Japanese Adzes

Japanese Adzes

Traditional Japanese Adzes (Chouna)

This is the original form of the Japanese adze, used mostly by carpenters and timber framers. Before the introduction of long saws, these tools were used to rough shape timbers and planks split out of tree trunks. The timbers were then further shaped with a now archaic tool, the Yarri Kanna, which is the original form of the Japanese plane. Toshio Odate wrote in his book, "Japanese Woodworking Tools", that the adze, with the framing square (Sashigane) and the ink line (Sumitsubo) used to build a temple, were traditionally kept as treasures in the new building.

Takagi The traditional adzes we offer have straight cutting edges. One works with these tools standing up. The edges are double beveled, and so the cutting edge is in the middle of the thickness of the blade. In use, the angle at which the blade contacts the wood dictates how fine or thick the chip removed by the adze will be. Experiment for yourself to find the best angle for the different types of work. We recommend that only fairly experienced workers use these tools, and even then one should be very careful. It is too easy to take a chip not out of a beam but out of one's foot or shin when using them. Also remember that we do not sell spare handles! These adzes were manufactured by Master Takagi in Yoita, Niigata Province, one of the last remaining adze smiths in Japan.


Something to note about the wooden haft on these adzes: the bark left on the shaft to improve the grip can loosen and fall off if the tool is kept in dry conditions. This is normal, as wood is a natural product that changes over time and must be accepted as such.

Azumagata Chouna
Azumagata Chouna
Japanese Adze with wooden handle

Straight blade
Two-sided bevel
Cutting steel sandwiched between two parts of iron
Total length 70 cm
Handle diameter 3 cm
Made by Takagi
More ... and something about the handle

Azumagata Chouna
with traditional wooden handle
Blade width 90 mm
Order nr. 310220 cart
Price € 289.00

Azumagata Chouna
with traditional wooden handle
Blade width 102 mm
Order nr. 310222 cart
Price € 309.00
Damascus Azumagata Chouna
Damascus Azumagata Chouna
Japanese Adze with wooden handle

Straight blade
Two-sided bevel
Cutting steel sandwiched between two parts of folded iron
Total length 70 cm
Handle diameter 3 cm
Made by Takagi
More ... and something about the handle

Damascus Azumagata Chouna
with traditional wooden handle
Blade width 102 mm
Order nr. 310224 cart
Price € 399.00
Azumagata Chouna
Azumagata Chouna
Japanese Adze without handle

For those who would like the adventure of finding a branch of the right shape, or are willing to wait to grow one themselves, we offer the adze heads without hafts. But remember, we do not sell the handles separately!
Straight blade
Two-sided bevel
Cutting steel sandwiched between two parts of iron
Made by Takagi
Rear view
View from lip

Azumagata Chouna
without handle
Blade width 90 mm
Order nr. 310227 cart
Price € 149.00

Azumagata Chouna
without handle
Blade width 102 mm
Order nr. 310229 cart
Price € 159.00
Azumagata Chouna
Damascus Azumagata Chouna
Japanese Adze without handle

For those who would like the adventure of finding a branch of the right shape, or are willing to wait to grow one themselves, we offer the adze heads without hafts. But remember, we do not sell the handles separately!
Straight blade
Two-sided bevel
Cutting steel sandwiched between two parts of folded iron
Made by Takagi
Rear view
View from lip
Bevel


Damascus Azumagata Chouna
without handle
Blade width 102 mm
Order nr. 310231 cart
Price € 249.00

Small Japanese Adzes

At just 400 g light, with a cutting width of just 30 mm, and total lenght of 230 mm, these small adzes are the ultimate in handy little tools. As in many traditional Japanese cutting tools, the heads are made of a two-layer laminated steel - a cutting edge in hard "Hagane" steel, forged to a softer, tougher body to provide strength.

We have two models of this type of adze: one with the cutting edge outside and the bevel on the inside, and one with the cutting edge in, and the bevel out. The second model is more familiar to us, as all adzes in Europe are made with the bevel on the outside and the cutting edge inside. Given the same cutting angle, an outside bevel permits one to remove more wood at a stroke.

Adze - Hagane outside, Bevel inside
Adze - Hagane outside, Bevel inside
Blade width 30 mm
Order nr. 310632 cart
Price € 199.00
Adze - Hagane inside, Bevel outside
Adze - Hagane inside, Bevel outside
Blade width 30 mm
Order nr. 310633 cart
Price € 199.00
 
Dieter Schmid - Fine Tools
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