These are a lightweight and extremely well-balanced pair of snips, with long skinny blades that allow you to get into tight spaces and make precise cuts. Snips are ideal for deadheading, cut flowers, harvesting veggies, and I really like using them to cut lengths of twine for staking. In Japan, they are used for needling pines.
The Niwaki GR Pro range has been designed and manufactured in Japan to provide a more readily available alternative to the hard-to-get Tobisho products. Very similar design, size and feel, these are a little lighter than the Tobishos if weight is a concern.
The locking mechanism is very deliberate and easy to use, even with gloves on and only one free hand (push the lock against your hip)! This one-handed feature is what makes these snips worth the investment for me. I find the locking/closing setup on many snips a little awkward when you're taking them in and out of your holster/pocket throughout the day; generally you can't close them with one hand, and you want to because your other hand is usually busy holding something. You want to keep them closed when not in use so you don't poke yourself with the very pointy, sharp tips.
The yellow handles are easy to find if you put them down in the garden. Or, they can be removed if you prefer a more traditional metal look for your snips and secateurs.
Gouken sharpening stones recommended for this model. The steel sharpens easily but means that they are not suitable for heavy hacking, and definitely not for opening paint cans! They are not as strong as secateurs, they are only meant for very light snipping work.
- KA70 carbon steel
- Standard 8"/20cm
- comes with a spare spring