Bonsai Tools - Choosing the Right Tools
STAGE I BEGINNING
MINIMUM TOOLS (Do not have to be made specially for Bonsai)
1 Pruning Shears
4 Wire Cutters
7 Turntable ?
STAGE II (As you become more proficient, replace and add Bonsai tools)
1 Quality is usually related to price.
2 Sizes (How big are the trees you are going to work on)
3 Shapes / Types (Must be able to do what you want to do)
4 Strength (Must be strong enough for your purposes).
5 Type of construction:
Carbon Steel that is blued -- Will hold a sharp edge but chips easily and will rust.
Carbon Steel with silver finish-- Will hold a sharp edge, but is the most expensive.
Stainless Steel-- Hard to sharpen, dulls easily, often expensive.
6 Check for fit of the blades.
7 Check for ease of operation.
8 Check for general workmanship.
9 You will almost always need to sharpen any new tool.
Recommended tools to buy----possible order ?
1 Concave Cutter
2 Root Cutter
3 Scissors (Heavy Duty)
4 Scissors (Fine Point)
5 Wire Cutters
6 Wire Pliers
7 Bonsai Rake
8 Bonsai Tweezers
9 Bonsai Saw
10 Root Hook
11 Bonsai Brush
12 Grafting Knife
14 Jin Pliers
15 Spherical Knob Cutters
STAGE III (By this time you will know which tools you need, or want)
As a beginner, you can get by nicely with just a few basic tools. You won’t know the full range of implements you’ll really need – or want – until you’ve worked at bonsai for a while.
Keep it simple
Start with just a few primary tools you’ll need to get through the first year or so. You can add to your collection as you learn new techniques requiring specialized tools. And, as you progress, you can always replace any inexpensive starter tools with better quality items.
Some of the implements you’ll use are designed especially for bonsai, such as concave cutters for making very close pruning cuts. Other tools are familiar items originally intended for other purposes – for instance, chopsticks for teasing apart roots and for tamping soil mix into air pockets. An inexpensive plastic turntable sold with kitchen utensils is handy for rotating plants, even if it doesn’t have a stop to hold the plant in place.
You may have some general gardening tools that you can use for bonsai, such as pruning shears and a small handsaw.
Neat and clean
Tools last longer and work better when properly maintained. After using your tools, clean them with soapy water or rubbing alcohol and dry them before storing. Keep metal tools rust-free by wiping them with an oily rag. Sharpen cutting blades regularly with a whetstone.
Keeping your tools in a caddy or pouch will protect them and lessen the chance of misplacing or losing any items.