People who carve a lot value irons with an ergonomic, and above all, familiar, haft or handle. And since one can not easily buy this sort of thing, normally woodcarvers are obliged to make their own.
Master Smith Hiroshi Koyama began making these elegant small carving irons some time ago, and sells them under his professional name "TAKAHANE". The steel for the cutting edges is the justly reputed "Blue Steel" with a Rockwell hardness of 64. This hard but brittle steel is hammer forged to a softer, stonger iron to support and strengthen the blade.
These irons are relatively small and made for the finest and most detailed work. They should never be struck with a hammer. To cut, pushing or lightly striking the haft with the ball of your hand will always produce better results, with much less chance of chipping the blade. For professionals, these are highly recommended and among the best tools available: their service life and the edge that can be attained is unsurpassed. The irons have been very well sharpened, and despite too many such claims, really are delivered ready to use.