Paul Chen (Chen Chao-Po), the founder of Hanwei is one of the world’s leading providers of high quality katana. Among their products are Chinese, European and Medieval swords, but the company started with making Japanese samurai swords which are still the cornerstone of their business. The years of experience, the traditional craftsmanship combined with modern tools and metallurgy equal some of the best swords you can buy today. And they are very affordable regardless of your budget.
All of Hanwei’s swords are hand-made, and usually made of high-quality steel (from stainless steel, high carbon steel, to tamahagane). The prices range from $100 all the way to around $3,000 for the best quality swords. For lower priced swords you should note that they are sometimes of questionable quality: every now and then you may come across a sword which isn’t as good as it should be. Since Hanwei is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of katana, it’s understandable that some lower-quality ones get past their quality control. This is why you may want to avoid buying these (or any other) swords from Ebay, as people are often reselling low quality swords there.
The blades are typically extremely sharp and durable, and the quality of fittings is remarkable, especially on more expensive models. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to pay, but in any case with Hanwei you’ll be getting an authentic, battle-ready sword of the highest quality.