Historical togishi

Japanese Art Sword Polish Restoration
Services & Prices



PRICING: First off, it is important to understand that NO polish is always better than a BAD polish. I know that professional traditional Japanese sword polishing is expensive, but it is worth the cost. An unskilled polisher will damage and possibly even ruin your blades and most likely decrease their value and greatly shorten the blade's lifespan. If you can't afford proper restoration, you are better off just keeping your blades clean and oiled and preserving them as is. A rusty sword with its original geometry, lines, and metal intact is more valuable than a sword that has been crudely ground into a wobbly mess by a less than great polish.

INFLATION: Prices are up in 2024 due to inflation (which I'm not even keeping up with) and the fact that the current waiting list is growing completely out of control. I limited clients to a maximum of just 2 blades a year, and I completely eliminated international commissions, and that's helped in recent years, but the waiting list just keeps growing. Since I can't get more blades done in a given year, increasing the prices seems to be the only way to keep the waiting list from growing to ridiculous proportions. I would guess that in general, paying a few extra dollars would be better than waiting a few extra years for most people.

I'm getting older and can only finish a limited number of blades per year, so get while the getting is good. I still do everything by hand, by myself. It can take several weeks to finish a single large blade. To put it in perspective, imagine what it would cost to get a mechanic to work on your car or your dentist to work on your teeth for 3 weeks straight!

Many people consider my current work to be better than a lot of the work coming out of Japan these days.  See this RECENT WORK
page for detailed examples. Click HERE to see head to head comparison with other top American and Japanese polishers.

Click on my FACEBOOK page to see hundreds of examples of my work along with comments from thousands of fans and followers in addition to comments and reviews from the blade's owners.

FULL POLISH: This is the full complete traditional Japanese art polishing, all done by hand, exclusively by me David Hofhine. NO passing off second rate student or subcontractor work! This includes everything that can be done as far as polishing goes to restore a blade such as straightening, removing chips, rust, re-shaping, fixing broken points, bringing out ji-hada, hamon, complete finishing. This obviously would not include things than can not be fixed by polishing stones. The current cost for a full polish is $105/inch + shipping. Blades with horimono or grooves add an additional 25%. Naginata, nagamaki, jumonji-yari and some of the more complex shapes will cost significantly more. Sorry, but these more complex shapes can take up to twice as much time as a simpler blade form. They also may require additional stones which must be specially cut and shaped for the specific blade shapes. Blades with exceptionally deep pitting or large nasty chips may also require an extra percentage. Full Polishes need to be scheduled well in advance.
The LENGTH is measured as the overall length of the blade from the mune-machi (notch where the spine meets the tang) to the point, basically the overall length of the functional portion of the blade.

FINISH POLISH (Shiagetogi): Some times referred to as a "touch-up", this polish is for blades that are in reasonably good shape, but need fixing up do to a low grade Showa era polish or just an old worn out looking Japanese polish. I also have many requests to redo the finish work of other professional polishers who's finish work is not at as high a level as mine. Click here for examples. Service includes: some nagura stone work, uchigumori stone work, finger stoning of ji (hazuya and jizuya), nugui to clear the ji and bring out ji-hada, hadori or sashikomi work to whiten the hamon and bring out details of yaki, narume-dai to define the yokote and give the kissaki a fresh matte finish, and final burnishing of shinogi-ji and mune. Basically all of the final stones and finishing steps of polishing are applied to all the surfaces of the blade. No other work is included with a basic finish polish.

This is very good at bringing out hada and revealing all the details of the hamon. It will remove some fine scratches and discoloration and it can make a blade that was in good condition to begin with look like it has a brand new full polish in some cases.  
Even in cases where some rust and scratches are left behind, the finish polish can be a great lower cost option to make a dramatic improvement in the blades overall appearance and make it possible to better study the blade's features. The better the blade's condition before finish polish, the better the end result will be.

The basic FINISH polish will not remove deeper scratches, pits, or chips. It does not include straightening as this often causes centipede wrinkles that require heavier polishing to remove. It does not include point reshaping. It will make a blade slightly sharper if it all ready has a good edge, but otherwise does not include sharpening. This polish will have little to no effect on a rusted or amateurishly polished blade as these techniques are very fine and subtle and generally will not remove deep flaws or defects in a blade's shape. These techniques are not strong enough to remove most scratches from sand paper. A finish polish will do little to improve "finger print rust" or patches of "oxidized" steel. This is where the steel is not really "rusty", but no longer has a smooth even surface. The blade should have a smooth surface and at least the remnants of an original Japanese polish. Any rust or scratches that are clearly visible before finish polishing will probably still be there after finish polish. If you think your blade is in too rough a condition for just a finish polish it probably is.
Finish Polish Current Prices:

Under 8" = $495
  8" - 12" = $595
12" - 15" = $795
15" - 18" = $895
18" - 23" = $995
23" - 25" = $1095
25" - 27" = $1195
27" - 29" = $1295
29" - 32" = $1395
You can also add extra options to the basic finish polish such as the following:

Cost is based on the amount of extra work needed. Naginata, nagamaki, jumonji-yari and some of the more complex shapes will cost significantly more.

The finish polish carries no guarantee as the final result depends completely on the original condition of the blade. It is simply impossible to remove many types of flaws using only finer and finishing stones. If you want the most flawless finish possible, then you should go for a full polish.

FOUNDATION POLISH or MARTIAL ARTS POLISH (Shitajitogi): This is exactly the same as the foundation work done on a full polish without the super fine final scratch removal and the art finishing. It includes all of the work of a full polish up to the first uchigumori stone.
It also includes some basic finishing to bring out the hamon, boshi, and possibly some hada. The shinogi-ji will be shiny, but unburnished. The blade will be very sharp. This will remove all the defects that a full polish will. This is good for martial arts blades and for blades that need a lower cost option than a full polish, but need to have active rust stopped, straightening, chips removed or a broken tip fixed. The foundation polish will leave the blade looking very clean and presentable with the hamon and boshi clearly visible if present. This will leave the blade with some very fine lengthwise scratches on the surface. I always use a minimalist approach to all foundation polishing, always considering the long term well being of the sword as primary. Foundation polishes need to be scheduled well in advance. The current cost for just a foundation/martial arts polish is $75/inch + shipping. I've raised the prices for foundation polish, because I've been getting swamped with requests for doing just foundation work on a lot of lower end blades. Doing back to back to back foundations has proven to be pretty hard on my wrist tendons and back. It also really reduces the amount of time I can spend doing much more fulfilling high end finishing on better quality art swords.


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PLEASE NOTE: the blades featured on this website are not currently in my possession, do not belong to me, and are not for sale as far as I know. An absolute minimum number of blades (usually just one or two unmounted and unpolished) are kept on hand at all times to minimize liability. -David Hofhine

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Please feel free to contact me at the following address:
E-mail: davidhofhine@hotmail.com

Copyright David Hofhine, Kensei LLC

  Grinding the bones, pulverizing the body


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Prices and Services

Getting on the List

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Why Choose Dave?

Why is the Wait so Long?

Keisho or Sashikomi Finish?

Customer Feedback

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Do It Yourself Polishing?

Avoiding Bad Polishers

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New World Record!



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