The Varieties of Japanese Chisels Part 18 – The Hantataki Chisel

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” 

Albert Einstein

We recently added a new product to our lineup of beautiful and hungry chisels called the “Hantatakinomi,” aka “Hanataki Chisels” which is the subject of this article.

Definition

Hantatakinomi means “Half-sized tatakinomi” and is pronounced Han/tah/tah/kee/no/mee.Traditionally popular in the Kansai area of Japan, this style of chisel never really caught on in the Tokyo area where your most humble and obedient servant is located, so developing a relationship with a reliable blacksmith willing to forge them to our specifications, and at a reasonable price, was an effort of several years.

Like all our tatakinomi, these Hantataki chisels have steel hoops and ferrules installed on tough Japanese oak handles, so as long as you are feeding them lots of yummy wood, they will simply wiggle with joy at being motivated by a heavy steel hammer from the break of day till the cows come home.

Product Development

Quality and performance are extremely important priorities to us at C&S Tools because we believe these qualities, combined with good customer service and a solid, pro-active warranty, are key to both customer satisfaction and wholesome guilt-free living. Don’t you agree?

After three years of meeting with blacksmiths, inspecting their forges, confirming their forging techniques and quality control methodology, having samples made, testing those samples to destruction, and repeatedly fine-tuning the design and specifications, we are at last ready to send our Hantataki chisels out into the world to find new masters, and much yummy wood.

That squeaking sound you may hear, BTW, is their joyous singing as they march forth; They love music, you know, even if they couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

If Gentle Reader wants to experience this heartfelt sound firsthand, try cutting a mortise with one of our Hanatataki chisels while humming The Heimatdamisch’s version of “Poker Face,” or The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s version of “Psycho Killer.” They especially seem to like music made by wooden instruments, you know.

Specifications

A comparison of the size of our 48mm Oiirenomi chisel (top), Hantataki Chisel (center), and Atsunomi chisel (bottom)

Our Hantataki chisels are of course hand-forged from Hitachi Yasugi Shirogami No.1 steel (White Label No.1 steel) and heat treated using the very best blacksmithing techniques.

At approximately 270mm long (10-⅝”) in length, these chisels are essentially smaller versions of our regular Sukemaru-brand atsunomi at 295mm long (11-⅝”). All dimensions are likewise reduced producing a handier, lighter-weight version of the atsunomi on the one hand, or a longer, beefed up version of the oiirenomi on the other, depending on your viewpoint.

Woodworkers with larger hands who appreciate a little longer/larger oak handle, or who need a chisel with a little longer/thicker blade with extra reach, or who need a tool with more heft than the standard oiirenomi, but don’t want the higher price or greater weight of the atsunomi chisel will find these elegant chisels to be real honeys. They are especially suited for field installations and light timber framing, but work well in the shop too.

We offer them in standard widths: 6, 9, 12, 15, 21, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48 and 54mm. Custom widths are available upon request.

We stock these chisels fitted with Japanese White Oak handles, but Red Oak handles are also available upon request at no extra charge.

Pricing

Consistent with our policy of providing the best-performing tools possible to professional woodworkers at a reasonable price, and knowing that inflation is causing prices of all products to rise universally nowadays (ouch!), we worked with our blacksmith, sharpener and handle maker to keep prices as low as possible. As a result of those efforts, our Hantataki chisels are about half the price of Sukemaru’s atsunomi chisels, and just a few pennies more than our standard oiirenomi bench chisels making them an excellent value. In other words, it’s a chisel that is almost as big and tough as an atsunomi, but for the price of an oiirenomi.

The level of the fit and finish is not as high as our Sukemaru brand chisels, which is the prime reason for the reduced cost, but cutting performance, edge durability and ease of sharpening is equivalent to our other chisels, that is to say, excellent.

In summary, this is a medium-sized professional-grade chisel at a bargain price.

You can confirm pricing and availability, and view more photographs by clicking the pricelist at this link. Not sure how long we will be able to continue to provide them at these low prices, so gittem while they’re hot!

YMHOS

The grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo seen from a bridge over the moat.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our tools, please click the “Pricelist” link here or at the top of the page and use the “Contact Us” form located immediately below.

Please share your insights and comments with everyone in the form located further below labeled “Leave a Reply.” We aren’t evil Google, fascist facebook, or thuggish Twitter and so won’t sell, share, or profitably “misplace” your information. If I lie may the Emperor decline to invite me to his birthday party (again (シ)).

The Varieties of Japanese Chisels Part 8 – The Atsunomi (厚鑿)

30mm Atsunomi by Hidari no Ichihiro

“Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, with which I make my figures.”

Michelangelo

In a previous post, we looked at various types of oiirenomi (bench chisels) and mortise chisels. In this post we will examine a type of tatakinomi called the “Atsunomi.”

DESCRIPTION

The ”Atsunomi, ” written 厚鑿, translates to “thick chisel.” This is the largest variety of tatakinomi readily available nowadays and is almost identical in design to its petite oiirenomi sisters. Being larger, heavier and stronger it is able to transmit and endure the impact forces of heavy hammer blows from sunup to sundown to cut a lot of wood. Indeed, I can remember times when the handles of my atsunomi in the photographs on this page became seriously hot after long hours of heavy hammer blows.

The 24mm chisel in the photograph below was the first atsunomi I owned. It seen hard use with heavy hammers, but has held up well.

24mm Atsunomi by Kiyotada (Japanese White Oak handle)

If I can liken the bench chisel or oiirenomi to a 1/4″ cordless drill, then the atsunomi is a 9 amp 1/2″ corded drill (when combined with the right steel hammer). Serious business indeed.

APPLICATIONS

The atsunomi is ideal for heavy work such as timber framing and wasting large amounts of wood quickly. However, carpenters are not the only trade to use them. Many professional craftsmen in Japan, even those that never work on construction sites, prefer to use atsunomi even for delicate work because of their relatively longer blades, greater durability, and cost-effectiveness.

Because of its greater size and weight, the atsunomi is not as nimble as the smaller varieties of tataki nomi and demand greater strength and skill of the user. But on the other hand, it is very stable in the cut and wastes wood with oodles of gravitas.

A comparison of a 42mm oiirenomi (top) and a 54mm atsunomi (bottom) by Kiyotada. The atsunomi is longer, thicker and stronger in every way.

As with all tataki nomi, the handle is big enough to use with one hand, but not two. Atsunomi always have a mild steel katsura crown installed at the end of the handle to reinforce it and prevent it from splitting under hammer blows.

Standard widths for atsunomi are: 12㎜, 15㎜, 18㎜, 21㎜, 24㎜, 30㎜, 36㎜, 42㎜, 48㎜, 54㎜.

There are several varieties of atsunomi, some with very wide blades and others with very long necks, but I will not go into that level of detail in this post.

In Part 9 of this saga of romance and derring-do, we will examine the Uchimaru Nomi.

YMHOS

48mm Sukemaru atsunomi w/ Japanese white oak handle. A serious tool for serious work

© 2021 Stanley Covington All Rights Reserved

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our tools, please click the “Pricelist” link here or at the top of the page and use the “Contact Us” form located immediately below.

Please share your insights and comments with everyone using the form located further below labeled “Leave a Reply.” We aren’t evil Google, fascist facebook, or thuggish Twitter and so won’t sell, share, or profitably “misplace” your information. If I lie, may all my chisel ura become flat.