Han Dao, appeared around 100 BC, was the grandfather of all Chinese Dao and its classic design became a standard for the next 800 years.
Han Dao was created to address the existential threat from Northern tribesman who were expert horseman. Leveraging the industrial might and advanced metallurgy technology at the time, Han Dao with its thick spine and razor sharp blade was a superior weapon on the battle field.
Han Dao was used by both the infantry and the calvary in the tens of thousands. One Han Dynasty arsenal recorded 156,135 Dao in storage.
Royal Arsenal is a 1:1 high fidelity recreation of an 2000 year old Infantry Han Dao. The weight, dimension, POB, handling is precisely the same as the original. You will experience the exact agile handling of a Han Dao newly forged 2000 years ago. Many people commented that once they have the Dao in their hands it is difficult to put it down.
Royal Arsenal has a compaq, gem like quality and as the origin of all Chinese Dao, this is a historically significant and formidable piece to add to your sword collection.
Royal Arsenal features the classical round pommel ring and subtle inward curve in the blade, with an small outward lift at the tip. An unique signature shape of Infantry Han Dao.
There is a shallow groove that runs along the whole length of the blade. In addition to making the Dao even lighter and swifter. The shallow groove creates beautiful reflection of light at different viewing angle.
Royal Arsenal has thick full tang with solid wood handle, beautifully wrapped in silk cord.
Blade only weight: 480 g (1 lb. 0.93 oz)
Sword only weight: approx. 600 g (1 lb. 5 oz)
Blade Length: 61 cm (24")
Handle Length: 11.5 cm (4.5")
Ring Length: 3.8 cm (1.5")
Total Length: 76 cm (30")
Width at hand guard: 25 mm, Width at tip: 20 mm
Thickness: 7.2 mm - 4 mm at the tip
Blade cross section profile: triangular with slight ground
Blade length wide profile: subtle inner curve at the middle of the blade and subtle upward tip.
Folded pattern steel: 1065 carbon steel + T8 tungsten-cobalt-vanadium high-speed tool steel.
Superior heat treatment: Hardness 58 HRC. Blade rebounds to true after 80-90 degree bending, Cut bamboo with ease.
Hand polish to mirror shine and keen sharp edge.
Solid high quality brass fittings. Scabbard tip fittings is 1:1 replica of ancient design.
High quality ebony scabbard.
The scabbard is precision cut with chisel edges. The cross section profile is trapezoid to tightly fit the triangular cross section of the blade.
Fit and finish
We perfected the fit and finish of our swords and the assembly is meticulously performed by our senior craft masters. It takes one whole working day for a craftsman to assemble our swords.
Void of any ornamentation and yet so subtly beautiful. So light (480 g) and yet so powerful when you yield it. From the middle of the blade, there is a subtle inward curve, creating a slight hump at mid spine and by the tip of the blade, there is another subtle reverse curve like a bird raising its head. The surface of the blade has a ever so slight groove on both sides, reducing the weight without compromising total strength and yet creating a delicate play of reflected light.
Research reports on the Royal Arsenal (black) comparing with other contemporary Han Dao (white) help date Royal Arsenal to 100 BC to 100 AD
Cross Section measurements of the Royal Arsenal from different part of the blade. On the left, closer to the hilt. On the right, near the tip of the blade.
481g the weight of the original Han Dao
480g - Royal Arsenal Han Dao recreate the same weight, shape and balance of the original Han Dao.
3.5 cm - precision measurement of the height of the original Ring
Soldering the Ring to the Tang
Royal Arsenal is a 1:1 recreation of a 2000 years old Infantry Han Dao
This Han Dao we have today is a very refined weapon with perfect fit and finish.
Now let us look at the details. (Removing the Dao from the scabbard)
Please notice the blade have this shallow groove along the whole length of the blade.
Furthermore, there is a subtle inward curve in the blade (Characteristics of authentic Han Dao)
Next we show the “Thick Spine Sharp Edge” feature.
Note that the blade have a triangular cross section.
The blade smith use a very special slant hammer, to hammer out
the slant slope from the spine down to the edge, forming the famous "Thick Spine Sharp Edge"
Look at the brass fitting on top of the blade. We can see through and find the 2 slices of wood, one on each side of the tang, sandwiching the tang (This is how authentic Han Dao construct the handle, full steel tang sandwich by 2 slices of wood and wrapped with cord)
And in one angle, we can see through the brass fitting to see the subtle transition between the blade and the tang.
The handle felt so comfortable in the hand. And the handling of the Dao is agile, responsive and swift (Slashing the Dao around a bit)
The fit and finish of the scabbard is very tight.
(Turned the Dao upside down and shake to show the Dao did not slide off the scabbard)
When you hold this Dao, you got the great feeling in your hand that you do not want to put it down.
The scabbard is also customized for the triangular blade.
The edge side is thin and the Spine side is thick, forming a trapezoid cross section.
The scabbard end brass fitting also have a trapezoid cross section.
This is the handle wrap in silk cord in with a very sophisticated wrapping pattern.
You can see from the Ring end, the 2 piece of handle wood sandwiching the Tang.
The way the handle and the ring is wrap with silk cord is according to authentic ancient samples.
The ring is made of steel, soldered to the tang and blacken by high temperature treatment.
We can see the blade taper toward the end in terms of the Dao spine thickness.
Final view of the Dao to show the tight fit and finishes.
Royal Arsenal Han Dao is an exacting recreation of a 2000 year old discovery from the site of the Royal Armory in Chang An, capital of Han Dynasty.