“Chakkau Hizukuri” is a unique Japanese forge welding method that was established in the Heian Era (794-1192) for making samurai swords.
The manufacturing technique for making shears came from China to Japan in the Muromachi Era (1338-1573). Most of the cutlery in the world is made from hard steel but Japanese cutleries are made with soft iron steel for the main body and hard steel forge welded for the cutting edge. This crafting method is called “Chakkou”
The main stream of the Japanese cutleries using the manufacturing process “Chakkou” results in the soft hanlding, sharp cutting and hard to break characteristics. Steel has a characteristic of sharper cutting but less endurance when it is soft. It is hard and has a longer endurance with less sharpness.
“Chakkou” takes advantage of the good points fo both soft and hard steels. For the barber/beauty salon shears, we pick the optimum steel material and through heat treatment processes such as annealing, quenching and tempering, the final product is sharp and long lasting.
Our mission at Utsumi Co. Ltd is to ensure the traditional manufacturing technique is kept alive by performing an annual traditional ritual in the Osaka plant and to continue making the hand crafted shear using only experience craftsmen.
The Manufacturing Process of UTSUMI Handmade JYO-Utopia and NOVA Brand Shears
The final process removes any distortions and fine tunes the shears to approach the finished product. The hollow ground side of the shears are polished using a cloth buffing machine and sharpened by a disc stone. The hand sharpening involves several steps from coarse to fine which are applied to b other blades. Finally, with pivot screw installed, dynamic performance is adjusted and verified using a special instrument for fine tuning the completed product. A skilled professional will notice the quality of the handmade shears the moment they hold them in their hand.
Material use in the manufacture hand-made shears consist of an alloy of iron, chrome, carbon, cobalt and other materials. The style of shears itself is simple but achieving the simplicity requires a fine and high degree of skill from skilled craftsmen with many years of experience.
The Utsumi manufacturing process starts by welding together a stampede handle with the blade. This process determines the center of gravity of the implement and can only be accomplished by skill veterans. The next step is rough shaping. The quality of the shears will be determine in this important process which involves grinding and smoothing of the weld and shaping the shears according to the product specification for width, length, surface and blade shape, hollow ground, and drilling the hole for the pivot.
The ground part is the heart of the shears. It is the base of the “twist” when the shears are in the final fishing process. The “twist” enables the even distribution of the feedback force even when you cut from the base to the tip of the shears. This process cannot be performed by a computer and requires skilled and experience human touch. Utsumi craftsmen have between 10-20 years of experience before they are qualified to handle this crucial step in the manufacturing process.