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Paul Chen Hanwei Practical Katanas, Swords & Weapons

Hanwei Katana Replica swords make wonderful decorations, but a modern equivalent of a practical ancient sword is often hard to find. Paul Chen found himself in that situation and became a sword maker himself. His lifetime passion is available to us in the form of beautiful — and sometimes affordable — swords of CAS Hanwei. Are they the real battle-ready item? Paul Chen thinks they may be better.

Company History

While growing up in Taiwan, Paul Chen found both antique swords and modern custom pieces to be out of his budget range, so he learned how to make swords. Enjoying success as a custom swordsmith, Chen decided to enter the manufacturing business in 1991 and moved to Dalien, known as “the Steel City” of China. Working with local artisans, Chen and his new company — Dalian Hanwei Metal Co. Ltd. — started out by making knives and knife components.

Hanwei’s first successful swords were Samurai-style blades, and the company expanded into European-style swords and polearms in the mid-1990′s. Today over 300 Hanwei employees work in the new facility the company built in 2002, and produce more than 600 different items. Hanwei also restores ancient weapons, learning new tricks from the works of the old masters.

CAS Hanwei Swords

Hanwei manufactures swords and polearms in Japanese, European and Chinese patterns. The best steel Hanwei now offers is a special alloy developed by the company. Hanwei’s High Alloy Steels, HWS-1S and HWS-2S, provide the best edge and the most resilience of anything as yet made by CAS Hanwei. The best Japanese Hanwei swords also undergo expert differential tempering and do show a true hamon or tempering mark.

Tamahagane steel weapons use a high carbon steel core and a low carbon steel outer layer, combining the two metals into one blade through folding and forging. Hanwei Bainite steel blades undergo a special heat-treating process to create swords with a flexible Bainite steel body and a hardened Martensite steel cutting edge. Hanwei also produces a line of excellent sporting knives, the Rock Creek brand.

See all of our Paul Chen sword reviews below


CAS Hanwei Scimitar, Collectible Display

Turkish Kilij Replica Arabian Sword

CAS Hanwei Scimitar, Collectible Display | Turkish Kilij Replica Arabian Sword

Scimitars like this CAS Hanwei version made the mounted cavalry of Arabia some of the most feared warriors of their day. Patterned after the Turkish scimitar known as the kilij, this detailed and accurate reproduction only reaches performance quality.

This 38-inch sword includes 31 inches of curved steel cutting edge, shaped but ...





Hanwei Francisca Axe, Viking Combat

Medieval Antique Throwing Weapon XH2120N

Hanwei Francisca Axe, Viking Combat | Medieval Antique Throwing Weapon XH2120N

The Francisca Antiqued Axe from CAS Hanwei reproduced a genuine combat axe design used by marauding Viking warriors. Now a favorite of collectors and competitive axe throwers, this historically accurate axe would grace any wall. Around the camp, it's too good not to use.

The antiqued finish of the high ...





Godfred Sword by Hanwei

Danish Viking King Replica Damascus Steel Blade w/ Leather Scabbard

Godfred Sword by Hanwei | Danish Viking King Replica Damascus Steel Blade w/ Leather Scabbard

King Godfred of the Danes ruled the Frisian Coast of Europe in 800 A.D., wielding the sword that inspired this reproduction by CAS Hanwei. The Godfred Sword from CAS Hanwei could be better than the original.

The Hanwei version uses folded steel to form the blade through a process unknown in ...





Hanwei Dark Sentinel Sword, Functional Forged

Battle Ready Fantasy Longsword w/ Curved Blade

Hanwei Dark Sentinel Sword, Functional Forged | Battle Ready Fantasy Longsword w/ Curved Blade

The Dark Sentinel Sword from CAS Hanwei could be called a fantasy weapon -- except that CAS Hanwei built it to be fully functional and combat ready. Taking inspiration from the Japanese katana and European dueling swords, the Dark Sentinel seems practical for modern warriors.

With an overall length of ...





Hanwei Sword Cane, CAS Bird Dog

Stainless Steel Functional Blade w/ Rosewood Scabbard

Hanwei Sword Cane, CAS Bird Dog | Stainless Steel Functional Blade w/ Rosewood Scabbard

Made from solid stainless steel and genuine rosewood, the CAS Hanwei Bird Dog Sword Cane combines elegance and a completely functional high carbon stainless steel sword blade. Whether you're a collector or a swordsman looking for discreet defense, you'll like the Bird Dog Sword Cane.

All parts are high ...





