Caring for a Sword

Care of Military Swords

Ceremonial Use and Safety:

  • WKC swords and sabers are intended for ceremonial use only.
  • Blade tips are relatively sharp; exercise care during use.
  • The blades are not designed for impact and “fighting.” While forged, tempered, and designed for flexibility and durability, ceremonial blades lack the toughness to withstand the heavy impact of “blade-to-blade” contact.
  • Do not use ceremonial swords for re-enactment fighting.
  • Horseplay may result in damage to the sword or, worse yet, personal injury.
  • Sword and saber manual of arms is a developed and practiced skill. Do not be flamboyant when handling a drawn sword.
  • Children tend to have a natural fascination with swords and often mistake a ceremonial sword for a weapon. Supervise children closely and know that the misuse of a sword is dangerous.

General - Metal Components:

  • Acids from fingerprints can react with metals and discolor metal components over time.
  • Salts and other air contaminants (e.g., formaldehydes from carpets, etc.) can collect on metal surfaces and can also cause discoloration.
  • Periodically wipe your sword with a soft, dry cloth. We recommend monthly for harsh environments (e.g., high humidity, proximity to sea air, cities with heavy smog, etc.) and every few months for less harsh environments.
  • Remove fingerprints and other oil marks with a soft, dry cloth.

Gold-Colored Components:

  • Do not use abrasive metal polishes or metal wool on any gold-colored part. All gold-colored parts on WKC swords are gold-plated, except for special productions specified as lacquered brass (e.g., Citadel, West Point, etc.).
  • Use abrasive “jeweler” cloths sparingly to remove any discolorations.

Air Force Swords:

  • The hilt and scabbard fittings are silver-plated and then lacquered to achieve the antique, aluminum-color finish and to minimize tarnishing.
  • Do not use abrasive metal polishes or metal wool on the “antiqued” sword components. Use abrasive “jeweler” cloths sparingly on the lacquered surfaces.

Blades:

  • All WKC blades are stainless steel, except the nickel-plated Army officer sabers and the special gold-plated and gold-blue blades.
  • Discolorations or minor scratches can be removed with a “jeweler” cloth or a mild metal polish, such as a silver polish.
  • Remove all polish residue with a final wipe of a soft, dry cloth.
  • Never use heavy abrasive polishes, scouring pads, or metal wool as they will damage the polished finish of the blade.
  • Avoid contact with acidic or alkaline substances as either may chemically react with metals in the stainless steel.

Scabbards:

  • Leather scabbards should only require an occasional wipe with a cloth moistened with a clear household silicon spray polish.
  • Scuff marks in the leather can usually be repaired or hidden with ordinary shoe polish.
  • Maintain nickel-plated scabbards as a general metal component.
  • Maintain the stainless-steel Marine officer scabbards as described for blades above.

On-Going Care and Maintenance:

  • After each use, completely wipe the sword with a clean, dry cloth to remove any fingerprints, perspiration, and residue.
  • All ferrous materials, including “stainless” steel, will rust in varying degrees if not maintained and with prolonged exposure to the elements.
  • Whether displaying or storing your sword, periodically clean and wipe your sword and metal scabbards with a lightly oiled cloth to protect your sword.
  • Because the cloth bag may wick humidity from the atmosphere, we recommend storing your sword in a plastic bag within the cloth bag.
  • We recommend storing the sword unsheathed from the scabbard if storing for prolonged periods of time.
  • If shipping or transporting your sword by air, securely wrap the sword in plastic to minimize condensation on the cool sword surfaces after the sword returns from the cooler high altitudes.

Cleaning:

  • Care must be exercised when attempting to clean Military Swords.
  • Most fingerprints and smudges will clean up quickly and easily with mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth.
  • DO NOT USE any sort of metal cleaner or polishing compound unless specifically approved by the manufacturer and even then, try a very small amount on an area that is least conspicuous.
  • Some of the less expensive swords are made by annodizing the surface and even mild cleaning or polishing chemicals will completely ruin the finish.
  • Other swords are plated with a thin layer of chrome rather than being made of a single forged piece of steel that is polished during manufacture to a bright finish.
  • Polishing compounds could mar or even remove chrome plating, again destroying the sword.