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Customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Hanwei Practical Elite Katana Sword
Price:$245.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on October 28, 2011
I recently got the urge to buy a "Battle Ready" katana for some backyard fun. I joined several sword collector sites like and I spent many hours sifting thru the threads concerning "newbies" looking for advice on the purchase of a relatively inexpensive (<$300.00) Samurai (katana) sword. The choices are spread out among several trusted and tested manufacturers such as Dynasty Forge 1060 Musha, Kris Cutlery 26/29II, Ronin Dojo Pro and the Hanwei Practical Plus Elite. I chose the Practical Elite because the "Plus" version is about 80 bucks more and since I'll be beating on this pretty hard I really do not need the better "furniture" since the blades are essentially of the same quality. I do like the fact the other mentioned makers use 1060 steel TH hardened and will "bend" easier but they cost over $100.00 more than the Practical and from what I've read these Hanwei's are a proven great first sword and used widely in many Dojo's. Hanwei also has a very good track record of quality control so the chances of getting a "dog" is almost nil. Now for the sword. It has a very impressive non Bo-Hi blade which has a very attractive mirror polish and prominent hamon and is DH using 1566 steel(differentially hardened like more expensive blades. You don't know what difference this makes? Hey, spend a few minutes and google it. I'm not doing all your homework for you. lol) The tsuka (handle) is wrapped in an unattractive faux leather but hey, for 165 bucks at least it's very functional and seems to have a good grip about it. I have to caution new users this sucker is very very sharp. I mean paper cutting sharp right out of the box so please respect that. I was putting a fresh coating of "ren-wax" on the blade while holding the darn thing in my right hand when I got careless and the weight of the blade simply bounced lightly on my index finger of my left hand leaving a nice deep gash. ouch! Finally if you want a serious first katana that performs as well as it looks for a bargin basement price do not hesitate to pull the trigger on this one. You will be a happy camper. P.S. One reviewer stated that you cannot take this sword apart but that is not the case with the Elite series. The handle will come off but with alot of effort because it is very tightly installed from what I've learned.
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on January 6, 2013
We encountered zombie banana trees today at the corner of our house and my husband jumped in with his awesome Katana sword and defended me and my virtue by whacking their heads off. Phew.....just when we thought we were safe, the flying zombie oranges attacked!

With a quick spin and flick of his wrist, he made short work of them also. My Hero!!

Seriously though, this blade is so sharp when whacking the flying oranges, you couldn't even feel the blade go thru....just the spray of orange juice. Those poor trees didn't stand any more of a chance than the flying oranges did - and you really didn't feel anything when slicing their heads - er, tops - off.

Great sword for the money and a lot of fun as well. Just be is VERY sharp. Ask my husband...once his finger heals. :-)
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on November 8, 2011
I have always wanted a katana that was suitable for light cutting. I did a bit of internet research and found that this particular katana was highly recommended as a good starting point. It arrived packaged very securely and had a very conspicuous warning label urging one to exercise caution while unpacking. Rightly so because this thing is very sharp. I have been around firearms my whole life and I treat and respect edged weapons equally. Any carelessness with this katana will result in it biting you, HARD.

As far as the quality goes, I am extremely novice so I'll do my best. It appears to have good balance and the handwrap provides a good grip. The blade is straight and appears free of cracks or major flaws. The hamon looks as if it might be etched to enhance its prominence. The fit in the scabbard is tight and secure. I was disappointed that the lanyard was not decoratively wrapped, but this is easily fixed by watching a youtube instructional video.

