Caring for Tools and Maintaining their Edge

caring bonsai tools

At the end of the day, it does not matter how good the blades are. Without some basic maintenance, they will lose their edge.

Here are a few things you can do to keep the edge for long:

 

After Use Care: Part of the good bonsai habit.

bonsai tool care

Blades will be cover with sap leftovers after using, the easiest thing is to wipe it with a damp and wrung cloth BEFORE it gets dry and hard to wipe. Make sure to wipe after using as if sap accumulates, performance will be affected.

 

If you have trouble removing sap (or rust), Wazakura sap eraser (SEE ITEM) is a specially dedicated tool to take care of the sap.

 

oiling bonsai blades

Carbon steel tools will always be prone to rust, applying oil to the front and back of the blades and a single drop of oil to the hinge AFTER making sure it has been properly wiped will increase the life span.

 oiling scissors hinge

 

Edge Maintenance:

sooner or later, edge tools start to become blunt, but there are ways to care for this as well. 

A severely blunted edge is hard to sharpen and most probably will require a specialist hand. But a simple and very light regular caring with the whetstone while the blade is still sharp will make a difference in keeping the edges in good shape for long.

 

Need: low viscosity oil (mineral/petroleum based) + whetstone.

  1. Start by oiling the whetstone with the low viscosity oil.
  2. Open the shears and sharp the outside first in an angle between ~25 to 30°
  3. Apply a few strokes keeping a steady angle (do not apply too much strength as angle may change), pushing away from you and towards the tip.
  4. After the outside is sharpened, check the inside for a slight burr. Correct by placing the whetstone against the inside of the blade and slide away from you. Should be done gently as too much sharpening of the blade will reduce its edge.

 

Sharpening Knob /Branch/Root Cutters

Using the same whetstone and oil:

  1. Feel the closed edges of the blade (carefully to not cut yourself) and check if both sides are misaligned.
  2. Identify the upper and ender blades. Like with shears, start with the outside of the under blade against the narrow tip with a few light strokes. Next shave off the inside blade burr.
  3. With the blades now closed, place the whetstone against the narrow part of the upper blade and hone based the level difference you noticed before. Then shave the inside burr.