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 of high carbon steel that’s differentially tempered — in this case to HRC60 at the cutting edge and HRC40 at the spine. Traditionally, the edge of the sword received a clay coating before the heating and quenching process that controls temper and strength of the blade. The clay protected the edge, retaining a harder temper in comparison to the spine. The lower temper in the blade’s spine increased the shock resistance and flexibility of the blade.
Since that important process adds considerably to the cost of a weapon today, Hanwei Forge substituted less expensive materials in other parts of the sword. While construction isn’t truly authentic, the wakizashi by Hanwei is truly functional and well suited to tamashigiri or target cutting.
Twenty-seven-and-one-half inches long overall, the practical wakizashi wields 20 inches of cutting edge with a professionally sharpened and polished finish. Weighing 1-1/2 pounds, the sword fits neatly in a black hardwood sheath. Originally, the wakizashi sword or side sword was the backup or finishing weapon for the samurai and not the main battle sword. Wakizashi often delivered the fatal blow to an enemy on the ground to save the edge of the larger katana.
See the Cold Steel Warrior Wakizashi for a more rugged but literally less polished combat-quality sword.
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