Most experts in traditional samurai weaponry regard the katana as the finest samurai sword ever made. The single-edged blade is known for its pure steel construction.
The katana is a versatile sword. It is capable of slashing and piercing, while most swords are only good for one or the other. When engaged in battle, a samurai often pair it with a much shorter sword called a tanto or wakizashi. The katana is suited for open combat, while the shorter sword is ideal for stabbing opponents in tight quarters. Together the weapons are called a daisho and represented the status and integrity of the samurai.