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 and can damage the shears.
One pair of medium size shears for general pruning - things such as young branches - will be adequate.
An additional pair of small scissors will be a convenience for trimming leaves and the tips of new growth.
The larger tool 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!
I recently read online that you should "never use household scissors" on bonsai.
There is no magic in bonsai tools!
If you have one little tree that occasionally need as trim, special tools may not be necessary. As your bonsai collection grows, you may 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 them sharp and clean!
Review cleaning notes on
the Bonsai Tools page.
As your hobby develops, you will know when you need additional tools.
Lots of folks use chopsticks to help remove soil, or even when adding soil to a container. It's an easy, free tool.
In addition to bonsai shears, another of the 'first bonsai tools' is the concave branch cutter. That's the one that is difficult to duplicate!
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