We are the UK distributors of hand crafted traditional Japanese trowels the largest selection outside of Japan.
Catalogue coming soon…
Accompanying with the spread of natural plastering in Japan, trowels were developed for various purposes. With over 100 different types of trowels, Japan probably hosts the largest variety of trowels on the planet. But unfortunately, with the spread of mass produced commercial building materials and tools, the demand for hand forged trowels has decreased. And as a result, the number of craftsmen who produce these fine tools are diminishing.
I’ve been asked numerous times where one can purchase fine Japanese trowels. Hand forged Japanese trowels are regarded as among the best in the world, I’d like to provide these trowels to passionate plasterers here in the UK. These tools are expensive. They are produced by hand for a living. And once you see the quality of the work and hold it in your hand, you’ll sense the pride of the craftsman who produced it. If cared for properly traditional Japanese trowels will last a lifetime
Understanding Japanese steel
Originating from the culture of sword making, forging metal in Japan is a fine art. Trowels are produced from steel of various temperaments, ranging from “soft” iron known as jigane to “hard” high carbon steel known as honyaki (literally fully fired). Between these two extremes are a variety of steels including hanyaki (literally half fired) and aburayaki (literally fired with oil).
Choosing the right steel for you depends on your purpose：
Jigane is unfired forged iron. Whereas a hard carbon steel tends to slide over a plaster, “soft” jigane iron will push and pull material, making it excellent at distributing plaster on wall. By “soft”, we refer to the quality of the steel, not the flexibility of the trowel. Because Jigane is a soft steel, Jigane trowels tend to be thick, stiff and heavy. Jigane is suitable for scratch and brown coats of earthen or lime plaster.
Hanyaki is fired once after forging. Hanyaki is suitable for all coats, and can also be used for cement based plasters as well.
Abarayaki is steel that is forged, coated with oil, and then fired twice. It is harder than hanyaki and suitable for compressing plaster for a glossy finish.
Honyaki is made in a similar fashion to abarayaki, but is fired at a higher temperature. Being a very hard carbon steel, it is suitable for earthen or lime finish coats and cement based plasters.
Stainless steel is the hardest steel but can be produced so thin as to be flexible as well. It is used to apply thin coats and to smooth trowels marks.
Traditional steels will rust if not cared for properly. Trowels should be cleaned and dried immediately after each use. When storing trowels for an extended period of time, they should be oiled to prevent rusting. In order to prevent the remaining oil from discoloring subsequent plasters, remove oil with a rag before plastering.
To place an order:
Please send an email in the contact page.
Your name -
Postal address -
Telephone Number -
Description of the trowel(s) including -
Name of trowel(s) -
Letter and digit code(s) found next to each trowel -
Length in mm -
Number of items -
After receiving your order via email, you will be sent a bill via email that includes a PayPal link. After following the link to the PayPal website, you may then make a secure payment using credit card, bank transfer or PayPal payment. After confirmation of your payment is received from PayPal, the item will be sent.
Traditional Japanese Trowels
These trowels have been used in Japan for centuries to create beautiful and resilient earthen and lime plastered walls.