Waxing Wooden Weapons

Kendo Kata demonstration with Biwa(loquat) bokken wooden stick

Tozando How To’s

-How to apply wax to your wooden weapons-

One of the easiest methods to make sure your wooden weapons are protected from the elements is by applying a wax.

In this article we will explain one method for applying paraffin wax to your bokken.

The reason we have chosen paraffin wax is because it is the easiest to attain, apply, and is generally speaking the cheapest method.

Paraffin wax is especially good for bokken and tanto as the wax gives a slight grip to the wood which will make it harder for the weapon to slide out of your hands.

Here is what you will need to apply wax to your wooden weapon.

  • Paraffin wax (can be bought in block or can be obtained from left-over colorless candles)
  • Blow dryer / Heat gun
  • Hand towel
  • Knife or another instrument to cut the paraffin
  • Cover to protect the area you are working on

The first thing you need to do is to remove any dirt or left-over wood dust from the surface of the weapon by running a towel over it.

Having removed any dirt from the weapon the next step is preparing the wax.

If you are using a hairdryer, cut the paraffin into thin pieces that can melt easily.

Put the cut-up pieces on your hand towel, and fold one side over it so the gust from the hairdryer does not blow away the pieces.

Point your hairdryer at the fabric on top of the wax, and start warming it up, make sure you move around so that one area does not get too hot.

Once the paraffin has melted somewhat (you can see the towel becoming slightly wet).

Then you can open the towel and blow directly one the paraffin.

While the paraffin is still hot grab the towel from underneath (where it is not too hot) and apply the wax smoothly to the weapon in large motions going in both directions, this will both apply and buff the wax at the same time.


Keep repeating this process until the entire weapon has been covered, then leave it to cool down. Be sure to also cover the ends and any small indents, as these areas are easy to forget.

Once the wax has cooled down you can buff it a little more by running a towel over it.

The finished result should look something like this, with a slightly sticky feeling but no excess wax forming a film.

Using a heat gun

If you are using a heat gun, you can point the heat gun directly at the paraffin to make it run down directly on the weapon, cover an area and while the wax is still warm (but not hot) start buffing it with a hand towel.

Again, repeat the process until the whole weapon is finished.

No heating element required

A third way is to apply the wax directly to the weapon, is by sliding it across the surface until it starts becoming soft, this is a rather messy method as a lot of the wax will floss and fall on the floor. The buffing also takes a long time to do as the wax will have to be heated by friction of the towel alone.

But this method can also give great results if you don’t have a heating element.

We hope this article has given you what you need to take care of your wooden weapons so that you can continue to use them for many years to come.