The Hanwei Musashi XL Light Katana comes with a very steep angled blade profile that makes it exceptionally sharp. However, while it's very cool, Japanese swords were not as sharp as the general public tend to believe they were/are.. Their cutting ability comes mostly from mass, speed and the hardness of the narrow edge of steel - too narrow however, and it may chip or break when cutting bone or harder targets (whether intentionally or unintentionally)
To quote from Usagiya's information page (a website published in Japan regarding genuine antique Nihono) regarding how sharp a Japanese sword is supposed to be:
What is sharpness?
Sometimes we are asked by out customers, "How sharp is this blade?" When we hear this we are always a little confused as to how to respond.
"Sharpness" is not an easy concept to define as there are many factors to consider.
We will now look at some of the issues.
The angle of the cutting edge
Usually, we think of a thin cutting edge like a razor as very sharp and a thick cutting edge like an axe as not so sharp.
This is true. A razor can shave a moustache, but an axe can not.
Therefor we can say that a small angled cutting edge is sharper than a large angled cutting edge.
By this definition Japanese swords are not very sharp.
Usually their blades are bevel ground with full "meat" on the cutting surface, so the angle of cutting edge is large.
The angle of cutting edge is different on each of these tools. They are designed for a specific purposes.
A razor is very sharp, but can't cut down a tree. Japanese swords are not very sharp, because the object being cut is not always a straw man.
The XL series defies the traditional standard for the modern day enthusiast who seeks what is effectively a 3' razor blade for cutting light and challenging targets such as empty water bottles (silent cuts), pool noodles, water filled bottles up to rolled and soaked tatami mats.
Made from differentially hardened 1566 steel it's a fast sword in the hand and comes with premium quality fittings: featuring genuine Same (Rayskin) on the Tsuka, with a tightly-woven leather Tsuka-Ito and the long tang is double-pegged for security. Named for one of the most renowned swordmasters in Japanese history and featuring the famous "double ring" iron tsuba, the Musashi XL Light katana is faithful to the original down to the famous double-ring iron tsubas.
Performance Series Katana Information
The Katana XL is significantly wider, producing a very thin edge that will sail right through traditional cutting targets such as multiple rolled and soaked tatami mats. The Katana XL Light has the XL's profile but is provided with bo-hi (groove or fuller), reducing the weight to the point where double cuts are possible but clean cuts on tameshigiri targets may still be made.
The traditional soaked tatami mat is the ideal target, but foam noodles and various water bottles can be an inexpensive substitute. The thinner blade profiles of the XL and XL Light are not meant for hard target cutting such as bamboo or wooden dowels.
How to Use
Designed for fast cutting in a dojo setting. Built for martial artists.
Overall: 40 1/2”
Blade Length: 28 ½”
Handle Length: 11”
Weight: 2lb 9oz
Point of Balance: 5 1/2"
Width at Guard: 1.45"
Width at Tip: 1.11"
Thickness at Guard: .26"
Thickness at Tip: .18"
Materials and Construction
1566 Carbon Steel, differentially hardened sharpened blade with real hamon. Leather ito wrap over real rayskin wrap. Iron fittings in Musashi theme. Extra glossy saya with premium hand woven sageo.
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