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This is a listing for figBid's exclusive Fig Grafting Kit. Includes 1 brand new Swiss-made FELCO® grafting knife by Victorinox, Model 3.90 50, 2 rolls of 1/2" x 1080" (0.5 in x 90 ft) Parafilm grafting tape, and 1 oz Budding Rubbers. Perfect for wrapping fig cuttings and all types of grafting at any skill level. Parafilm does not include the retail box. Knife, Parafilm, and Budding Rubbers are discounted for this listing, and shipping is included so you save by purchasing everything. Does not include free shipping to Canada. Please see my other listing with a wider 1" roll of Parafilm.
FELCO/Victorinox Grafting knife, Model 3.90 50
The FELCO/Victorinox is a great knife for beginning grafters, floral, field, or general use. This was my first grafting knife. Not that I'm any kind of expert grafter now. But this was my first. Although I've gone on to a bit finer and more expensive knife, the FELCO/Victorinox is still my go-to blade in the garden and orchard. It's compact, lightweight, holds a great edge, and most of all economical. Simple and affordable; who doesn't like that? The little FELCO/Victorinox definitely won't break the bank.
This little Swiss knife has the quality of FELCO horticultural tools backed by the strength of 135 years of Victorinox workmanship.
It just can't be beaten and everyone should have one in their grafting arsenal. If you've never used a knife before please pick up a book and read a little about it. My favorite is The Grafter's Handbook by R.J. Garner. A clean used copy can be had for around 4 bucks. I don't leave home without it. Next, please review this forum thread about selecting a grafting knife for beginning grafters. You can't buy this kind of info anywhere!
Then watch a few YouTube videos and in no time flat, you'll be a grafting pro. Some of the better grafting videos for fig hobbyists right now are:
Some good video reviews about the FELCO/Victorinox:
A great video about sharpening your grafting knife:
Located in the village of Les Geneveys-sur-Coffrane, around 5 kilometers from Neuchâtel in the French-speaking west region of Switzerland, FELCO SA is a company with a history dating back to the end of World War II, when Félix Flisch, a trained fitter and turner, set himself what was at the time a very ambitious goal: to create the best pruning shears and sell them in Switzerland, Europe, and beyond.
In pursuit of his goal, Félix Flisch bought an old watch-making factory. Immediately, a new benchmark was set: where pruning shears had until then been but one of many agricultural tools, they became a tool of the utmost quality and precision. Constantly improving the comfort and efficiency of his products, Félix Flisch sought to have them noticed and adopted by the most discerning professionals.
The reliability inherent in their simple design, almost unchanged 70 years later, caught the attention of winemakers at the region’s many local vineyards. With revenue from early sales, he set up his nascent business.
When patenting his very first pruning shears (FELCO 1), Félix Flisch, was already adhering to the following principles:
These three core values - ERGONOMICS, INTERCHANGEABILITY, and DURABILITY - remain unchanged and have driven FELCO's business strategy since 1945.
From its earliest days, FELCO has sought to bring in-house every process required to manufacture its product range. This approach has allowed the company to systematically integrate technological advances into each stage of production, and to enhance them with know-how acquired over seventy years. Today, FELCO is widely acknowledged as the leading brand in its field and has six subsidiaries distributing its products in more than 120 countries.
In 1884, Karl Elsener opened his cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. At this time Switzerland was still one of the poorer countries in Europe. In the early years, Karl Elsener worked to combat poverty and unemployment in the Schwyz basin, creating jobs and helping stem the flow of emigration.
In 1891 he supplied the soldier’s knife to the Swiss Army for the first time. He went on to develop the Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife – now the iconic Swiss Army Knife – in 1897, creating the foundation for a flourishing company that would be able to hold its own on the world stage.
From then on, his spirit of solidarity, deep roots in the region and strong commitment to solid values shaped the Victorinox company philosophy.
Today, Victorinox is a global company with five product categories: Swiss Army Knives, Household, and Professional Knives, Watches, Travel Gear, and Fragrances. The Swiss Army Knife is the core product and has a pioneering role in the development of all product categories.
About Victorinox steel
Victorinox steel is produced by the knife manufacturer of the same name. The company is best known for manufacturing Swiss Army Knives, however, they do also make other multi-tools, folding knives, kitchen knives, and even bayonets and wristwatches. The steels used in each of these products vary but often share similar properties. The standard steel used is 1.4110 though there are variations in the steel type and Rc scale depending on where the steel is going. For instance, the steel used in the blade for the swiss army knife is 1.4110, but for the springs and various steel riggings, 1.4021 and 1.4031 are used respectively.
