Hidari Konobu is one of the best sculpting tool maker in Japan. Although Konobu is situated in Tokyo, these aren't too expensive because this brand is kind of kept hidden by the Tokyo Art University (The best Art Uni in Japan) so that their students can buy best quality tools for uninflated price.
No shop in Japan sell these online. But every serious sculptors know about this brand. They have two lines, Blue Steel #2A lineup, and their special 1.2% carbon Assab K120 as well(* the closest steel to Tamahagane, hence called Yo-Tamahagane [western Tamahagane] in Japan. Their K120 is the older ingot with the 1.20% carbon[hence the K120 naming], whereas current K120 only has 1.00% which makes a tremendous difference. These are 30% more expensive than the BS model.)
They make absolutely beautifully finished and top performing tools. I consider Hidari Konobu to be the modern Hidari Ichihiro. The performance could be, thanks to the modern metallurgical information available to these serious smiths, even better than the Ichihiros (more durable and easier to sharpen, I hesitate to say this because I respect Ichihiro so much, but it could be noticeably better...) and as great overall meticulous fit and finish.
Saitou-san is the main blacksmith of Konobu, and he is featured in "Uchibamono Shokunin" from the famous Knife Magazine (see book section for this book). I have ordered numerous tools to Saitou-san since I first met him many years ago.
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