How Much Does a Katana Weigh?

Holding my Katana

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 average mass of a katana without saya (scabbard) ranges from anywhere between 900g to 1400g (2lbs to 3.2lbs).

The saya will add approximately 100-200 grams to the original weight.

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 the sword is 100cm long. From that 70cm 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 weight of a katana ranges from 900g to 1400g.

I always tell these guys that they aren’t particularly heavy, but for their blade size, the European equivalents were “a bit” lighter (around 200g).

Weight of my Katanas

Katana With Saya

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 ~ 71cm. The tsuka (handle) adds another 30cm on top of that.  Thus, the total length of my katana is 101cm.

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 7.85g/cm³, 9260 steel features a density of around 8.7g/cm³. So, a 9260 blade is 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.

You are probably already very curious how heavy my sword is. Make sure to write your guess in the comment field before you move on.

Finally, I will give you the solution to my short quiz. Without a saya the sword weighs around 1000 grams. As you might have remembered the saya add 100 to 200g ontop of the original mass.

That nets us a total weight of 1180 grams for my katana.

Conclusion

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 to 1400g. With a saya the mass increases by around 200 grams.

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. I am very curious if you have a katana as well. Write your answer in the comment field below.

In case you own one make sure to write the weight of the katana (without saya) in your comment, too.

This way we can determine the average weight of our katanas.

I really appreciate your contribution. Thanks, have a nice day!

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