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Aogami Hagane means 'blue steel' and is a more complex steel than Shirogami Hagane or 'white steel'. Blue steel edged tools give the most durable edge possible, particularly in hard abrasive woods. Each chisel is forge-welded by hand from a combination of Hitachi blue steel and wrought iron, cured in charcoal for several days, and then individually tempered to Rc65. The handles are made of the finest quality Akagashi (Japanese Red Oak) and fitted with hand-forged iron hoops. Over 40 separate processes are required to make each chisel, including the razor edge. Overall length is 9", with a blade length of 2-1/4".
The Matsumura Family has been producing woodworking chisels for well over 200 years. Mr. Shigezo Matsumura began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 and exhibited such skill that by the age of 25 he was able to open his own workshop. For over 60 years, first as an apprentice and now as a true Master of Blacksmiths, Mr. Matsumura has made chisels one at a time in the old tradition, preferring to use charcoal instead of gas in the forging and tempering process, because of its 'soft heat,' and only the finest white and blue steels for the cutting edges, which are laminated to wrought iron for strength. All cutting edges are tempered to Rc64 and sharpened for immediate use. Note: Mr. Matsumura operates a one-man shop and personally makes each tool, with occasional assist from his wife.