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Culture

Best Japanese Tool Brands for Top Craftsmanship

Japanese tools are known all over the world for their superior quality. Also, Japan has a long history when it comes to making tools, thus making Japan a strong contender in the global tool market. Here are the top brands from Japan for tools.

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  • Makita Corporation
  • Asahi Tools
  • Kakuri Tool Communication
  • Kyoto Tool Co., Ltd. (KTC)
  • Suizan
  • Lobtex Co., Ltd.
  • Ko-ken Tool Co., Ltd.
  • Keiba (Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc.)
  • Fujiya

Japanese tools enjoy excellent repute because of the superior craftsmanship that goes into it. In addition to this, the love of the Japanese for minimalism and innovation shows in the designs of the tools they make. Also, the quality of the steel used in the hand tools and the electronic components in the power tools makes these tools truly dependable.

Photo by pajero_tim on Flickr
Photo by pajero_tim on Flickr

Makita Corporation

Photo by shortscale on Flickr
Photo by shortscale on Flickr

Makita Corporation is a Japanese company that specializes in power tools. The company was founded over 100 years ago in 1915 by Mosaburo Makita. It is headquartered in Japan. However, this company serves its products worldwide. They have a wide range of products that can be classified as below.

  • Cordless tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, and saws.
  • Power tools such as drilling machines, grinders, high-pressure cleaners, and blowers.
  • Petrol equipment such as power generators, chainsaws, and lawnmowers.
Photo by sierus on Flickr
Photo by sierus on Flickr

Makita is a global brand. It has its business base in around 50 countries all over the world. Their sales network is even wider, spanning 170 countries. The company started selling lighting equipment and motors back in 1915. They also provided repairing services.

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Makita believes in using superior quality materials in their products. Only premium-grade steel is used to produce shafts and gears in their products. The motors used in the power tools are of the highest quality. The company also performs several tests on its products. They have as many as 19 tests just on the motors! All products go through strict quality checks before leaving the manufacturing plant.

Asahi Tools

Asahi tools has been operational since 1931 in Osaka. However, the company was established in 1954. They make high-quality tools and continue to improve the quality for their customers’ satisfaction. They produce tools as below.

  • Wrenches
  • Sockets
  • Pliers
  • Hammers
  • Plumbing tools
  • Ratchets

The tools from this brand are known for their innovative and functional designs. The ergonomic designs help users have a better grip while handling the tools. The superior quality material used makes these tools durable, yet lightweight. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Asahi also make toolkits. They are packaged in lightweight abs plastic tool cases.

Kakuri Tool Communication

Photo by Jeff Donne on Flickr
Photo by Jeff Donne on Flickr

Kakuri Corporation was established in 1946. The company focuses on strict quality control in the tools they manufacture. They create their own products. They also sell them to customers and are wholesalers. Kakuri produces new products continually. They collaborate with other manufacturers, skilled blacksmiths and craftsmen, and other experts to create the finest tools. They offer the below categories.

  • Saws
  • Planes
  • Chisels
  • Hammers
  • Clamps
  • Grinders
  • Squares

Kakuri means “sales effort” and “quality improvement”. The brand totally operates by this philosophy. It started with making tools with high accuracy in carpentry. The company believes that when the tools are right, the user gets the inspiration to create. In today’s world where DIY is preferred, the right tools can make all the difference.

If you want to experience superior quality and fine craftsmanship in tools, Kakuri never disappoints. Their processes focus on good quality materials and great performance in the end products.

Kyoto Tool Co., Ltd (KTC)

Photo by hanenashi on Flickr
Photo by hanenashi on Flickr

KTC was founded in 1950 in Kyoto. Kyoto is a city known for its history in unique craftsmanship and traditional arts. And in this city, was KTC started. Thus, KTC values this connection with Japanese aesthetics and traditions. The company tries to embody this in its processes and products. Below are some of the types of tools that KTC offers.

