Set the romance aside, Japanese chisels are made for working wood. The combination of their forge welded blade, hollow back, and ferrule / tang mounted hardwood handles makes a Japanese chisel a most effective and delightful chisel to use. Japanese chisels are a great option for anyone who loves using hand tools to work wood.
Working with hand tools is one of the great pleasures of woodworking. And using Japanese tools takes this experience to the next level. If you are purchasing your first Japanese tools, or you are ready to take the next step, then check out this Shiage Sashi Nomi chisel made by Ioroi.
About Japanese chisels
With their forge welded blade, hollow back and socket ferrule / tang mounted hardwood handles, Japanese chisels are distinctly different in construction to Western chisels. This does not mean that are either superior or inferior, after all, they virtually do the same job. They are simply the Japanese approach, built upon hundreds of years of tool making tradition.
Your Shiage Sashi Nomi chisel
Shiage Sashi Nomi chisels feature a long Red Oak hardwood handle. They are designed to be pushed by hand to smooth and finish the surfaces and sharp corners of joints, some woodworkers do strike the chisel as well. For the chisels size the blade is relatively thin and features a wide chamfer on both upper edges. The top of the blade is also shaped like a long slope. These features make the Shiage Sashi relatively light, easy to handle and very versatile. Japanese chisels are assembled using a combined socket ferrule and tang design making them very secure and long lasting. Shiage Sashi Nomi chisels are used for a broad range of tasks including bulky joinery, cleaning up joinery and inlaying.
Why a welded blade?
Your Shiage Sashi Nomi chisels blade features a layer of high carbon White Paper steel forged to a softer wrought iron back. This produces a chisel with an extremely hard cutting edge cushioned by the softer steel blade. This blade making technique has been developed by Japanese Master blacksmiths over hundreds of years. These chisels stay very sharp and are perfect for working difficult softwoods and abrasive hardwoods.
What is White Paper Steel?
Japanese tools are made from either White Paper steel (Shirogami) or Blue Paper steel (Aogami), the colours refer to the paper used to wrap the steel by the manufacturer. White Paper Steel is a hard, high carbon steel with few impurities. White paper steel contains less carbon than Blue Paper steel chisels so therefore tougher and less prone to chipping.
Why a hollow back?
The hollow back is to aid the process of sharpening. The hollow creates a very thin area behind the cutting edge, and it is only this narrow section that requires flattening. Due to the hardness of the steel, without the hollow back the chisel would simply take forever to flatten. With age it is possible that hollow can interfere with the cutting edge, no worries, they chisel can be reshaped by hand to extend its life indefinitely.
Why a socket ferrule and tang?
Western chisels are generally constructed in two ways - socket or tang. Socket chisels are where the handle fits into a socket forged as part of the blade. Tang chisels are where the blade tang is inserted into the handle supported by a steel ferrule.
Modern Japanese chisels are a combination of socket and tang chisel designs. A heavy tang is inserted into the handle supported by socket shaped ferrule. This results in a very solid, long lasting and self-tightening chisel.
Why no steel hoop?
This Shiage Sashi Nomi is primarily designed for hand use so there is no steel hoop. The chisel handle is rounded at the end for comfort. Yet the end of the chisel handle remains flat as some woodworkers do use a hammer or mallet to strike these chisels as well.
Made in Japan
These Japanese chisels are a high-quality product, made by Master Blacksmiths Ioroi in Japan.
Welded White Paper steel blade
Your Shiage Sashi Nomi chisel has an extremely hard White Paper steel cutting edge cushioned by a softer steel blade. This means your chisel will stay super sharp even with extended use. Japanese chisels are ideal for difficult soft woods and resist the natural abrasion often encountered with exotic hardwoods.
The hollow back
The back of your Japanese chisel is very hard. The hollow back means flattening your chisel when sharpening is far less time consuming. Spend more time woodworking and less time sharpening.
Socket ferrule and tang assembly
The socket ferrule and tang design make a Japanese chisel a very secure, stable and long-lasting chisel. Striking the chisel forces the handle ferrule deeper into the socket, tightening the sockets grip even further.
The handles of the Shiage Sashi Nomi are designed to be held and pushed. The chisel handles do still have a flat end so you can strike the chisel if necessary. These are a very versatile chisel.
The handle of your Shiage Sashi Nomi is made from Japanese Red Oak. This material is hard and dense, perfect for making tool handles. The chisel handle is long and easy to hold, great when pushing across large open surfaces.
Your Shiage Sashi Nomi chisel comes packed in a secure cardboard box - your chisel will arrive in perfect condition. Also means it is a thing of beauty, matched only by the pleasure you will find using it.
A tool for life
Your Shiage Sashi Nomi chisel is a lifetime investment. These chisels are of high quality, built to last and a pleasure to use. In addition, Japanese chisels are designed so they may be maintained as they age and wear, they can even be modified. For example, the hollow back of the chisel may be modified to extend the chisels life indefinitely. The handles are made so the steel hoop can be repositioned as the end of the handle wears through heavy use. You can even make your own handles and fit them if you so desire. These are the tools of the true craftsperson.
Made in Japan
The chisel is a very old and fundamental tool. And the Japanese are Masters of their manufacture. Your Oire Nomi chisel promises you years of pleasurable use and will find a permanent home in your hand tool kit. Order yours today.
A note on Japanese chisel design and assembly
As outlined above, Japanese chisels are made in four parts. A blade with tang. A socket shaped ferrule. And a handle with a fitted steel hoop. The important point is that the socket ferrule and blade are separate steel elements. When you receive your chisel, the shank of the blade may appear as one single piece of steel wherein fact it is two pieces of separate steel. Occasionally, a small hairline join may appear around the shank of the chisel approximately 30mm from the base of the wooden handle. This is the join between the socket ferrule and the chisel blade. This hairline join is completely normal and is in no way a defect.