Mid-level tools? Issues buying from American bonsai supply.

JonW

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I've had some challenges finding decent mid-grade tools. I have trouble justifying spending more, at least at this point in my life / bonsai hobby. However, I've had some difficulty finding good ones. I tried 3 recently:

American Bonsai: The concave/hybrid cutters were nice, but Standard/Wide shears had so much play between the blades, they wobbled back and forth and just bent rather than cut branches. I called the owner when I first got them - he seemed nice and argued this is how they should work, and that a space between the blades was normal, I just had to learn to hold them differently. I've never had that issue with normal or bonsai shears, but I agreed to try them a bit longer. Once I decided to return the shears, I asked them to to pay return shipping because this isn't a matter of preference, the shears just don't cut (they bulked at this, and I'm still not sure they will agree to pay). My return tracking shows the shears were returned 10-days ago, so I emailed late last night. When I didn't get a response, I submitted a paypal request for my money back this afternoon. In the paypal request, I acknowledged it might be an oversight on their part, but I just can't have this on my "to do" list. I have a baby, my wife has a broken leg, and I'm on call 24/7 at a hospital. I got a call from the owner shaming me for using paypal rather than calling him! He said I had never emailed him (there were a handful of emails about the return, which he eventually found) and that he never got the shears and I need to send tracking info. Shortly after I sent the tracking info, he offered a partial refund of $35 (taking $10 of shipping out of the return for a $45 shear, and not covering return shipping). I escalated the paypal dispute - not shopping from them again!

Kiku Gold: I tried these based upon a number of threads here. They cut really nicely, but the metal on the handles was really rough - there were some pointy "splinters" that are sharp enough for the shears to dangle from my skin/hand after I tried to put them down. It took Andy from Superfly a while to get back to me, and he offered a partial refund or replacement. Ultimately, he gave me a full refund because the entire stock had similar issues. The shears cut very nicely and smoothly - they are 5-inch refinement shears I got for plants like my Kingsville Boxwood.

Mu-Tian on Amazon: this was another one I tried based upon BonsaiNut threads, as a replacement for the American Bonsai shmears. They were identical to the American Bonsai Shears aside from the "chop" (branding), and they cut just fine (not "play" between the scissor blades). The blades don't cut as smoothly as higher end shears - its almost like they were manufactured fine, but a little tweaking by hand from an expert would make them much nicer tools. Out of the 3 I tried, this is what I think I'd buy again unless Kiku fixes their manufacturing issue (they cut nicer than the Tian).
 

Hack Yeah!

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Did you try researching how to correct the play in the tool you returned, I think it's as simple as whacking the hinge with a hammer...
 

JonW

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Sorry to hear that about America Bonsai tools, I have a few of their tools and they seem to be fine.
Never had to deal with customer support from them.

I also like Kaneshin for bonsai tools, not sure where they land in your price point.

https://kaneshin.shop2.multilingual...QzMh_V90xQ3lRssOgR-9TS69q1bN1HMRoCbuYQAvD_BwE
I know - the hybrid concave cutter was fine. Someone who is very knowledgeable suggested them, but I'm done with ABS.

I've heard good things about Kaneshin, but I wasn't sure if that was the correct site. Now I see you just purchase in yen and choose shipping. With shipping, its a bit more than the other brands, but not entirely unreasonable.
 

JonW

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Did you try researching how to correct the play in the tool you returned, I think it's as simple as whacking the hinge with a hammer...
I hear you, but I'm not going to go messing around and potentially damaging a tool (at least superficially), then consequently not be able to return it, if it isn't working correctly in the first place. The owner of ABS did say they adjust these for people, but it's $20 shipping (round trip) each time - I'd rather buy from a company that makes them correctly in the first place.
 

amcoffeegirl

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I will have another look at my AB scissors but I have not had them bend a branch.
From memory I do feel like they are more loose than my carbon pair though.
 

JonW

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I will have another look at my AB scissors but I have not had them bend a branch.
From memory I do feel like they are more loose than my carbon pair though.
Yeah mine were very loose and wobbly.
 

JonW

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My AB scissors is loose, and I like it that way, a little leverage, twist of the hand, and it keeps the blades cutting against each other. Works fine. Or at least for the way I have been using them.
Mine simply didn't work.
 

Clicio

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All my tools are either Kaneshin or Hyuga.
Very happy with Kaneshin products.
 
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I haven't been as happy with AB tools as I want to be. They do the job but don't seem to have the quality of my other tools. I bought a set of Kaneshin back when I first got into the hobby and they spoiled me - but for the money I think they're worth the extra expense.
 

MrWunderful

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Kaneshin is great if you dont mind a bit of shipping wait. The service is excellent too. I think Bonsai Tonight carries some of their stock.
 

amcoffeegirl

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My AB scissors is loose, and I like it that way, a little leverage, twist of the hand, and it keeps the blades cutting against each other. Works fine. Or at least for the way I have been using them.
Yes- mine have always worked just fine. Never bent instead of cutting. They are also still very sharp. I better use them some more.
 

leatherback

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correctly
Having a little play in the tool I find to be preferred: It allows me to establish how tight the fit is, and thus, whether they open by themselves or need a little convincing.
Correctly is partially subjective

Ryuga I also find a good mid-quality/price. I have their concave cutters small and these are my overall best cutters. Thinking about getting the large size too.
 

JonW

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Wow. Bonsai Karen!!

I don't think it's fair to make him pay for your ignorance. And why is you bring strapped for cash relevant at all? If you can't afford luxury items like bonsai tools at the moment, pro tip: don't buy them.
My ignorance? I've used many shears and the others work fine. These don't. They wobble and have space between the blades except at the tip no matter how they are held. They aren't useable. Thanks for your presumption about my ability to use scissors. Who said anything about affording? I said I think you should be able to get reasonably good shears for $50. Just because they say bonsai didn't mean you should pay extra for something crappy
 
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