  • Motorcycle tools
  • Automobile tools
  • Power tools
  • Measuring equipment
  • Building equipment
  • Plumbing tools
  • Precision molded tools
  • General work tools

KTC has its stores in several parts of Japan. In addition to this, they have distributors in several different parts of the world including North America and Russia. Apart from this, some of their tools are available on Amazon for international shipping.

Suizan

Sanjo in Niigata prefecture is famous for expert craftsmanship. Suizan manufactures all its products in Sanjo. They have a tradition of making excellent tools for over 100 years. Using deep experience, traditional tool-making know-how, and modern technology, Suizan makes excellent quality hand tools.

Suizan specializes in woodworking tools. The major categories of their offerings are as given below.

  • Hand saw
  • Replacement blades
  • Hand plane

Lobtex Co., Ltd

Lobtex Co., Ltd is also sometimes identified as Lobster Tools. This is an old company and started its operations back in 1923. However, the company has a rich history even before it was incorporated in 1923. They started with making a two-handed hair clipper in 1888. It was a revolutionary and innovative design during that time. Since then, Lobtex has never looked back in terms of innovation.

Photo by T K on Flickr
Photo by T K on Flickr

Lobtex is credited with producing Japan’s first monkey wrench. The company also has several awards and accolades to add to its credibility. The major categories of products produced by Lobtex are as given below.

  • General hand tools
  • Industrial tools
  • Electrician tools
  • Diamond tools
  • Saws
  • Tool sets
Lobster Monkey Wrench

Ko-ken Tool Co., Ltd.

Ko-ken was founded in 1946 and was established as a company in 1959. They are specialists in socket wrench manufacturing. They have a wide range of products and each is produced after careful design considerations. For instance, under their well-known Z-series, they produce automotive tools which are practical and easy to use. These tools are compact and provide high performance. They have balanced designs to provide the ultimate handling comfort.

Ko-ken has a range of products that can be categorized as below.

  • Z-series
  • Sockets
  • Screwdrivers
  • Accessories
Ko-ken Tools

Since sockets happen to be their specialty, they have different types of sockets such as Sleeve Drive sockets, Impact sockets, Hand sockets, Titanium sockets, and Protector sockets.

Keiba (Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc.)

The company, Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo, was founded in 1924 in Sanjo, Japan. Sanjo is a city that is very famous for making tools the traditional Japanese way. Since its inception, the company has believed in innovation and quality. They have always pursued improvement and have come up with novel products. They have received several awards for their ingenuity in tool manufacturing.

Keiba is a brand started by Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc. Keiba specializes in quality pliers. The brand focuses on functionality and design. The skill and culture of craftsmanship have been passed down from generation to generation. Hence, in spite of the new technology, the brand still holds on to traditional craftsmanship. The result is reliable designs that are in sync with the times. Here’s a video on how the Keiba pliers are made.

Fujiya

Fujiya is a reputed Japanese brand. It was established in 1923. As it moves towards its hundredth anniversary, the brand still carries the traditional values and know-how of making tools. The brand specializes in nippers and pliers. The brand has evolved over the years, thanks to technology. However, it has still maintained superior quality in its products.

The Forging technique involves removing the air gaps in the metal being used. This makes the metal stronger. Then, the metal is bent into the required shape to make the tool. Advanced machines further shape the metal to get the desired shape. Skilled craftsmen manually assemble the parts thus obtained.

Craftsmen check the final product to ensure there is no misalignment. They make minor adjustments if necessary. Constant quality checks at each stage ensure that the final product is satisfactory. If at any point the quality tests fail, production is stopped until the problem is rectified.

Just like the tools, the Japanese also make world-class shears. The quality of steel used is one of the finest in the world.

Eli Civil

A software engineer, entrepreneur, and Japanese culture enthusiast. I travel the world while working from my laptop and try to visit Japan as often as I can. About Eli Civil

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