Today it’s easier to find a good sword in China than it is to find a good Chinese sword sheath. That holds true with this high carbon combat steel broadsword from Han Wei’s “Practical” series. Although generally users of this sword are satisfied with the blade, they are as often disappointed in the sheath, which is split part way down one side to prevent the blade from binding as it is withdrawn. That easy access feature doesn’t keep the blade very secure. Han Wei has advertised this sword as being provided with a wooden sheath, but some report receiving it with a sheath made of plastic. Asking a couple of informed question before ordering will probably eliminate any trouble.
Construction of the blade itself is unrefined; blackened steel fittings and a cord wrapped wooden handle augment a balanced blade that is considerably heavier than the lighter Wushu version. On the positive side, this blade will cut. It comes pre-sharpened and slices through the standard tatami mat target with ease.
If you compare this modern broadsword to a genuine Chinese antique you’ll find there has been a huge jump in quality from the crude, heavy, peasant’s model to this more refined and beautiful modern version. Peasant soldiers were often very untrained in the use of swords, and much more skilled with heavier hacking tools like hoes and axes. Swords supplied to them had more of that brute force look than the weapons of more professional soldiers. Unexpectedly, this blade is better than the real thing.
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