Bonsai Tools

Proper tools and equipment are very essential for taking care of bonsai trees. The basic bonsai tools include bonsai scissors, root cutters, wire cutters, concave branch cutters, pliers, pruners and wires. If you’re a beginner, you must have these basic bonsai tools in your starter tool kit.

Moreover, there are also some specialist bonsai tools available that will help to make your job easier and more effective. The specialist bonsai tools are pruning shears, bonsai saw, brush, mesh, tweezers, rotating table, chopsticks, sickle saw, rotary tool, chisels and grafting knives, root hook/rake and scalpel.

In the beginning, not all these bonsai tools are essential. But when you want to grow a variety of bonsai trees at a time and also want to try different styles as an advanced artist does, you must upgrade your tool kit with advanced bonsai tools and equipment. Therefore, start with some basic tools and then purchase other advanced tools severally when you’re in need of one of them.

Bonsai Tools

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

However, you will find a lot of bonsai tools in a professional’s toolkit. As a beginner, you may not need all of them. But you must have knowledge about all types of necessary bonsai tools. Because later on you might be in need of any bonsai tool.

So today we introduce you with basic bonsai tools to specialize in bonsai tools. Therefore, keep on reading and learn all about bonsai tools.

Cutting Tools

The most essential bonsai tools for an ideal bonsai tool kit are the cutting tools. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a specialist, you must have a few basic bonsai cutting tools when you are growing bonsai trees.

So let’s have a look at the basic bonsai cutting tools and learn them.

Bonsai Scissors

Bonsai scissors are a very special kind of bonsai cutting tool that you must have in your collection. They come with various purposes while taking care of a bonsai tool. Most importantly a bonsai scissor like this is sharper and has more ability to produce a clear cut than a regular kitchen scissor. There are basically two types of bonsai scissors such as:

  1. Sturdy scissors: As the name suggests, this type of scissors are really so robust that it could help you to cut thick and fibrous roots or branches. Furthermore, they include long handles that let you grip and apply them easily.
  2. Small pruning scissors: These scissors are ideal for pruning small or tiny branches and roots with no damage. Though they are seemingly very small in size, fortunately they come with perfect shape, size and holding place that helps to do the job more efficiently without any hassle.

Root cutters

Root cutters are another very special tool for bonsai trees. They are used to cut heavy roots while repotting. Sometimes they are almost similar to branch cutters. Often root cutters can be used as branch cutters.

Leaf pruners

Now leaf pruners are the next cutting tools for bonsai. They are useful when you need to cut dense foliage, leaf stalks, twigs or shoots.

Pruning shears

The next cutting tools for bonsai are the pruning shears. They are almost similar to the leaf pruners. They include small jaws and neat cutters which allow you to cut thick branches with dense foliage.

Wire Cutters

One of the most important equipments for bonsai is wire cutters. They are ideal for training and shaping a bonsai tree. Wire cutters are also known as wire scissors. Whatever you call them, they are very proficient for trimming the wire ends when modeling your bonsai tree.

Originally there have been two kinds of wire cutters. One is known as a general wire cutter and another is a heavy duty wire cutter. General wire cutters are ideal for cutting wires which are made from aluminum whereas a heavy duty wire cutter is useful for cutting copper wire.

Branch Cutters

Branch cutters are used for cutting thinner or pasty branches from the tree. They are also needed while reducing overdensity of a tree by removing unnecessary branches from the tree.

Mainly there are three types of branch cutters with various purposes.

  1. Concave branch cutters: The main purpose of using a concave branch cutter that includes a concave edge, is that it can heal the wound quicker and more naturally than any other branch cutters. They are ideal for cutting branches when the branches are too large or thick for shears. They can also be used as knob cutters for removing knobs from the tree.
  2. Flat branch cutters: Flat cutters with flat edges are useful for pruning your bonsai tree. Mainly they are ideal for removing branches that are closer to the trunk of the tree.
  3. Hybrid branch cutters: Hybrid branch cutters come with the purposes of both concave and flat cutter. A hybrid branch cutter can be used as a concave cutter as well as a flat cutter. Though using a hybrid branch cutter is difficult to use, you can also get started with minimal experience.

Bonsai Saw

Bonsai saw is a tool that is useful for assisting you to cut bonsai tree’s roots, trunks and branches when they are too thick and you’re unable to cut them off using shears or pliers.

There are various types of bonsai saws you will find on the market which come with different shapes and purposes as well.


