Yasuki Steel hand-forged hedge shears
Professional hand-forged Yasuki Speciality Steel hedge trimmers with long Japanese Oak handles from Asano Mokkousho of Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan. Yasuki Speciality Steels are high carbon tool steels originally produced from iron-sand in Yasugi City in Shimane Prefecture, it's a range of steels favoured by Japanese smiths for the production of quality edge tools, be that kitchen knives, planes, razors, chisels, or hedge trimmers. Like a good pair of scissors these are made with slightly in-curving blades, meaning they are pressed together at tension only at the point of cutting as they slide past each other. This gives a fairly smooth and even action, as well as helping keep the blades sharp. Care must be taken to keep the blades dry, and possibly oiled whilst not in use so as to avoid rusting, and like a lot of Japanese tools these are tempered quite hard meaning they can be prone to chipping if dropped, misused, or over-forced on too thick woody stems. With blades of 195mm, handles of 45cm, and an overall length of about 75cm.