So a couple of days ago I made an inquiry with German store DICTUM GmbH, whose motto seems to be “MORE THAN TOOLS”, about where their Hattori hand-stitched rasps were manufactured. They seemed like an interesting product, at a low-cost. This is the reply I got today:
Thank you for your message. We kindly ask for your understanding that we cannot tell any details about our suppliers.
Really? You can’t tell me where an item is made? I mean I’m not asking for the composition of the steel used to make the rasps, or the names of the people who painstakingly hand-stitched them. Naturally, then one is left to draw ones own conclusions. The blurb on their website says this about the rasps: “Our portfolio of Hattori rasps, which are cut in small batches by hand, is unique throughout Europe.”
What attracted me was the price-point of these rasps. €6.90 for a 200mm (8″), No.3 cut cabinet rasp. What I now have to conclude is that they are made in Asia somewhere, likely China. Is that what makes them unique throughout Europe? I’m not saying that I’ll never buy anything from DICTUM, but I guess their “more than tools” doesn’t extend into customer service. I have one hand-cut rasp, from Czech company Ajax & Blundell – which works quite nicely (from Lee Valley). In the future I might try a Liogier, or Auriou.
If you are looking for a good source of info on machine and hand-cut rasps? Checkout this article on Canadian Woodworking – it gives you a really comprehensive summary. Alternatively, there’s a blog series on Heartwood.