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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Hanwei Cawood Review         Reply with quote

Last week I asked Ryan at KoA when he thought the Hanwei Cawood swords would be in, he said he expected some that week so I ordered one and it arrived this afternoon. Hanwei have made a few changes from the prototype pictures we've seen, for the better in my opinion.

My first impressions are that this is very nice for a sub- $300 production sword. In general the blade reminds me of my H/T Norman but I find it a little more comfortable to grip and use. Overall, it feels light and easy to handle. POB is about 4.5in from the guard which seems long given how easy it was to handle. Blade length is 30 inches, overall length is about 36.

I can see there is distinct distal taper but I don’t have the tools to measure it at the moment. Combined with the lightness of the blade, I think this could result in ‘whippiness’ near the tip during some cuts or against heavier targets but in the few light cuts I tried it performed well.

The fittings are brightly polished though not as bright as the H/T line; in my opinion this is a good thing. The peen looks more neatly done than on either my H/T Viking or Norman. The grip is a wrapped leather strip rather than a smooth wrap. This provides a better grip and is more attractive in my opinion; though not as good as a cord wrapped leather grip.

One thing that really stood out, other than the lightness of the blade, is that it certainly has one of the nicest scabbards I’ve seen on any production sword. They chose a shade of light brown leather over the black on the H/T line which I have never been a fan of. The seam of the scabbard is straight and joined neatly. The decorative risers are a nice touch and well executed. The scabbard core, at least the throat, is wood though I won’t be disassembling it to confirm if this is true for the rest of the length. The sword fits securely and neatly in the scabbard.
The bridge is the most complex part of the scabbard and that is the only area where it seems a little messy but only after scrutiny. The scabbard fittings are plain and a little bright for my tastes but I won’t fault it too badly at this price point.

Overall, I think Hanwei has carried on the tradition of good bang-for-buck that they introduced with the H/T line and have even made some improvements.

Pros:
- Light & handles well
- Nice scabbard for the price range
- Less 'shiny' than the H/T line

Cons:
- Maybe a tad whippy, we shall see...






'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Mon 19 Dec, 2011 10:14 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Scott S.




Location: Central North Carolina
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, I think that looks quite nice for a $200 range sword. And distal taper you say?? Get out! (Does anybody know if this is an "across the board" Hanwei development? I really love my H/T Longsword as it's my first experience with any kind of a quality blade.)

I actually love the grip style and color choice, and bet it would look even better if the grip and scabbard were distressed a bit.
Thank you for posting this, I'm definitely interested in this sword now.
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The blade profile also looks quite different from your picture to the picture on the KOA website for the Hanwei Cawood. The Hanwei website shows the same photo. The photo looks like a Geibig type 3 or 4, while your photos look more like a Geibig type 6 or 8.
I'm no expert, but looks like two different types to me.....
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Ballantyne wrote:
The blade profile also looks quite different from your picture to the picture on the KOA website for the Hanwei Cawood. The Hanwei website shows the same photo. The photo looks like a Geibig type 3 or 4, while your photos look more like a Geibig type 6 or 8.
I'm no expert, but looks like two different types to me.....


I'd say closest to a Type 6 judging from the shape and rate of taper. Width at base of blade is 2 inches, tapering to .75 just before the tip. The fullers are about 3/4 inch in width and quite deep. In the photos of the prototype, the fuller had a very angular 'squared off', narrow and deep look but the finished piece has wide, deep fullers.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks very good for the price, and even better than some more expensive swords.

If over polished hilt furniture annoys you could give it a more brushed finish with scotch bright pads or do a little antiquing if the furniture isn't stainless steel.

By the way I found that using Dijon mustard gives a grey aged and attractive splotchy splotchy finish rather than other aging agents that seem to produce rust i.e. looks much more like staining than a rusting process.

The Dijon mustard is " tackier " than the common yellow mustard and if one dabs it on one can get a very random pattern.

Short version of the process:

A) Dab on the Dijon mustard.
B) Let dry, takes about an hour.
C) Wash off with soap and water.
D) Repeat a few times until the blade is dark enough. ( Great for hiding modern tool marks when there are any ).

E) Use fine synthetic steel wool and oil to clean up the finish and one ends up with a very attractive patination.

I just did this to an A&A English BIll and will post some pics of that DIY project soon + a review of it.

Back to the main Topic: Great well written review. Big Grin Cool

Oh, for distal taper I find that one can get a better idea of it using one's fingers, thumb and index finger, along the lenght of a blade: This doesn't give you numbers you can quote, but one can extimate the % of distal taper quite well.

I read somwwhere that one can feel dimensions and irregularities with touch that one can't even see with one's eyes: If I remember corretly one can feel differences of thicknesses on the order of 1/10,000 of an inch.