For the blades themselves, the 1.4110 is the standard and its functionality truly reflects the intent of Victorinox. This standard puts a strong focus on Chromium, but also utilizes; Carbon, Molybdenum, Manganese, and Silicon to name a few of the overriding secondary elements. The Chromium normally sits between 13.3 to 14.8% ensuring its stainless steel properties. The carbon will normally hold just below .70% in order to provide the tensile strength needed to last, and Mo, Mn, and Si are found around .75 to 1.0%. The blade hardening occurs at 1900 degrees with an annealing temperature of 140 degrees giving it an Rc of 56.
The Chromium is pliable when hot which makes it perfect for a standard element in the compositions Victorinox uses. The use of this steel for any knife results in a blade that is wear and corrosion-resistant. Its tensile strength and hardness provide better than adequate functionality and its edge retention is more than acceptable, allowing it to last long enough and provide easy workability when sharpening. While the Manganese and Silicon provide some strength and wear resistance, their function is primarily as manufacturing agents.
Victorinox has changed the compositions and manufacturing process for its products over the years but has since retained a fairly consistent system. They have been producing Swiss Army brand knives for over 100 years and do understand what makes a lasting knife or tool. This brand produces excellent quality knives that can take the wear and tear of use. They are affordable, consistent, and require little care other than standard steel cleaning.
Improve grafting and budding efforts and prevent cuttings from drying out. Waterproof, flexible, and stretchable, Parafilm® grafting tape combines excellent moisture retention with oxygen and carbon dioxide permeability to allow for superior growth. The durable self-adhesive seal securely holds scion and rootstock together until the union and/or budding takes place.
Fig trees are easy enough to clone by cuttings or air-layering and grafting was never really a consideration. Recently, increased popularity, rising costs for rare and desirable varieties, and high demand has propelled fig tree grafting into the mainstream. This translates into healthier trees grown at alarmingly fast rates and more quality figs on the table years sooner than using traditional techniques. Moreover, fig trees are very forgiving and novice grafters can learn, easily practice, and master grafting techniques. But grafting and budding are only a few of the uses for Parafilm grafting tape. With its excellent moisture-retaining abilities, grafting tape can be applied to the exposed portion of fig cuttings when rooting. That's right, say goodbye to the humidity bin. Wrap the top portions of your cuttings and watch the buds swell and easily break through the grafting tape. Easy enough for pre-rooting or rooting straight-to-pot.
What size grafting tape should I buy? This a good question. There are two different widths of grafting tape available, 1/2" and 1". You might find lots of technical answers for either size out there and they'll probably be correct. But my novice answer will fit most everyone. Buy the size that suits you best. Here's what I found when it comes to grafting fig trees and wrapping cuttings; For cuttings (which I do mostly), the 1/2" width Parafilm is best. It's easier to handle and stretch around crooked cuttings and wonky pruning. For cuttings that are perfectly straight the 1" Parafilm is better because you're able to wrap the cutting faster. For joining fig grafts I find the 1" tape is better. But there were times that a graft may have seemed a little hinky and I switched to the 1/2" width Parafilm for a finer touch and tighter wrap. So the answer is to have at least a roll of each size on hand. But if you can only buy one, get the 1/2" width.
Grafting is one of the most rewarding gardening and horticultural experiences. The feeling of joy and pride derived from your first successful graft is indescribable. And anyone can do it. I really mean anyone. Please don't think grafting is only for professionals. Pick up some grafting tape and give it a shot. Don't worry, some grafts will fail and it happens to everyone. You'll realize very quickly that your techniques will get better with every single graft. Some more tips:
NATURAL RUBBER NURSERY/GRAFTING & BUDDING STRIPS
Tree grafting is now a lot easier with Natural rubber grafting and budding strips. Normal grafting time is reduced by half. Just graft, wrap, tie and you’re done. Natural rubber budding strips are easily applied and provide even pressure across the entire bound area. They are designed to hold the cut areas of the graft or bud union firmly in place offering better protection and help grafts knit faster. Manufactured from 100% natural rubber so environmentally friendly. Removal is not required. Budding strips begin to self-loosen and deteriorate 2-3 weeks after application. Each strip measures 8" x 3/8" x 0.20" (20 gauge). This is the size strip recommended by professionals for grafting and budding fig trees.