Storing and carrying your blade
Do not carry the blade around with you. In Finland carrying a blade in public is prohibited by law, unless you have a good reason for it, such as work. Do not give a bladed weapon to underage children. Store it so that kids and outsiders can’t get it into their possession, and so that it doesn’t pose a threat in its environment.
Sheaths are meant for the safe transportation of the sword, to protect you as well as the blade from damage. It is not ideal for long term storage. A leather or wooden sheath will always have some moisture, and as the temperature changes, the moisture will condense in those places where the blade is in contact with the sheath. Those places will easily form rust, and the blade might get stuck if it rusts in its sheath. In long term storage, it’s best to oil the sword properly, wrap it in plastic, and place it in storage next to its sheath.
Durability of the blade
All of our carbon steel swords and daggers can withstand real use, just as their historical counterparts did. This does not, however, mean that they are indestructible. Even though you can sometimes hear differently, all blades can get damaged or break in use. Our carbon steel blades have been heat treated correctly, so that the surface of the blade is hard, but the inside is soft and flexible. This gives a sword which does not wear out, thanks to its hard surface, but still bends and flexes under the stress of use. Flexibility is a very important characteristic of the blade, as if a blade is too hard on the inside, it does not bend under duress, but breaks. If a blade is too soft, it does bend, but will not return to true. In proper heat treatment a perfect balance between these characteristics is found.
When a weapon hits something which is as hard or harder than itself, the edge will get nicked, no matter what the quality of the steel or the heat treatment. Even thick edged stage swords get nicks and need sanding and/or polishing.
Swords are not designed to cut hard objects, so they are not suitable for cutting trees etc. Please use an axe for these purposes. Hitting an object which is too hard or stationary will cause damage, may break the blade, and can even cause danger to yourself or those around you. Good examples of objects to use in cutting practice are: tatami mats, cardboard boxes and tubes, saplings, large vegetables (pumpkins, melons), and water/soda bottles filled with water.
Handling the blade safely
Do not sharpen your weapon. With a sharpened weapon even the slightest error will always cause serious injury. A sharpened weapon should be treated as you would a loaded gun.
Even if your sword is in its sheath or on display, always treat it as a potential source of danger and with proper respect. Never wave it around carelessly. Our swords are designed to work as their originals did, and may cause damage to anyone in close proximity.
We definitely do not recommend sword fencing without the supervision of a trained professional, such as your fencing teacher, or without having had the proper training for handling the weapon. We cannot over-emphasize that when practicing you must use appropriate protective gear. Even an unsharpened sword can cause serious damage, such as fractures.
These guidelines are not exclusive to bladed weapons sold by Irongate Armory, but apply in general to all carbon steel swords and blades.