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 with cutting and economy in mind, the Practical series fits. Practical quality hasn’t been lost. You won’t see rayskin or a woven cotton ito in the wakizashi’s grip, but you won’t find a cheap plastic ornamental pommel either. Everything here was selected to work efficiently and hold up to hard use, but at a budget price. Twenty-seven-and-a-half inches long overall, the Practical Wakizashi presents 20 inches of cutting edge with an authentic hamon or clay-tempering mark. Hardened to HRC60 on the edge and HRC 40 on the back, the differentially tempered blade holds a razor-sharp edge and has the resilience to survive a hard hit.
Unless you look for differences between this sword and traditional versions, you probably won’t notice the substitutions of synthetics for natural materials. Everything here looks and works just fine. Weighing 1-1/2 pounds with a balance point four inches forward of the tsuba, the wakazishi has been designed for modern target cutting. The high carbon steel blade will savagely cleave tatami mats, cardboard tubes, plastic water bottles, and pool noodles with ease if handled and maintained properly. To enhance target cutting, blades in this series are lighter and faster than old-style battlefield weapons. CAS Hanwei suggests that the blade is not appropriate for use on trees and other harder targets.
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