Zenport Grafting tool

This beast arrived in the mail the other day. Although the -7 degrees this morning feels like spring is a long way away, this got me looking forward to it. Will this work good as is, or have any of you had to make adjustments/modifications?

There is a long thread on that: https://growingfruit.org/t/zenport-generic-labled-grafting-tool/

I bought one of those last year for my first grafting attempts. I don’t know if a deeper “v” would have gotten better results, but I only got 1 graft of 22 to take. It might have been due to completely other reasons, but I am going to try some various types of grafts this spring, including a few more using this tool to see if it was a factor.

Like a lot of cheap Chinese tools, it’s a bit of a crapshoot whether it’s going to work right out of the box. But you can get them to work, and they can work well. I only did about a dozen grafts with mine last season, but I had 100% takes. With the right size scion you can get a cut so clean that once you put the graft together, if you turn your head and look back it takes a second to even see where the graft is. A much, much cleaner match than I was ever able to achieve by hand, and it does it in a second.


I had better luck with mine bench grafting when scions were the right size than I did by hand. Granted, that is probably largely due to my poor grafting skills. They are improving over time and it will be interesting to see how this year goes. I’m doing a lot more by hand.

One thing that it took a while to get the hang of was to position the scion or rootstock into the tool so that the V-cut occurs directly in the center and not to one side or at an angle. I find I have to ease the blades down to see exactly where the point of the V will intersect the scion and reposition the scion until it is centered. Once centered, I apple the pressure to make the cut.

I taped mine up as shown in the referenced thread, but it can still damage scions if they are not the right size.

While the implementation of the Chinese knockoff is crude, the design of the tool is better than many of the much more expensive tools I’ve seen. Like most things in grafting, keeping things sharp is important.

What I’ve learned is squeeze the handles together (after looking that the blades don’t hit the anvil and then once I know I’m ok I put a rubber hand over the handles so the tool is completely locked and I adjust the anvil and the two blades until I see nothing can get any better and I tighten it all up good.

Keep a wrench and a screwdriver on your you when you go to the field for grafting.


Mine broke, careful how much pressure you put on the handles. Worked ok while they lasted maybe 50 grafts.

I got one. It worked. My take rate was pretty pitiful, but given my lifetime 0.00 average a big step up.

Mine broke too. I think I got maybe 20 grafts out of it.

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How did it break? Mine has done several hundred and looks pretty new still. And still cuts extremely well.

I was so impressed with the clone that I upgraded to the real deal $450 Raggett Topgrafter which I was fortunate to get at a very low price.

Not sure if you guys got the cheaper plastic one. This one feels heavy like it would be durable. I have a worksharp sharpener. I plan on keeping the blades very sharp.

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Mine seems to be made of some kind of pot metal. It is plenty heavy. I have not yet had any issues with it breaking.

Mine was about $30 not the real deal.

Mine was pot metal or similar and not plastic. Bolt stripped out and would not align. I have several blades for it. It doesn’t like harder wood even with new sharp blades.

My first one was also only $30 or so. It has a nice cast iron anvil. The rest of it seems to be diecast. Very well made.
The topgrafter after which this was cloned is even better but the clone was plenty good.

I got one of these as a Christmas present this year. Like Gary, I am pretty excited about grafting this year. Hopefully it isn’t a lemon.

Here is a picture of my Zenport grafting tool. The bolt that holds the main column broke, or should I say the main column has a nut like welded in it that broke … either way it didn’t last long. You need to make sure the alignments are set correctly and blade sharp. When it did work it worked well.


As Bob mentioned, the weak point is where the square column joins the base.

There is a square nut there which is pressed into a 13mm o.d. square column. Then the assembly is drawn into the base by a machine screw on the bottom.

It’s a very weak design there, because the column takes a lot of force there. But let’s face it, a $30 piece of equip. shipped all the way from China is a pretty cheap piece of pot metal thrown together. Can’t expect much.

I think it will work and work well if very gently used. The overall design concept is well thought out in the original Raggett. It’s just that $450 is such a high price point, mostly only commercial nurseries can afford that product. Then the cheap copy comes along and they make it so cheap, it’s pretty junky.

I see this a lot - either a very cheap junk copy, or the original very good quality item, which costs a fortune.

Here’s some pics of how mine broke. Notice the square nut on the bottom of the base, which is supposed to be pressed into the square column.

Here is the square column broken loose.

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Wonder if you could tack weld that back in.

Or JB weld !