UK Law


1. No sales of knives, swords or bladed multi-tools to under 21s. It’s against the Law to supply any such items to individuals under the age of 21, and the under 21s rule is for your safety and protection as much as ours.

2. Proof of age will be required for all knife, sword and multi-tool sales before they are despatched. A valid martial arts club membership is required for the purchase of functional Katana and related martial arts weapons. We accept several forms of Photo ID for verification such as UK driving license and Passport. Please don’t consider buying a knife for an underage friend you are not doing them or yourself any favours. You are both breaking the law.

3. For knives and swords with blades that exceed 3″ in length we will ask you your reasons for wanting one. Martial Arts, Collector, Hunting, Fishing, Filleting are all good reasons “Because they look cool” is not.

4. All knives must be transported safely and responsibly, this means not having them on show or carrying them in public. They should always be transported in the boot of your car preferably in the relevant packaging and with good reason for carrying it as the police will ask.

5. Never carry a knife of any description or a bladed multi-tool – in any place where the public gather Sporting events, pubs, clubs, schools, colleges and universities are no place for knives.

Knives are fantastically versatile, ultra-useful tools and in many cases-works of true craftsmanship and artistic skill. Take pleasure in their ownership and use, but always behave responsibly and use with safety in mind.

Sword Law

You do not need a license to own any of the products we are selling on the website. They are all legal to own in the UK.

By law you must be 21 or over to purchase a knife, sword or firearm. We age verify every order to ensure that we are operating within UK law. We request that you please fill in all relevant fields when placing your order and provide us with contact numbers, as we will need to call some customers to help verify age where alternative background checks have failed.

We would also ask that you act responsibly with our products, it is a condition of purchasing from Seal Martial Arts Armoury that you never carry a weapon of any kind in a public place. By purchasing from this site you are subject to our terms and conditions.
Remember that carrying a knife or weapon in a public place carries a mandatory sentence of 5 years in prison under UK Law, you have been warned!

Illegal Goods

Samurai and other curved Swords: On April 6th 2008 a law came into effect banning samurai and other curved swords with a blade length of 50cm or more, there are some exceptions for registered martial artists, re-enactors and even certain genuine Japanese swords.

An amendment to this act was passed, which came into effect on the 1st of August 2008, which allows curved and samurai swords which are handmade using traditional forging methods to be sold without a license which are on the website and you can buy and own without a license.

Seal Martial Arts Armoury also sell handmade swords which meet the definition set out in the amendment, but, according to the home office, were not really intended to. As a responsible retailer we have restricted their sale to martial artists, you will not be able to purchase one without first supplying us with a copy of a valid club membership. If your a fellow Bujinkan member then this means showing us your yellow membership card.

Some controversial legislation was passed in 1988 which made certain types of knives illegal to import or sell in the UK, these include push daggers, butterfly knives, blowpipes, sword canes, gravity knives, flick knives, knuckle dusters, throwing stars (Hira Shuriken) and some martial arts equipment such as the Kyoketsu Shoge and Kusarigama. We will not source these items for you if you live in the UK.

For a more detailed breakdown you can view The Criminal Justice Act 1988 or The Offensive Weapons Act 1996.
If you should attempt to import prohibited goods you will be unsuccessful and leave yourself open to various avenues of police action and prosecution, at the very least your consignment will be confiscated.

Blade Material

All knives and swords supplied by Seal Martial Arts Armoury are made using different gardients of steel and using different forging processes. Below a break down is provided to make it more understandable:

420 J2
This is stainless steel, it’s a precision metal and can be well polished. It won’t rust or stain and is often refered to as a surgical steel as it is the same metal often used for surgical scalpels and related instruments.

440 C
Is also stainless steel but is fairly brittle this is used in some of the cheaper products and in several decorative pieces. Thats not to suggest that 440C is a bad quality steel but not recommended for use in martial arts.

Carbon Steel
Most functional martial arts swords are made from carbon steel, especially in the more affordable price range. When you buy a carbon steel blade, you need to maintain and clean it regularly as it will rust if left. Its important to mention that its not a particularly good idea to handle the blade either as the natural oils in the skin can cause rust spots if left aside from the obvious risk of potentially injuring yourself. All carbon steel Katana arrive cleaned and oiled, there are various different gradients of carbon steel, One of the best being 1065 High Carbon Spring Steel and Damascus Steel. Cleaning kits also available.

Folded versus Forged Carbon Steel Blades
Originally the point of Japanese sword smiths folding was to spread the carbon content of Japans poor quality iron ore (or Tamahagane once smelted) out evenly along the blade and remove impurities, otherwise the blade would be forged with different gradients of steel running throughout making it brittle. The blade would often break in these places so the Japanese devised a number of forging processes to form briques (uniform folded steel) such as Maru, Honsanmai, Shihozume, Soshu Kitae, etc.
Modern steel is of a lot better quality and already has an evenly distributed carbon content so folding using these styles can produce some amazing blades.

Hardness of Carbon Steel

Such as R40, R60. These refer to hardness of steel which is measured in units called Rockwell’s, on a scale known as the Rockwell C scale (RC). The higher the Rockwell value the harder the metal. Most blades need to be flexible and many are made of more than one gradient of steel especially folded blades. Below we have provided some RC values and explantions to make it more understandable:

20-25 RC- Mild Steel
At this level of hardness steel bars can flex a few inches and return to their original shape.

30-40 RC
This level of hardness is the lowest RC you allow for a sword.

40-45 RC
This is a good RC to be used on the Mune (back of the blade) of differentially heat-treated swords. This hardness level will have some flexibility, allowing the blade to absorb some impact.

50-52 RC
This is the standard medieval swords. Buying a sword or knife at this hardness will give you a good medium ground between blade hardness and toughness. It’s still flexible enough to be a good shock absorber.

58-60 RC
This is the ideal hardness for the edge of differentially heat treated swords like Japanese katanas and Chinese swords. An edge of this hardness can slice into most materials that are comparably softer like some woods and plastics.