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Thread: Categories of Hanwei/Chen Swords

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,584

    Categories of Hanwei/Chen Swords

    "Is that sword really worth it, or is basically a Shinto katana that has been redressed?"

    "Should I get that sword that's folded steel versus the other that's the same sword but unfolded steel?"

    Hopefully the following categories may help. Choices of Hanwei Factory made swords used to be much simpler. There were 3 categories of Hanwei swords.

    1. PK level (unfolded, railtrack steel), costing approx. $200+/-. Polish level: Poor, crude. Cheap cotton wrap, plastic rayskin, cheap wood.
    2. Musashi Daito / Shinto Katana level (unfolded, railtrack steel), costing approx $450+. Polish level: Mediocre. Better attention to detail, better fittings, real rayskin.
    3. Powdered Steel, Folded, costing $800, $1,000, $1,200+. Polish level: Much better. Much better fittings, and much better attention the wrap. Silk? Don't know. Real rayskin.

    Remember: the level of polish is important to how much you should invest in a katana.

    CAS Iberia at one point mandated MSRP of Category 2 to be approx $800 so that storefronts could compete with online retailers. But many online retailers refuse to sell at MSRP because if Business "A" conforms but "B" does not, then "B" naturally gains the business. This becomes a problem when you see a new exclusive line: is the sword priced according to the mandated CAS Iberia MSRP or according to a different quality index?

    Let's say a business takes a Category 2 sword and has Hanwei make an exclusive. No matter how they price it, all things being equal, it's still a Category 2 sword. It's exclusive, so maybe this new business should price it higher than the Musashi Daito (average online price: $550-range). So they come up with $650. Hence you ask yourself if the $100 difference is worth it since you know this business is basically marketing a variant of the Musashi Daito. Same level of polish, different fittings and colors, basically.

    But if the business markets the same Category 2 sword above the Musashi Daito's MSRP instead of the average online price, then as a buyer then you have to pause and think.

    What makes the sword a $700 sword? The statement was phrased well: who would pay $700 for a Shinto since for years it has been sold for $450 through online retailers.

    Can the business justify the $150 difference just through different fittings and handle wrap, etc.? In other words, are there quality differences sufficient?

    Think of it this way. The Bushido has an average online price of around $850-ish. Let's say that this fictitious business's sword is a Category 2 sword made exclusive to them and price it in the $700-range. Well, the Bushido is in the $800-range. The Bushido has a better level of polish, better fittings and the steel is folded. So my dollars would go to the Bushido.

    Now specifically the Mantis Swords' "Tonbo Katana" sales description is consistent with a Category 2 sword. It's priced at $989.99. There is no mention of it being folded. Again the Bushido is folded, and as a Category 3 sword it's polish and fittings are better than a Category 2.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    566
    Hey Adrian

    Can you make this a "sticky"? It might answer alot of frequent questions....
    "He was an angel once, he didn't mean to fall. He just hung out with the wrong people..."

    Good Omens

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    long island
    Posts
    326
    You forgot that the bugei blades are a step above everything else. Quality control, geometry, nicer fittings ect.
    Joel Habbershaw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    174
    True I own about six of them all diferent quality but very good for there intended audience and prices. Something to consider.
    One becomes a true samurai when you need not unsheath your blade in order to win a battle, that is the way of bushido...........

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