Essential Bonsai Tools

If you're anything like us when we first started, you probably have your bonsai, and the pot and soil that came with it...and not much else. That's why Bonsai Outlet is here to help. We realize that the bonsai world can be intimidating, especially when you're new. To make it easy for you, we've created a brief list of essential bonsai tools. 

Pruning Shears: These should be the very first tool you buy. As your tree grows long shoots, you'll need to trim them ... and pruning shears are the right tool for the job.

Pruning shears are so effective because they can reach areas that household scissors just can't. Plus, pruning shears cut cleanly and do not crush delicate twigs and shoots. 

Concave Cutters: The concave cutter is also a very important bonsai tool, and one for which there is no substitute. These razor sharp tools are designed to cut branches flush to the trunk in a way that promotes fast and smooth healing with very little scarring. The concave depression allows the cut to callous over without creating an undesired bump on the trunk.

Tip: Typically, an 8-inch concave cutter is perfect for cutting branches 1- to 11/2 inches in diameter or smaller. 

Knob Cutter: The knob cutter is also a valuable addition to the bonsai tool kit. The cutting blades of the knob cutter are shaped like two halves of a sphere, a shape that allow the tool to bite into wood aggressively. The knob cutter can remove a lot of wood quickly while still precisely enough to shape the final surface cut on the trunk or branch.

Root hook. When you get ready to transplant your tree (see related article, "Repotting your Bonsai") you will need a good root hook to help loosen soil and comb out roots. This tool is also good for roughing up compact soil for aeration. 

Root Rake: A good root rake is extremely effective for removing soil around the bonsai roots and stirring up soil for aeration or weeding. Plus, a symmetrical spatula helps tamp soil around the base of the bonsai or free up soil at the edge of a pot when transplanting bonsai.

Wire Cutters: Don't make the mistake of using hardware store wire cutters as you train your bonsai because they can damage the trunk or limb of your tree. Specially designed with a rounded head and jaws that cut wire symmetrically, these are the best wire cutters to avoid damaging your bonsai.

Training Wire: The purpose of training wire is to change the direction or shape of that part of the tree. The wire is wrapped and then the trunk or branch is gently bent to the desired shape or position.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Bonsai Outlet. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. Happy bonsai gardening.