It sounds like it should be a lot easier than it is but I have actually had a pretty hard time just finding the right tool to cut small branches. The first time was clearly my fault - I just went out and bought the cheapest bonsai concave cutter I could find - clunky cuts and rusted up despite cleaning. The second time was a real disapointment. I spent more this time and love the look and feel of the clipper I got in return - labelled yoshiaki, imported from japan. Wonderful feel, much higher quality material and hand sharpened. The problem is that the two heads of the cutter just don't quite line up. They are probably just a 1/2 millimeter off, but that seems to be well enough turn the cut into a "jagged V" that seems very much to invite infection. So at this point I am open to suggestions; the more specific the better because I don't want to spent any more money on things that end up in the drawer of bad purchases I have to hide from my wife :) If a concave cutter is not the right tool for this, lemme know. While you are at it, I would love to here about any tool that you find indisensable for the care of JMs.