These are the tools that you must have in your collection when you’re a bonsai grower. They are used for binding and bowing wires when it comes to shaping or repotting a tree.

Bonsai Tool Guide

Maintenance Tools for Bonsai

When it comes to training or shaping a bonsai tree, using some basic maintenance tools are required to get the best result in this job. Here in this part of the article, we have added some basic maintenance tools for bonsai with details.

Brushes – soft and wire brush

Soft brushes are used to remove rubbish or any kind of debris from the surface of the pot. A soft brush will help you to remove any garbage from the surface of the table when you use a rotating table for placing your bonsai tree pots.

Wound sealant

They are for ensuring your bonsai tree to be free from various fungal infections and bacterial infections. They are like a paste made with antibacterial and antifungal agents and used to fill the cut wounds of your tree in order to prevent any kind of disease or infection.


Wires are one of the most essential bonsai tools and equipment that you must have in your bonsai toolkit. They are useful when you want to give a proper and a specific shape to your tree.

Bonsai Wires

Basically, there are two types of wires available for training or shaping your bonsai trees and they are followings:

Anodized aluminum wire

This kind of bonsai wire is the perfect choice for shaping the trees who are relatively deciduous. Furthermore, the wires made from aluminum are full of flexibility and easy to use.

However, it is advisable for beginners who are thinking about wiring their lovable bonsai trees to try an anodized aluminum wire like this for shaping their tree. For the first time, it is the best choice.

annealed copper wire

Using an annealed copper wire is very efficient for the trees which consist of thick branches such as conifers. Naturally they are hard and not easy to use but they are the must have tools while you’re growing a conifer or any kind of bonsai species like that.

Watering can

Very simple but essential tool for taking care of a bonsai tree is a watering can. Most bonsai tree species need regular watering and so such a good watering can with a long nozzle but a smaller hose is required for watering your tree daily.

Spray bottle

Sometimes using a watering won’t be much helpful when you need watering small leaves or flowers of your tree specifically. At that time, a spray bottle would be a good choice for watering leaves and flowers.

Rust eraser

As the name recommends, a rust eraser is used to cleanse rust from various bonsai tools blades when they become rusty.

Rotating table/turntable

When you place your bonsai tree on a rotating table, it allows you to rotate your tree while working on it like wiring the tree, shaping the tree or watering the tree. Thus it can make your job easier and more comfortable.

Repotting Tools

Since a bonsai tree grows in a small range and in small amounts of soil, staying in the same container for long periods of time reduces soil nutrients and increases the chances of pot-bound. So regular repotting or transplanting of your bonsai tree is crucial for better living and healthy life of the trees.

However, repotting a bonsai tree isn’t an easy task to do. In this case, a tree can face various losses if proper methods and equipment are not applied. There are a variety of reporting tools that allow you to complete the whole process accurately and safely without any damage.

So at this point, I will talk about some of the most important and essential ripping tools. So let’s see what those tools are and what their requirements are.


Chopsticks are used for removing old soil from the roots of a bonsai tree while repotting the tree. They can also be used for combing roots when transplanting a bonsai tree. Chopsticks are literally made from bamboo and sharp-edged metal also.

Bamboo chopsticks are handy and good for the environment when the chopsticks made from metal are difficult to use and costly as well. Though a root hook or a root rake can assist you in the same way as a chopstick does, using a chopstick is easier and so it is advisable for beginners.

Root pruning scissors

A root pruning scissor comes with larger blades and it is useful for pruning fibrous roots from the tree while repotting the tree.


Loppers are used for cutting thicker roots, branches or trunks. Moreover, they are most likely to be pruners. But they are more efficient and easy to use because they include strong handles for giving a cozy grip.

Root claws

Root claws are ideal for breaking down the larger pieces of soil into small pieces and combing roots when transplanting a tree.


One of the most efficient bonsai tools that you should have. Tweezers are used for removing debris and dead foliage from a bonsai tree. During repotting, they are ideal for adjusting roots and removing surface soil.


Bonsai sieves are used to grade different soil particles while anyone uses various granular soil components such as Akadama, Pumice and Kanuma. They’re also useful for removing dirt and dust from the soil.

Root saw

When a tree is planted in a pot, its roots are stuck to the wall of the pot. Now if you want to transplant the tree then you have to remove the shakers from the wall of the pot very carefully so that they are not damaged.

So when it comes to repotting a tree, a bonsai root saw allows you to isolate the entangled roots confirming no damage to the roots.

