Difference between Hanwei and Cheness Differentially Hardened Katana

by mike tong
(Evansville,IN USA)

QUESTION: Is the Hanwei sword (differentially tempered to produce an HRC60 edge, HRC40 back and a distinctive hamon) stronger than(Differentially Hardened 9260 Silicon Alloy Carbon Spring Steel) what is the difference?

Thank you

P.S. Your website helps us so much,specialy the video TESTS.

ANSWER: Hi Mike,

I am often a bit skeptical when you see the perfect 60/40 HRC split used to describe the hardness of a particular Katana. Though from experience, I would say that in the case of Hanwei, it is probably reasonably accurate.

Anyway, back to your question - the biggest problem with the low end Hanwei swords is a tendency to be brittle. I have heard quite a few second hand stories of the PPK shattering on impact with standard test cutting mediums (i.e. tatami) which would be impossible for the Cheness Kaze.

The Kaze, if it strikes a target too hard and at the wrong angle, will take a set. ALL Traditional Katana will take a set under these conditions though... The PPK though, especially if bought from a dubious source (at a dubious price), may actually snap!

The Kaze has often been compared to the $600 Shinto Katana by Hanwei, and is definitely the better value for money buy..

Hope this helps.

- Paul

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