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 of three pounds — nearly half a pound heavier than its Elite counterpart — the Practical Pro packs in eight extra ounces of steel. Blade thickness at the guard is 0.36 inches compared to the Elite’s lighter and faster 0.26-inch-thick blade. Width of the XL blade series is also greater than in the Elite, but otherwise the blades are very similar in design. Neither has blood grooves, but both blade designs are differentially hardened with cutting edges of higher Rockwell hardness than the tough steel of the blade spines. Both show the distinctive hamon of true clay-mask edge tempering.
The Practical Pro tsuba also outweighs the equivalent on the Elite, made with less decoration and more strength. The Pro version’s tsuba has eight strong spokes symbolizing the Eight Fold Path of the Buddha and also adding considerable parrying potential to the katana. The Pro is definitely more massive with a full inch of extra cutting length and a handle with 3-1/2 inches more grip than the Elite’s 11-1/2-inch tsuka. In style, both are similar with simulated leather ito wrappings which, according to the manufacturer, increase the security of the grip compared to traditional cotton.
The Practical Pro Katana saya is built simply but strongly with a plain black lacquer finish and black cotton sageo. While it would be more difficult to control than the lighter Practical Plus Elite, this Practical Pro katana deals more damage.