Need help on Kaneshin Scissors No.36A

Bart_Mori

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I need advice on my new Kaneshin Pruning Scissors No.36A. I started doing bonsai about a year ago and since then I have always been using Kikuwa bonsai tools.

Recently I decided I would like to have some bigger general pruning shears in my collection of tools. After reading some posts on this forum about Kaneshin bonsai tools I thought that they seemed to be great tools especially all the grades of steel they offer. After another few days of research I finally picked "blue steel long handle scissors No.36A". I ordered them on thursday from their website https://kaneshin.shop2.multilingualcart.com/ and today they finally arrived. I was so excited so I went straight to opening the parcel. Wrapped in Japanese newspaper, a beautifully simple green box and then the scissors. I don't know, maybe my expectation was too high as I was really expecting a new level of tools or there is actually something not right. First I noticed slight rust residue on handles. Quite common for carbon steel to rust but before I've never had any rust on new tools. No worries I handled this :) 2min. with crean mate with a drop of camellia oil and the rust was gone. However that wasn't all. Handle alignment is not best (slightly bend) and there is small chip on top of the blade (please see the photos).

Now... am I just too picky and they should be like this? Are they more handmade than Kikuwa and that's why they have some more imperfections? Do your Kaneshin tools have the same issues?I'm completely new to Kaneshin tools and never had such issues with Kikuwa tools but as I understand these are different level tools. Therefore I would be grateful if some of you who have more experience with this company could give me some advice on this one.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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This one is a tough call, and it is why I could never be in the business of making bonsai tools :)

I am not familiar with this specific pair of scissors, so I am going to fall back on the "how much did you pay?" question. If you paid $50, you have to be prepared to roll with the punches. In order to make money at that retail price point, how much labor goes into a tool? 30 minutes? Under those circumstances, you should be prepared for some imperfections due to speed of manufacturing.

However if you paid $200 or more... I would raise hell. At that price point they should only be releasing excellent product without imperfections. If you can see it, as the customer, the manufacturer should be able to see it x10.

I would like you to try something. Go to American Bonsai Tools and buy this for $59. I want to hear your opinion relative to your Kaneshin scissors. If you aren't completely happy, I will buy them from you for what you paid, plus the shipping to send them to me. :) I just bought two pair and am using them for landscaping around my house. They cut through a 1/2" invasive tree like butter :)

scissors.jpg
 
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Kaneshin has proven to be willing to back up their tools - there was another thread not long ago where someone had bought scissors that didn't align correctly. They contacted the company directly and were sent a new tool. You may want to send these pictures out to Kaneshin and see what they come back with.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

I think they would replace them, but I also think they wouldn't have sent them if they were no good.

Sorce
 

canadianlights

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Yes, Kaneshin is great to work with. I would consider that chip on the blade to be a defect, so Mr. Nishimura should replace it for you right away, free of charge.

On a side note, I was also considering the 36A scissors but ultimately went with the 36B (which is yellow steel in comparison to blue). A while back, the blue steel scissors costed a LOT more than the other steels, because of the high craftsmanship and expensive steel. However Mr. Nishimura said that the craftsman retired, and there aren't any more that make blue steel scissors on par to before, hence the lower price. There have been a few bad apples with this blue steel batch it seems, but they are still amazing scissors nonetheless. Mr. Nishimura has had to replace a few of these, so I don't think there will be any trouble getting a flawless replacement!
 

Clicio

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When I had a misalignment issue on a Kaneshin wire cutter Mr Nishimura was willing to replace it.
Almost all my tools are Kaneshin and apart from this above none had any problems and I am very happy with them.
 

NickUK

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Yes, Kaneshin is great to work with. I would consider that chip on the blade to be a defect, so Mr. Nishimura should replace it for you right away, free of charge.

