Tobisho Secateurs from Japan
Tobisho secateurs are some of the worlds best secateurs. It is unfortunate that in Australia (and much of the western world) they are not better known. I came across my pair, Tobisho’s SR1 model, as a Christmas present from my mother. I have no idea how she even came across Tobisho but I am glad that she did. I have had mine for almost two years now and feel I have put them to the test and can now comment on why I think they are the best secateurs money can buy. Even better than the ever popular Felcos!
Tobisho’s selling point is that their secateurs are ‘beautifully hand-forged, using traditional techniques handed down through generations’. They also state that the secateurs are made using high-carbon Hitachi steel. I have no idea how true any of that is, but my real world use has shown me that they are clearly made of a very good steel and to an extremely high standard. I use mine every day and very rarely have I had to sharpen them. The nut has never loosened despite me using them on larger branches than I really should have and the grips are as good as new. There are two springs (one for the blades/handles and a second for the clasp) and both seem to be as good as new. If ever one of the springs did fail then replacements are readily available. I could not be any happier with the quality of the Tobisho secateurs.
Simple is Best
One of my favourite things about Toshibo tools is their simplicity. There is a single pivot point and spring for the handles and blades (they are one piece). The only other moving part is the clasp which also only has a single pivot and spring. If you break the tool down you are left with only 7 parts. Two handle/blades, one nut, one bolt, the clasp and two springs (on for the main pivot and one for the clasp). Compare that to even the simplest Felco model which has 23 parts!
Tobishos are not cheap. Thinking back though I went through three sets of cheap secateurs before I got these. The combined cost of those cheap secateurs is on par with the Tobishos and if I had my time again I would buy once, cry once from the beginning. I can’t see myself needing another set of secateurs for many, many years, if ever. If you are not the kind of person that misplaces tools then Tobisho secateurs are good value. If you do regularly lose your tools then I have to say that maybe you are better off with cheaper tools of much lower quality.