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The Pursuit of Pruning Perfection

Toyama Hamono

Use #1: Weeding

The perfect tool for cutting out weeds

A purpose-made sickle is one of the best weeding tools you can have in the wheelbarrow.

These sickles feature a blade that is canted at an angle to the handle, allowing the gardener to pull the cutting edge through the top soil without fouling their hand.

A sharp blade makes cutting through and under grizzled roots manageable without requiring great strength, and the tip can be angled down to dig for tap roots too.

These sickles are light, strong and easy to use for hours at a time, especially with a glove on. They are a game changer!

JTA's Weeding Sickles

Our classic weeding sickles. Sharp, light and ready to work!

A table comparing the facets of 3 products
Gardening Sickle - Sickles - Japanese Tools Australia
Gardening Sickle
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Kubinagagama Flat-bladed Sickle (Stainless) - Digging & Weeding - Japanese Tools Australia
Kubinagagama Flat-bladed Sickle (Stainless)
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Flat Bladed Sickle - Righty - Sickles - Japanese Tools Australia
Flat Bladed Sickle - Righty
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$30.40 $38.00
$30.40 $38.00
$11.00 $22.00

Use #2: Harvesting

Loves leafy greens AND stout stalks

After months of care and weeks of work, how do you bring in your home grown veggies?

We've heard it all - old kitchen knives, stanley blades and secateurs to name a few - but nothing compares to the speed and precision of a curved sickle.

This crop of tools has a few things in common - fine teeth along the blade, a curved profile to bring them into the cut, and a straight axis along the handle.

Simply hold your fresh veggies in one hand and draw your sickle across the stem. Fast and clean, they can bring in anything from silverbeet to snow peas via broccoli and bok choy while protecting the stems and saving your hands.

JTA's Harvesting Sickles

Sharp teeth, good looks and ready to nibble some veggies.

A table comparing the facets of 4 products
Kikuwa Bonsai Sickle ( kama ) Small 85mm
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Nisaku Stainless Steel Sansaitori Kogatana
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Toothed Harvesting Sickle (Stainless) - Sickles - Japanese Tools Australia
Toothed Harvesting Sickle (Stainless)
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Utility Sickle
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$9.44 $11.80
$28.00 $46.00
$27.20 $34.00
$16.00 $20.00

Use #3: Mowing?!

The original cordless whipper snipper!

Well, not mowing. Whipper-snippering. Thinning. Felling. For cutting off wild grasses and weeds when you don't need to cut them back all the way to the ground.

These sharp-bladed sickles have their blade oriented in the same plane as the handle, making them extremely intuitive to use.

They also earn bonus points because they are excellent at diving between pavers and pricks to pull out weeds rather than cutting them off at the top.

The last question...

How do you maintain a sickle?

Sickles are stout tools, but there are a few things you can do to give them the longest life possible.

  1. Dry them off after using them. If you have a huge amount of gunk and sap stuck to your blade, you can use a solvent such as our Yanipika to clean it off and avoid rust.
  2. Sharpen your sickle from time to time. We love using Suehiro's radiused waterstones, and the #500 medium grit is a great option for sickles. We prefer to use them mainly on the back of the tool (as Tomo ably demonstrates on her trusty sickle above). This doesn't need to be done excessively - perhaps once every three months or whenever you notice your tool isn't cutting as smoothly as previously.

What we use on our own tools

Gardening Maintenance Set - Gardening Sets - Japanese Tools Australia

Finally, about steel...

Many of our basic shapes are available in either a stainless or regular (high carbon) version. Although stainless tools are easier to care for, high carbon tools will get sharper and generally perform better if they are maintained.