In 2019, I decided to purchase an Atsunomi style chisel and compare it to a similar sized western style antique chisel.
I went to various websites to read about Japanese chisels, which ones to purchase, how to get some made by local blacksmiths, and how to buy one from a local blacksmith. The name Stanley Covington continuously came up and finally in one post I read a response by Stan. Right away I knew this is the person I need to contact.
I found his website, “Covington and Sons” and sent him a message regarding my interest. Stan was extremely helpful in my initial chisel purchase. Not only did he ask me questions about my intended use of the tool, but he gave me a lot of other valuable information about tool setup, sharpening, and general use and care.
I placed an order for a 15mm Atsunomi and paid by PayPal. Delivery from Japan was extremely fast. Stan packaged the chisel very well and it arrived as agreed-to in our email exchanges. The chisel everything that I was looking for as an introduction to blacksmith-made tools.
I liked the chisel and Stan’s service so much, I went back two months later and ordered several more chisels to compare them to my western chisels. Although I have not used my mortise chisel to date, my other bench and paring chisels have become favorite tools to use. I do not have a Japanese style chisel hammer yet, so use a light framing hammer I was given many years ago. My wooden mallet doesn’t really work as well with my Japanese chisels, just as Stan told me!
All of the chisels are a delight to use. My 30mm Shinogi Usunomi chisel has replaced my antique Butcher 1 1/2” paring chisel. I cannot say enough about the Usunomi, the red oak handle is a good length and its end is easy on the palm of my hand if I need to hit it with a little force. I have used it in finish carpentry on base boards as well as on tenons for furniture. It is a “go too” tool.
I plan on adding more bench chisels to my chisel collection as I have found the chisels made by Stan’s blacksmiths to be superb tools. All are easy to sharpen, they maintain their edge a long time, and their handles fit my hand well.