Monday, November 21, 2011

Indoor Bonsai Tools 101

Article by Penny Goldman

Being new to bonsai you may be curious as to which bonsai tools are required for those who are new to indoor bonsai . Bonsai is a past time which can be costly and it is extremely simple to go off the deep end and purchase loads of tools which are unnecessary until you are truly engrossed in indoor bonsai. So, which tools are vital? I will show you which tools are vital to beginning your indoor bonsai hobby and the specific use of each bonsai tool. Let’s begin! There are only four tools that you should purchase to begin our indoor bonsai hobby.


The Concave Pruner must be the first tool you buy. Indoor bonsai hobbyists use these pruners to cut away branches from indoor bonsai while preserving the integrity of the tree trunk. These pruners additionally cut away unnecessary branches imprinting them with a concave hollow. This is the reason they are known as concave pruners. This concave hollow assists the indoor bonsai tree mend much faster and allows the tree to heal without creating visually distressing knobs on your tree’s trunk. Concave pruners will be your main tool that you will use when you are shaping your indoor bonsai. Consider buying the 8 inch sized concave pruner as it is the easiest to handle and can easily trim branches to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.


Indoor bonsai hobbyists use bud scissors to prune leaves, small branches and buds from bonsai trees. Known for it’s ability to prune extremely delicate branches, they offer the indoor bonsai hobbyist precision cuts due to it’s small cutting surface area. Bud scissors give you the opportunity to prune the delicate inner areas of indoor bonsai trees.


Bonsai wire cutters allow indoor bonsai hobbyists to cut the training wires used to shape a bonsai tree. These wires usually are available in aluminum or a unique copper variety. To train a bonsai tree one needs to wrap the wire around the circumference of the bonsai tree trunk and coax the shape of the trunk to whatever the indoor bonsai hobbyist desires. Once the visualized shape has manifested, bonsai wire cutters snip the delicate wire from the trunk. A word of caution – resist the temptation to use wire cutters purchased from your local hardware store! These will surely damage your bonsai tree. Bonsai wire cutters were created to snip the delicate wire from the trunk without hurting your bonsai tree.


A knob cutter is used infrequently however, it is a tool which no hobiest can do without in their bonsai tool box. Knob cutters are also known by the name of melon ball cutters. They take off ugly knobs from your bonsai tree. An alternative use for these cutters is to prune the roots of bonsai. Pruning bonsai roots allows the tree to grow stronger. Knob cutters are shaped to let you remove all tree knobs and thus are extremely sharp. Take care when working with knob cutters. Also, as roots are damp places for metal tools to work in, it is advised to oil your knob cutters after each use and keep the cutter free from foreign debris. Protecting your tools against rust erosion will help to extend the life of your tools.

While other bonsai tools exist they are unnecessary at this point. The above 4 tools are all that you will require to start your indoor bonsai trees. We will discuss other tools once we graduate to more challenging indoor bonsai trees. For the moment it is suggested that you only purchase the above 4 tools. The next installment will discuss your initial bonsai tree choice to actively begin your indoor bonsai hobby.

About the Author

Flo’s blog is full of tips and techniques that beginners to indoor bonsai can use to help them learn all about bonsai, how to care for bonsai and how to use bonsai tools. The best part is – she gives away all the info for free. Check it out here. Indoor Bonsai for Beginners

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