Hanwei Swords

Hanwei logo
Official Website: casiberia.com
Manufactured in: Dailan (Manchuria), China
Steels Used: Various, usually 1090 carbon steel, but Swedish powdered steel, Tamahagane and L6 Tool steel in some high end models
Edge/Sharpness: Most Sharpened, some with stage steel
Price Range: US$84 to $3200
Best Deals: Click here for special pricing info

Paul Chen
Hanwei's Chen Chao Po (Paul Chen)

Hanwei swords were the brainchild of Mr. Chen Chao-Po (Paul Chen - pictured right), originally of Taiwan, in the early 90's. As such, they are often colloquially referred to as 'Paul Chen swords' (Click here for a behind the scenes look at how the Hanwei Forge got started and some interesting trivia).

Distributed in the USA by Cas Iberia (which was recently purchased by Hanwei), the novice can sometimes be confused by these three apparent company names for the same products.

Hanwei were among the earliest to produce attractive, battle-ready katanas at affordable prices for martial artists and collectors. They have since grown into a mainstay of the Sword buying community, and expanded their products to include European designs.

They are also one of (if not THE) the biggest sword maker in the industry, with over 350 employees at their Dalian facility alone...

Their warranty policy is stated on their site - "we warranty our products against all manufacturer's defects (workmanship and or materials) for a period of one year from the date of customer purchase (we extend this guarantee to the original invoiced customer only). This warranty also applies only when the product is used under normal conditions for which the product is designed, and does not apply to damage related to accident, misuse, improper care, negligence, and normal and/or excessive wear and tear."

As in most cases the 'original invoiced customer only' is the retailer who sold you the sword, any problems with their product must be followed up by the vendor, which may lead to lengthy delays.

Prices for Hanwei swords range from around to $100 to upwards of $3200 for their high end models.


March 25, 2009
Hanwei's latest Katana, the Raptors, are on the way!

Click Here for The Latest News



From the humble Practical Katana, both the classic series and the newer performance series to Swedish Powder steel, Tamagahane Nihonto style blades and now even the legendary L6 Tool Steel, there are Japanese style Hanwei swords to suit every taste and budget.

There are also several limited edition collectibles produced from time to time, and their higher end Katana are considered to be some of the best quality production Katana on the market.

This section also includes some more obscure pieces, such as the Zatoichi Sword, Ninjato and non-sharpened iaito.

Click here to see their Japanese Swords

Adam Hsu with one of the Chinese Hanwei swords made to his specifications


Here you will find a range of Chinese Kung fu and Tai Chi swords, ranging from their basic ‘practical’ line to some stunning and highly regarded pieces in their Dynasty series.

There is a also a range of Hanwei swords designed by world famous Kung fu and Tai Chi Master Adam Hsu that are surprisingly affordable (around the $200 mark) and well received.

Within this range, there are also some very interesting and unique designs such as the Dadao and butterfly swords, designed to appeal to both the casual collector and the serious martial artist alike.

Click here to see their Chinese swords

: One of Hanwei's Better Medieval Sword Designs, the Albrecht Hand and a Half Sword


From fencing foils to re-enactment swords to functional replicas, while their medieval line are not their primary speciality, being more of an offshoot of their main business model (Katana) and having been through (and still in the process of) revision, their medieval line has received mixed reviews.

While their unsharpened Practical medieval swords have been widely embraced by the medieval re-enactment community, their sharpened medieval swords have struggled - with many problems reported by buyers.

Click here to see their medieval lines


For the lower priced Paul Chen Hanwei Swords, the most common complaint was quality control. Due to the sheer volume of swords being produced, it was not uncommon to find a few lemons in every batch (many of which, ended up being sold on ebay).

Occasionally, the bad ones in each batch can be quite dangerous - especially with Hanwei's extremely sharp Japanese swords. Due to the relative hardness and thinness of some of the blades, there are many anecdotal stories aboud of them literally snapping in half (and then flying through the air) after a poorly executed strike against relatively light targets such as Tatami Omote and Water Filled Bottles.

For this reason it is especially important when buying Paul Chen Hanwei swords online to avoid shopping based on price alone, as many of the sellers who stock them at close to wholesale prices are selling seconds or defective blades that should have been inspected and sent back to the factory as per Hanwei's usual policy with their wholesalers.

Current issues mostly revolve around the sharpness of the blades. Their Japanese swords tend to be just a little too sharp, meaning that the edges are so fine and hard that while they cut like a laser, hitting harder targets (whether accidently or on purpose) is a sure fire way to chip or break them. On the other hand, most people complain that their medieval swords are a little too dull, and need additional sharpening out of the box to cut effectively (though once sharpened - due to the excellent temper of the steel - they hold their edges exceptionally well).

Their medieval replicas have been the subject of many problems in the past, notably weak tangs, hollow "fall apart" pommels and structural issues in the steel.

While these problems are obviously distressing - Hanwei takes them seriously, and they ARE being addressed and refined, such as the most recent batch (November 2007) of swords now being made with solid pommels and a thicker, more durable blade.


Ausblade Interview with Paul Chen, September 2007


Sword Buyers Guide.com Reviews

Reviews of Cheness Swords by our sister site:

Practical Plus KatanaPractical KatanaPractical Pro Katana
Practical Plus Katana
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical Katana
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical Pro Katana
Click on the image for the full review.

Practical Ninja SwordZatoichiPractical Kung fu Sword
Practical Ninja Sword
Click on the image for the full review.
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical Kung fu Sword
Click on the image for the full review.

DadaoPractical Viking SwordScramasax
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical Viking Sword
Click on the image for the full review.
Click on the image for the full review.

Albrecht SwordWilliam Marshall SwordPractical XL Katana
Albrecht Sword
Click on the image for the full review.
William Marshal
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical XL Katana
Click on the image for the full review.

Practical Tai Chi SwordChinese BroadswordEdward III Sword
Practical Tai Chi Sword
Click on the image for the full review.
Chinese Broadsword
Click on the image for the full review.
Edward III Sword
Click on the image for the full review.

Dark SentinelPractical XL Light Katana
Dark Sentinel
Click on the image for the full review.
Practical XL Light
Click on the image for the full review.


Prices for Paul Chen Hanwei Swords tend to vary quite wildly online. Most good sellers tend to stick closely to the (somewhat inflated) recommended retail prices. However, there are quite a few that sell them at prices much lower than the MSRP, but still maintain a high level of quality control and customer service.

My personal recommendation for safely buying pre-inspected, good quality Paul Chen Hanwei Swords is to shop at Kult of Athena

With the best prices online, a 45 day return policy, clear in stock designations and at cost shipping prices worldwide - there is really no better place to safely buy Paul Chen Hanwei Swords.


The following list of additional retailers also stock Hanwei Swords:

NOTES: Excellent pricing, fixed shipping and a 90 day money back guarantee, what is not to love...

SBG Sword Store
NOTES: The SBG Sword Store only carries a very (very) small selection of Hanwei's Performance Series Katana, but their prices are the best on the internet - though they only ship within the USA (however the shipping is FREE).

Shumi Swords (Australia)
NOTES: Australian Distributor with a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and providing Australian Hanwei sword buyers with the most competitive deals imaginable.

Swords of Might
NOTES: Clear in stock designations, good pricing and a dedication to customer service with a loyal customer base. Well worth a look.

Replica Weaponry.com
NOTES: Netlink Enterprises have a very large range of Hanwei Swords for sale, though prices are average at best.

Swords of Honor
NOTES: A large variety of Hanwei swords, prices vary - from the best on the net to average, so it depends very much on the item in question if they are a good deal or not.

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