Price/Performance tools

Any advice on good tools that are not the most expensive ones?
Any good online stores? Preferably EU, but USA would be also ok.


First before I self promote I would say to check out the Mirai store. I sell both Joshua Roth and Kaneshin tools. I love the Kaneshin brand. I sell a few of the American Bonsai tools as well. My online store is located in Minnesota, USA. Sumo Bonsai Supply.

Other places online you could check out bonsai outlet and many others.

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Thanks! Will check it out.
I had cheap scissors (10e) for about year and a half and while they cut fine, they suddenly begin to rust real bad.

EDIT: Sadly the shipping from USA to EU is really expensive. Will have to find something in EU shops.

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Kaizen Bonsai. Gram Potter. He has to sell the good stuff you would think.

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You should perform maintenance on your tools to prevent the rust. It can come from many things: the storage environment is too humid, they’re stored dirty or dust accumulated on them.

You can easily clean up the rust with a sanding sponge, however don’t use it on the cutting edge of the scissors. You should only use a honing stone to clean up and maintain the edge. It doesn’t have to be a fancy stone… a cheap synthetic Japanese combination stone will do the trick or an old school oil stone (slate, shale, …). The stone just needs to be really flat.

Once the rust is gone, you can use 3-in-1 oil, mineral oil or camelia oil to protect the exposed steel. You just want a light film of oil on the tool for protection, if it forms drops/droplets you’ve put too much. Too much oil will attract dust, which will attract water.

I tend to clean my tools at the end of the day, first by brushing them with a soft brass brush to remove mud and debris then wipe them with a micro-fiber cloth saturated with oil. They may also get dunked into a disinfectant solution before being oiled, but only after working on specific trees or trees that carry a disease.


Thanks for the tips.
So, the anti corrosion oil from local hardware should do the trick?
As for the disinfectant i use medicine alcohol. I suppose this is ok?

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Any light oil will do the trick, it doesn’t have to be anti-corrosion.

Medicine alcohol is probably isopropyl, which works just fine for degreasing, deep cleaning and disinfecting…

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Light oil? Can you please elaborate? Not sure if i am familiar with the phrase but are this eatable kitchen oils?

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Light(weight) oils are oils with a low viscosity. Normally they are mineral oils.

The easiest options are:

  • mineral oil - available at Ikea (for cutting boards maintenance) and at chemists/pharmacies
  • 3-in-1 oil - should be in any DIY store (next to WD40 usually)
  • camelia oil as it is the traditional oil for Japanese tools

Dictum carries Chinese and Japanese camelia oils, and will most definitely ship it to Slovenia. (did I guess right?)

I’ve used mineral oil and 3-in-1 for 10+ years to prevent rust on my tools (bonsai and woodworking) but bought a 250ml bottle of camelia oil last summer.

In a pinch, you could probably use rapeseed/canola oil.

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Agree with Michael. The small bottle of camelia oil will last you a long time. No need to go for the food safe version though (if i remember correctly this was the more expensive one).

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Yeah literally that 250ml bottle could outlast me if I don’t spill it :wink:

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Graham place is a real gold place to buy tools. He doesn’t sell rubbish. Kaizen Bonsai

A quick wipe over with some olive oil is just perfect for tools.


Cannot recommend Kaneshin tools enough. I ordered directly and shipping to the US was very reasonable. I received a personal email from the family, thoughtful wrapping and a note thanking me for my purchase. Very 'Japanese" and actions that left the US a generation ago.

The descriptions, in English, are prefect. I cannot recommend Kaneshin enough:

I bought the american standard ones to support US based businesses and they simply aren’t as nice. I emailed to ask about making them tighter (they swing wildly to and fro) and they gave me a lazy reply that the tools are varying levels of tightness and some ‘like it that way’ even though my question was specifically how to tighten or exchange them. Eventually they said I could use a hammer and basically wished me good luck. I won’t be ordering from them again.

Check out Kaneshin. You’ll be super happy. My favorite tools are these, I use them for all of my pruning. Love the spring load.

second on the Kaneshin tools. Very informative website with clear explanation on the differences of the various versions they offer (the hammer thing though is a proper technique for adjusting the rivets …). With Masakuni i sometimes fail to see why they charge the premium + i feel they have odd size jumps. At the same time i never handled any Dingmu or Ryoga. IMO proper maintenance and sharpening is key.

Graham at Kaizen as said above gives an excellent EU service but also Maarten in Holland at Bonsai Plaza has excellent EU shipping rates.

I use mu tian tools and I’ve been happy with them

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I also use mu tian tools, I love them more than my AB tools.

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