Your custom iaito will be handmade, fitted, and balanced. Only the best products available are used. Each order is taken in queue. Construction times vary with the complexity of the order. Typically, it takes from 8 to 12 weeks from inception of order to delivery. Special requests such as special lengths, special weight instructions, or specialty saya can add to construction times. Please understand that delays can happen. This is usually during the last stage of manufacture when the nuri or lacquer is being applied. An order can be ahead of schedule but end up being delayed during this last process due to weather, contamination, or production issues. Swordstore will do the best job possible in expeditiously handling your order. We do not have the ability to exert influence over some aspects of the delivery process including any needed government involvement such as Customs Inspections, tariffs etc.
Standard Iaito Construction: We offer the best quality blades available on the market today. These zinc-aluminum (Zn-Al) alloy blades are made of the same materials used for sword practice at dojo throughout Japan. Known for their durability, these blades resemble the balance and handling characteristics of the real thing – a Japanese shinken. Standard iaito are not designed for hard contact or cutting, the Zn-Al alloy is not hard enough to retain an edge. Iaito are designed for the daily practice of kata or repetitive motions. The Zinc-Aluminum is poured into a mold in a molten state and slowly cooled. A thin layer of copper is electroplated to the blade so that the chrome will anneal when placed in a chrome bath. The process is done by hand and makes each blade unique. Unlike some of our competitors, we use honoki wood for saya/foundation construction. Some makers use less expensive grades of wood or plastic. The woods are inferior, gummy and become brittle. Plastic is a poor substitute and although usually molded to have a same’ like pattern to avoid the costs of same’ in construction is too soft for a proper tsuka feel. Swordstore will not use these substitutes for our swords! Hamon: Notare hamon is the default.
Swordstore LIMITED WARRANTY for Iaito: Congratulations: You have just purchased the finest custom iaito on the market today. We wish you many years of service and offer the following: Swordstore provides a limited one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship of a non-cosmetic nature. The purchaser must provide the iaito for inspection where it can be determined whether the iaito has a warrantable condition. Swordstore reserves the right to repair or replace the iaito if a defect is found to exist. This warranty specifically does not cover misuse, wear, or minor cosmetics that do not affect the safety or continued use of the product. Removal of the tsuka (handle) by anyone other than a Swordstore authorized representative without express written authorization voids any warranty offered by Swordstore. Damage as a result of using iaito for cutting or metal on metal impact voids any warranty offered by Swordstore. Iaito are customized to order. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure proper fit. All items are subject to availability. Craftsmen reserve the right to substitute fittings to complete orders on a timely basis. Any customs duties, additional postage, bank fees and government regulations are the client’s responsibility. The client is responsible for determining and complying with any government regulations pertaining to the ownership and use of the products sold by Swordstore and CET. WARNING: Please use caution when using these training tools.
From the time that the commission is accepted to shipment typically takes from 6 to 8 months depending upon the paperwork.
Over many decades we have come to know and develop relationships with some of Japan’s most pre-eminent sword makers. Today there are slightly over 300 active licensed smiths in Japan ranging from full time professionals to hobbyist-enthusiasts. Swordstore has working relationships with about thirty full-time smiths. We do not work with hobbyists or apprentice smiths. We do work at wholesale, but we avoid wholesale auctions for international sales. Each smith sets his own business policies. This is important because in actuality the client is purchasing the smith’s name as much as or more than the work itself. Each smith determines whether a sword that has his signature meets his definition of “acceptable”. Swordstore understands that some smiths believe that a blade with a number of flaws that are non-strategic in nature would be acceptable for purchase. Sometimes this can lead to a cultural misunderstanding as many Western clients harbor a conception that every blade made must be flawless. We try to direct clients towards smiths that have a higher threshold for defining an acceptable blade for purchase. Smiths are also free to select the craftspeople that work on completing a sword. Typically, as many as 7 or more different artisans come together to make a sword in full furniture (koshirae). Often the client is focused on the name of the smith. Also, the smith will not always reveal who the polisher (togishi), habaki maker (habakishi), or saya/lacquer artisans (sayashi/nurishi) are. These craftspeople are just as important as the smith despite a lack of recognition outside of a small sword community. Swordstore works with smiths that use top quality craftspeople in the polishing and fitting of each custom shinken. Swordstore tries to interview the client to determine needs. It is impossible to completely automate the process of matching a client to a smith on a project. Upon learning the client’s needs we try to match the smith that is most comfortable working within our client’s defined guidelines. We usually ask the client for a short biography that is translated for the smith before commencement of work so that he can better picture the client. This has been found to be helpful in enabling the smith to get a feel for the client's needs and personality.
Steel Iaito: In order to comply with Japanese law, steel iaito are a joint venture with sword blades in-transit in Japan. It is currently to make a steel iaito in Japan regardless of various marketing claims! This requires that a tedious process, government paperwork, and multiple agencies work together. Construction times are impacted by this reality. Typically, it takes 4-6 months to complete a custom steel iaito. Like iaito, specialty requests can add to construction time.