( NOTE: I usually use a tissue to avoid touching the blade and as protection against a sharp edge, obviously keeping hand and finger from running along the sharp edge. Wink Laughing Out Loud ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips Jean, I look forward to your dijon before and after pics. For the moment I think I will use the scotch brite pad which is what I did on the norman/viking.

I tried to 'feel out' the distal taper like you suggested; there are definitely some irregularities that I can feel but couldn't clearly see. I suppose that is a result of the grinding process. Neat stuff.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really curious if the pommel and guard are steel or stainless. Thanks for the review.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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Posts: 480

PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Swiger wrote:
Really curious if the pommel and guard are steel or stainless. Thanks for the review.


I don't want to try the acid/gun blue test right yet but a magnet will stick to them. That would indicate it is less likely to be stainless. Magnet test definitely isn't definitive as a number stainless steel alloys are magnetic.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must say this sure looks nicer than the preview photos which were allright but looked a bit modern to me. The fuller is rounded off nicely and not sharply cut for one thing. The scabbard looks good too though I wish they'd put a nicer cast chape and locket on it or make it with no fittings except the slider. But that's the only thing and most here could just fix that easily enough. What am I thinking, this scabbard has a slider, not those crappy ring thingees we usually see on production models. That's really a huge step forward.
I also get the impression they mean for owners to be able to customize it, round off the edges on the slider to their own liking, or remove it, keep or take off the line designs, add a leather cover, change the fittings and so on to personalize it. It's just meant to look good enough to sell and use as is out of the box, not really stay that way. Adds to the charm IMO.

I have a friend who owns a custom Cawood by DelTin which is pretty good, but this one is better all round, comes with a highly customizeable scabbard and even costs less. So what if it needs some DIY to be prefect, that's far more than ok at that price. Very nice work Hanwei!


BTW Jean, I tried vinegar on one of my reproduction blades some time ago, that kind of works too but I'll have a go with the mustard.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott S. wrote:
Does anybody know if this is an "across the board" Hanwei development?


I've handled most of the other swords in their new line and yes, it's across the board at least for the sharps. I'm not really interested in the blunts though so I don't know about those.
The new Norman is still a sword with some serious blade presence authority and no whippiness but has a definite distall taper and good balance for heavy cutting, the rest are some very agile and quick swords. Can't really go wrong with any of them.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice. I just wished Hanwei would make some longer bladed singlehanders...
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Josh M.




Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 22 Dec 2011

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the opinion that the Norman has a very substantial blade presence, but is still VERY maneuverable. It is the second fastest Type X that I own. The first is an Armour Class five-lobe pommel. That sword moves like a lightsaber, whereas the Norman ( I feel ) would be my preferred anti-light armor blade. There is no comparison between Hanwei's new lineup and the european swords they used to foist on us.
Mountains uphold virtue, Water represents wisdom, no man is both virtuous and wise. -Chinese Proverb

Be on guard in strange halls. -The Havamal
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Dec, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh M. wrote:
There is no comparison between Hanwei's new lineup and the european swords they used to foist on us.


This already started with the Tinker line a couple of years ago I'm real happy to see it's going in a very good direction after that. Still needs some tweaking here and there, but for the price it's simply unbeatable.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: My next purchace....         Reply with quote

I realize this is an old topic, but one of the more informative I've seen on the Cawood. I'm seriously considering this sword as my next purchace, to go along with a semi-Viking/Celtic/Barbarian/Fantasy kit that I'm putting together for Faire-wear.(Yeah, I know...not Renn-period, but I don't care. Laughing Out Loud ) My questions are as such: Any of you that have owned the Cawood for a while now, what is your seasoned opinion of it now? How is it holding up, in general, after carry, cutting, and general handling? Anyone do a regrip, or tear apart the scabbard? Hows the tang peen holding up? I just love the looks of this style of sword, and after a close comparison to the DelTin version, I personally think the Hanwei is much better finished. Thoughts, anyone? Ian, this was your baby back in '11.......How about it now? Thanks in advance!.......McM
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: My next purchace....         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
I realize this is an old topic, but one of the more informative I've seen on the Cawood. I'm seriously considering this sword as my next purchace, to go along with a semi-Viking/Celtic/Barbarian/Fantasy kit that I'm putting together for Faire-wear.(Yeah, I know...not Renn-period, but I don't care. Laughing Out Loud ) My questions are as such: Any of you that have owned the Cawood for a while now, what is your seasoned opinion of it now? How is it holding up, in general, after carry, cutting, and general handling? Anyone do a regrip, or tear apart the scabbard? Hows the tang peen holding up? I just love the looks of this style of sword, and after a close comparison to the DelTin version, I personally think the Hanwei is much better finished. Thoughts, anyone? Ian, this was your baby back in '11.......How about it now? Thanks in advance!.......McM


Hi Mark,

Having had it for over a year now, my impressions are the Cawood is a good looking sword, executed well by Hanwei. It is light and handy, perhaps too light. I don't use it often for cutting because of this. With my poor technique, it was simply too light and 'whippy' for good cutting (YMMV).

