Hanwei Cutting Jian?

Discussion of Chinese historical swordsmanship from all styles.

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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Hanwei Cutting Jian?

Post by J HepworthYoung » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:28 am

My HCJ arrived yesterday.
It was nice to finally run through some basic cuts with it.
Not actually test cuts, just some Michuan basic moves.

I did cut a 3/4 inch rose bush stem with it and slashed a cardboard box for a washing machine.
The rose cut was very clean and the edges of the cardboard cut had very little tearing.

The edge geometry and the handling are choice.

Being a perfectionist the lines on the grind could be cleaner. Not faulting the design here, it is just that the central ridge of the blade is off center by almost a centimeter(7-8mm for about 1/4 of the blade length on one side of the blade. This really affects the vibrations and resonance of handling and I worry that the lack of balance might create unequal stresses in the blade with hard target cuts or during high speed passes through soft targets.

I wonder how much the grind can be non-symmetrical before the sword becomes failure prone?

Also the general tilt and angles of the fittings are slightly sloppy, but do seem very sturdy.

Considering it is a production model and not a custom work, the faults in the manufacture of the sword are acceptable. After all it is a low end model designed for functional purpose so doesn't need to be made to meticulous standards.

My sword arrived with the Taiji Notebook for Martial Artists.
I like the book far more than the sword! And I do like the sword.

***
I just looked that the lines again, basically the center line of the spine is perfect on one side of the blade, right down the middle, but on the other side, when the blade face up, the entire center line is actually off center and to the right. Because of the taper it is off center by about 7mm near the handle and near the tip it is only about 2mm off center.

This shape is clearly a stock removal/grind issue and not the result of a forging process. Hopefully it is cosmetic, but as I mentioned, this off center grinding does affect the way the blade resonates and vibrates.
So while I love the design, I find the manufacture to be consistent for the less expensive Hanwei swords, my Adam Hsu jian has very similar grind issues, though the lines are cleaner on the Hsu Jian the fittings came with the same sloppy angles and the sword is far less sturdy. Sighting down the blade also shows the Hsu Jian to have a rougher profile, despite the smooth polish on the blade.

I've never seen a Hanwei sword that was not a low end model. If the more expensive models are the same workmanship with just folded steel laminate blades and more expensive metals for the fittings, then I'll pass.
However I did not but my sword to be pretty, so if these flaws are just cosmetic then I got my moneys worth. Frankly I have not cut any sturdy thing with a blade that was ground like this and I am actually a bit afraid to. I think that the blade will twist under kinetic stress and don't want to find the point this twisting results in shrapnel.

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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Hanwei Cutting Jian?

Post by J HepworthYoung » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:40 am

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This is the sword.
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Scott M. Rodell
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Some Cutting with my Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sun May 02, 2010 6:02 pm

Back from Australia, between seminars, I need to trim my little bamboo grove a bit while I'm home...
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Testing my Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri May 14, 2010 1:05 pm

Got to say, bamboo is such a great target material. You can use all the different parts of a stalk for different cuts, right down to low,leg level, liao cuts, one right after the other.

Here's a low liao to a 2" diameter old growth bamboo stalk with my Hanwei Cutting JIan...
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Beginners cutting with My Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Mon May 24, 2010 8:59 am

Friday evening I was up in New Jersey for another Chinese Swordsmanship Seminar at Ziran Martial Arts (http://www.ztaichi.com/) & got together with the students for a pre-seminar test cutting practice. Most were first timers or very green & were using Hanwei Cutting Jian literally just out of the box. I was quite please to see how well they cut (both the students & jian).

These Hanwei jian are not as sharp as most one the market, that is they are not ground to a flat diamond cross section to a 6000 grit finish, but they still cut very well. Thinking about this on the drive home, I was reminded of something Paul Champagne once told me when we were discussing sharpness & cutting efficiency*, he said, "You could sharpen an iron bar with a file & it would cut mats..." The more cutting I do, the more I find myself questioning much of what we thought about blade sharpness in relationship to cutting. It is not that a very sharp blade doesn't have its place & doesn't help when it comes to specific aspects of cutting effectively, such as getting a good bite on the target, but overall, experience is showing that blades do not have to be extremely sharp to do the job.

*see the thread: Edge Sharpness Vs. Application viewtopic.php?f=9&t=327

Here's a student practicing a thrust with the Hanwei Cutting Jian...
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Test Cutting with Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:24 pm

We just negotiated a very nice arrangement with CAS/Hanwei that allows us to offer my Cutting Jian for only $195.99...
see- http://sevenstarstrading.com/site/hanwei/cuttingjian/

After a busy 2010, I finally had a chance to get out & do some more cutting...
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Resilience of Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue May 15, 2012 9:01 am

HanweiJianFlex_01.png
Scott M. Rodell Test Cutting with Hanwei Cutting Jian
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I had to clear some bamboo in my garden, so what better way than to get out my Cutting Jian... A high speed camera catch just how resilient these blades are & the shock any blade has to be able to deal with when impacting he target...
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Flexibility of Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue May 15, 2012 9:03 am

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Scott M. Rodell Test Cutting with Hanwei Cutting Jian
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Scott M. Rodell Test Cutting with Hanwei Cutting Jian
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Follow through of the pi cut. Note how quickly the blade straightens.

Dan Pasek
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Re: Hanwei Cutting Jian?

Post by Dan Pasek » Fri May 18, 2012 10:09 am

Scott,

Thanks a lot for that post, it really emphasizes what a cutting blade is going through and reinforces your emphasis on safety, checking the weapon before and after usage to ensure its integrity! Even when the resulting cut looks nice and smooth, the blade is undergoing significant distortions when cutting.

This leads to a question. Some old blades have small nicks on their edges caused by usage, and some show signs of previous nicks being polished out because the blade edge dips inward slightly producing an inconsistency in the blade width. Is there some guideline as to when small nicks are better left alone where the blade integrity may not be adversely affected and the blade remains useable, and when it is better to polish them out even though that results in a distorted blade profile? In other words, when does a small nick have less impact on a sword’s integrity than the distortion of polishing it out does?

Thanks,
Dan

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Re: Hanwei Cutting Jian?

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu May 24, 2012 9:51 am

Dan Pasek wrote:... that post, it really emphasizes what a cutting blade is going through and reinforces your emphasis on safety, checking the weapon before and after usage to ensure its integrity!.. Is there some guideline as to when small nicks are better left alone where the blade integrity may not be adversely affected and ... when it is better to polish them out even though that results in a distorted blade profile? In other words, when does a small nick have less impact on a sword’s integrity than the distortion of polishing it out does?
Any nick causes a stress point on the blade, so the short answer is to polish out any nicks after the cutting session. (I cover how to do this in my book on test cutting: http://sevenstarstrading.com/site/books ... ttingbook/ ) Unless it is a really bad, deep nick, I wouldn't worry about stopping practice to polish the nick out immediately.

Keep in mind that pretty much every blade, of any real age, one encounters has had areas of the balde locally polished. In other words, this was a common practice. When I was working out the best edge geometry for my Hanwei Cutting Jian, I consulted with several experts, including sword polisher Philip Tom. One question I had for him was has he ever seen an Antique Chinese sword in the original polish. He had not. Both period jian & dao typically have a secondary bevel at the edge that resulted from polishing to either resharpen the blade or repair local damage.

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Video - Cutting bamboo with the Hanwei Cutting Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:02 pm

Here's the new CAS video that the above flexing blades were pulled from - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcLH9p-mKsY

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