How to Choose the Best Pruning Shears
Are your landscaping duties still waiting for their turn? In order for your trees, plants, and shrubs to look marvelous throughout the year, you need to prune them regularly.
Pruning is impossible without the use of high-end garden pruners, used to cut green, dry, dead, and diseased branches. The durability and cutting power of these tools are worth considering so as to make clear, precise cuts.
Pruning shears are available in various styles, sizes, blade materials, features, etc. The ergonomic design is also indispensable for preventing strain to the hand and wrist. Aspiring gardeners can find some garden pruners online to help them finish the pruning job efficiently and easily.
The following tips will help you with the choice.
Consider the style
The primary aspect to have in mind when shopping for pruning shears is their style. These cutting tools are available in three types, bypass, anvil, and ratchet. Bypass garden pruners are unquestionably the most popular style in the market, known for their ability to make a clean cut. The sharp blades of this model are capable of cutting through tree branches, and plant stems without harming their health. Messy cuts tend to increase the susceptibility of plants to disease.
Nevertheless, bypass pruning shears should not be used to cut dry or dead branches but green ones, as the blades might get bent. Unless you manage to bend the blades back to their original state, you won’t have another alternative but replace them with a new pair of hand pruners.
Anvil pruning shears, on the other hand, are designed with a single blade and a base, known as the anvil. The action of these tools is similar to that of a knife, which makes them perfect for trimming diseased or dead branches.
Ratchet pruning shears are almost identical to the bypass style pruners; only the former uses a special ratchet mechanism. The role of the ratchet mechanism is to allow gardeners to use less pressure when trimming branches while providing the same efficiency. These tools are most suitable for gardeners whose hands are weak and feel wrist strain after pruning. Ratchet pruners should be used for cutting dead branches. Check this site for some handy tips on pruning dead, damaged, and diseased wood.
Another vital factor to take into account when looking for pruning shears is ergonomics. The process of manual pruning requires gardeners to perform a series of repetitive hand movements, which prove exhausting to the hand and wrist. Even experienced gardeners cannot avoid the fatigue and feel uncomfortable while trimming a large number of branches and stems.
Therefore, buyers are advised to look for models with ergonomic designs whose handles are designed to prove comfort during the process. For instance, you can choose garden pruners with cushioned handles to alleviate the pressure or rotating handles to reduce wrist wear.
Additionally, there are models with horizontal inclination whose design keeps the hand in a neutral position. If you are a left-handed gardener, you’ll be happy to learn there are special pruners for people using their left hands when pruning.
Check the blade material
This material is an essential consideration when shopping for a pair of garden pruners. These tools are made from different metals and covered with special coatings for greater blade durability. For example, stainless steel blades are popular for their resistance to corrosion and rust. Anyhow, they tend to get dull easily and misshape if cutting larger branches. Stainless steel pruners are best used for cutting green stems and branches, not used for heavy-duty pruning.
In contrast, carbon steel blades are more durable and less prone to getting dull. These are, however, susceptible to rust unless cleaned and maintained properly. After each use, gardeners should clean and dry the blades properly, as well as oil them. Due to their better durability, carbon steel blades are better suited for heavy-duty pruning tasks, such as cutting dead and thick branches.
As mentioned above, some hand pruner blades come with coatings for the purpose of increasing blade longevity. Although these models come at a higher price, the sharpness and durability of the blade are significantly improved. Models with titanium coating are less prone to corrosion and rust. Therefore, the largest part of high-end garden pruners comes with carbon steel blades with a titanium coating.
Another popular variant of pruning shear is that with non-stick coating, known as Teflon. These are also found on carbon steel blades to prevent sap from accumulating on the blade. Non-stick coated variants are equipped with a sap groove, which channels the sap away from the blade material.
Consider the spring and locking mechanism
Another feature to take into consideration when buying a pair of pruning shears is the additional mechanisms these tools are provided with. Garden pruners are supposed to come with a spring, whose job is to separate the blades while cutting branches. Gardeners only need to squeeze the handle to make a cut. The spring should be attached securely in order not to break off easily.
The locking mechanism is an important safety feature to look for in pruning shears. Its job is to hold the blades together when not being used. This mechanism not only protects the sharp edge of the blade but also locks them when stored. Nevertheless, sometimes, it happens for the prunes to get locked while being used. Therefore, the pair you buy should have a locking mechanism near the blades to avoid accidental locking.
Don’t forget the cost
The price range of these tools is extensive, ranging from at least ten to a maximum of eighty dollars. The models that come with coating are pricier because of their durability, as well as those with an ergonomic design. Nevertheless, costlier models usually come with a warranty and a better reputation. If looking for durable garden pruners, choose a pricier pair to use for years.
Every gardener needs a perfect pair of garden pruners to finish their gardening tasks!
Published on April 30th, 2021
Updated on April 30th, 2021
I’ve been researching and sharing lawn care and gardening info since 2010. I’m no expert, but my neighbors think I am