Custom chinese swords

Custom chinese swords DEFAULT

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Chinese Swords

Chinese swords are relatively unknown in the West - there have not been that many translations of Chinese texts, nor have many western scholars attempted their own independent studies.

This is rather strange when you consider that they were some of the most advanced and technically brilliant swords of their era, branching out from bronze and forging the first steel and iron two handed swords during the warring states period (475-221 B.C.) whose equivalents would arise in the west until 1,000-1,500 years later..

Swords from the Han Dynasty, the longest one is 57" long - such swords were not seen in the west until well over 1000 years later...

In much the same way that little is known about Chinese Swords outside of China (where there are universities dedicated to studying their metallurgy and forging techniques while working with national treasure level certified master smiths) - most sword collectors in the west only get to see a very small amount of what is on offer to domestic Chinese sword collectors.

Indeed, for the most part even today the choices for these swords are largely limited to flimsy bladed Wushu or "Tai Chi" swords - or imports that are totally hit and miss in terms of quality, and with some strange pricing practices and a lot of disinformation and marketing BS.

Luckily, there are a few decent replicas to choose from at the entry level price point. And finally, now there are also a selection of amazing elite level swords with prices based on what they actually cost to produce, not what some deceptive eBay seller thinks they can get away with..

We will start our journey into the world of Chinese swords with some solidly made, non flimsy blades for Gongfu by the Hanwei forge, continue to the super tough beaters (one in particular) and end with glimpses into the high end where the action really happens..

History and Types of Chinese Swords in Brief

Like in the west, swords in China developed from short bladed bronze daggers in use from around 1,600 BC. However from the 5th century BC some true steel swords began to emerge, and were well established and becoming increasingly refined by the early Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).

And the same thing for a Forge Direct Dao or 'Chinese Broadsword'

The blades of these early period swords tended to be quite broad, extending with edges running parallel until they terminated abruptly in a very serviceable point, and were well balanced between cutting and thrusting.

From left to right: diamond profile, hexagonal profile, hollow ground hexagonal profile and octagonal cross section.

In addition to quite advanced and innovative forging techniques, these early swords had very complex cross sectional blade geometries to strengthen the blades and reinforce the edges and the tip that were well ahead of their time.

Indeed, even in the Han period - there arose a specialized class of swordsman and swordsmanship was pursued by the aristocratic warrior-scholar class that was to become the elites of Chinese society.

Over the next centuries, Chinese swords were increasingly refined, becoming lighter and more narrow - while techniques both graceful and deadly evolved along side them in harmony - with both sword and the art form becoming true art forms.

VIDEO: Chinese Swordsmanship Demo by Master Yu Cheng Hui

Practical Gongfu Style Swords

Chinese swords can be roughly divided into two types, the Jian - a straight bladed sword used for cutting and thrusting - and the Dao, a single handed saber like dedicated cutting blade - both of which were highly developed by the 2nd century AD.

Most people in the know who are looking for a practical Chinese Gongfu blade on a budget recommend the Hanwei Forge.

While in recent years they scaled back their bold roll out into this market, when the tide came back in it left some solidly made, very effective cutters on the shores for the picking.

They might not be very elegant, but they are very practical - be it for the practitioner of Tai Chi who is looking for something better than the typical $20 Chinatown special or the Gongfu practitioner after a Jian or Dao with an actual, cutting blade..

Hanwei Cutting Jian

Designed by Sifu Scott Rodell THIS is the must have budget Jian for every CMA practitioner. $329

Hanwei Practical Tai-Chi Sword

Not just for Tai-Chi, this is actually a pretty good entry level Jian. $129.95

Hanwei Chinese Broadsword

Awesome cutting blade with a rewarding ringing sound when it hits a target. $189.95

Hanwei Ox-Tail Dao

Great cutter with attractive fittings at a good price = happy customers. $199.99

While the current Chinese Swords in Hanwei's line up are rather function over form orientated, this wasn't always the case. To see some of the more attractive and advanced swords they introduced to the sword market that have since been discontinued, click here

In addition to swords for martial artists, Hanwei also produce a few historical pieces (they actually once had quite a few ancient historical pieces on offer, but due to a shrinking sword market generally, have all since been discontinued).

One of their most famous models that is still in production is based on the Chinese War Swords of the 19th century used to great effect during the boxer (read - martial artist) rebellion and uprising.

These were the final evolution in the history of Chinese swords, much like sabers were in the West, and while there are a few other replicas out there, this one is the cheapest of any battle ready version - though as is usually the case - you do only get what you pay for..

