The Tools We’ve Always Used
VISIT OUR ONLINE SHOP FOR OUR RANGE OF NIWAKI TOOLS
Please note: to browse our current available range of Niwaki tools, visit our online shop and hunt in our Tools section.
We stock a great range of tools for pruning, trimming and clipping. These clipping tools are all beautifully engineered and will enhance the quality of your topiary. Simply put, they are the tools we use every day on our nursery, just ask any of our team.
Come in and handle them for yourself or contact us – you can order any of the tools over the phone and we can post them out to you. It would make a wonderful present – just saying.
Okatsune secateurs are the No.1 choice for professional gardeners in Japan; they’re simple, sharp and strong. Unlike western brands, which rely on cushioning and gearing for a smooth feel, these have a more direct action, resulting in a very clean, efficient cut. The big chunky catch at the bottom has a crisp action that’s easy to use, even with cold wet hands or muddy gloves, and the spring is well secured and never accidentally pops out. The reason for the red and white handles? Red shows up in daylight, white at night, for all you nocturnal gardeners. Buy online.
- Hitachi Yasugi high carbon steel
- Rockwell hardness 60.0-61.0
Hand forged in Sanjo in the north of Japan, these ‘double yellows’ set the standard for quality and value. KA70 carbon steel holds a mean edge, the chunky catch at the bottom and the strong spring gives a reassuringly simple functional feel, and the funky yellow grips show up when you’ve left them somewhere in the garden. Use for every day pruning, clean with Crean Mate and Camellia oil, and sharpen with a Niwaki #1000 stone every few weeks. Perfect for keen gardeners, landscapers and professionals who work their tools hard and need quality and precision in daily use.
- KA70 carbon steel
- Std 8″/20cm, 239g – for most people
- Large 9″/23cm – real whoppers.
- spare spring
We all need a good pair of snips, ones that can live in pockets without doing any harm, and wander round the garden with us for those unplanned moments. Handy to have a couple of pairs really…. These ones from Okatsune are absolutely brilliant for flowers, fruit and veg. They’ll even handle light woody growth, but aren’t as tough as secateurs, obviously. Pointy ends are great for getting right in for careful snipping, red and white handles show up when you (almost inevitably) leave them lying around somewhere. Buy online.
- 2″ (5cm) blades
Heavier duty snips, more substantial than the Niwaki Garden Snips, for more robust work. Not as tough as secateurs, by a long shot, but they’ll handle light woody cuts and are fab for detailed pruning and thinning, as well as Japanese pine pruning work. Buy online.
- 50mm blades
- Drop forged S58 carbon steel
- Nylon webbing strap
OKATSUNE FOLDING SAW
Japanese saws cut on the pull stroke, not the push, giving you much more control than you get with western-style saws. The blades are thinner too, meaning you get a thinner kerf (the cut in the wood) with less effort can’t be bad. Handy little saw to have in your double holster, for emergency pruning when your secateurs won’t do, and you don’t have loppers handy. Buy online.
- 7″ blade (18cm)
- 15″ Open length (38cm)
- 8.5″ Closed length (21cm)
OKATSUNE SHEARS – 21″ OR 30″
The long blades (8″) and wooden handles of these Shears provide perfect balance for detailed topiary work, whilst being tough enough for hedge pruning and more brutal work. Ideal for box clipping, cloud pruning, yew hedges, bay standards, holly and just about everything else. Not to be confused with the rusty old things at the back of the shed. Beautiful feel, and a very seductive swishy sound to them. Buy online.
- Simple design
- Excellent balance for an effortless cut
- Izumo Yasugi Steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 60.0 – 61.0)
- Japanese oak handles (Quercus myrsinifolia)
- Perfect for topiary, box clipping and hedges
- No.1 choice in Japan for gardeners and landscapers
MINI SHEARS – 15″
Mini Shears, for mini jobs. Great for tight spots and small scale topiary where you need a bit more control – and fab for grass edging. Nice red grippy rubber sleeves over the oak handles. Buy online.
