Like most Bonsai Tools that we come across in our journey we can get overloaded with choices. But what are the right Bonsai Wire Cutters for You? Lets Take A Look.
Bonsai Wire Cutters have 1 simple job, to cut bonsai wire. But there are a few different types of wire cutters we will encounter when shopping for a new set of wire cutters for our bonsai tool kit. so lets take a look at a few of the different types and their advantages.
First lets answer a quick question everybody has straight away and that is
Why don't we use side cutters for removing bonsai wire?
You see side cutters or just regular wire cutters have a sharp pointed nose generally and shorter handles, this will both cause strain on your hands if you are doing a long session of wire and continually needing to cut thick wire and the pointed edge will increase your risk of accidentally cutting the branch while you are cutting the wire. I'm not sure what the actual reason is but when i first started bonsai i used a regular set of side cutters and i found that 6mm aluminium bonsai wire was very difficult to cut, when i got my first set of bonsai wire cutters i went to cut 6mm wire and it went through it with ease. My best guess would be the longer handles which gives you more of a fulcrum.
Now lets look at the different types of bonsai wire cutters.
Bull Nose Wire Cutters
Pictured Above, Carbon Steel Bonsai Wire Cutter
Link To Purchase https://bonsai-en.shop/products/kikuwa-205mm-bonsai-wire-cutter
Pictured Above, Stainless Steel Bonsai Wire Cutter
These are probably the most common types of bonsai wire cutters you will encounter. These are an all round wire cutter that are good for most jobs but you will benefit most from removing larger wire from your bonsai trees with these particular wire cutters. Like most bonsai tools this style of Bull Nose Wire Cutters comes in different materials and sizes. The 2 common material are Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel. Some cheaper tools are made from cast steel and are chrome plated to look like stainless steel, you can always tell the difference between the chrome plated tools though because they have almost like a mirror finish rather then the brushed finish of stainless steel. Stainless steel can be polished to a mirror finish but it is un common. The sizes usually range from 180mm - 215mm, The larger the size the larger the wire it can handle. When it comes to choosing a steel i would recommend Carbon Steel because it is a stronger steel and will last a lot longer, they will require more care with tool oil and storage but will be stronger and more durable. Stainless Steel is a more expensive steel so stainless wire cutters will cost a lot more, they take a lot less care because of their ability to prevent rusting but the steel it self is much softer which is not ideal for a situation where you are cutting strong materials.
The bull nose shape on these particular wire cutters reduces the risk of accidentally cutting into a bonsai branch or trunk while removing wire as the rounded nose will butt up against the branch while cutting the wire. I highly recommend this type of bonsai wire cutter for your first set, the others we will discuss now can be bought later as a luxury to make certain jobs easier.
Scissor Type Wire Cutters
Pictured Above, Scissor Type Wire Cutter
This particular set of Scissor type wire cutter is shorter so it is more suited to wiring first or secondary branching on smaller trees or for adding and removing wire from Shohin Bonsai. it can generally cut up to #16 gauge copper wire or 2.5mm Aluminium Wire. So any jobs that require those size wires these scissor type wire cutters are generally usful for, although i have outlined those sizes the wire cutters can cut larger wire then that physically but jobs that require wire larger then the sizes mention would most likely benefit from a different style of wire cutter.
Pictured Above, Professional Scissor Type Wire Cutter
This type of Scissor Type Bonsai Wire Cutter is more suited to the professional or high level enthusiast environment due to its longer handles designed to get in between highly ramified branching. Most beginner level trees wont have highly ramified branches that will require this type of wire cutter but as you begin to get higher level trees with much more branching and fine branching then this type of wire cutter will become more crucial to your Bonsai Tool Kit.
Detail Wire Cutter
Pictured Above, Detail Wire Bonsai Wire Cutters
This set of wire cutters are very small and can fit in the palm of your hand, in fact that is exactly what they were designed to do. When working on the tips of bonsai branches you will be applying a lot of wire and cutting a lot of wire, having a small set of wire cutters that can fit in the palm of your hand allows you to keep working without having to put the wire cutters down, this allows you to quickly cut your wire and keep working. Over a 4hr+ session this will save you a lot of time and effort.
I hope this article has helped shed some light on the different types of wire cutters you might encounter while shopping for bonsai tools online.