From Apprentice to Master Blacksmith
During the 1940s Tsuneichi Okano, who began his career as a blacksmith apprentice in 1925, established the company Okatsune in Hiroshima, Japan. He derived the word Okatsune from his own name. At the beginning Okano forged a limited supply of top quality shears. This was done in a traditional manner, and following a unique process. Over the years, he gradually expanded the product range, always striving for perfection. He designed the red and white handles, a combination that stands out, and symbolises ‘happiness’ in Japan. Almost 70 years later, Okatsune is the undisputed number 1 in Japan and his tools are being used all over the world with much pleasure. The product range currently consists of pruning secateurs, cutting and harvesting snips, hedge shears, Bonsai scissors, and Ikebana scissors for traditional Japanese floral arrangements.
Okatsune’s razor-sharp shears are uniquely forged from the best Izumo Yasugi steel, which is being traditionally used for making the Katana swords used by the Samurai. Izumo Yasugi steel is characterised by a high carbon content and is forged by the best master blacksmiths of Japan, using an age-old technology. This process only takes place in the Izumo region, solely using Izumo iron sand. Tsuneichi Okano has managed to industrially produce superior shears that have a very high Rockwell hardness of 60.0 to 61.0 – unrivalled by other brands, through an innovative tempering process. This hardness ensures that the cutting edge remains sharp, slicing easily through wood, and the blades slide smoothly over each other to give an easier cutting action. Soft metal in the core of the blade preserves flexibility, so the cutting blade always aligns with the counter blade, even after intensive usage. This perfection, and unique quality can be recognised by the ‘singing’ of the shears.
Okatsune shears are razor-sharp. This sharpness is due to the steel blades being very hard. This hardness keeps the blades sharp for a long time, and always ensures a clean and precise cut. The blade has been grinded in two angles, so it will also smoothly cut through wood. You will notice this by the fact that there is little strength needed for the cutting. Should the blade begin to lose its sharpness, the steel – despite the high hardness – can easily be grinded with the Okatsune whetstone.
Okatsune tools only consist of a few parts. This ensures a high stability, and optimal ease of use. The tools are lightweight and require little maintenance.
Okatsune pruning and hedge shears are real ‘musclemen’. You can effortlessly cut through thick branches without having to worry that the tool gives way, or even breaks. Nevertheless, you will find that the tools are very lightweight.