- Japanese White Oak handles (Quercus myrsinifolia)
- SK Stainless steel
- 5″ blades (125mm)
- Includes Vinyl Sheath
HORI HORI BLADE
Japanese trowel, all-round weeder and general subterranean rummager. The carbon steel blade runs right into the handle, so won’t bend or snap. Brilliant for planting bulbs, weeding and all sorts of garden stuff but don’t take it as carry-on luggage. It fits quite nicely into the inside pocket of the Double Holster (in place of a saw). Buy online.
- Carbon steel blade
- Beech wood handle
- approx 7″ blade (17cm)
- An extraordinary ability to very quickly become people’s favourite tool in the garden
OKATSUNE GARDEN SCISSORS
This is where we get serious. In Japan, if you’re of gardening ilk, you’re given a pair of these at birth well, that’s what we heard. General purpose garden scissors, used for pine pruning and thinning evergreens. Remarkably strong, yet delicate and accurate. Large handles, which can take a bit of getting used to. Try holding with your index finger outside the handle gives you much better control. Buy online.
- 2″ blades (5cm)
- 8.25″ long (21cm)
Incredibly strong, lethally sharp, surprisingly light and golden. What more could one ask of a spade? Ideal for general purpose digging, tree planting, root-balling etc. With a comfortable YD handle of tubular steel, firm tread and rigid steel pipe shaft, but weighing in at only 1.8kg, you can rely on this spade not to flex or break under heavy use. Buy online.
- Steel pipe shaft welded to the blade and handle
- Solid tread for digging
- Pointed blade cuts through hard ground
- 38.5″ long (97cm)
- 9″ x 11″ head (23 x 29cm)
This demon little one-handed weeding hoe is great for slicing through weeds in borders and veg beds, and like our friend the Hori Hori, provokes odd behaviour in people.
- Carbon steel blade with single bevel on the under side
- 13″ long (33cm)
- 5″ blade (13cm)
- Right or Left handed
Japanese hoe for the digging, weeding and planting. Good in the veg garden for preparing seed beds, and great for prising out roots, clumps, rocks and other such unprisables. Japanese White Oak (Quercus myrsinifolia) handle, carbon steel head. Buy online.
- 4.5″ head (11cm)
- 15″ long (38cm)
SENTEI TOPIARY CLIPPERS
Nothing beats these one-handed topiary clippers for box clipping and other topiary: easy on the hand thanks to the 5″ blades and spring action, easy on the eye thanks to the graceful, simple design, and infinitely better than ordinary sheep shears (which are fine if you have the forearms of a Kiwi sheep farmer, but useless for the rest of us). The Japanese name (hakaribasami) means leaf cutters: it’s important not to cut old, hard wood, only soft new growth.
- 5″ blades (13cm)
- total length 10.5″ (27cm)
- 235g ideal for detailed and small scale box clipping
KANEKOMA HIGONOKAMI KNIFE
Traditional design from Kanekoma, brass handle, beautifully hand forged 3″ folded Hitachi Blue steel blade. The brass handle starts off shiny but soon mellows to a lovely rich patina. Quite a stiff action that loosens with time and can be retightened with a sharp rap on the rivet with a hammer. Comes in a nice soft card box, with a heavy duty leather belt sheath as an option.
- Hand forged SK 3″ blade
- No locking device
- Purchaser must be over 18
- Black nickel handle soon mellows to a lovely rich patina
What they use in Japan for hand-harvesting rice, but some bright spark realised that the same thing works just as well (i.e. brilliantly) on herbaceous stuff and grasses over here. Serrated blade copes with tough, dry stalks, cut with a single, strong sawing action.
- 7″ blade (18cm)
- 13.5″ long (34cm)
NIWAKI #1000 SHARPENING STONE
Fantastic sharpening stone specially designed for Secateurs, but also great for Shears, Topiary Clippers and other sharp stuff. The concave edge follows the curve of the blade perfectly, and they’re small enough to get into tight spots. The golden rule is to soak thoroughly each time before use. And not to drop them.
- Brown #1000 grit: fine, for regular sharpening
This is a fab little scouring block for cleaning resin, rust and other gunks from blades. Add a few drops of Camellia Oil to the blade (or water works fine, but you ought to oil later anyway) then use the Crean Mate as you would a rubber. It has a fairly rough texture and might scratch polished surfaces, so we suggest testing before use on prize blades.
- 6.5 x 4.0 x 1.8cm