Tools and Tool Mecca

*Disclaimer: This is all about tools so it may not be so interesting to all of you but I know the stone folks following my blog will want to know.

The end of the first day were were at the studio we had to leave early to go buy some tools. Since Italy runs on 220 power our US grinders won’t work here so that was first on the list. We stopped a couple places before we found some reasonably priced Makita variable speed angle grinders. They have these new handy clip on mesh screens for the intake holes, I haven’t seen those before. I’m also not sure they are effective for keeping the stone dust out but I’m using them anyway. I also got these great little 3 inch silicon carbide grinding wheels and they are sweet. Anyone know where to find them in the states? (Because these fit these tools and won’t fit on a 5/8 US shank).

3 inch wheel

Last week we went to Milani tools, I failed to get photos of anything except the wall of the famous “italian” riffler files. It was a bit of a challenge to find but our navigator Tamara got us there. So far we’ve only had three trips to Milani (they are close by) and I’m sure we’ll have one or two more to get some things to take home. They have so many goodies there, pins and sleeves, silicon carbide bits in all kinds of sizes, and of course, rifflers.

Part of the Milani riffler file wall.

I brought all my protective gear from home; respirator, googles, ear protection, hat and gloves.

That’s me under all the gear.

Last week we ventured to Massa (which is 5 km north of us, and on the way to Carrara), to Cuturi Tools. Cuturi makes pneumatic air hammers and Tamara has a couple of old ones, one small Piccolo (small) hammer that needed repair. She has been emailing them so they buzzed us in the gate and welcomed us into their factory site. We met Ezio Cuturi, the grandson of the original founder Gino Cuturi. He now runs the business with his brother. He helped Tamara with the repair and entertained us while we bought chisels and experimented with their new “Piccolino” (even more small) air hammer which does engraving and small work.

Yes, this is a sculpture of an air hammer made of marble.
Ezio, Eirene and Tamara. We got hats!
We all got to try to Piccolino, which was a sweet little tool. Eirene got one and amazingly I resisted buying one.

Both Milani and Cuturi are great brands in the world of stone so it has been a treat to look and buy tools directly from the source. Who knows what else we’ll find to bring home with us!

If you’ve got questions, ask them in the comments and I’ll try to put together a Q and A blog.

Until next time, ciao!

9 thoughts on “Tools and Tool Mecca

  • Awesome Sue!! You did lose me a bit in the tool talk, but I love hearing how passionate you are about all things carving, even (especially?) tools. Continue to live your dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  • A word to the wise, if you are waffling on buying any tool there, quit waffling and buy it! How many opportunities does one have to buy stuff directly from the tool makers in ITALY???? As Mr. Froggwell says, the only regrets you will ever have is for the art (or tool) you didn’t buy.

    On Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 1:56 PM Sue Taves Sculpture wrote:

    > Sue Taves posted: ” *Disclaimer: This is all about tools so it may not be > so interesting to all of you but I know the stone folks following my blog > will want to know. The end of the first day were were at the studio we had > to leave early to go buy some tools. Since Italy” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good advice! My bags will definitely be heavier on the way back and the tool store folks are starting to recognize us now!


  • Hi Sue, I also agree, from a musical point of view. And I recommend you check out shipping rather than loading your flight bags with weight. I had a huge economic shock when I left Turkey with rugs that “should have been sent by freight weight”rather than carried home in a spare suitcase. GLAD YOU ARE IN ITALY!!! I spent 5 years on and off based in Rome…ah la musica!!! You are in a place that appreciates THE ARTS and YOU ARE THE EMBODIMENT OF THESE ARTS and you Carry the Torch Well!!! Eat a Pizza di quatro stagione for me.


    • We’ll have enough weight that we’ll be shipping crates of stone back, apparently though they do not like you to mix in other things with your stone. Alas, my little heavy bag of chisels will be carted around in my suitcase. I’ll be living in Rome was an adventure! Thank you for the wishes, I think I”m eating for everyone so I’ll add some pizza for you too. The food is one of the joys of being here.


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