirloom quality (and rather deadly) ornament.
  • Rare and highly desirable blade type – both in geometry and lamination. Extremely hard to make with each sword requiring a large amount of blood, sweat and tears going into each and every piece.
  • Underpriced – a sword of this quality should be sold for much more than the asking price. For all the risk and effort involved at our side, as we guarantee 100% satisfaction, they should be priced closer to $3K.


  • Wait time – the standard wait period between ordering and receiving the sword is 8-10 weeks, around 2 weeks more than Forge Direct and can sometimes take longer due to the forges high level of QC. Kind of like the “John West” of blades, it is the blades that we reject that makes Project X the best..

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