Best Tools for Cutting Bamboo

Bamboo is a diverse plant that can come in diverse sizes and colors. Picking the right pruning tool can be a crucial factor to the health of your plants. It will also determine your success with bamboo crafts if you are planning to utilize the cut stems.

If you are unsure how to prune and trim your bamboo plants, you should read our article first. We went into detail what pruning methods there are, how to practice them, and what to look out for.

No matter what tool you are going to use, be careful and always wear safety gear.

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Safety first: What safety equipment do you need when cutting bamboo?

Before you jump into your bamboo grove and start trimming and pruning, you should put on your protective gear. You don’t want to end up in the emergency room. So, you should wear gloves and goggles. I would hope that you have these available at your house. 

If you don’t, you can buy them here:

Gloves

Simple but sturdy gloves with sleeves for men and women (different sizes available)

Safety Goggles

Clear safety goggles with an adjustable headband so it fits around any head

So, what tools do you need for pruning & trimming bamboo plus its roots?

First of all, we cannot give you one tool that does it all. There are major differences in stem diameters that must be addressed with the right cutting tool.

Pruning shears

For simple branches and thin stem diameters (up to 3/4 in / 2 cm), you can use sharp pruning shears like these: 

Gonicc 8" Hand Pruners

These hand pruners are very sharp featuring premium titanium blades. They do a great job for thinner branches and bamboo culms. The ergonomic non-slip handles make the tool more comfortable than others.

Loppers

Those pruning shears may exceed their limits quickly though. Pruning shears with longer handles, also called loppers, will give you more power. In addition, they are great for reaching higher branches which will be necessary very likely. 

Fiskars 28" Lopper

This lopper is great for cutting anything up to 1-1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm). This one is 28 inches (70 cm) long but Fiskars actually has various sizes.

Hand saws

Any larger culms should be handled with a hand saw. It will make your life easier and minimize the cutting problems. Generally, bamboo is a tough material so you may switch to a handsaw for most culms and use shears or loppers for branches only.

Corona Hand Saw

This hand saw has 3-sided razor teeth for best results. It can cut culms up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter which should suffice for tall bamboo species. It has a foldable design so that it can be safely stored when not in use.

Electric hand saws

And of course, nothing would be complete without the convenient electric hand saw. If you are looking for a less sweaty tool to trim or prune your bamboo plants, this is the way to go. Be cautious, though! Don’t hurt your plant with a too powerful tool.

BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw with power cord

This powered hand saw will make pruning and trimming easier. It can cut wood and metal so you don’t have to worry. The power cord has a length of 6 ft (1.8 m) so you may need an extension cord. 

BLACK+DECKER Reciprocating Cordless Saw

This battery-powered reciprocating hand saw has a stroke length of 7/8 in (2.2 cm). So, you won’t be able to cut very thick bamboo stems unless you cut little by little (bamboo has hollow stems). On the bright side, you don’t have to deal with power cords. 

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw Lopper

Instead of using a regular lopper, you can use this powered pruning tool. These smart clamping jaws grab and cut a stem or branch in one easy motion. You don’t have to put much work into it. This chainsaw lopper can cut through branches up to 4 inches (10 cm).

 

Hedge trimmer for topiary designs

If you are a fan of topiary design for a breathtaking bamboo hedge, you’ll need a hedge trimmer as well. This isn’t a necessary tool for everybody, though.

When shaping your bamboo hedge be careful not to trim too much at once as it can hurt the plant. Trimming the branches leads to a denser foliage though.

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Hedge Trimmer

An easy-to-handle tool is worth a lot. This powerful 40V hedge trimmer will do the trick without having to watch out for the cord. It will cut branches up to 3/4 inches (2 cm).

 

Bosch Electric Hedge Trimmer

This lightweight hedge trimmer is super powerful and will provide best results. It is made for topiary design, featuring a 45 cm diamond ground blade. The cord may not be a downside if you prefer not to charge batteries before doing yard work. 

 

Tools for removing bamboo shoots

Maybe you are trying to keep your bamboo growth in check. So, you want to trim those new bamboo shoots before they get to hard to eliminate. You can either use pruning shears or one of the saws above.

Another way is mowing them down. This is certainly the quick and dirty way. The only issue will be the clean cut. You may not be able to use clean blades. Therefore, this wouldn’t be my first recommendation.