Pros: Materials, Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Blade Material, Finish, Overall Quality, Usable
Tiger Elite Katana
I'm going to dispense with the Japanese lexicon to describe the Hanwei Tori Elite so, you can sub-in the correct terminology. For the price, it is as expected and is very well executed. The temper line is prominent and folds are visible, but not as evident as I would like. I'm not sure if the powdered steel appearance will diverge from the traditional folded 10XX as we are accustom to.This is my second sword with powdered steel, with my first being the Bugei Wave. The Tiger geometry is not convex (apple seed) as the Bugei, but has a very sharp nicely formed edge. This sword is straight with no east-west bends. It has no groove and is hefty, but nicely balanced. The handle, which is pinned to the tang is very tight, but one pin is under the cotton wrap. Since Hanwei and Bugei are related... I would say the Tiger is the big brother of the Wave, but that apple seed shape requires substantial polishing and cost. For performance I would say the Cold Steel Emperor, Hanwei Tiger Elite and the Bugei Wave are 1-2-3 in their respective price range for non Shinken production swords. Hey, my opinion is based on my experience and there are many more manufacturers today who also make great blades, that I have not tried... yet. I hear Cambodia has been producing some very nice high end production "stuff", my next stop, enjoy!