Bonsai Tools

Bonsai tools and supplies

A Bonsai Tree.

If you want to get into bonsai as a hobby, you will need a proper set of tools. A beginner hobbyist can get along fine with only a concave cutter and a shear, but the more control you want, the more bonsai tools are required. Here we have listed and reviewed everything from the essential tools to even non-essential bonsai supplies and accessories such as turntables.

  • 1: What you should know before buying
  • 2: 14 Piece Carbon Steel Bonsai Tool Kit
  • 3: 7 Piece Master Grade Bonsai Tool Kit
  • 4: How to take care of your tools
  • 5: Bonsai turntable

What you should know before buying bonsai tools

Shaping and maintaining a miniature tree from seed to the desired size requires a rather extensive set of tools. The younger the tree, the fewer tools are needed, but you will have to expand your toolset the bigger your tree gets.

Before we get into the product reviews, we will first go over a couple of things every beginner should keep in mind when selecting tools.

Size: It’s not advised to use a 7″ branch cutter to cut a 10mm branch. Branch cutters in that size are only suitable for cutting branches up to 5mm thick. Therefore, it’s essential to upgrade your tools to the correct size as your tree grows. Not doing so will damage not only your tools but also the actual tree.

Weight: Cheap bonsai tools tend to weigh more than quality ones. Just remember that you will most certainly want something lightweight, especially with extended periods of use.

Material: The material your bonsai tools are made from is a good indication of its quality. At the very least, you want something made of carbon steel, but high-grade stainless steel, although costing more, is the ideal choice.

Origin: Japan, needless to say, produces some of the world’s highest quality products. Therefore, you can never go wrong with choosing bonsai tools made in Japan. Also, keep in mind that many US companies manufacture some excellent quality products too.

Bonsai tool kits

Bonsai tool kits won’t always have everything a professional needs, but they are more than enough for a budding beginner. This is not a problem since any additional tools required now or at a later stage can always be purchased separately.

14 Piece carbon steel bonsai tool kit from Yescom

The American brand, Yescom, makes this quality 14 piece bonsai tool kit. These carbon steel tools, which come lightly oiled, already sharpened and ready to use, are well suited for both beginners and professionals.

With everything included, you will be able to prune and trim leaves with precision, cut large branches and roots, bend branches, make clean flush cuts without damage and work with the soil.

Included in the bonsai tool kit: A nylon case, 7″ trimming scissors, 7.5″ large-sized cutting shears, 7.5″ medium-sized cutting shears, 4.5″ leaf cutter, 8.25″ knob cutter, 8″ concave cutter, a branch bender, 7″ root cutter, 9″ jin splitter, 8.5″ rake with spatula, 9″ root hook, 7.75″ wire cutter, 6″ broom, 10.5″ trunk splitter

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7 Piece Master Grade Bonsai Tool Kit from TianBonsai

TianBonsai is a Chinese brand that brings you this quality stainless steel bonsai tool kit. Each item is handmade by the master worker at TianBonsai and is guaranteed to last three years with regular use.

Also, the warranty is reasonable. If anything goes wrong with any of the tools within three years, take a picture of the defect and email it to them. They will send you a new one without charging any fees.

Included in the bonsai tool kit: A holding case, 8″ jin plier, 8″ trunk splitter, 7″ long handle shears, 6.5″ branch cutter, 7″ knob cutter, 7″ round edge cutter, 8″ bonsai tweezers.

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How to take care of your tools

Taking proper care of your bonsai tools is important to keep them looking like new and functioning properly. Also, it will greatly increase their lifespan. Here’s what you should do..

Inspect and clean your tools after every use: Dirt, debris, and even tree sap can be found on bonsai tools after use. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth, but be careful not to cut yourself on any of the blades. Also, don’t leave any stains behind. Use a wooden spatula or a piece of bamboo to remove stubborn stains.

Keep your blades sharp: Blunt tools are of no use, so keep them sharp with a fine-grit Japanese water stone. Can’t find one in the stores? Then check this one out on Amazon.

Keep them rust-free: If you use stainless steel bonsai tools, then you have nothing to worry about. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is prone to rust. To quickly and safely remove rust without damaging the steel, use a rust-eraser such as SandFlex.

Keep them oiled: Always spray some choji oil on them before packing away. Not only does it keep everything working as it should, but it also helps deter rust.

Bonsai turntable

Many types of bonsai accessories will help make your work easier, and one of those is a bonsai turntable. This particular model featured here is made in Japan by the Fujiwara Sangyo Company, weighs 7 pounds and has dimensions of 11.8 x 11.7 x 3.1 inches.

The item requires assembly but is sturdy and of very high-quality. Also, it ships from Japan, so expect around two weeks for delivery.

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Further Information

Now that you know what is needed, why not learn the necessary skills via video from a bonsai expert? Check out the YouTube page of Nigel Saunders.