Hanwei Da-Dao

Chinese Warsword with some serious attitude. $149.95

Chinese Beaters

Now these are swords with a more 'mass market' appeal. Generally speaking, serious martial artists don't like them too much because they tend to be overbuilt and too heavy. But the qualities that turn martial artists off seem to appeal to more casual collectors.

The most well known Chinese beater would have to be the Gim Sword by Cold Steel. Big, mean and incredibly durable and fearsome, the Gim (Cantonese for Jian) is a fantastic blade for the price - a highly attractive sword that can cut like no-ones business..

Cold Steel Gim Sword

If you want it for martial arts, forget it. But otherwise, you might end up falling in love with it. $299.95

Dynasty Forge Liuyedao

Less beater and more suited to CMA use, it's a good value attractive functional piece. $400

Budget Yong Lo Sword

Tough 1060 carbon steel blade and stunning fittings. Looks much more expensive than it is.. $174.99

Jin Shi Swords

Jin Shi is a Canadian based sword company founded in the spirit of integrity and have fostered deep and lasting relationships with the Chinese sword enthusiast community, making swords that in their own words:

that will match or surpass the performance of well-made antique examples. We accomplish this by using modern, engineered steel while staying true to the thoughtful design inherent in antiques.

While production is at times sporadic, for the price when they ARE available, you really can't get much better bang for the buck.

Jin Shi Han Dynasty Jian

We aren't sure if this company is coming back. We surely hope so.. $299

A Peek at High End Chinese Swords..

The REAL action for Chinese swords begins well above the $1,000 price point.. The best swords are made by certified Chinese Master Smiths with lineages going back into the mists of time and forging traditions and techniques that have created some of the most amazing looking and performing blades that have EVER been seen..

One sword that I feel best represents the world of high end is the so called 'Yong Lo Sword' - a Ming Dynasty Sword gifted by the Emperor to a Tibetan Monastery and now on display at the Royal Armory in Leeds.

From $200 to $10,000 and up,this has had many replicas and incarnations - to get the full lowdown, click here

Master Xiaolong Jiang

To most people, this high end world is shrouded in mystery, but on a recent trip to Longquan China to see production of Japanese and medieval swords, I was personally introduced to this world and my fascination continues to grow the more I learn of it..

But my friend Chris Scoggin from Ronin Katana who met up with me on my trip to Longquan went in even deeper, visiting all the museums, universities and talking to smiths who are ranked as national treasures forging swords that sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars - and during multiple trips he uncovered some real treasures.

This eventually led to a joint project with Ronin and a young, amazingly talented 2nd tier master smith (province level, the second highest rank attainable) - Master Xiaolong Jiang - to produce a sword of museum quality at the most reasonable price possible..

Jian of Marquis Yi

This project took a new direction in late 2015, when with agreement with Master Master Xiaolong Jiang and several other prominent smiths in Longquan (which itself has a history stretching back over 2,500 years as the main center of sword production in Imperial China).

The goal was to make available the most beautiful, heirloom quality Chinese swords, to the casual collector outside of China - with guaranteed quality and prices based on what they cost to make, not some arbitrary figure.

This project, which continues to this day, is called 'Forge Direct' and includes swords from all time periods and styles that arose in Chinese history, from sturdy two handed Han Dynasty Jian to elite level Dadao beheading swords and everything in between.

Some of these swords really do have to be seen to be believed - with stunning and actually functional Damascus steel blades made by the masters, and rare forging techniques like Windsteel, Feathersteel and early techniques of differentially hardening the blades to produce an authentic shuangxue (hamon in Japanese, temper line) - techniques that would not be adopted by the Japanese until 1000 years later..

Click here to learn more about this project, or click the banner below to see the currently available swords from the Forge Direct Project X line up.

Further Resources

The very best source for information on Chinese sword training and general information on the subject is Scott Rodell's Great River Taoist Centre Forums which includes further reviews, sword training, test cutting, maintenance and much more. High recommended and very informative.

You can also see some examples of antique Chinese swords and more information on their history at Thomas Chen's website here

I hope this information on Chinese Swords has been helpful. To return to the Sword Buyers Guide's Homepage, from Chinese Swords, click here

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Functional Chinese Swords

High Carbon Steel Tempered and Forged Swords

We offer several hand forged Chinese swords for Chinese martial arts and collectors alike. Our functional Chinese swords feature hand forged high carbon steel tempered blades for tai chi, kung fu and various Chinese martial arts. We offer pieces from Cold Steel & Hanwei under direction of Paul Chen who has set the benchmark for all blade smiths on what can be achieved in Chinese and Japanese weaponry.

