Diefenbacher Toolsis the US importer for Dastra Woodcarving Tools.
David Strasmann & Co. (Dastra for short) makes some of the finest German tools available today. The company was founded in an old timber-framed house in the heart of Wuppertal-Ronsdorf, Germany, in 1835. Six generations of the family worked in the same shop to create the finest handmade tools. Since 2019 Dastra tools are manufactured and distributed by Wilhelm Schmitt & Company in Remscheid, Germany.
Although some modern equipment has been introduced into the process, the carving tool blades are still made mostly by hand. They are forged of a high-carbon steel hardened to Rc61 and buffed to a satin finish. The profiles are beautifully ground and polished by expert craftsmen so that each tool reflects a perfect balance of strength and grace. Our Dastra tools arrive expertly sharpened and ready to use!
The Dastra Woodcarving Tools listed on our website are full size, professional carvers, with an average overall length of 10″. Dastra also makes a variety of specialty carving tools not listed on our website, such as Swiss and Tyrolise fishtails, long bent gouges, short-pattern Euro tools, and more. Find out more about placing a special order for these here.
More about Dastra’s history:
A slideshow tour of the original Dastra workshop in Wuppertal-Ronsdorf, Germany (active from 1835-2019, but no longer in existence).
Another tour of the former Dastra workshop from 2005, with interview in German by a local TV station. Herr Schmidt (the first to be interviewed) was the 4th generation of his family to manage the business. He says that his relationship with the neighbors is fine, despite the sounds of the machinery. Passing tourists are often curious about the shop and want to come in and photograph it, and he mentions that they once mistook the sounds of the equipment for the squealing of pigs! When the reporter observes that the shop hasn’t changed much in 170 years, Schmidt replies that it was perfect then, and is still perfect.
If you need some advice on sharpening your new carving tools, take a look at this video by carving teacher Mary May on sharpening a gouge.