Hanwei Shaolin Wootz Sword
A few months ago I bought the Shaolin Wootz Sword from Kult Of Athena. At a price far less than the
retail price of $2,095.00 and I thought it a good thing to share with my sword comrades here in myArmoury. I will start with the negative aspects. Which were easily fixed. That being the cord and steel fit ting below the throat of the scabbard and the steel chape furniture falling off the scabbard. Both of which I repaired. The chape was easy, just filled the inside of the steel fitting with "Hotmelt", did the same with the steel beltloop furniture after having removed the cord and scraping and sanding the old adhesive off the fitting and area underneath on the Padauk wood scabbard. As for the cord, before wrapping it back on I put some wood glue on that precise area which I had designated with a light fine couple of pencil lines for a reference, and put some hotmelt on that part of the steel fitting that gets covered with the cord.
Everything else about the sword, scabbard and stand are outstanding!
This is one lightening quick and rugged sword of one single piece of forged wootz steel! I am "NO" metalurgist so please bear with me. I LOVE this sword! It's 30 9/16 OA length, BL is 23 3/8", BW is 1 3/8" at the guard cutting edge begins at 12 1/4" from the guard and also wher the double fullers end, so there are 11 1/8" in the cutting edge portion This sword does hold an edge very well! The fullers are 5/16" wide and the central ridge between the fullers is robust. The grip is narrow at 15/16" and 5/8 thick, being wrapped in a durable cord with 3 steel ridges divided equally. In the pommel cap is a raised etched crest I believe of the Shaolin Temple. The sword came with a plastic covered card with the Shaolin seal, number of the sword and certification of it's individual consecration by a monk.
The central ridge of the blade between the fullers is 3/16" thick. When you run your fingers along the flat of the blade. You can feel the tiny grain of the watered steel. Hit the distal flat of the blade against a wood object and it rings like a bell. I will continue in another posting.
Bob. (This sword is for me, very unique and no other sword is like it, I mean this in a most positive manner!

Last edited by Bob Burns on Fri 08 Jul, 2011 12:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
Balance point is 2" from the guard. Back to the blade characteristics, starting with width. At the guard 1 3/8", 8 inches from guard 1 5/16", 12 1/4" from guard is 1 1/8" and the beginning of the cutting section. Sixteen inches from guard the width is 1 inch, 19" width is 15/16 (at 19" is 4 3/8" from blade tip. 20 inches is 29/32, Twenty two inches is 1 3/8" from tip and here the width is 7/8". Getting back to the thickness of the central ridge (the blade in it's basic cross section is a flat diamond that has double fullers for the proximal 12 1/4. Inches). Central ridge thickness at the guard is 3/16, then at the end of the fuller area (basically) 12 1/4" the thicknes is 1/8". At one inch from tip the ridge is 1/64th shy of 1/8".
This is a stiff, stout blade with flexion more pronounced in the cutting section, yet there is some stiff flexion, in the fuller area. Though the Shaolin Wootz Sword is only 1 pound 10 ounces in weight and basically 30 1/2 inches in overall length, it is a deceivingly brutal little beast that despite it's small size, it is to the eye and to the grip and wield, a Very Masculine sword! A formidable sword both in thrusting and cutting! Now to describe the edges in the fuller area, which is not a ricasso, instead it is merely a dull but Not a blunt edge, which with power would gash and cause severe osteo (bone) fractures. A key design element in the double fuller half length (approximately) of the blade, the outer or lateral edges of the fullers are much thinner than the dividing central ridge and in this cross section of the blade, these outer edges of the fullers are 3/32" providing a narrow triangular cross section to this dull edge proximal 12 1/4", making these unsharpened edges formiddable striking areas. Also creating this portion of the blade, which is the "strong" into a chipper, gouger and breaker of opposing swords in an edge to edge contact strike or block, while also designed to prevent damage to the Wootz Sword. While still very safe to half sword with for extreme close in carnage! Combine the Shaolin Wootz Sword's small size yet robustly built along with it's light weight and the specific kind of steel! This sword harnesses dreadful and ghastly ferocity as a lightening. Quick and brutish beast! In my opinion and I wear extra large gloves, do not let the narrowness of the grip deter you, as this slimline yet solid steel cord wrapped grip allows for added dexterity and suppleness in it's actions, making it ever the more dreadful!
Despite the couple of steel furniture repairs I had to do in order to make it right. I give the Hanwei Shaolin Wootz Sword a Solid 10! If your looking for an extremely good Chinese sword, in my humble opinion, at Kult Of Athena's price. Look no further, the Hanwei Shaolin Wootz Sword is "THE Cat's MEOW!!!!

Most Sincerely!

Re: Hanwei Shaolin Wootz Sword
Can you show the sword's photo? I would like to know how does it look like.
Hi Bob,
just wanted to add my voice to the request for PICTURES!!!! ;)
Especially close-ups of the 'wootz' steel.
Sounds like a really nice sword :)

Right now I can give you navigation to photos at Kult of Athena but do not have photos I can post.
Go to www.kultofathena.com Select and click on "Swords". Then you will get a page depicting different cultures, you will see Asian swords along with Japanese and Chinese, click on Chinese scroll just a bit more then half way down and you will see the listing for the Hanwei. Shaolin Wootz Sword click and you will get a full page view with the price and it is in stock.

This is of one solid piece of steel construction, no "attached" steel components.
I just wanted to restipulate that the grip which IS the tang is cord wrapped and because it's a one solid piece of steel, though the grip is 15/16" wide and 5/8" thick. It is the most powerful grip area sword that "I" have ever held and this narrow grip adds to it's dexterity, swiftness, power, tensile strength and durability!
If one were to hold this sword by it's blade of course with a gauntlet or thick leather glove and strike the crarnium of an adversary with the grip and or pommel area, it would fracture the skull even without a lot of force!

