In case you are thinking about buying a katana you might be asking yourself the following question: How much does a katana weigh? Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact answer to this question.
However, as a long-time katana owner, I can give you helpful information on this topic.
Average Katana Weight
The weight of the katana differs from sword to sword. The mass of a katana without saya (scabbard) ranges between 900 g and 1400 g (2 lbs to 3.1 lbs). On average a katana weighs 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs). The scabbard adds another 100-200 grams (0.22 to 0.45 lbs) on top of that.
Katana Weight Factors
The total mass of a katana depends on many different factors.
Of utmost importance for the weight of the sword is the steel used for the blade. There are many different steel types, which (significantly) influence the mass of a katana.
Another component that greatly influences the weight of the katana are the parts used for building it. There are many different materials that can be used for the various components. Some katanas have a smaller and lighter tsuba (guard) for example. Additionally, a katana with a Bo-Hi is not nearly as heavy.
Last, but not least is the length of the sword. Katanas vary greatly in size. On average a katana is 100 cm (39 in) long. Whereof 70 cm (27.5 in) is the length of the blade.
Weight Comparison: Katana vs Medieval Sword
Let me show you the weight difference between a medieval sword and a katana.
As the Japanese swords have a similar blade length than medieval one-handed swords, they should have the same mass. Right?
Yeah, unfortunately, that is completely wrong. On the contrary to European swords, katanas have a way longer grip.
Thus, a katana is a double-handed sword with the blade length of a European single-handed sword.
Besides that, samurai swords were forged from a way different steel called pig iron.
This makes the gap between European and Japanese sword even larger.
I sometimes hear people say that katanas are very heavy swords. That makes me argue with them from time to time.
As mentioned before the average katana weighs around 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs).
I always tell these guys that katana aren’t particularly heavy, but for their blade size, the European equivalents were around 200 g (0.45 lbs) lighter.
Weight of my Katanas
Now I will give you concrete information on the weight of my katanas.
First of all, here are the technical details. The length of the blade is ~71 cm (28 in). The tsuka (handle) adds another 30 cm (11.8 in) on top of that. Thus, the total length of my katana is 101 cm (39.8 in).
Furthermore, the blade is forged from 1095 steel. Here is a short comparison between 1095 high carbon steel and 9260 spring steel. While 1095 steel has a density of 7.85 g/cm³, 9260 steel has a density of around 8.7 g/cm³. So, a 9260 blade would be 10% heavier than a 1095 steel blade.
There is one more important detail I have to mention. Unlike most katanas mine does not have a Bo-Hi.
So without a saya my katana weighs around 1000 grams (2.2 lbs). Including the scabbard results in a total weight of 1180 grams (2.6 lbs).
I’d like to finish my post with a quick conclusion on the main points we covered.
The average weight of a katana ranges from 900 g to 1400 g (2 lbs to 3.1 lbs). The scabbard increases the mass by around 200 grams (0.45 lbs).
There are several factors that influence the weight of a katana. The most important ones are the steel type, the used parts as well as the length of the katana.
Now it’s your turn. Let me hear in the comments if you own a katana as well. In case you have one make sure to write the weight of the katana in your comment, too.
Thanks for reading this article. Have a nice day!