Hanwei Shuriken Throwing Knife Set

Darts With Arm or Leg Strap Nylon Pouch

Hanwei Shuriken Throwing Knife Set | Darts With Arm or Leg Strap Nylon Pouch

If you've not practiced with shuriken -- thrown weapons which ranged from darts and knives to multi-pronged throwing stars -- you might prefer something cheap. If you're good enough to appreciate the real thing, consider this set of six shuriken from CAS Hanwei.

Made from tempered steel, these blackened throwing ...





Hanwei Handmade Premium Ninja Sword

Practical Shinobi Ninja-To Katana, Straight Blade

Hanwei Handmade Premium Ninja Sword | Practical Shinobi Ninja-To Katana, Straight Blade

This shorter straight blade katana from Hanwei Forge recreates the blade favored by the ninja of Japan, who sometimes created useful and easily concealed weapons from large swords broken in combat. The Practical Shinobi Ninja-To includes some of the cost-costing methods features found in Hanwei's larger practical cutters.

No ...





Hanwei Tanto Short Sword, Functional & Battle Ready

CAS Practical Martial Arts Combat

Hanwei Tanto Short Sword, Functional & Battle Ready | CAS Practical Martial Arts Combat

The Hanwei Practical Tanto offers the martial artist a dependable cutting weapon designed with the same functional quality as CAS Hanwei's more traditional swords. Substitutions of modern materials for the traditional components lower the cost of the Practical series.

What's most important hasn't changed: blade quality. The hamon or tempering ...





Hanwei Wakizashi Combat Sword, Functional

Practical Cutting Tempered Blade for Tamashigiri

Hanwei Wakizashi Combat Sword, Functional | Practical Cutting Tempered Blade for Tamashigiri

A cut above the entry level practical cutters, the CAS Hanwei Practical Wakizashi features the edge tempering of more expensive blades and cuts cost in other ways. If you need a sword for cutting practice, you probably care more about the steel than the fittings.

Good cutters like this one feature blades ...





Hanwei Side Sword for Practical Sparring

German Authentic Replica Rapier w/ Forged Blade

Hanwei Side Sword for Practical Sparring | German Authentic Replica Rapier w/ Forged Blade

CAS Hanwei based their modern Side Sword on an old German pattern and didn't change it much. Using some modern substitutes for old materials, and much improved modern steel, this is the same popular sword that was a favorite of both civilians and military in old Europe.

Side swords combine the ...





Hanwei Wakizashi Functional Cutting Sword

Chinese Practical Katana w/ Black Scabbard

Hanwei Wakizashi Functional Cutting Sword | Chinese Practical Katana w/ Black Scabbard

The Practical Wakizashi from CAS Hanwei of China represents the smallest and least expensive true cutting katana of their extensive product line. Although you get a high quality blade made with a traditional tempering process, other parts of the construction are not what you'd expect in an authentic wakizashi.

If you buy ...





Hanwei Hand and a Half Albrecht Sword

Practical Reenactment Medieval Blunt Blade Tip

Hanwei Hand and a Half Albrecht Sword | Practical Reenactment Medieval Blunt Blade Tip

Based on the Albrecht Hand and a Half Sword produced in the early 15th century, the CAS Hanwei Practical Hand and a Half Sword restructures the original concept for today's re-enactment and stage needs. The Practical version rivals the Albrecht in many ways but was built to ...





Hanwei Medieval Viking Sword Replica

Practical Blunt Edge Weapon for Reenactment or Cosplay

Hanwei Medieval Viking Sword Replica | Practical Blunt Edge Weapon for Reenactment or Cosplay

If you've ever been disappointed by a replica sword which didn't hold up to a practice swing, you'll be pleased with the Practical Viking Sword from CAS Hanwei. Built with re-enactment and stage applications in mind, it's made for hitting and toned down just a little for safety reasons.

Swords ...





Hanwei Zatoichi Stick Sword by Paul Chen

Functional Full Tang Katana w/ Folded Steel, Rosewood Handle & Scabbard

Hanwei Zatoichi Stick Sword by Paul Chen | Functional Full Tang Katana w/ Folded Steel, Rosewood Handle & Scabbard

Hanwei Forge produced four different functional versions of the Zatoichi stick sword under the guidance of master smith Paul Chen. This traditional katana of folded steel and rosewood is the best of the four.

Hanwei Forge doesn't directly compare the quality of its swords to antique combat weapons. In many ...





Paul Chen Medieval Fencing Rapier Sword Replica

Hanwei Spiral Swept Hilt Schlaeger

Paul Chen Medieval Fencing Rapier Sword Replica | Hanwei Spiral Swept Hilt Schlaeger

Paul Chen's Functional Fencing Rapier with Spiral Hilt combines a 43-inch Schlaeger rapier blade with a modified swept hilt. Rather than the usual fencing blade -- a foil with parallel sides -- the Paul Chen version of the tapered Schlaeger has the narrowing shape of a true sword. As ...





