CAS Home
Swords, Knives &
Reenactment
search

Sword Use and maintenance

Use and Maintenance of your Sword

Every effort is made to ensure that each CAS Iberia sword is made to high standards of quality and that with responsible use, care, and maintenance it will provide excellent service. It is your responsibility to ensure that your sword is a model designed to meet the requirements of the activity in which you propose to use it – please contact us if you need help in making a choice.

Maintenance:

Caution: Swords have very sharp blades and must be handled very carefully to avoid injury. When maintaining a blade, make sure that the sword is resting on a flat, stable surface and always avoid touching the edge. Never try to “catch” a sword that is falling – this is the cause of most sword-related injuries. Let it fall, it is unlikely to be damaged.

All metal parts of your sword should always be protected from corrosion. Your sword is shipped with a protective coating to protect the blades during ocean transport and this should be carefully removed using a rag or paper towel, if your dealer has not already done so, and replaced by a light coat of oil or a silicone spray. The blade should be cleaned and recoated after each use. If your sword is stored in its scabbard for extended periods it should be inspected regularly to ensure that the protective coating is still intact and re-coated as necessary.

A light silicone spray will help to weatherproof leather and leather-covered scabbards as well as helping to maintain their appearance. Do not treat leather-covered handles this way, as grip will be adversely affected. Lacquered scabbards (saya) require only occasional polishing with a soft cloth.

Use:

Do not swing any edged weapon carelessly or unnecessarily. Remember that swords were developed as lethal weapons and must be treated with the utmost respect to avoid injury to yourself and others. Do not unsheath your sword until you make sure that you are well out of reach of other people.

If you wish to practice cutting with your sword:

  • Make sure that the sword is specifically designed for the type of target that you are cutting.
  • Seek training from a competent instructor.
  • Cut only targets that can be cut cleanly with a single stroke. Rolled and soaked grass mats, plastic water bottles and pool noodles are fine, trees and 2 x 4’s are not. A sword is not an axe and will bend if struck hard enough against an unyielding object.
  • Make sure that the targets are properly supported at a comfortable height.
  • Seek to improve your proficiency in making clean cuts with the minimum of effort. Do not try to “test the limits” of your sword – it is extremely dangerous and historic battlefields are littered with broken blades!

If you participate in reenactment or sparring:

  • Make sure that your sword is specifically designed for the activity in which you are engaged. Reenactment swords have thick edges and rounded tips - the minimum safe dimensions are often specified by the reenactment organization or society. Sparring swords are also blunt and must meet certain flexibility requirements for safety.
  • Seek training from a competent instructor.
  • Operate only in a safe and organized environment with competent supervision.
  • Try to avoid edge-to-edge contact whenever possible. In some fighting styles this is, however, unavoidable and edges will “nick” (steel toughness can mitigate the extent of the distortion but when two equally hard edges are struck together both edges will be nicked – just a matter of physics). After each session examine your blade for any sharp burrs created by nicking and, if any are present, remove them with a file to ensure that your next opponent will not be cut.