All in all, I would recommend this as a good starter for a collection.
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on February 22, 2013
This is as cheap as you can go to get a combat ready, relatively traditionally made katana. It was love at first sight when I received it. I strongly disagree with reviewers who have deemed the Tsuka and/or Tsuba "ugly," as while they are not ornate, they are far from an eye-sore, in my opinion. "Not beautiful" does not equal "ugly" to me. The blade, on the other hand, is gorgeous in my eyes. It is very solidly secured to the Tsuka, with absolutely no play in the blade. It is made of a relatively strong 1566 steel, too. The way light reflects off of it is striking & mesmerizing. The hamon is obviously real, and mine arrived very sharp. I put a razor sharp edge on it fairly easily and quickly. It was a little loose fitting in the saya, but a small piece of "gorilla tape" along the inside of the opening of the saya created a perfect & snug fit. Totally recommend this awesome sword to poor folk such as myself that want to own the closest thing to a "real" katana as they can afford to buy. I find this katana at least equal to others twice the price. Exceedingly satisfied with my purchase...
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on December 1, 2017
Price wise it is a good deal, like everyone seems to be saying. Decent balance on the sword too. It is just a hair short of 28 inches from the tsuba to the tip of the blade. And I like the fact that Hanwei products come razor sharp out of the box, ready to use. All the fitting are sturdy too, and fit nice and snug. So overall 4 of 5 stars for me.
p.s. they just need to ship these things double boxed so they don't get damaged by the shipping people...
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on October 19, 2010
I bought this sword as a present for my boyfriend. It came extremely quickly, far sooner than expected (two days earlier than expected). When t arrived, it was in absolute perfect condition, and looks far better than pictured. Paul Chen makes beautiful hand-forged swords of excellent quality. As this particular sword is a christmas present, I have yet to see it in use. However, I am very pleased with the product in terms of look and quality thus far. It comes in a beautiful black carrying bag which is perfect. It also came with various instructions for cleaning and maintenance. For those who want a real (non-collector's) sword for a good price, I would highly recommend this one.
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on October 21, 2017
It's nice and well made. Came sharp.
I'm giving it 3 stars though, because Upson inspection of the blade, There are scuff marks, rust and scratches. I was hoping there would have been a final inspection of the sword before it was shipped.
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on May 29, 2012
Wow this thing is great. Solid construction, not too heavy, slices through anything I've tried to cut. If you toss an orange up in the air, it goes through it so easily, you don't even feel it hit the orange. Nice sword =)
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on March 26, 2017
Fully functional, combat ready. This sword is as good as they get. I am a Shaolin practioner and seen a few swords that are twice the price and half the weapon. This model is for tameshigiri cutting practice and performs perfectly. I have seen a few negatives about this sword and if you know what you're looking for this is a perfect tool. Nothing is loose, everything is finely crafted and hand made with serial number and makers stamp. The fittings are extremely well made albeit not traditional, durable and probably outperforms older traditional fittings. This is a plane jane sword meaning it is a tool, not pretty art, yet it is beautiful but not with all the frills and decorations. Compare it to a M4 issued from the military it will do anything you need but anything extra you will have to pay more for. This weapon will sustain sword to sword combat, cutting practice, and most definitely cut through bone and flesh easily. For a martial artist in a buget or not, this is simply one if the best swords I have ever seen or used. Highly recommend Hanwei Forge, will most definitely purchase again from them. My Wakizashi will be next. Very satisfied.
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on August 29, 2017
Man, I've been wanting a hanwei practical katana since I was a kid, the elite version I received is very nice, better than I anticipated all those years just looking at pictures, sharp enough to cut, nice polish, hourglass shape to the tsuka, the faux fittings look fine to me, I like them actually. Glad I finally got it

Okay, so after inspection of the sword after a couple weeks, I noticed the blade had a weird zig zag bend, a 4 inch dent where the spine stuck out along the back of the blade a bit, the tsuka was also cracked as I could hear the wood rub together when I grip the tsuka, the sori for some reason was very extreme too preventing the sword from being very fast at follow up swings, it is also 12 inches, an inch longer than supposed to be, I returned it, and when I got the new one none of these problems were present, it's lighter faster, perfect blade, better thicker tsuka, better even polish, even the saya and it's sageo were of better quality, I was astonished and my first sword was DEFINITELY a factory defect. Amazon thank you for your awesome company
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