Wushu Tai Chi Sword

Wushu Tai Chi Sword

By: Paul Chen - Hanwei

In response to requests from Wushu practitioners for swords with ultra-flexible blades, we have developed the Flexible L...


Price: $203.99 CAD

view listing... »
Dadao Sword

Dadao Sword

By: Paul Chen - Hanwei

Long the traditional weapon of Chinas peasant armies, the Dadao, or big sword, was used with deadly effect as late as th...


Price: $246.99 CAD

view listing... »
Practical Tai Chi Sword
Chinese War Sword

Chinese War Sword

By: Cold Steel

There are few swords in the world that are more intimidating or more effective than the two handed Chinese War Sword.

Stock: Out Of Stock

Price: $530.99 CAD

view listing... »
Ox Tail Dao Sword

Ox Tail Dao Sword

By: Paul Chen - Hanwei

The Ox-Tail Dao or Kung Fu Sword is undoubtedly one of the best weapon-grade swords of its type commercially available.

Stock: Out Of Stock

Price: $338.99 CAD

view listing... »
The Shirasaya - Sword or Not a Sword

The Shirasaya - Sword or Not a Sword

The shirasaya often confused as a “shirasaya sword” or “ shirasaya katana” was not really a sword at all even though....

Read the full article: The Shirasaya »

What are Functional Chinese Swords?

Functional Chinese swords are properly produced swords for the Chinese martial arts like Tai chi and Kung fu. These pieces are hand forged by top sword smiths with the practitioner in mind. Unlike display pieces these swords will generally have properly tempered and treated high carbon steel blades. These blades are built to withstand the rigorous training of the martial artist. Along with expert forging the design of these blades is made accurate to the originals from the tang size to blade fastening methods. If you are training in any of the Chinese sword martial arts, the swords found in this section are up to the task.

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Ancient Chinese Sword Reproductions Done Right! (LK Chen Review)

Chinese Swords

The Chinese swords are just as old as China and these also have a long history just like the country. Bronze blades have appeared all the way back from the Shang Dynasty as the bronze daggers that have been utilized during that period.

The long swords made from bronze appeared during the middle portion of the third century BC and the later Chinese swords were created using steel or iron metals that were wrought, not cast.

Chinese swords usually measured around seventy to a hundred centimeters, yet there were also some longer swords that have been acquired.

Chinese weapons were also utilized in Japan during the third to the sixth century AD but were eventually replaced with the authentic Japanese and Korean swords by the middle portion of the Heian period.

Chinese Swords for Sale

History of the Chinese Swords

The creation of Chinese swords has been well-documented and the evolution, as well as the development of its design, is evident: the earliest Chinese swords from that era were commonly made of stone and were utilized during the prehistoric period.

In the years 1600 to 1046 BC (Shang Dynasty), the very first bronze creations led to the development of the fundamental metallic weapons.

From 1045 to 256 BC during the warring period of the Zhou era, these types of bronze weapons appeared to be short, straight, double-edged, and single-handed; during the Qin Dynasty, these swords were extended and turned into double-handed pieces.

In the Han Dynasty, the very first single-edged Chinese sword appeared together with the steel blades; its style and design remained until the year 960 to 1279 AD during the Song Dynasty where only a few alterations were made along the blade.

In 1279 to 1368 AD of the Yuan Dynasty, the Turko Mongol saber was introduced as the primary weapon for soldiers and civilians. Its shape became the basis of the Liuyedao and also the Yanmaodao of the later dynasties that came.

Finally, from 1644 to 1911 AD of the late Qing Dynasty, the more familiar blade called the Niuweidao was created. This was a single-edged and single-handed Chinese sword that also featured a flaring tip; it was never utilized in the military and only the civilians used this for self-defense.

Types of Chinese Swords

Although there were different types of Chinese swords, all of these can be divided into two different categories: the Dao and the Jian.

The Jian swords are usually double-edged whereas the Dao swords only feature a single edge. The other types of swords include the Chinese War Sword, the Iron Sword, and the Hook Sword.


The Jian is known as a straight, double-edged sword that has been utilized during the last two-thousand five hundred years in China. The very first source that mentioned the Jian Swords was during the Autumn and Spring period that dates back to the seventh century BCE; one of the earliest pieces of weapons would be the Sword of Goujian.

Historical single-handed versions of the Jian swords feature blades that have a length of forty-five to eighty centimeters, while the average weight of these swords ranges from seven hundred to nine hundred grams. Aside from these, there are also bigger double-handed versions of the weapon that are utilized for training in different kinds of Chinese martial arts.

