Concave cutters

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Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:53 pm

Hi everyone Smile

Alright, yet another question has popped up.

What concave cutters do you all use? What ones would you suggest? And what are some qualities to look for when getting one?

And then how do you all care for the cutters after each use? Like what to do if they rust or how to clean them.

I used to have a pair but they rusted so I threw them out, thinking that the rust would kill the plant. So now I am in need of another pair.


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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:04 pm

I buy most of my tools from www.bonsaimonk.com. If you use 3 in 1 oil each time you use your tools to wipe them down they will last for years, I have some that are over 30 years old. I have 8-inch Spherical Concave Cutters and 10-inch regular concave cutters; I also have a pair of good bonsai scissors. If you wire you will need wire cutters.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:29 pm

What is this "3 in 1" oil I have been hearing about?

I have seen at the Bonsai Outlet online this stuff called "choji oil" that protects against corrosion, but that small bottle they have doesn't seem like it would last long.

Right now I am using these rubber coated wires I get from the dollar store, they are soft so it isn't supposed to scar the trunk as easily as regular metal wire does. I just cut it with scissors.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:33 am

I am using a Joshua Roth concave cutter and I am very happy with it. I literally abuse it use wise and it does everything. For care, I just wipe it with cooking oil every now and then. I have 2 others (more expensive Masakuni and a cheaper Yoshiaki) but IMHO, the JR offered the best value.

For wire cutters, I bought a cheap China made from eBay and after changing the cutting edge profile, it cuts any bonsai wire I can fit at its opening w/o any problem.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:13 am

3 In 1 is a light machine oil that has been around forever. You can find it at Wal Mart and real hardware stores also.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:17 pm

I keep an oily rag in my toolbox (3&1 oil) and wipe and wrap my tools in it. too. I've had some of them for 30 yars.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:37 pm


I have seen at the Bonsai Outlet online this stuff called "choji oil" that protects against corrosion, but that small bottle they have doesn't seem like it would last long.

This stuff works as well as 3 in 1 oil but probably costs about four times as much. Save your money for good quality tools and pre bonsai stock.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:15 pm

Is this like the oil you are talking about?
http://www.toolup.com/wd40_10035_3-oz-3-in-1-oil-can.aspx

I just want to make sure I know what to get so I don't get something toxic to the plants.

I found some 15pc tool sets on ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/180710881016?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

But I am a bit hesitant because of the cheap price.

It will be a month or so before I can order any tools, all of our extra money is going towards camping in July. But I don't need any of the tools right now anyways, as most of my trees aren't in training yet.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:36 pm

This set is made of low quality tools but most of these you can use (eventually). The most critical piece of tool you'll need is the concave cutter and I can assure you that the one that comes with this set is not good. That said, you can buy this, use the cutter for roots and rough work, and get a good one for your upper work.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:41 pm

I just want to make sure I know what to get so I don't get something toxic to the plants.

ANY light machine oil you find in a hardware store (for instance) is fine. Your tools won't be bathed in it, so toxicity is not an issue.

Personally, I would not recommend using a vegetable (cooking) oil. It can go rancid and sticky after a while. Probably no issue with tools that are used regularly, but . . .

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:08 pm

JimLewis wrote:Personally, I would not recommend using a vegetable (cooking) oil. It can go rancid and sticky after a while. Probably no issue with tools that are used regularly, but . . .
Just to clarify, my tools get initial treatment of Mobil 1 (yes motor oil) on moving parts (pivot points) then all excess wiped off. I then apply a little grease just as additional/thicker barrier (again on pivot points only). The vegetable oil is just maintenance on outside parts in contact with plants and I have no issue yet. I guess you are right about constant use won't let any gunk to build up.


Last edited by Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:08 pm

Ok, I will watch out for the 3 in 1 oil.

I won't get the kit, like you said I was worried that it would be low quality.

If the concave cutter was about $30-$40 USD by itself then would I be correct to assume that it would be a decent pair?

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:10 pm

jreidsma wrote:Ok, I will watch out for the 3 in 1 oil.

I won't get the kit, like you said I was worried that it would be low quality.

If the concave cutter was about $30-$40 USD by itself then would I be correct to assume that it would be a decent pair?

Assuming it was from a reputable dealer and not just "someone" on EBay, yes.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:11 pm

jreidsma wrote:If the concave cutter was about $30-$40 USD by itself then would I be correct to assume that it would be a decent pair?
No...note that even with JR, they have novice, intermediate, pro, and master grade. Personally, I would look around the $75 range.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:14 pm

A good cutter have a different cutter profile...and good steel. They might look the same but they are not.

