Master Grade Ashinaga 3163 The stainless steel construction of the 3163 Master grade Ashinaga will provide a lifetime of easy care and superior use. The blades are laminated with a center core of high carbon steel to keep a sharp edge longer than stainless would by itself. We are confident that this shear, as well as the stainless steel versions of our other bonsai tools, are the best quality available at any price. 2-1/4" blades, 8" overall Shears are the basic tool for bud trimming, thinning and defoliating bonsai, all crucial in the art of bonsai. Trimming young buds prevents branches that grow too long and promotes growth of short, small, fuller branches. Although there are many sizes and shapes, two would be sufficient to start. These shears have a generous opening between the handles, which helps prevent injuring other buds while you prune. These shears are designed to cut at all point. This gives you control over what you are cutting--allowing you to cut just that part which needs trimming leaving the surrounding foliage undamaged. The 8" Ashinaga shear with a 2-1/8" blade is a good basic bypass bud trimming shear for thinning and defoliating bonsai. Primary to the successful bonsai is cutting away unwanted portions of the tree. The most important tools for these tasks are shears and pruners. Pruning allows you to shorten a branch or the height of a tree, as well as removing entire unwanted branches. Shears are NOT meant to cut using a by-pass action. While cutters bite, the edges of biting tools usually overlap slightly--closing without contact, one over the other. The most basic bonsai starter set should include the tools needed to accomplish the basic pruning and shaping tasks.