Bonsai help and advice
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First a word on the importance of quality. Whilst all levels of tooling will do what they are designed for, the difference in raw materials make the difference as to how well they perform and how long they will last.
Top of the pile we find Japanese tooling, notably Yagimitsu brand which has been accepted as the best for many years. I use these tools and would recommend them in all case as being the obvious choice if you intend to stick around for a few years and can afford the extra cost
Amongst the two better ranges there is the additional choice of black carbon steel or stainless steel. The jury is still out on this question. Stainless steel is considerably more expensive and will retain its good looks for longer. However some users have found that stainless steel does not hold an edge as well or for as long as carbon steel.
Bonsai Scissors come in several shapes and sizes each of which has a designed purpose.
General purpose scissors or Japanese style scissors have sturdy blades and a gap between the handles designed to minimise the chance of trapping fingers and foliage between them.
Fine trimming scissors also referred to as long handled scissors
Root scissors have sturdy blades and large rounded handles. I have never fully understood the design benefit of these handles as they can be difficult to control. These scissors should be kept purely for root work to prevent the spread of disease between roots and foliage. Also bear in miind that they will be cutting through dirty, gritty soil so will not hold an edge for as long. For this reason this is one area where cheap, disposable scissors may be a better option.
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TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES - An outline of the basic requirements
THE CHINESE ELM - Everybody starts here, some home truths
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - A whimsical look at some common problems
BONSAI CALENDAR - What to do and when to do it
STYLING - DEVELOPING THE EYE - Slightly more advanced but essential
5 MINUTE RAFT PLANTING - A simple project
THE ILLUSION OF BONSAI - More food for thought
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