If you own or plan to own a Bonsai tree, you will require the proper tools to care for it. You will need to be able to make precise cuts with clean edges and distinct profiles. If you are just starting out, a shear and a concave cutter is necessary, but as you progress, you will find the need for additional tools. Whether you choose to go with Japanese or Chinese tools, you should only use your Bonsai tools for the purpose in which they were intended. This is to ensure that they are not destroyed before their time and that you get full use from them.
Bonsai Scissors and Shears
Bonsai scissors and shears come in various shapes and sizes and are used for cutting small branches, twigs, leaves, or even roots. You would not buy a large shear for a bonsai tree, but you could choose one with a longer and narrower shape for the middle of the tree where it’s denser, or go with a standard wide shape for thick twigs. However, if you need to remove branches from the trunk, a concave cutter is best used to attain deeper cuts that will restore without a puffy scar. There are different types of Bonsai concave cutters available in various sizes and blade shapes. Some of them are also equipped with knob cutters for removing difficult stumps and thick roots.
Bonsai Saws and Knives
If there comes a point where your bonsai trunk, roots, or branches are too thick for your shear, then a bonsai saw may be appropriate. You may also want to get a grafting knife to smooth the cuts left back after the sawing is done. If you select a Japanese pruning saw, remember that they cut on the way back towards you, so apply minimal pressure when pushing them forward to avoid bending or breaking the blade.
Bonsai Wire Tools
At some point you may want to wire your bonsai tree, and aside from the various wire types and diameters, you will also need a Bonsai wire cutter and pliers to bend the wire. If you are a beginner, you should probably start with a small wire cutter and aluminium wires as it would be easier to manipulate.