You are considering your first sword purchase and want to do all of your research before you decide which is the right piece for you. The amount of information available (steel types, tempering processes, P.O.B, battle ready etc.) can be quite overwhelming when you start learning about swords which is why we wanted to offer a piece of advice to make things easier. Relax! You don't need to be a sword expert to purchase your first sword. You don't need to have a degree in metallurgy or know the complete history of the dark ages. It starts with one simple question and once you have that answer the battle is already half won.
If your answer was:
Two places to start your search are:Decorative Sword Shop
The swords found here are for display only, with easy to maintain blades and are very budget friendly because they have not been forged by a sword smith and can not be used for martial arts.Functional Sword Store
The swords found here are real swords that look great on display and many are historically accurate which you may appreciate as a collector. If you want to know that your display piece is a real sword then a real hand forged properly tempered high carbon steel sword made by a real sword smith is what you might consider as your first sword.
You will want to start your search here:Functional Sword Store
If you plan to use your sword even once, you will want to limit your searching to these sections. These functional sword sections are pieces that are properly constructed and forged for cutting, stage, re-enactment or any form of theatrical duel. Many of the European swords come un-edged but will offer a sharpening service if you plan to be using it for cutting. The reverse is true in the Japanese sword sections. Almost all of the katana will come sharpened from the forge unless otherwise noted in the product description.
WARNING IMPORTANT PLEASE READ Practicing martial arts can be dangerous as can many things without proper training and proper equipment. NEVER use a decorative sword for any type of martial arts to save money! You not only put yourself at risk by doing so but you put everyone in the room at risk as well. Decorative swords are not made for cutting, proper drawing or swinging with any intensity and when they fail someone will get hurt.