I will try to snap a pic of mine tonight to show you.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:10 pm

You link to 3 in 1 oil is the product I mentioned, but any basic light oil will do.

$75 is more realistic for a quality concave cutter, BTW, I use a "spherical concave cutter" as opposed to a standard concave cutter. It has a different profile.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:42 pm

I don't think my parents would let me spend $75 on a cutter, even if it was my own money. We will have to wait and see though if maybe one comes on sale.

I saw this one, but it is only in the $50 USD range:
http://www.stonelantern.com/Stone_Lantern_Corex_Bonsai_Tree_Concave_Cutters_p/tmcs5-corex.htm

Heres one on sale, usually it is $65
http://www.stonelantern.com/Concave_cutters_for_bonsai_Koyo_Branch_Cutters_p/t203.htm

Theres also this spherical one:
http://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/black_rounded_concave_cutters.html

Or this one, I kind of like it, usually its price would be $85 apparently:
http://www.stonelantern.com/Stone_Lantern_Stainless_Bonsai_Concave_Cutters_p/tmss5-corex.htm

The last one says "stainless" so I am guessing it is steel.


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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:47 pm

Just note that a spherical concave cutter is a bit more difficult to maintain/sharpen (over a regular concave cutter if you are so inclined).

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Whichever is best I will do my best to keep Wink

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:06 pm

jreidsma wrote:I don't think my parents would let me spend $75 on a cutter, even if it was my own money. We will have to wait and see though if maybe one comes on sale.

I saw this one, but it is only in the $50 USD range:
http://www.stonelantern.com/Stone_Lantern_Corex_Bonsai_Tree_Concave_Cutters_p/tmcs5-corex.htm

These are Chinese, note it says "made for Stone Lantern by "Corex."

Heres one on sale, usually it is $65
http://www.stonelantern.com/Concave_cutters_for_bonsai_Koyo_Branch_Cutters_p/t203.htm

OK, these are Japanese and OK

Theres also this spherical one:
http://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/black_rounded_concave_cutters.html

I have the 8 inch version of this. it is also Japanese, but check out www.bonsaimonk.com, the price might be better

Or this one, I kind of like it, usually its price would be $85 apparently:
http://www.stonelantern.com/Stone_Lantern_Stainless_Bonsai_Concave_Cutters_p/tmss5-corex.htm

Again Chinese

Chinese made stuff is not all bad, it just has not been of the same quality as the Japanese product. Whatever you buy, you must clean it after every use with the oil and not leave it outside.

The last one says "stainless" so I am guessing it is steel.


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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:20 pm

Ok, so its between these two:
http://www.stonelantern.com/Concave_cutters_for_bonsai_Koyo_Branch_Cutters_p/t203.htm
http://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/black_rounded_concave_cutters.html

I checked bonsaimonk.com and the price for the 8" spherical one was $80, so the link I posted (although it may be a smaller one) it is cheaper. I couldn't find a smaller spherical concave cutter on bonsai monk either.

Whichever one of those is better I will try to get sometime.

What would you suggest storing the cutters in when not in use? I had my last one in a ziplock baggy inside. Or maybe storing them in something like a small plastic tacklebox, or maybe some cloth bag would be better?

I am also guessing that every once and a while they might need sharpening when they get dull.



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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:37 pm

NEVER use a plastic bag or ziplock.

Try something like this...
http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DG5103-Small-Maintenance-Electricians/dp/B001P30BVO/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339439653&sr=8-1-spell

or this..
http://www.amazon.com/Custom-Leathercraft-1126-Small-32-Pocket/dp/B000KL5WA2/ref=sr_1_19?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1339439703&sr=1-19

You might think that is a lot of space now but wait until you get all your supplies, you will be glad you had the capability to put them all in one bag. Wink

I am sure you can find something similar locally at Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:22 pm

Ahh, ok. So pretty much a garden tool bag or other tool bag. Smile Should be easy enough to find one. Thanks Smile

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:19 pm

I use a small Sears toolbox. Some folks use fishing tackleboxes. Others spend a gazillion dollars on a fancy leather tool kit made specifically for bonsai tools.

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Re: Concave cutters

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:39 pm

If a tacklebox would work I may have an empty one available already to use. My family likes to fish (while I don't) and so we have extras. I think the one has a bonsai tree sticker on it also Very Happy that would be perfect Wink


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Re: Concave cutters

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