I hope this helps!

Advertised and marketed as a "Wootz" sword, notice, Hanwei calls it a "Shaolin Wootz Sword" and NOT as a Shaolin Wootz Steel Sword"! A legal play on words and not for one second did I think I would be getting a "Wootz Steel" sword! Common. Sense! If Wootz Steel were to be genuinely reinvented, why hell it would be THE Top news in the sword world! However, I did know that it was approved by the monks and priests of the Shaolin Temple and passed all they're criteria! The real selling point to me was Ryan saying that it would be the first Chinese sword in his collection!
Oh sure it's a small and lightweight sword but it is also " The Most Rugged Sword" I have ever held in my hand,ROBUST!! This sword exceeds all the expectations I had, as a matter of fact, the Hanwei Shaolin Wootz (I use the word Wootz lightly and not factually "however you can feel the tiny granules of steel as you run your fingers along the flat of the blade!)
I braided a wrist loop onto the pommel of mine and I. Consider this particular sword to be THE Most Indestructable Sword thAt ""I" know of ever having been made by anyone, anywhere! The Shaolin Wootz Sword is THAT Rugged of a sword!!!!!!! NO Two ways about it! One has to hold and wield. It to believe it! This is NO waste of money and it would be my. "Go To Sword" for home defense! Followed by my Song Sword then German Bastard Sword or Highland Claymore!
But the Shaolin Wootz Sword IS the most rugged sword we own! As a note of relative importance, the new version of the "Song Sword" iS not quite as nice as the older version which I have. Both are folded pattern steel and the highly complex geometry of the blade is unchanged. I will say this for Hanwei, when it comes to they're top shelf items they really seem to go "Full Throttle"! We have 4 of Hanwei's top shelf swords, the ONI Katana, the Song Sword, the Ming Sword And the Shaolin Wootz Sword. Each of these 4 swords left us without so much as an ounce of disappointment! In. Fact, my wife loves all 4 of them as much as I do, but "The Ming Sword" is Gayle's! Like the Arms and Armor German Rapier and Parrying Dagger with custom clean hilts, the Ming is also SACRED to her!I truly help this post helps anyone considering a high end Hanwei, but I would stay away from the Paper Crane Katana. Too complex a steel for the price range! But the ONI with martensite steel over bainite steel and the particular curve of this katana, well it's the cutting sword of cutting swords!Yes, Gayle Truly LOVES. Swords! She really is one of us and I want her to join myArmoury! Christopher Poor, owner of Arms and Armor has met and talked extensively with Gayle on a number of occasions! Telling me how damn lucky I am! In all seriousness, Chris is a wonderful and brilliant man!

1 pound. 10 ounces of Death!

In fairness Bob, it does look like wootz, or at least etched shear steel!

And of course several modern smiths are making modern versions of wootz steel.
Having a look on the site, they ARE claiming it's wootz:

"The clean lines of the Wootz sword, patterned after a Han Dynasty cavalry weapon, exude strength and power. Forged as a single piece, the sword’s most exciting feature is its Wootz steel construction. The centuries-old Asian technique of making superb Wootz steel (or Watered steel) sword blades has been lost to the world for several hundred years, but dedicated study and research have re-created the process and this sword is a testament to that dedication. The cord-wrapped handle and iron-bound Paduak scabbard accentuate the powerful nature of this rugged piece. Includes a matching display stand."
It's a very handsome weapon Bob, I can see why you are so chuffed with it!
If you get a chance, I'd like to see some close-ups from the upper fullered part of the blade.

[ Linked Image ]

Compare their 'wootz' with 18thC Persian wootz on a Shamshir blade of mine:

Hi Gene, thank you So Much for your very "Kind" message! As soon as I figure out how to post the photos I certainly will do so ASAP! The fullers have cathedral peaks pointing towards the tip. The blade section between the fullers comes to the flat diamond peak in it's exact center and has 4 sides to it, first where it raises up from the fuller on each one then another two meeting at the apex of the flat diAmond cross section. I will try hard to get some good close up photos up today! The "cathedral peaks where the fullers terminate into points from the ground in rectangle section of the fullers are about 1 3/8 inches long. From parallel lines to lineS that come together as a point. ((I hope I am making sense "my beloved golden retriever Boudica has been vying for attention").
Yes Gene, truly I am enamored with this sword! And Thank You so much Gene!

This looks like a really nice sword Bob,

I must admit; I didn't even know that Hanwei made nice swords so this is enlightening for me.
Hi Jeremy, - am really glad I could be of help. When it comes to Asian Swords, Hanwei has a premium line. Of some exceptional swords, especially katanas, wakisashis and tantos. And they have exceptional Chinese swords. However, even at this high level Hanwei has some scabbard furniture problems with the adhesive losing it's bond but this is easily repaired! The knot at the endcap of their Japanese swords can start to come loose. Like on my Oni katana, but what I did was pull on the metal endcap on the. Grip and put hotmElt in it and pressed into plase. Then where the nylon knot started to loosen I drew it taugfht and heat welded the nylon knot. With a lighter without disfiguring it and now the knot and pommel cap are totally secure! But especially at KOA prices these top line swords are really Awesome! I would advise to stay away from the Paper Crane though, it's tamahagne steel and they still have issues with it. But the Oni and Preying Mantis katanas are martensite over bainite steel and quite Awesome katanas! The Wootz is Spectacular! Dopn't let the easily fixed furniture issues get in the way, they are very easy to fix!

Hopefully I have helped! Oh I love myu Cromwell anmd Sir WilliAm MarshAll swords!


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