Deadwood tool recommendatio

Hello everyone,

As the title of this topic implies id love to get some recommendations from you concerning deadwood tools. What are your experiences? What did you like etc.? Are there any tools you find essential, maybe thought were essential and dismissed them etc.? Do you regularly use dremels or other electric devices and what do you think of those?

I was able to get my hands on a nice piece of taxus material with some natural shari parties that i want to enhance but i dont have any tools for carving. What i have are my concave cutters, jin pliers and a basic assorrment of pruning tools but other that i dont have an assortement for working deadwood.

Once i get a few tools ill practice with them on other deadwood pieces i have lying around in our garden before making a hack job of my taxus :sweat_smile:

Id love to hear your thoughts and would love to see a discussion between you experienced deadwood carvers out there :wink:

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I just caved in and picked up a foredom from the Mirai store. I had tried dremels, misc hand tools and a few random power tools nothing gave me the control I needed. Tried the foredom out last week after it arrived and it’s awesome. Spendy, but very effective!

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I ordered and received this recently for some Jin work on a juniper. I like the curved hook and the wood grip. It’s currently out of stock but a great price and a worthwhile tool.

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Different tools give different results for inspiration



I think both the rotary tools and chisels are relevant approaches and I would use both depending on the type material and often I would use a combination of both (but I have to develop my skills).

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@Robert thank you very much for the links! Ill definitely check them out. And with what did you start off with? Rotaty or chisels?

@Tiibee what did you start off with? Do you have any other tools or is that hook your go to tool?

I haven’t done a lot of Jin/ahari work. I also use a pair of Jin pliers and a few old wood carving tools. I have a draw/scoop tool from American Bonsai.

For cleaning up bigger chop sites, ie trunk chops or removed branches where I want a concave area for the callus to roll I use a dremel and a round rotary burr bit. I got this set and the round ball shaped bit works the best.

Rotary Burr Set Carving Tool…

If you do VERY large deadwood features, Harbour Freight carries a ~3" circular chainsaw adaptor for an angle grinder. It does curves easily.
It takes wood off REAL fast. Then refine with other tools.
BE FORWARNED… It is the most dangerous tool I have ever used… It will take off a finger in microseconds… Just like a chainsaw, Keep BOTH hands on the grinder, and use the shield (if it fits).
For smaller trees, I prefer hand tools, knives and a dremmel-- with the above mentioned burr bits! They ARE outstanding. Keep a small brass brush handy to remove pitch buildup!

I started with rotary on deciduous was not happy with result next hand tools on a Taxus wasn’t happy either and learned that I should have use them the other way around / in combination.

Auto wheel cleaner also works great at cleaning the buildup from the bits.

So do i understand you correctly that to use rotaty instruments on taxus first and then hand tools? Where did you get that advice? Via Ryan?

No I started using rotary for dead wood creation but was not happy with the results so went to hand tools. Taxus wood is too hard and fibrous to get good results with hand tools. So a combination is my current approach but still have to start as it is not the season / trees are not ready.

Ryan also has a video on Taxus dead wood creation look it up, he uses power tools. Don’t take my word for it I am a beginner and use the sources I linked for inspiration.

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Flexcut has a variety of hand chisels, not specific to bonsai but nice quality.
They also sell a mini draw knife which works great.

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