On a side note, I was also considering the 36A scissors but ultimately went with the 36B (which is yellow steel in comparison to blue). A while back, the blue steel scissors costed a LOT more than the other steels, because of the high craftsmanship and expensive steel. However Mr. Nishimura said that the craftsman retired, and there aren't any more that make blue steel scissors on par to before, hence the lower price. There have been a few bad apples with this blue steel batch it seems, but they are still amazing scissors nonetheless. Mr. Nishimura has had to replace a few of these, so I don't think there will be any trouble getting a flawless replacement!

Out of interest, I also noticed this, and had the same response about the craftsman.

Do you know why the "better" craftsmen would be working with the lesser steel?

I would have thought the best craftsmen would deal with the Blue Steel, and then move down the chain so to speak!

What do you use your 36B's for out of interest? General pruning?
 

canadianlights

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Out of interest, I also noticed this, and had the same response about the craftsman.

Do you know why the "better" craftsmen would be working with the lesser steel?

I would have thought the best craftsmen would deal with the Blue Steel, and then move down the chain so to speak!

What do you use your 36B's for out of interest? General pruning?

Craftsmen typically specialize in one type of steel or a select few, especially in Japan. Although blue steel is the "best" steel, many don't use it because it is hard to work with and it is expensive. Blue steel does not have the same properties as white or yellow steel, resulting in different practices and techniques. So if you were trained on how to forge with white steel, you stick with white steel. Often times, it is how the steel is treated which ultimately determines the quality and hardness of the blade. Shoddy blue steel does not hold a dime to properly heat treated white/yellow steel.

As to why craftsmen wouldn't want to specialize in blue steel, it is due to market demand and the small number of craftsmen. For example, you could be an amazing blacksmith who works with lower quality steel and sell amazing quality tools at a lower price. This can commandeer a larger market for that craftsman, due to high craftsmanship and low price. In comparison to an amazing craftsman that works with blue steel, you will be selling high-quality tools at a high price, applying to a niche market of professionals who can afford that premium tool. Mr. Nishimura also told me that nowadays, it is hard to find a good blue steel craftsman, ultimately leading to fewer apprentices learning the trade.

36B scissors work good for me, I use it for basically anything, but typically general pruning. The large holes for my big hands to use the scissors, and also make it easier to have more leverage when cutting. The tiny scissors are normally too small for my fingers to be comfortable holding, so I like the butterfly handles which allow my entire hand to fit in.
 

NickUK

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Craftsmen typically specialize in one type of steel or a select few, especially in Japan. Although blue steel is the "best" steel, many don't use it because it is hard to work with and it is expensive. Blue steel does not have the same properties as white or yellow steel, resulting in different practices and techniques. So if you were trained on how to forge with white steel, you stick with white steel. Often times, it is how the steel is treated which ultimately determines the quality and hardness of the blade. Shoddy blue steel does not hold a dime to properly heat treated white/yellow steel.

As to why craftsmen wouldn't want to specialize in blue steel, it is due to market demand and the small number of craftsmen. For example, you could be an amazing blacksmith who works with lower quality steel and sell amazing quality tools at a lower price. This can commandeer a larger market for that craftsman, due to high craftsmanship and low price. In comparison to an amazing craftsman that works with blue steel, you will be selling high-quality tools at a high price, applying to a niche market of professionals who can afford that premium tool. Mr. Nishimura also told me that nowadays, it is hard to find a good blue steel craftsman, ultimately leading to fewer apprentices learning the trade.

36B scissors work good for me, I use it for basically anything, but typically general pruning. The large holes for my big hands to use the scissors, and also make it easier to have more leverage when cutting. The tiny scissors are normally too small for my fingers to be comfortable holding, so I like the butterfly handles which allow my entire hand to fit in.

Great info, thank you for that!

It makes perfect sense, but at the same time seems a bit...... short sighted, to lose the quality on what is considered the best material you have.

I always like to buy “the best“ of what I can afford at the time, and certainly in this instance, I was stumped over the 36A or 36B (so bought neither).

I did buy 35 D in Blue Steel - I believe the craftsman working on that product is still an expert in Blue Steel (hence the price), and I already have some general pruning shears with the big butterfly handles (like you, big hands, so a little unsure about the 35 D’s size!
 

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