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.
- 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.
- 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.
Special Notes for Gold-Blue Blades:
- The blue surface of the gold-blue blades are not the result of the familiar chemical bluing
process that protects the steel from corrosion.
- On the contrary, the blue portion of the blade is a carbon steel that is susceptible to rust without proper care.
- Always store the blade outside of its scabbard with a light oil applied to the blade.
- The oil will make the blue surface darker; cleaning the blade with a household ammonia prior to use will restore the more brilliant blue look.
- 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.
Return to the Military Sword FAQ.