Marco Invernizzi's new tool - "Ichiban"

The person who is teaching me about bonsai is meeting with marco an I heard him mention the tool. I think he might get some to sell. It looks very cool, but I would want to try it or see it in person before I would buy it. I am guessing it can be sharpened once it becomes dull.
When Marco was here in April, it was the only tool he used for everything including cutting wire. I have all the specs. on it if you would like to see them.

keep it green,


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At $350 I don't think I will be buying one very soon. Think of the tree you could buy with that much cash.
At $350 I don't think I will be buying one very soon. Think of the tree you could buy with that much cash.

Seriously?? $350???? He needs a video that shows how to use it and what each function does. It might help to see it in action for some to justify that kinda dough on what looks like a funky pair of scissors.

I just returned home from the World Bonsai Convention in San Juan, PR where I was privileged to be one of the first to use Marco's ICHIBAN tool for a major demonstration. It worked GREAT!

I especially liked the fact that I did not need to put down my trimming scissors to pick up a wire cutter to cut wire while shaping. Very good and time saving. This saved me time, which is probably not important for hobbyists, but for professional bonsai artists, like myself, time is very important and this is curtail while teaching during a demonstration with limited time.

ICHIBAN tool was a bit awkward to use at first, but with Marco's instruction the learning curve was not too difficult. But, I'm still perfecting its use. When I started my demo I was using it UPSIDE DOWN, but only one person (Marco) out of 300 attendees knew it...

For my demonstration on an Australian pine I had to use a "Ninja" power tool (yes, I used a power tool) and the chisel built into the scissors came in handy at the end for final touch ups. I'm not certain how to sharpen it, but there is a cleaning tool included in the fancy wooden box lined with red silk, very nice.

Masakuni Kawasumi III, the third generation tool maker traveled to the World Bonsai Convention to talk on bonsai tools and spoke about Marco's ICHIBAN tool which he manufactured and helped design. I've know Mr. Masakuni for 39 years and have been using his tools for over 45 years and have been very pleased with the high quality, although I wish the prices were lower. So, I'm certain ICHIBAN tool will last a long time, but I'll find out during my use of this handy new ergonomic shaped tool.

I'm going to continue using ICHIBAN tool and will see how I can perfect my use and improve my shaping skills.

William N. Valavanis


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That is quite an endorsement coming from Bill. Still reeling from the statement about power tools though.

Being a boat builder and mechanic for most of my adult life I normally have a knee jerk reaction to one tool wonders. It must come from all the tool salesman that came through my door seducing me with thoughts of speed, no more bloody knuckles, and bigger paycheck.

What I have found is that tools, for the most part, serve a specific task. In-breeding them is normally not much more than a novelty move to increase sales and prove out to be less than ideal as one introduces a wonder tool into their normal regime.

If this seems negative its not meant to be. Just some observations from a guy that has 25+ years of experience bloodying his knuckles and a small fortune invested in tools that will never again see the light of day. Considering who is Manufacturing them, with there great long tradition of making quality tools, and Marco who is promoting them, my mind maybe changed anything is possible. After all I am an eternal optimist and always enjoyed a salesman's story and his promises of an easier life.;)
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Sorry, this is the best I can do with the specs page, but if will right click on the page and email it to yourself, you can open it and increase the size so you can read it. Marco does everything with this tool , a lot of thought went into it's design. There will one in my toolbox for sure.

keep it green,


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My wife has a similer tool she uses to curl her eyelashes. Is this the same tool?

As someone who has bought more tools then 3 people normally would owning my own trucking company. I have to say this has to be the most overpriced pair of pliers I've ever seen and this coming from someone who only bought Mac or Snap-on. At maybe $100.00 I could see it not at $350.00. I guess theirs one born every minute.
I checked the tool out at a workshop with Marco last month and thought it was OK. Would not pay more than $100.00 for it though. The tip seemed a little bulky with the rounded nose but Marco said that was in case you drop it on a hard surface, it would land on the rounded tip and not break the sharp point off. I'm still trying to figure out why it is so expensive, is there $300.00 worth of metal in the tool or is someone making a lot of money off of each sale.

Less than a quality pot, less than I spent going to the National Exhibition last year, hell it is less than I spent going to the All State Show. The price is comparable to a high quality set of hair shears (I know, having bought a pair for my girl last year as a gift).

The price must not be too prohibitive, the limited set of 100 sold out already. Quality workmanship by a tool maker with a good reputation and testimonials by a well known artist, makes for a product that can not be dismissed easily.

They are worth what people are willing to pay for them, it appears they are worth the asking price.
They are worth what people are willing to pay for them, it appears they are worth the asking price.

Great statement Will, wonder if its the pretty box, and autograph that is pushing people over the edge to buy.
Great statement Will, wonder if its the pretty box, and autograph that is pushing people over the edge to buy.


However testimonials like that of Bill Valavanis as to their usefulness and worth as a tool can't be hurting either.

One reason they are expensive is because each one is hand made at Masakuni.

keep it green,
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