Our Japanese Chisels (Oire Nomi) have a few key features that set them apart from Western style chisels:
1. Laminated Steel Blade - The cutting edge is made from hard high carbon steel which has been laminated onto a softer steel body for overall toughness. The cutting edge is very wear-resistant with a hardness of Rc 63 - 66 depending on grade. Uniquely, our High Speed Steel (HSS) Japanese Chisels do not have a laminated steel construction. Instead, these chisels are made from HSS throughout.
2. Hollow-Ground Back - The back of the blade features a hollow that greatly facilitates sharpening as only the narrow flat edge of hard steel nearest to the edge needs sharpening. A common misconception is that repeated sharpening of Japanese Chisels will cause the hollow to reach the cutting edge rendering the chisel useless. This will not happen as repeated sharpening and honing of the hollow face and bevel will actually cause the hollow to move back thereby keeping the narrow flat edge relatively constant.
3. Hybrid Socket and Tang Construction - The blade attaches to the handle by means of a tang that extends inside the handle. In addition, a conical steel ferrule is placed between the handle and the blade shank. When striking the handle with a hammer or mallet, this ferrule prevents the handle from splitting. This ferrule is so finely machined on our Japanese Chisels that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish it from the shank. However, a close look at the tapered portion of the shank should reveal a fine seam that separates the ferrule from the shank.
4. Ready For Immediate Use - Each chisel comes sharpened to an immaculate edge and is ready for use. Also, the handle's striking hoop has been professionally set and the handle base mushroomed. Rather than expecting our customers to complete this rather time consuming task, we figured it was better to have it professionally done at the time of the chisel's making in Japan.
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