Bonsai shears, also called bonsai scissors, are the most often used tool in creating and maintaining our small trees. Many growers have more than one pair.
Different sizes make different jobs easier.
When using the wrong size tool, we often make mistakes. In addition, using the wrong size can easily damage your shears.
One pair if medium size bonsai scissors for general pruning - things such as young branches - will be adequate.
An additional pair of small shears will be a convenience for trimming leaves and the tips of new growth. (Also known as "bud scissors.")
The larger one can often do the job of both.
The smaller one, however, should never be forced to cut more than it was meant to.
Never force any tool. It can be an expensive mistake.
I recently read online that you should "never use household scissors" on bonsai.
Remember, there is no magic in using bonsai tools.
If you have one little tree that occasionally need as trim,
special tools may not be necessary. Of course, it's always fun to have a bonsai tool.
As your bonsai collection grows, you will find value in having "real" bonsai tools.
In the meantime, a pair of sharp household scissors may work just fine.
The key is to keep all tools sharp and clean.
In any horticultural hobby, dirty tools can transfer dangerous pathogens from one plant to another.
Review bonsai tools cleaning notes on the Bonsai Tools page.
As your hobby develops, you will know when you need additional tools.
In addition to the bonsai shears, another of the 'first real bonsai tools' is the concave branch cutter.
This is the one that's difficult to duplicate.
This branch cutter will make removing the branches you don't want much easier than using regular garden shears.
The 'Magic Cloth' is another highly recommended, fun free "tool." (This is one of my personal favorites.)
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