A hilt or guard is present to protect the wielder’s hand and the shape of this is depicted as short wings that point forward or backward; a few Jian was created with the disc-shaped guard which was associated with the Dao.

The handle that is set behind the guard can readily accommodate both hands when gripping since the double-handed Jian’s grip measures around sixty-three inches in length; longer two-handed weapons could be utilized as a form of the lever to lock an enemy’s arm whenever necessary.

Chinese Swords - Jian

The grips of weapons were commonly made from fluted wood or at times, these were covered in rayskin; a couple of these weapons were also wrapped in a specific type of cord. Its handle’s ends are commonly finished with a pommel which is necessary for balance, preventing the Chinese sword’s handle from sliding from the wielder’s hand.

It can also be utilized for trapping or striking an enemy when the opportunity allows it. Generally, the Jian’s blades feature a subtle profile taper but commonly, these have considerable distal tapers with the thickness of the blade close to the tip. Jian swords also feature differential sharpening the process where a blade is progressively made sharper up to its tip.


Dao is commonly single-edged Chinese swords that were mainly utilized for chopping and slashing. Its most common form is also called the Chinese saber but the sabers with much larger blades are often referred to as the Chinese broadswords.

In China, the Dao swords are considered among the four classic weapons and the others include the qiang, the gun, and the jian. The Dao is considered as the Master of all the Weapons.

The blades of the Dao swords are curved to a degree and it is also a single-edged weapon. Its slight curve allows the weapon to be fairly effective when the wielder executes thrusting attacks. Canted hilts are sometimes present, arching in the opposite direction as the blade; this greatly improves handling of the weapon which makes it easier for the wielder to thrust and cut.

A cord usually encloses the wooden handle while its hilts may be pierced just like the Jian’s; this will allow the addition of lanyards but contemporary swords that are utilized for performances instead have a scarf or tassel.

The guard of the Chinese sword is usually disc-shaped and commonly featuring a cup shape; this is to prevent any rainwater from entering the sheath and it also works to prevent blood from trickling down the sword’s handle.


There are some guards that are thin pieces of metal with an S-like curve with its lower limb working to protect the wielder’s knuckles; this is necessary since it is rare to find these types of swords with guards that are similar to the Jian.

The four primary kinds of Dao swords include the Liuyedao, Niuweidao, Yanmaodao, and the Piandao with variations including the Dadao sword a machete-like piece, and the Butterfly sword which is generally a short dao.

This entry was posted in Chinese Weapons and tagged Chinese Swords, Chinese Weapons. Sours:

Chinese swords custom

Chinese Swords

While the earliest Chinese swords were actually made of stone, during the Shang Dynasty (1700 BC - 1027 BC), the development of bronze led to rudimentary metalsmithing. The weapons developed during this age weren’t elegant or beautiful by any means. It was only during the Zhou Dynasty (1045 BC - 256 BC) that short, one-handed, double edged swords made of bronze became common. Much later, two-handed steel blades were finally created during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD).


As sword making techniques became more refined, various sword styles also developed including the creation of the liuyedao, yanmaodao, and niuweidao swords — which are all dao swords. Browse the collection at Swords of Northshire to learn more about our Chinese sword selection.


Chinese Sword Styles and Selection


There are five weapons that every warrior learned to use in ancient China, including the spear, halberd, and staff. The Dao (sabre) and Jian (sword) complete this list, and each has its own unique shape, history, and uses.


Dao Blade

All dao swords have single edged blades that are usually curved. Dulling and thickening one side of the blade increases its reliability and ease of use. The dao swords were most often used by cavalry soldiers from horseback. Some historians believe that the dao influenced Japanese sword makers to create the katana and wakizashi style blades.


Jian Blade

Unlike the dao’s curved single edge, the jian blade is a straight, double edged sword. The first jian sword was mentioned in writing around the 7th century BCE. Historically, the one-handed version of jian swords have blades that vary between 18 and 31 inches with a weight of 1 to 2 pounds. Larger, two-handed versions of jian swords exist for use in several different Chinese martial arts.


Custom Battle Ready Swords For Sale


At Swords of Northshire, all of our custom weapons for sale are full tang, functional, and battle-ready. They can be sharpened and engraved to your specifications for use in the dojo, during ceremonies, and for decoration. Each sword is made to order by master swordsmiths who have spent years learning ancient Chinese and Japanese sword making techniques. 


Choose a sword from our collection to receive an expertly-crafted handmade blade today.


Chinese Arts and Crafts: Longquan Sword

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