Sickle saw

Although a sickle saw and a root saw do almost the same thing, during the repotting, curved blades of a sickle saw let you separate the corners of a tree from the pot, enduring no damage to the roots.


It is used to cover the holes of the bonsai pot. Bonsai pots include some holes at the bottom so that the excess water from the pot can be terminated easily. But these holes can cause damage to your tree in many ways such as insects attacking or removing soil from the pot.

In this case, using a mesh in the pot can help you best. It prevents the soil from attacking insects and the soil from removing from the pot while watering.

Rotary tool

A rotary tool is mostly used for cutting deadwood. Moreover, it can also be applied for carving and fortunately, it is able to do the job neatly.

Chisels and grafting knives

Grafting knives are useful for removing bark or wounds and carving deadwood. The main purpose of using a chisel is to bring a more natural look into your jins and sharis.


A scalpel, also known as a carving knife, is useful for carving the deadwood of a bonsai planter. It allows you to bring a more natural look while working on deadwood.

Caring and Maintenance for Bonsai Tools

Most good quality bonsai tools are made from heavy metal and are hardly expensive. Lack of proper caring and maintenance can easily rust and damage. So proper care and maintenance are required for extending their life and good performance. You can follow the guidelines for taking care of your bonsai tools that are given below:

  • Most importantly, always clean the tools and apply oil on the tools after each use. This method will help them to keep rust free.
  • Never use a bonsai tool for any purpose instead of the main purpose it was made for.
  • Always keep them away from humidity to keep them rust free.
  • Use a rust eraser for removing rust when you find rust over the blades. Keep away from using anything else to do the same thing instead of a rust eraser.
  • Use the tools with sharp edges and in order to sharpen the edges, use a diamond stone.

Final Thought 

Though proper tools and equipment are crucial for taking care of bonsai trees, looking for hundreds of specialty tools can be overwhelming. When you’re a newbie, you will need a few basic bonsai tools in your tool kit like this for working on your tree. But when you’re an advanced bonsai artist, the more bonsai tools you’ll try, the more you’ll get from your work.

However, since bonsai tools are a bit expensive, it is better to use a few standard basic tools at a higher price rather than a lot of low-cost tools. Because most of the time, the tools at a low cost, don’t have sharp edges for longer periods of time.

Moreover, using tools with good sharp edges is very essential for ensuring no damage to the tree while working on it. So make sure that you’re using standard tools with good sharp edges. After all, quality is better than quantity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a bonsai knob cutter?

A bonsai knob cutter is a special kind of bonsai cutter used to cut knobs from the trunks or branches of bonsai trees.

What tools do you need for bonsai? 

The basic tools we need for bonsai are bonsai scissors, pruning shears, branch cutters, wire, wire cutters, root hook or root rake, tweezers and a watering can.

What are bonsai shears?

Bonsai shears are one kind of bonsai cutting tool which are used for trimming bonsai trees and cutting or removing small branches, or wilted flowers from the tree.

Where Are Ryuga bonsai tools made?

Ryuga bonsai tools are made in china. They are produced by a subsidiary of YM Group in china. Ryuga bonsai tools are truly very high quality tools and undoubtedly they are a great addition to the bonsai artists as well as other gardeners. Because of producing affordable high quality tools they are unbeatable.

Are Ryuga bonsai tools good?

Ryuga bonsai tools are quality tools in very fantastic prices

Why are bonsai tools so expensive?

Most of the bonsai tools are handmade and literally take much time and labor to be produced. So we find them so expensive.

What are the most expensive scissors?

The scissors made from Japanese and high quality german blades are the most expensive scissors.

What is the best brand of bonsai tools?

A number of bonsai tool brands such as Masakuni, Kaneshin, and Ryuga are now very popular and respected all over the world for their high quality bonsai tools. But we found MASAKUNI as the best brand of bonsai tools among them.

What is the use of a knob cutter?

A knob cutter is used for removing knobs from bonsai trees.

What is a concave cutter?

A concave cutter is an ideal tool you need for shaping, modeling and taking care of your bonsai tree. It is needed for cutting offensive and unwanted

How do you use a bonsai knob cutter?

A knob cutter with a round shape of the edge comes with various purposes while working on a bonsai tree. You can use it to cut the branches the branch cutter cannot tackle.

Use it like this in a part that you want to dent. However, if you cut or pry with too much force, you might chip the blade. So please, be careful.