How to Choose the Best Pruning Shears

gardening pruning shearsThe best pruning shears are made by Fiskars, because they effectively cut foliage and small branches and they don’t hurt your hands.

Ask any dedicated gardening enthusiast, and they’ll tell you that their garden pruning shears are among the tools they use often. These tools are also called secateurs, clippers, or pruners.

What they do is help gardeners shape and trim the plants in their lawns and gardens so that they look better. They’re also used to cut away damaged and dead foliage, and they cut back the perennials as well.

So how do you find the best pruning shears for you?

Types of Pruners Shears

best pruning shearsYou first need to understand that there are several basic types of pruning shears. The most popular are the bypass pruners, which look like a strange set of pliers or scissors. These small pruning shears have curved blades so they cut the foliage and branches. One of the blades is sharp and acts like a knife, while the other blade is thicker and unsharpened.

Then you have the anvil pruners, which really acts like a knife cutting against a chopping board. Ratchet pruners are a type of anvil pruners, with an additional feature that makes it easier for some people to deal with tougher branches. One problem with both these types of pruners is that they’re bulkier so in some tight spots they’re more difficult to use. And another problem you have to tolerate is that unless the blade is wickedly sharp all the time they tend to crush stems instead of slicing neatly through.

So for most gardeners, the bypass pruning shears are the best option. The cut they provide is very clean and they’re much easier to use.

Chief Factors for Choosing Pruning Shears

Perhaps the first and most important consideration when making a choice here is that you need a pruner that actually does the work you need. In other words, you need a pruner that can actually cut stems and small branches. You can read every pruning shears review you find written by an actual customer to see if a particular pruner actually performs as advertised.

Of course, you need to check just what kind of branches you need to cut. Most pruning shears work best for stems and light branches that don’t go over half an inch in diameter. With thicker branches, you may need more strength than you have.

It may even turn out that you need something bigger than pruning shears and you need loopers instead. These loppers are the bigger versions of pruners—they’re like pruners with very long handles. While pruners are used with just one hand, you need to operate loppers with two hands.

Here are some other features of pruners you need to consider:

  • The design should be comfortable to use with your hand. A poorly designed pruner can really result in a bad cut, and can cause some harm to your hand. Even the slightest discomfort at first will eventually lead to hand fatigue and wrist strain.

Part of this factor is the size and the weight of the pruner. It should really fit just right in your hands, and it should be light enough so you won’t ever feel strained because of the weight after extended use.

  • It should be efficient. That means it stays sharp for a long time, and the blades don’t frequently get gummed up with sap. When the blades get gummed up, you’ll need more force to cut stems, and that adds to your workload.

  • It should be dependable. You need to know if you can handle the various maintenance requirements needed so that your pruning shears are consistently at peak effectiveness.

  • There’s a locking mechanism. This lets you lock the pruner while it’s in the closed position. You can then carry them around in your back pocket and you won’t have to worry about losing a bit of flesh in an accident. The lock should be easy to close and open, it should stay open or closed when you want to, and it shouldn’t get in the way of your pruning maneuvers.

  • The spring mechanism is strong. A pruner without springs is essentially a pair of gardening scissors, since you need to force it back open with your hand. But the spring between the handle pushes the hands and blades open once you relax your grip. A strong spring helps offset hand fatigue.

You need a strong spring so it doesn’t break down easily and it doesn’t get pulled off accidentally when you’re pruning shrubs and trees.

So Why Choose Fiskars?

fiskars pruning shearsThe Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears have been on sale for decades, and it’s considered a classic in design. It works really well, and over the years Fiskars have modified and updated it with modern technology. But the Fiskars pruning shears are essentially the same high quality product that people have been using for years.

The Fiskars pruner blade is made from precision-ground steel that’s been fully hardened. It doesn’t stick so it cuts through stems and small branches easily and smoothly. That’s because the blades are protected by a special coating that keeps the blades from being gummed up by sap and debris. The coating also helps prevent any rust issues.

Using the Fiskars is also made easier by the slightly curved handles. The curve helps your fingers get a more secure grip, while the base of your palm rests more comfortably. The handles are also covered with non slip foam for greater comfort. Some may find it annoying that in a few units the foam covering may slide off, but a little glue solves this minor problem.

The maintenance requirements are quite light. You may want to clean it with water and then dry it thoroughly every now and then, and they ought to remain in good working condition.

The lack of serious maintenance requirements is made possible by the high quality of the blades, which do tend to remain sharp even after heavy use. They’re really tough and they don’t bend. Then there is also the self-cleaning sap groove, so the sap doesn’t hinder the work.

Finally, despite all these features they’re also very affordable. While normally it sells for about $18, some sellers offer it for $12. All in all, it offers a lot of value for your money, and if you need pruners for some regular light work in your garden then you need this tool as part of your inventory.