Hanwei Tanto Sword, Practical Plus

Battle Ready Tempered Blade w/ Black Scabbard

Hanwei Tanto Sword, Practical Plus | Battle Ready Tempered Blade w/ Black Scabbard

Without the usual angular armor-piercing beveled point, the Hanwei Practical Plus Tanto Sword does look more like a short sword than a dagger. An overall length of 16-1/2 inches and an 11-inch-long single-edged blade show the true fighting potential of this ancient knife pattern.

Engineered by Hanwei Forge to be ...





Hanwei Practical Pro Functional Katana

Battle Ready Martial Arts Sword w/ Black Saya

Hanwei Practical Pro Functional Katana | Battle Ready Martial Arts Sword w/ Black Saya

Similar to Hanwei's Practical Plus Elite Katana, the Hanwei Practical Pro Katana focuses on heavy cutting ability in a moderately priced functional build. Differences between this katana and the more traditional Practical Plus Elite include a longer handle for increased power and a thicker, heavier blade.

With a weight ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Jian Sword

Adam Hsu Tai Chi, Forged Spring Steel

Paul Chen Hanwei Jian Sword | Adam Hsu Tai Chi, Forged Spring Steel

Designed by Tai Chi Sword master Adam Hsu and manufactured by Hanwei Forge's master weaponsmith Paul Chen, the Hsu Jian Sword could be the last Tai Chi sword you'll ever buy.

Forged from high carbon spring steel, this double-edged practice sword rivals the quality of combat weapons but ...





Battle Ready Hanwei Viking Spear by Paul Chen

Medieval Nordic Weapon Replica

Battle Ready Hanwei Viking Spear by Paul Chen | Medieval Nordic Weapon Replica

Created by Paul Chen of Hanwei Forge, the Viking Throwing Spear is more than a reproduction of a classic museum piece. The details are intricate, including etched runic designs on the socket of the spearhead. Viking smiths would have used a complicated process called niello to create the designs ...





Hanwei Premium Butterfly Knife Set

Chinese Replica Display Weapon

Hanwei Premium Butterfly Knife Set | Chinese Replica Display Weapon

One of the most interesting of the old Chinese weapons, butterfly knives originally were carried concealed beneath the robes of monks. Old accounts say that only the tips were sharpened, allowing monks to use the double short swords in self defense without killing their opponents. Original movements designed for the ...





Hanwei Wushu Tai Chi Sword

Martial Arts Training Sword w/ Scabbard

Hanwei Wushu Tai Chi Sword | Martial Arts Training Sword w/ Scabbard

If you're interested in learning Tai Chi, then you need a training weapon like the Premium Wushu Tai Chi Sword by Hanwei. This sword is a wushu style blade, made light for easy handling. Unless you intend to wreck your wrists by starting out those slow movements with a combat ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Sword

Miyamoto Musashi Daito Katana | Japanese Military Replica

Paul Chen Hanwei Sword | Miyamoto Musashi Daito Katana | Japanese Military Replica

Inspired by the personal weapon of Miyamoto Musashi -- one of feudal Japan's greatest swordsmen and author of the famous book of strategy The Book of Five Rings -- this daito or long sword would have been used in conjunction with a shorter wakizashi. Musashi's dual weapon style saw him through ...





Hanwei Tsuru Iaito Sword

Paul Chen | Japanese Martial Arts Practice Training

Hanwei Tsuru Iaito Sword | Paul Chen | Japanese Martial Arts Practice Training

Practicing the movements of Iaido, the art of drawing the sword, traditionally involves a progression of weapons which gradually lead the swordsman to competence with a real blade. Iaito, like the Tsuru Iaito from CAS Hanwei, are the step below the real thing. Built to handle with the same feel and ...





Best Katana: CAS Hanwei Kami

Japanese Martial Arts Sword w/ Damascus Forged Blade

Best Katana: CAS Hanwei Kami | Japanese Martial Arts Sword w/ Damascus Forged Blade

Old tempering processes became so complex and time consuming that few manufacturers today even attempt their reproduction. Higher quality modern alloy steel and new ways of producing high quality blades only occasionally compete with the old standards. Almost never does anyone manage to blend the two approaches.

Through the Kami Katana by CAS ...





Hanwei Gorin Iaito Forge Katana

Paul Chen | Martial Arts Training Sword

Hanwei Gorin Iaito Forge Katana | Paul Chen | Martial Arts Training Sword

If you're considering the purchase of this sword, be aware that it's part of a training tradition and not intended for combat. This is a well-made training sword, and does cost more than a bokken, or wooden training sword. Actually a lot more -- enough that many people will think they ...





