Two different brands of carving tools. Bottom tool, a shallow gouge from Henry Taylor, UK. The quality of the steel is fine, holds an edge well. Top, is a shallow gouge from Pfeil, Switzerland. The quality of the steel is also fine. There are some things I like better about the Pfeil tools. The metal is polished overall. This really adds nothing to the working qualities of the tool, though it looks nice. The handles are oil finished, and octagonal in shape, so the tool won't roll. The Taylor tool has some kind of lacquer type finish; you can see the shine in the photo. The handle finish does affect the working quality, the oil type finish being more comfortable. The Taylor tool also came with an enormous sticker on the handle, which required removal, as it was uncomfortable. I'm ambivalent about the ferrule issue; if I'm beating hard enough on the tool to cause the wood to break, I should probably be using my chain saw. There are other brands, including some antiques, in my tool chest, though when I buy additional tools I prefer Pfeil, for the reasons above, and a comfort level with their working quality.
Woodcraft carries Pfeil tools here in the US. Pfeil's website has distributers listed for other parts of the planet. The film is worth watching.
And in other news, we have snow that is sticking. Cold well below normal. Gah! Ahh well, as the Swedes say: "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing".