Choosing a pair of secateurs from Niwaki should be pretty straightforward - we’re not out to trick you, they’re all great and as they get more expensive, the greater they become. Here are some more helpful points though:
Very quick answer: You won’t go wrong with the Niwaki GR range. They’re made using the same techniques and similar materials as other more expensive brands, but with a smidge less of the fine finish. They’re tough, sharp, feel good, look good, don’t cost too much, and crucially, are more often than not in stock.
The GR’s, Tobisho and Niwaki Pro are all effectively made the same way: starting life as a rod of steel, heated up, bashed into a crude shape by drop-forge, and then refined by hand from there. What differentiates them is the makers’ individual take on heat treatment, the bit of magic that adds the crucial balance of toughness and sharpness (or edge retention) to the steel. Beyond that, subtle differences and the final finish add to the visual and tactile experience - each feels different, and each has its own character.