Ikenami Hamono Tanebasami scissors | classic
Traditional Japanese scissors. Amazingly sharp!
YSS Shirogami white#1 steel.
Hand-forged on Tanegashima Island.
When we first heard of these scissors, an older and wiser head convinced us that because of their special steel and their unique blade shape and action that they are actually self sharpening, something we'd never heard of but were rather enthusiastic about. We had to have a pair!
So we journeyed to Tanegashima, where Ikenami san of the Ikenami Hamono company set us straight. There's no such thing as self-sharpening scissors (he was looking at us a bit oddly, come to think of it.)
But Tanebasami are the next best thing. You just won't credit how wonderful these scissors really are. Cutting fabric is like cutting nothing at all, with an incredibly smooth blade action that cuts right to the very tip. Choki-choki! They're hand-forged and hand-finished by a Master Craftsman. A real one.
They're beautiful, or at least we think so. They have a wonderful balance and cut unbelievably cleanly (this we know). And they have an intangible quality that just makes you want to go around cutting things.
Sizes are in the old measure of Japanese 'sun', (written as 寸 and pronounced as in 'gesundheit'), hence the unusual sizes.
Overall length: 12.12 cm
Perfect for: fine handcrafts, sewing, general snipping. Very cute.
Weight in hand: 32g
Overall length: 15.15 cm
Perfect for: patchwork, scrapbooking and papercrafts, book-binding and repairs, all precision cutting.
Weight in hand: 58g
Overall length: 18.18 cm
The best blade length for all-purpose scissors.
Weight in hand: 85g
Overall length: 22.7 cm
Perfect for: dressmaking, sewing, all fabrics and pattern cutting (the original kimono scissors).
Weight in hand: 176g
Zippy, super sharp scissors
Posted by Unknown on 25th Feb 2021
I've been meaning for awhile to try the tanebasami, and they are indeed really fun to use. The handles are lighter than the normal fabric shear design. They could be round a very slight bit, but that's something I'll do in my own time. When they close instead of going "clink" they go "thunk" and bounce softly, which is much nicer on the hands. The blades are twisted axially very slightly like propellors, and in such an expert way, that there is only one point of contact on the blades -- where they cut. Combined with the tensioning on the blade pin, this helps to prevent wedging of the fabric or material between the blades, which has happened to me before. And of course, helped by them being really sharp. I stropped the blades slightly with a piece of paper to refine the edge slightly, it helps the scissors zip through paper more easily, though the more biting edge it comes with is really nice, too, such edges are supposed to last longer, too.
I got the 5-sun size, and yes it is so much more maneuverable compared to the 240mm scissors I have. Much more fun for in-hand work. . . really reminiscent of grade school scissors, except much sharper. The polish is quite nice, too. Mine came with a red cover with the Igeta pattern, which are cross hatches that represent the frame of a well. It's like a little house for the scissors, and there is a stiff backing to the cover. . . It thought it wouldn't do too much for me at first, but it really is like a little house, or clothes for the scissors. I've had scissors covers before, in leather, but this one is really aesthetically pleasing. . . maybe like a little kimono or yukata . . . though you take the cover off to use the scissors instead of put them on. . . anyhow. . . more like a house in that respect.
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