types of samurai swords

Are you here to learn about the different types of Samurai swords? If yes, you are exactly at the place where you are supposed to be. For those who don’t know, being called a “Samurai” was considered a great honor. 

Especially in medieval Japan, only the elite men and the best of the best were called “Samurai”. These people were considered the highest of all classes in the Japanese hierarchy.

As far as the weapons are concerned, these warriors used a variety of them, ranging from spears to arrows to bows. But most important what they used and what weapon represented them was the “Sword”. Sword was their symbol and in the Samurai world, there are a total of five types of Samurai swords.

Most people don’t know that there are five swords for sale, which is why they end up all confused when they surf the web to find Samurai swords. If you are one of those people who are really into this cast and want to find the right sword that matches your love and passion for it, stick with us till the end.

Today, we are going to explain each one of the types in detail so that the next time you search for the best types of Samurai swords, you know what you want.

1 - Katana:

The first of the types of Samurai swords is the “Katana”. This is the most common and the most iconic swords of all time. What makes this sword different from the other ones is the blade length and the design of the handle with which it comes.

The unique thing about the handle is that it is designed in a way that accommodates a total two hands and it is built from striking from a distance. Some more that you should know about this sword is that it comes with a circular or square guard and when it comes to the blade, it’s single-edged and has a slight curve.

There are several dimensions that separate the Katana from other swords. The best thing to do is to measure the length because the Katana comes with an overall 3 to 4 feet in total length.

2 - Wakizashi:

If both the Katana and the Wakizashi are placed on a table, it can be difficult for you to identify because they both look the same. But there is this one thing that can help you identify a Wakizashi and that is the length.

A Wakizashi is smaller in length than a Katana. It comes with a maximum length of 50 cm and it is worn along with the Katana by the Samurai who belong to feudal Japan. Together this combination is referred to as “Daisho” which means “small and large”.

The most interesting thing about this sword is that it was worn by the Samurai, all the time. They used it as a side weapon and it is one of the most popular types of Samurai swords.

3 - Tanto:

Tanto is not a sword, but it is more of a dagger that is used by the traditional Samurai. This dagger comes in two types, one has a single edge and the other one with a double edge. Just like Wakizashi, this one is also worn all the time.

It has a sharp edge which is why it is used as a weapon that helps you stab someone. Currently, people buy this weapon as a decoration because it is not used nowadays. There are other advanced weapons used in the practices. However, Tanto is the best thing you can buy for decoration purposes.

4 - Nodachi:

Nodachi is also referred to as “field sword” or “great sword”. These swords are bigger in size and even in length too as compared to a katana. To the extent that their use is concerned, well, they were used as effective weapons by the foot army who had to face an open field encounter.

If you want a weapon that can be used in a constricted space, this isn’t one of the types of Samurai swords that you should have. Thus, you can go for Katana or Wakizashi for that purpose.

5 - Tachi:

One of the best types of Samurai swords that is a predecessor to Katana. It comes with an even bigger curve and the best part is that it is longer than a Katana. This sword was introduced for those warriors who had to ride on a horse as they wanted something more lengthy for an attack. 

It is used as an effective weapon to charge the foot soldiers and it comes with a maximum length of 75cm.

These are the main types of samurai swords that you should know about. Each one of these swords is still famous and you can easily buy one from online stores and from the market too. It is just that you should be careful about the construction and durability.

Some Amazing Facts To Know About Samurai Swords:

Now, you know about the different types of Samurai swords, here are some amazing facts that you might love to know about:

1 - The Katana:

The first Samurais used straight blades that came straight away from Korea and China. The curved Katana was introduced in the market when the Samurais started fighting while riding a horse.
The curve made it easier for the warriors to slash and stab even when they were mounted. Hence, the straight bladed Katana is still used by the Ninja warriors.

2 - Katana’s Weren’t Originally A Samurai’s Weapon:

When the Japanese went into battle, they used bows and arrows. When the arrows were finished, they opted for a polearm which made it possible for them to have a bigger attack range than that of a spear.

But soon they moved away from archery and realized that they originally needed something like a sword that helped them fight easily when mounted. Even guns were considered during those times but it took people a lot of time to learn how to use a gun which is when and why they decided to stick to a Katana instead.

3 - Human Flesh And Bone Were Used To Test The Quality Of A Katana:

There is no doubt in the fact that a Katana sword is one of the best types of Samurai swords but there are some dark facts about it. One of the darkest facts is that to test the quality of this sword, the early Japanese used human bones and flesh.

During the Edo period, the Katana masters conducted a quality test by using it on a pile of bodies of the criminals. Most of the criminals were already dead at that point, but there were some who were left alive for the test.

The test was ordered by the person who was purchasing the sword and the test also cost the person equally just as the sword did.

4 - Older Katana’s Were The Best:

Among all the types of Samurai swords, indeed, the Katana sword produced before was the best of all. Even today, the masters cannot beat the quality that existed earlier. Right now, the designs are exceptionally good but when it comes to the quality of the blade, the ones made in 1530 were outstanding. 

In the 21st century, you won’t be able to find the same quality blades which is a true fact.

5 - The Value Of A Japanese Sword Isn’t Just About The Blade:

No matter what types of Samurai swords you are opting for, you should know that it is not just the blade that determines the quality.

For example, when talking about the Katana, you have to consider the tsuba too. For those who don’t know, the tsuba is the handguard and you should know that it is quite valuable which is why you should pay attention to it too while buying a Katana.


Well, we’ve told it all to you in this article. We’ve covered all the types of Samurai swords and we also have told you about some of the most interesting facts. Now, it is time for you to buy the right sword that matches your passion and love for Samurai weapons.

No matter which one of the types of Samurai swords you buy, you won’t be disappointed with the quality if you just choose Wholesale Blades to buy the sword.