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Michael 'Tinker' Pearce has designed a series of swords made by Hanwei in 5160 steel, which emphasise authenticity, functionality and performance. To satisfy the sparring and cutting needs of Western Martial Artists, each of the 7 styles are made in live (sharp) and sparring (blunt) versions and each sword has outstanding handling characteristics. The carefully controlled heat-treating of 5160 steel (Tinker's blade steel of choice) by the marquenching process produces an excellent combination of toughness and flexibility at a hardness of HRC 50-52, allowing for superior edge retention on the sharps, anti burr and tip-flexing safety features on the blunts.
In the case of hand-forged blades, our blacksmith takes the already rolled spring steel and forges it by hand on the anvil or under the drop hammer. The steel gets more solid (denser) by forging. In the case of industrially rolled spring steel blades, the sheets of steel plate is cut to strips under drop snips, then ground or milled and immediately forged into the annealing furnace and oil-quenched. The properties of both kinds of steels are not very different, since industrial rolling is already very good! On forged blades are usually blacksmith marks, which give them an authentic and unique look.