Hold plant material in left hand. With blade below stem and right thumb above, make a shallow-angled cut from beneath, drawing right forearm backwards and maintaining gap between right thumb and blade.
1,001 other jobs for which an ordinary penknife is more than suitable.
Cut soft wood against a clean pane of glass on the bench in the potting shed. Hard wood should be cut by holding the plant material in the left hand. With the knife blade below the stem and the right thumb above, make a shallow angled slice from beneath, drawing the right forearm backwards and maintaining the gap between the right thumb and the blade. Never attempt to cut by pressing the blade towards the thumb—it can have disastrous consequences.
When using a knife for cutting plant material the blade will inevitably become clogged with resins and plant juices, and these will impair the cutting efficiency. Therefore after use clean the blade either with a rag dipped in a solvent such as petrol or carbon tetrachloride or by rubbing the blade with a fine grade of emery paper.
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