While stationed in Germany from ’07-’10, I had the chance to visit WKC sword makers in Solingen, Germany. I never could coordinate a good time to stop by to say hello and meet some sword makers. They don’t give factory tours anymore since their processes were being stolen and (unsuccessfully) copied by other companies.
This is their info for caring for swords, sabers and accessories:
Ceremonial Use and Safety:
– WKC swords and sabers are intended for ceremonial use only.
– Blade tips are relatively sharp; exercise care during use.
– The blades are not designed for impact and “fighting.” While forged, tempered, and designed for flexibility and durability, ceremonial blades lack the toughness to withstand the heavy impact of “blade-to-blade” contact.
– Do not use ceremonial swords for re-enactment fighting.
– Horseplay may result in damage to the sword or, worse yet, personal injury.
– Sword and saber manual of arms is a developed and practiced skill. Do not be flamboyant when handling a drawn sword.
– Children tend to have a natural fascination with swords and often mistake a ceremonial sword for a weapon. Supervise children closely and know that the misuse of a sword is dangerous.
General – Metal Components:
-Acids from fingerprints can react with metals and discolor metal components over time.
– Salts and other air contaminants (e.g., formaldehydes form carpets, etc.) can collect on metal surfaces over time and can also cause discoloration.
– Water or humidity can affect all parts of the swords and accessories. They should be kept away from wet or humid conditions. In case the swords or accessories get wet please dry them properly by using soft dry cloth.
– Periodically, wipe your sword or accessories with a soft, dry cloth. We recommend monthly for harsh environments (e.g., high humidity, proximity to sea air, cities with heavy smog, etc.) and every few months for less harsh environments. Do not use any chemical based or other cleaners for belts or sword knots.
– Remove fingerprints and other oil marks with a soft, dry cloth.
– Gold is very soft metal. Rubbing or polishing gold-plated materials will take off the gold-plating.
– Do not use abrasive metal polishes or metal wool on any gold-colored part. All gold-colored parts on WKC swords are gold-plated. All gold-colored parts on WKC swords and accessories are gold-plated.
– Use a soft dry cloth and common glass cleaner to remove any discolorations. Use abrasive “jeweler” cloths sparingly to remove any discolorations to avoid rubbing off the gold plating.
– All WKC blades are stainless steel.
– Discolorations or minor scratches can be removed with a “jeweler” cloth or a mild metal polish, such as a silver polish.
– Remove all polish residue with a final wipe of a soft, dry cloth.
– Never use heavy abrasive polishes, scouring pads, or metal wool as they will the polished finish of the blade.
– Avoid contact with acidic or alkaline substances as either may chemically react with metals in the stainless steel.
– Leather scabbards should only require an occasional wipe with a cloth moistened with a clear household silicon spray polish.
– Scuff marks in the leather can usually be repaired or hidden with ordinary shoe polish. Pay attention of that the color of the polish is the same than the leather.
– Maintain nickel-plated scabbards as a general metal component.
– Maintain the stainless-steel Marine officer scabbards as described for blades above.
– Periodically, wipe your accessories with a soft dry cloth. We recommend monthly for harsh environments (e.g. high humidity, proximity to sea air, cities with heavy smog etc.) and every few months for less harsh environments. Do not use any chemical or other cleaners for belts or sword knots.
On-Going Care and Maintenance:
– After each use, completely wipe the sword with a clean, dry cloth to remove fingerprints, perspiration, and any residue.
-All ferrous materials, including “stainless” steel will rust in varying degrees if not maintained and with prolonged exposure to the elements.
-Whether displaying or storing your sword, periodically clean and wipe your sword and metal scabbards with a lightly oiled cloth to protect your sword.
-Please do not store the swords and accessories in the vacuum plastic bag in wet, humid or hot surroundings.
– We recommend storing the sword unsheathed from the scabbard if storing for prolonged periods of time.
– If shipping or transporting your sword by air, securely wrap the sword in plastic to minimize condensation on the cool sword surfaces after the sword returns from the cooler high altitudes.
Thanks for this info. My question was how to polish the knot of a US Navy officer’s sword. Your reply seems to be do nothing or risk damage. 12/12/2020
A metal polish might work, but I would exercise caution.
Excellent article describing how to properly care for a sword. The pointer I have found to be extremely effective is: “Avoid contact with acidic or alkaline substances as either may chemically react with metals in the stainless steel.” These can cause a ton of damage to the sword. Thanks for sharing this valuable resource!
Thanks for the info!!