Best of the Bay 2012: BEST EXQUISITE ADZES

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Some chefs drool over the copper pots at posh cooking stores. Artists lovingly caress the sable brushes in painting shops. But what aspirational retail options exist for the you, the craftsman? Home Despot? Perish the thought! Luckily, your days of retail resentment are over. At the Japan Woodworker, you can fondle high-end power tools to deplete your paycheck, plus tools hand-made in traditional Japanese style — like pull saws, chisels, and adzes — which are not only beautiful, but quite affordable. If you're the type of person who savors doing things the slow way, the tools found here will do much to imbue your projects with love and care. And if you're not, perhaps it's time you paid a little more attention to detail — a very Japanese value, indeed.

1731 Clement, Alameda. (510) 521-1810, www.japanwoodworker.com