Scottish Basket Hilt Broadsword

Antique Medieval Replica Sword | Hanwei Paul Chen

Scottish Basket Hilt Broadsword | Antique Medieval Replica Sword | Hanwei Paul Chen

Using a museum piece as a template, Paul Chen of Hanwei forge recreates the old Scottish Highlander Basket-Hilt Broadsword in new materials with a traditional finish. Blade and basket hand guard of stainless steel sport an antiqued patina that gives this piece the look of true age. Even the maker's name ...





Best Dagger: German Main Gauche Trident

Paul Chen Hanwei Collectible

Best Dagger: German Main Gauche Trident | Paul Chen Hanwei Collectible

All right, another fancy parrying dagger, certainly not the first one I've ever seen -- but hold on a minute, there's something new at hand. Actually the German Main Gauche is something old brought to life again for possibly the first time since the 1600s, when dueling with swords and ...





Cheness Cutlery Spring Steel Japanese Katana

Samurai Budo Martial Arts Sword

Cheness Cutlery Spring Steel Japanese Katana | Samurai Budo Martial Arts Sword

Finding an affordable combat quality katana can be difficult. Sword making has not died out, but traditional sword makers are far fewer in number now. Though you might get an excellent deal at the foundry door, by the time the blade has traveled through several levels of importers and ...





Zatoichi Sword Cane

Movie Iaido Sword | High Carbon Steel Japanese Katana

Zatoichi Sword Cane | Movie Iaido Sword | High Carbon Steel Japanese Katana

This recreation of the famous sword cane wielded by the revered blind Iaido master Zatoichi in movie after excellent movie is good enough that owners want to know if it cuts. Paul Chen, the designer of this replica weapon, engineered a working blade that is still within the financial reach of ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Danish Battle Axe

Medieval Weapon Review

Paul Chen Hanwei Danish Battle Axe | Medieval Weapon Review

Medieval weaponry history tells us that the Danish axe surfaced somewhere between the reign of the Vikings and the Middle Ages. It's another example of a peaceful agricultural tool that evolved into a hunting weapon over time, much like the Japanese sickle or kama.

A traditional Danish axe can ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Kama

Ancient Japanese Martial Arts Weapon Review

Paul Chen Hanwei Kama | Ancient Japanese Martial Arts Weapon Review

The kama originated in ancient Japanese history as a farming sickle, primarily used by rice farmers who needed a harvesting tool as well as a defensive weapon alongside them at all times. Throughout the ages, the kama has evolved to become a standard weapon of choice in modern Okinawan Kobodu martial arts.

This ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Hero’s Axe

Japanese Samurai Weapon Review

Paul Chen Hanwei Hero’s Axe | Japanese Samurai Weapon Review

Here's the original Hero's Axe, not the antiqued version, by Hanwei designer Paul Chen. This original model is beautifully embellished and polished, and honestly would look a lot better mounted for display than the antiqued Hero's Axe, making it a much better choice in our opinion. The biggest reason for ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Yari Samurai Spear

Weapon Review

Paul Chen Hanwei Yari Samurai Spear | Weapon Review

Once again Paul Chen of Hanwei fame has designed yet another timeless piece of medieval weaponry. This yari, or Japanese spear, has been forged in ancient Japanese tradition while keeping up with a few modern conveniences at the same time.

The Hanwei yari measures an impressive 79 inches long. Its ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Naginata Battle Axe

Medieval Japanese Sword

Paul Chen Hanwei Naginata Battle Axe | Medieval Japanese Sword

The naginata is quite an important weapon in the field of martial arts. It's identified by a curved blade, a long wooden shaft, and a traditional tsuba similar to the ones you'd find on an ancient Japanese sword.

Hanwei's version of a Japanese naginata is of course designed by none other than ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Folded Steel Tiger Katana Blade

Shirasaya, Optional Blood Groove

Paul Chen Hanwei Folded Steel Tiger Katana Blade | Shirasaya, Optional Blood Groove

If you have the means to add some finishing touches to your own blade, then you'll want to take a look at this Paul Chen Hanwei sword.

It's an installment in Paul Chen's Tiger series, similar to his Tiger Katana but available now in a wooden Shirasaya design. There are two ...





Paul Chen Hanwei Practical Plus Elite Katana Sword

Paul Chen Hanwei Practical Plus Elite Katana Sword

Let's call this one a mid-range sword... a nice piece of equipment that's not too expensive, but is pricey enough that you've got to be serious to consider it. Let's get into the pros and cons of the Practical Plus Elite...

There's no doubt it's a strong, durable sword. The blade ...





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