What is a Through-Tempered Katana?
A through-tempered katana is a sword that has undergone a heat treatment process in which the entire blade is heated to a uniform temperature and then quenched in a medium such as oil, water, or air. This creates a blade that is consistent in its hardness throughout, as opposed to a differentially clay tempered blade, which has a harder edge and a softer spine. The through-tempering process is a modern technique that was developed as an alternative to the traditional clay-tempering method.
How is a Through-Tempered Katana Different from a Differentially-Tempered Katana?
The main difference between a through-tempered katana and a differentially-tempered katana is the consistency of the blade's hardness. In a differentially clay tempered sword, the edge is harder than the spine, which allows for a sharp edge that can cut through tougher materials, while the spine remains flexible to prevent the blade from breaking. In contrast, a through-tempered blade has a consistent hardness throughout the blade, which makes it more resilient and less prone to chipping or breaking.
Benefits of a Through-Tempered Katana
One of the main benefits of a through-tempered katana is its strength and durability. A through-tempered blade is less likely to chip or break under stress, making it an excellent choice for martial artists who use their swords for cutting exercises. The consistent hardness of the blade also allows for more precise control, as the blade will not flex or bend as much as a differentially-tempered blade.