Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
First Katana Worth every Penny and More!
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 sword-buyers-guide.com 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.