Easy and Fast Whip and Tongue Graft using Pruners?

I’ve seen most people do the whip and tongue graft with a grafting knife, but haven’t seen any information on using a pruner for the diagonal cut, while still using the pruning knife for creating the tongue.

I was thinking that it could greatly increase the speed that these grafts could be done and also make it easier to create matching cuts to join the two pieces.

Has anyone used a regular pruner for whip and tongue grafts?

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There were several old threads on this topic and several people have done exactly as you are thinking. If you have a sharp pruner – maybe a double cut pruner like this one, it may work well–

I’ve done hundreds of Z grafts with a simple ARS pruner and they’ve generally been successful.
Many people simply forego cutting the tongue because that is the harder/more risky part of the process.


I’ve been using one of these https://www.robertsconsolidated.com/products/strip-cutter/ for making the angled cuts on scion/rootstock for a few years. I find them to be quicker and to give more consistent and flatter cuts than using a knife.

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These are not pruners but work OK. Get the ones with the 3 7/8 inch blades. Have extra blades available if doing a bunch.
Watch your fingers:


Yes, we’ve been doing that for several years now, ever since I got my new ARS hand pruners. My husband does the knife work (everything else is in my hands) and though he is an accomplished wood carver and comfortable with a knife he prefers the sharp pruners for the diagonals (knife for the tongues). Works well. Sue


If it works stick to it. But I would prefer a bypass pruner for cleaner cuts. @ramv makes a good suggestion right there if you choose to change.


As long as I keep fresh razor blades on top and bottom I get really clean, smooth cuts. I have tried a few cheap bypass pruners and the results weren’t as good. At some point, I need to stop being a cheapo and buy some good ones.