What makes up a great sword? The way it looks, it’s weighted blade, or maybe the sharpness of the metal. But without a strong metal, none of that matters. It won’t matter how sharp the sword is if the metal it’s made out of isn’t worth it. Snapping, cracking, irreparable swords can be both cost consuming and dangerous. Given the modern day cheap metal that’s used by most large companies, reputable swordsmiths and high priced swords usually are made out of carbon steel that has been blended with a steel alloy.
Steel alloys are defined as steel that has been alloyed with several different elements. The varying elements can range between less than 1% and 50%. These elements, when alloyed into the steel, are judged by weight, as that’s a more accurate scale. This insures that the integrity of the original steel isn’t damaged. Keeping in mind that steel alloys are in fact the addition of other elements to carbon steel; which is all the while clinically two different elements, it’s not considered steel alloy.
Now, while steel alloys are a great way to reinforce the metal, different components and mixtures of elements will decide what that added element will effect. A generalized concept is adding less than 5% of manganese during the steel-making process, which’ll remove oxygen, sulfur and more from the melt. This simplified concept will produce a more unified metal for working, leading to less gaps in the metal that’ll be worked. However, adding in more than 5% of Nickel or copper can help resistance to corrosion.
Knowing this can help ensure you that you know what’s in the metal of the latest sword(s) you’re interested in. Knowing that all good, reliable swords have alloys in them, and what they are is important. If you want a less maintenance sword, knowing that the sword blade has those properties in the metal is more likely to keep your sword in good condition longer. Knowing that carbon steel is a strong metal is great, bottom line.
Besides knowing what all is in the sword’s metal, having a better understanding that the company you’re getting it from is reliable, is just as important.