The Top 7 Bonsai Tools You Should Buy
If you want to start with bonsai gardening, you will need to prepare essential tools that can help you with this interesting hobby. Although there may be dozens of tools that you can find in your local gardening supplies shop, you should consider investing in frequently used tools first since you will need these right away. The following are the top 7 bonsai tools that beginners should prepare, so they could get started in cultivating and growing their bonsai plants.
1. Concave Pruner
This is one of the most important bonsai tools that you need to buy, so make sure you look for a top quality concave pruner made of the finest material. It is used to remove branches properly, which ensures rapid healing of the wound. The tool got its name from the shape of the wound or cut left on the branch. When used the correct way, the wound is likely to heal faster from the sides of the trunk or branch instead of from its top and bottom parts. With the concave depression left into the trunk, the wound will be able to callous over while preventing any unsightly bumps on it. For those who are looking to buy a concave pruner for the first time, a good option is the 8-inch pruner because this size is considered as the most versatile and commonly used in bonsai gardening.
2. Knob Cutter
Also referred to as the “melon ball cutter”, this tool has special capabilities. Even if it is not used as often as the bud scissors or concave pruners, it still serves as an essential part of your bonsai tool kit because of its unique functions. With its extraordinary shape, the tool is capable of biting aggressively into the wood. Hence, it is easy to remove protruding stubs while maintaining total control as you use the knob cutter. Moreover, you can use this tool in removing wood in a much quicker and more precise manner while shaping the final surface cut on the branch. The knob cutter is also handy when you need to get rid of undesirable trunk or root material in an area where a partially-removed tap root is found. With the aggressive nibbling movement of the tool, this helps eliminate excess callous located underneath the trunk, which other tools are not able to remove. This also makes it easier for you to fit the plant properly into the pot.
3. Wire Cutters
It is possible to control the shape and appearance of your bonsai plant by training them. Basically, this technique is performed by using wires to shape and position the branches and trunk of your plant. Whether you use annealed copper or aluminum wires, you can train your bonsai in a way that will bring out its natural beauty. Most hardware stores sell regular wire cutters, which you can use for snipping away wire that needs to be applied to your bonsai. However, you may have to look for cutters that are designed specifically for bonsai gardening. Since you will need this tool to get rid of wires from the bonsai, you need to invest in a good quality cutter that is useful in removing training wire without causing any damages to the branch.
4. Bud Scissors
When trimming small branches, buds and leaves of your bonsai plant, you need to use the right tool that will enable you to do these tasks properly. Bud scissors are just what you need for this purpose since they come with finger holes and shorter blades for excellent control and superb cutting power whenever necessary. As you close the blades of the scissors, the handles’ shaft remains far apart. This feature prevents accidental crushing of significant parts of the plant when you close the handle shafts.
5. Root Cutter
When you need to place an untrained bonsai plant in a pot for the first time, it is important to shorten or get rid of large roots. While you can find several tools that will be able to do the job including the concave pruners, there are risks involved in using inappropriate tools since it is possible that some small stones will get stuck in the blades. With this in mind, it is important to use the right tool for the job such as the root cutter because its blade construction is thicker and coarser, which allows it to withstand damages caused by small stones. The cut you make when using this tool is at an appropriate distance from the trunk before you use a knob cutter in nibbling down the wood to a suitable shape. While you are likely to use this tool less frequently, it is still important to have this in your bonsai kit. Keep in mind that there are cheaper versions of pruners, but a more practical choice is a quality root cutter that is purely intended for bonsai gardening.
6. Root Hook
A few important parts of repotting bonsai include the gentle untangling of roots and removal of soil. Some people use a chopstick to do these tasks, particularly when the plant is still small. When the specimen has grown into its medium or large size, you will need to use a more efficient tool such as a root hook. This tool has hooks with one to three points, although a single-point root hook is more efficient in removing soil without causing damages to fine and small roots. While hooks with multiple points are great for soil removal purposes, roots often get tangled in the points, which can lead to breakage of fine roots.
7. Other Tools
Aside from basic tools, you will need other devices that are handy in various situations. These tools include tweezers, jin pliers, saws, gouges, and brushes, although it is better to buy these items when you are sure that these are needed immediately since the cost may add up rather quickly.
Maintenance and Care of Bonsai Tools
Proper care should be applied after using your bonsai tools, so you can maintain their excellent quality for a longer period. You must clean and oil them after use, and remove buildup of sap on the blades of your cutting tools by applying turpentine. Then, wipe the tool with a rag dipped in oil while focusing more on the cutting surfaces. Lastly, store your tools in the right place such as a sealed box to protect them from drastic changes in temperature and humidity. This way, you can prevent them from corroding due to various elements such as moisture condensation.