Welcome to the October "Halloween" edition of the Sword Buyers Digest - that special time of year we like to call "Pumpkin Season" and that we have celebrated with you all in one way or another over the 11 years that the digest has been in publication..

This issue, we take a look at "Pumpkin Cutting 101", check out some suitable "Halloween" themed swords, and much, much more..!

Halloween Pumpkin Cutting!

Everyone who has ever cut one before knows full well just how much fun it is to carve a pumpkin up with a sword.. They are a heavy, substantial target, yet any decent battle ready sword worth its salt can slice and dice one with a minimum of effort.

Here are some tips to get the most out of them and to ensure you don't accidentally ruin your sword in the process:
  • Let friends, family and neighbors know you are happy to dispose of any of their unwanted pumpkins after Halloween. Telling them exactly what you plan to do may raise some eyebrows, so you may wish to say they are for "composting"..
  • Prices leading up to Halloween will fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. Keep an eye on the price at the start of the month and be ready to stock up if they drop. AFTER Halloween is over, hit all the local farmers markets and grocery stores for their excess stock.
  • Ask your local greengrocer if they have any pumpkins that are slightly off, blemished or otherwise ideal.
  • Try to get as many cuts out of each Pumpkin as you can, starting close to the top and "pickle chipping" your way down to the base. In all cases, it is better to aim too high and miss than too low and only get one decent cut before the pumpkin is unusable.
  • CLEAN UP: Because fruits/vegetables are quite acidic and may stain the blade, keep some alcohol wipes or windex nearby and give the blade a good wipedown between each pumpkin you down.

Have fun and happy cutting! 


Furia by Longship Armory - Final Run

What sword is better suited to the Halloween edition of the sword buyers digest than the ultimate zombie slayer - Furia by John Lundemo from Longship Armory.

Made from Cryo-treated S7 shock steel, it is the ultimate in both fast handling and durability, and pre-orders have recommenced for the FINAL run of 10 pcs - making it both rare and high in demand.

Each sword also comes with original artwork by Warren Louw of DC comics and Udon Entertainment fame (pictured above).

It is not a quick turn around item, and for this final run you will need to be patient as it is not expected to be completed before May 2017. But for the lucky few who can afford it, the final run bringing it to 20pcs worldwide total is something very special indeed..

The first run of 10pcs

Anime Sword Reviews!

This year, I will admit it, we picked on anime swords probably a little more than we should have - often listing them in the "Bad Sword of the Month" feature in the digest..

But as we received quite a few responses from annoyed anime fans, we decided to take a second look at some of the anime and manga swords currently on the market with some hands on reviews..

Dan Dacombe has started the ball rolling with two sword reviews which just went live on the site a couple of days ago:

Blutsauger Sword Review
Kirito Sword Review

And even yours truly, Paul Southren, has spent some time with two anime blades putting them through their paces.. (reviews pending, one surprised me slightly - the other, actually WORSE than expected..)

It is only a brief side foray into decorative fantasy swords, much like our fantasy sword page on the main site - but some of these are not bad value for money - and we figure if they are priced fairly and reasonably accurate replicas of the swords seen in the anime, a slightly softer stance is probably in order..

Muramasa - Japan's Scariest Swords..

No sword smith conjures up such feelings of dread as the infamous Muramasa, swords that, once unsheathed - could not be resheathed without tasting blood..

A real Muramasa Blade from the Tokyo Museum

Considered cursed and banned by the Tokugawa Shogunate several centuries after they were made - his evil swords were often contrasted with another, more benign sword maker - Masamune - to the point that in some legends Masamune is the teacher of Muramasa, his wayward student.

In one of these tales, in a fit of arrogance Muramasa was said to have challenged his master to a contest to see who could make the finest blade. Each sword was contrasted by placing it with the edge facing the oncoming current of a small stream, and while Masamune's sword sat harmlessly with fish swimming near it and leaves passing around it, the water downstream from the Muramasa ran red with blood as it cut EVERYTHING that came in its path - including leaves, fish, birds, butterflies and even the wind itself creating a terrifying, whistling sound.

Muramasa mocked his masters lack of skill, but was chastised by a passing monk who had witnessed the content.

The monk told him "while your sword is well made, it is an evil thing that kills needlessly, while the sword of your master is in harmony with the world and does not harm anything undeserving".

While the legend is indeed just that (Masamune died before Muramasa was born) - his swords are quite real and were often used by enemies of the Tokugawa Shongunate as the Shogun felt the swords were cursed (having lost close family members to enemies wielding a Masamune blade, and even been accidently cut by one). Many had the smiths signature filed away to hide their origin - or because they were believed to cause madness and bloodlust - destroyed, have been lost in time.

But while most of the work of this questionably deranged smith has been lost, his name is still evoked several centuries later in anime, video games and popular culture.

Katanas' Sword from Suicide Squad was a Muramasa...

And this year, for those of you were are brave enough, a new sword at the SBG sword store dares to take his fearsome name..

NEW: The Forge Direct - Muramasa Laminated Katana

For a long time we have thought that making a fearsome looking tribute sword to Muramasa would be pretty cool.

To be fitting of the name, it would have to have a unique and dramatic looking blade that cuts really well, sinister looking fittings and be different enough from everything else out that that it shakes things up..

There is no doubt that the blade of this new sword is unique. The concept was discussed with the Master Smiths of Longquan, and after much trial and error, a new concept of leveraging the quality of modern made monosteel with age old sword lamination techniques brought about a blade balanced between durability and sharpness..

One glance at the blade shows you that this is unlike any other sword currently on the market..

The dramatic hamon actually created not by claying but by grinding away the laminated 1065 carbon steel jacket to reveal monotempered T10 tool steel wrapped around a soft and flexible 1045 carbon steel core..

This creates a blade with a hard and super sharp cutting edge but with the necessary shock resistance to withstand frequent use in a way that no other Katana has..

Naturally a sword named after Japans most sinister sword smith needs to have suitably dystopian fittings - and I think you will agree that the black on black ito and bizarre looking tsuba hit the mark.

The first run will be limited to 50pcs, and because they are made to order, you will need to allow 4-6 weeks as each blade is forged only when you place an order, ensuring the freshest stock and allowing us to bring it to you for a fraction of what it would otherwise cost.

While they are not "cheap" we have tightened our margins as much as possible to bring them to you for $700 when otherwise such a blade would cost in excess of $1000 following standard industry pricing practices.

Get in while you can - check them out in the store here
See You Next Month!

While October is going to be a particularly busy month for me personally, mostly due to travel commitments, I promise I will do my best to bring you a dose of swordy goodness. So stay tuned everyone, big things are planned for the last few months of 2016..!

Until next time, happy swordening all!

- Paul Southren

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