Since being approved to stock Niwaki's Japanese tools, I have been steadily extending the range to include more accessories and unusual items. As part of my latest order I received my first batch of items from their tool care range.
As the time-old saying goes; If you look after your tools, they'll look after you.
So I wanted to write a quick post explaining these new items and how you can use them to ensure that your tools remain sharp & functional for years to come.
Crean Mate - This abrasive 'rubber' is used to remove rust, sap and general garden gunk from your blades. Doing this ensures that your blades stay clean so they don't stick together when passing. You could use wire wool, but the rectangular pad is far easier to use and gives you much more control... not a bad thing when working around small, sharp blades! To make it a little easier just apply a drop of water or Camellia oil.
#1000 Sharpening Stone - Niwaki sell three grades of whetstones (#220, #1000 & #3000). A bit like sandpaper, the lower the number, the more rough the rub. #220 is used to rub out out nicked blades. #1000 is used as the general stone for weekly sharping and staying on top of things. The most popular choice. #3000 is used for refining very sharp edges. Simply soak your stone in water until bubbles cease to be released then steadily glide it over the slanted edge of the blade, just a few degrees higher than the edge. Just around 2 minutes of of this will do the job.
Camellia Oil - Traditionally speaking, this is what the Japanese use when treating their tools. Once your tools have been cleaned or sharpened, give them a dry wipe over with this. It keeps the action smooth and prevents rusting. The oil is a blend of cold pressed Camellia seeds with white mineral oil. It leaves a lovely deep, non-oily finish, and it’s odourless - so great to work with. 
Thomas Pearson