What is a descent kind of novice toolkit for bonsai and where can I get them.

rhawes

Mame
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I am kind of looking for a small kit. With jin pliers, concave cutters, knob cutters, and different scissors and maybe tweezers and rake. I already have scissors and a few other cheap items, but was wanting something a little better quality that wont break the break the bank.
 

BonjourBonsai

Shohin
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I've found that a lot of things can be done with regular wire cutters, a pair of secateurs and regular pliers. Knob cutters are essential. Jin pliers can be approximated with flat nose pliers. I've heard good things about the tools @Hbhaska pointed out.
 

Coppersdad

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I am kind of looking for a small kit. With jin pliers, concave cutters, knob cutters, and different scissors and maybe tweezers and rake. I already have scissors and a few other cheap items, but was wanting something a little better quality that wont break the break the bank.
It's very likely you already own everything you need in your tool/carpentry toolbox. There is nothing you will do with your first trees that can't be done with the hand tools that most people own. It's true certain specialized tool might do the job better or faster but --- a sharp pair of small scissors and sharp garden clippers will serve you well. If you were to add a pair of pliers, wire cutters , tweezers from a pharmacy and maybe small lopping shears, you might still have money left to buy another pre-bonsai!
Some folks would advise you to wait to see if you are really committed to our hobby. If so, buy good quality tools and maybe buy them one at a time as you discover what you can't live without. Remember, often cheap tools are unsatisfying in the long run.
Good luck.
 

Boscology

Mame
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You only will really need one main bonsai tool, the concave cutter. I am happy with a pair I got from stone lantern for less than 50$.

after that the two most used tools of mine would probably be a pliers and wire cutter. I have a jin pliers and a wire cutter but use a high quality electricians tools work for these, find the tools from what you already are comfortable with as opposed to forcing yourself to use something you are less comfortable with.

Dont do what I and many others did and buy the 17 piece mass produced set like I did for 50$. The metal of the tools would rust in less than a calendar month.
 

Forsoothe!

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Yeah, don't buy a big set, maybe ever, or at least not until you you've been at it for some extended period of time. You will habitually use some tools more than others and exactly which ones need to "bonsai tools" is debatable. Any pliers with sharp teeth can be used to strip bark or break jin and you can buy a 3 size set of ordinary pliers cheaper than one "bonsai" pliers. Needle nose pliers of many sizes are useful for holding wire in places where your hands won't fit, and again are locally available in sets or alone, cheap. The bonsai wire cutter is overlooked by many as being replaceable by an electricians, but only the bonsai one is snub-nosed and can be pressed perpendicular against the branch to cut a wire without marking the branch. It gets important when it is a thin wire tight on a skinny twig. The scissors needs to have a long skinny reach and fairly large and heavy hand loops to reach in and comfortably cut heavier twigs. The blades need to a few inches, 3 or 4". The little, short blades are cute but not used much. Any ordinary pass-thru garden shears works fine for roots. The key tools are the flush cutters and concave cutters, the 7 or 8" size are the starters and from there if you can afford to buy different sizes larger and smaller, they are handy where one size doesn't fit all.

Tools are a lot like cars. Dream up a price and there are products for that price. The high end tools will scare most people just like expensive cars do, so don't get carried away thinking you're going to impress somebody with "great" tools, -they all look the same on the bench and you usually have look hard to see the maker's mark. The cheapest tools are cheap and the expensive tools are only marginally better than the middling tools. As to rust, the better steel does resist it better, but mostly that's a problem for people who don't take care of their stuff. Keep things in your perspective and they'll work out. Shop all the bonsai websites and start in the low mid-priced range and move up as you get more serious.
 

Cofga

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Don’t buy a beginners kit, they stuff those with junk tools you will never use. Instead get the concave cutters and maybe jin pliers (for twisting wire). Then add others as you gain experience. About 99% of the time those are what I use along with wire cutters which you may already have in your tool box.
 

Vali

Mame
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Which are more useful: knob cutters or concave cutters? It seems, for my untrained skills, that they do the same thing. Am I wrong?
 

SouthernMaple

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I went online and bought this tool set of stainless steel, they aren't Japanese but made in China i think, they will last a few years until the next expo where I can buy better ones, I found a post on here about beginner tools and this was recommended, before this set all i had were hand me downs from family friends and club auctions. I now use my old concaves as dedicated root cutters. Here is the store on Amazon, ive only had them for about one month and I haven't really used them for anything yet. I went with the 4 piece set, since i already had needle nose pliers and wire cutters in my tool set and it didn't justify 30 bucks for jin pliers.

 

Starfox

Masterpiece
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I´ve been looking lately at Hugo bonsai tools, they look good and are competitively priced but beyond their about page I don´t know much about them.

They mention both importing and manafacturing, it´s not really clear if they are importing, if so from where or are they manafacturing locally.

Anyone have any insight?
 

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