I'm still pleased with the purchase and think it was worth the money. For costume use and light cutting, it would be fine.

EDIT: In fit and finish it is still my best 'budget' sword by far, really happy on that front.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Sat 08 Jun, 2013 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark:

I have this sword and also find it attractive and comfortable in the hand, as do those who review my collection. To be sure, it is a bit off the original Cawood find, so I think of it as a sword unto itself. The scabbard could use of a little work, a nice project for yourself or someone like J.E. Sarge at Crusadermonk.com

I have never done any serious cutting, a couple of cardboard boxes have felt it's wrath and that's about it. I do not find it 'whippy' at all (I know, the always ambiguous 'w' word) but it does flex in an acceptable way, IMO.

Over all, for the price, I feel you'll be pleased.

Best, Jon


A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Hargis wrote:
Mark:

I have this sword and also find it attractive and comfortable in the hand, as do those who review my collection. To be sure, it is a bit off the original Cawood find, so I think of it as a sword unto itself. The scabbard could use of a little work, a nice project for yourself or someone like J.E. Sarge at Crusadermonk.com

I have never done any serious cutting, a couple of cardboard boxes have felt it's wrath and that's about it. I do not find it 'whippy' at all (I know, the always ambiguous 'w' word) but it does flex in an acceptable way, IMO.

Over all, for the price, I feel you'll be pleased.

Best, Jon



Because I rarely get to compare them side by side, I often wonder how much variation there is between two examples of a production sword model. My Albion and H/Ts are all pretty solid but with my Cawood, just shaking my fist vigorously can cause it to flex. Then again, I also got a really early one, maybe changes were made?

That said, I still really like the sword. Quality is very good for the price, even better versus the H/T line since the almost $100 price rise in that series (a real pity, they used to be superb value for money, now they are less attractive).

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Tanner Sheltry




Location: Oklahoma
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:
J. Hargis wrote:
Mark:

I have this sword and also find it attractive and comfortable in the hand, as do those who review my collection. To be sure, it is a bit off the original Cawood find, so I think of it as a sword unto itself. The scabbard could use of a little work, a nice project for yourself or someone like J.E. Sarge at Crusadermonk.com

I have never done any serious cutting, a couple of cardboard boxes have felt it's wrath and that's about it. I do not find it 'whippy' at all (I know, the always ambiguous 'w' word) but it does flex in an acceptable way, IMO.

Over all, for the price, I feel you'll be pleased.

Best, Jon



Because I rarely get to compare them side by side, I often wonder how much variation there is between two examples of a production sword model. My Albion and H/Ts are all pretty solid but with my Cawood, just shaking my fist vigorously can cause it to flex. Then again, I also got a really early one, maybe changes were made?

That said, I still really like the sword. Quality is very good for the price, even better versus the H/T line since the almost $100 price rise in that series (a real pity, they used to be superb value for money, now they are less attractive).


Really? I just got a h/t Norman for $225 shipped that's cheaper than the cawood from kult of Athena, and my gsow was cheaper too.

the more skill a man has with his weapon the more gentle and courteous should he behave, for in truth this is rightly the honour of a brave Gentleman, and so much more is he to be esteemed: he must not be a bragger, or lier, and without truth in his word, because there is nothing more to be required of a man than to know himself" - Vincentio Saviolo
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tanner Sheltry wrote:


Really? I just got a h/t Norman for $225 shipped that's cheaper than the cawood from kult of Athena, and my gsow was cheaper too.


Yep, the HT line was a real deal before the price raise. I got two Normans and a Viking, each was $160 or less. $140-$160 I believe.

I'd bought a Viking and a Norman from KoA before the price change, I was thinking about 2nd Norman when the change happened and suddenly it was >$200 everywhere online. I spent 2-3 hours looking online until I found a vendor that hadn't updated their prices yet and bought one. Should have bought a few more from them.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Sun 09 Jun, 2013 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tanner Sheltry




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They're still a good deal IMO. With a little work they are great. A cawood is more than any of the the tinker one handers.
the more skill a man has with his weapon the more gentle and courteous should he behave, for in truth this is rightly the honour of a brave Gentleman, and so much more is he to be esteemed: he must not be a bragger, or lier, and without truth in his word, because there is nothing more to be required of a man than to know himself" - Vincentio Saviolo
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