Chinese gardening tools are predominately used for Penjing, which is the art of creating miniature landscapes. Penjing is a style of bonsai developed thousands of years ago that uses precise pruning methods to train small trees into different forms. Tiny rocks, buildings, birds, animals and people are used to create tranquil scenes around the potted trees. Chinese gardening tools, usually made of stainless steel, are small enough to use on bonsai trees without damaging the foliage or roots. The tools' sharp cutting edges give a clean, smooth cut for accuracy and aesthetics.
Traditional trimming shears or scissors with long, narrow handles and short blades are essential for trimming branches and roots up to 1/8 inch in diameter on bonsai trees. Concave branch cutters have razor-sharp, curved edges for close trimming of the branches, which promotes quick healing with little scarring. Spherical knob cutters are also called wen cutters or nippers. The ball-shaped head cuts deep into the trunk to remove knots or branches. It leaves a circular hollow cut that heals quickly with minimal scarring. Satsuki, or bud-trimming, shears, have a long narrow body, so buds can be removed without disturbing foliage.
The rounded head of bonsai wire cutters helps prevent damage to the trunk and branches of bonsai trees when snipping the wire. The blades of the cutters are specifically designed to cut wire cleanly and evenly.
Root rakes or root hooks are used to untangle the roots of bonsai trees for trimming. Bonsai bark brushes are used to remove exfoliating bark, moss and other debris from the trunk and branches of bonsai trees. Brushing the bark also stimulates the thickening of the bark and trunk. Bonsai brushes are available with nylon, bronze or stainless steel bristles.