If anyone is interested in the world of functional (means a weapon properly heat treated and ready to take battle stress) weaponry, this guide is a must read. With my several years experience in blades I have beeen through a lot, probably over 100 swords from dozens of different companies. Though I am down to about 8 swords and bladed weapons now, I still remember almost every weapon I have owned and will elaborate as much as I can on each company. This list will go from lower end and lower priced companies to much higher priced weaponry. These will be just off memory, I can add more later. 1. Deepeeka. This company is almost bottom of the barrel functional. Many of the blades are roughly forged and are riddled with hammer marks. Although they claim many of their weapons claim to be the peak of perfection, they refer mostly to the roman lines of sword, this company is probably not much better than to arm the background fighters of some medieval movie. Many fittings are poorly casted, some even hollow! The blades are the best thing about them, and that is not saying much. They do some higher grade damascus work, but I would be too afraid to shill out the $400 dollars to see it. Plus side, if you need weapons cheap and fast, you can get them. If they don't do anything but just sit there that is. 2. CAS Iberia. As far as I know CAS Iberia does not actually make any weapons, but instead imports them from many different areas. The Paul Chen Hanwei forge is one of them. But many of their swords come from the Phillipines. Many of these swords are still very low grade, but in a way better than Deepeeka. The blades are probably not hand forged, but machined instead. Many of the swords have grind marks all over the blade. Their blades are fairly tough, flexible, meaning they have a good heat treatment, but for the most part the fittings and handle work is sub par. Not a bad sword, just not very good either. 3. Ritter Steel. Blades will be very similar to CAS Iberia, but often times either thicker or better tempered and heat treated. The fittings are also much better, and many of their swords come with wooden scabbards instead of all leather. Again the blades have grind marks on them, but there are a few pieces I would not mind having. Of course I would beat them around like crazy, but they look decent at least. 4. Windlass SteelCrafts. This company in India makes the widest range of swords available. Katanas are the only thing they lack, however they do provide bare katana blades. Their swords are very competitively priced, ranging from around $125 to $300 per weapon. Some are very utulitarian and basic blades, to others being very complex and expensive. However most swords usually cost less than $200. They can be considered the highest quality of the low ender swords. Swords that will actually make the grade as far as cutting and strength goes, but lack the many subtle qualities higher end or custom makers add to their creation. A decent buy, these swords have made the bulk of my collection. 5. Paul Chen (Hanwei). I would place them a step above Windlass in some areas, but below them in others. Their European line is not as strong as their Japanese line, but still very decent. Their basket Hilts are cheaper and much better than the Windlass ones, and many of their Europen swords are public favorites, like the Damascus Godfred Viking sword. They have three levels of Japanese blades, the Practical, the Forged, and the Folded line. The practical swords are simple, but have a quality to them much nicer than any lower grade katana manufacturer. A Practical katana can be picked up for around $150 or less. The Practical Plus usually for a little over $200. The Forged line is a much higher grade traditional line of swords, usually ranging at $450 or more. The folded line is a very well made line of swords, selling for around $700 or more. I have owned three of the folded line (all but the Tiger) and they are all very well made and unique swords. I will add more to this list later, including the higher up companies.