Handles vary in style, materials and construction according to the type of tool. Both bypass and anvil pruners should have handles covered with molded vinyl for comfort and gripping ease. A return spring should open the blade after each cut and a locking device at the rear of the blade mechanism is preferable to one at the rear of the handles which can cause blisters. The shears should open and close smoothly, without resistance, but they should not be loose.
While sometimes difficult to find, hand pruners for left handed folks make their work a bit more comfortable. Be sure the pruner feels comfortable in terms of the size of your hand. Persons with smaller hands need to be sure they don’t buy a pruner that is tool large causing them to “choke up” on the handles which is very tiring and uncomfortable.Hand pruners come in two types: bypass and anvil. Most yardeners find it handy to have one pair of each design.
The products shown here give you a good idea of the range of options you might consider in buying what is in fact one of the more important hand tools in the yardeners tool shed.
With technology improving on the strength of new tool materials, price is no longer an indicator of the best choice for you. Professionals pruning grape orchards everyt day have a need for a very different tool than do we yardeners who may prune something once or twice a year. At the same time it is clear, buying the cheapest hand pruner at Home Depot or Leow's will lead nowhere but to frustration.
Bypass hand pruners
Bypass hand pruners use a scissors action and are designed to cut green or fresh wood. The cutting blade is tapered and thin making these effective in narrow spots among limbs. The top blade passes against the hooked lower blade that catches and holds the branch while the cutting blade comes down on it. Bypass pruners give a smooth, accurate cut close to the main trunk of the plant, cutting branches up to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
These bypass shears by Fiskars are ideal yardener-type pruners.
- Teflon-coated, high carbon steel blade
- Self-cleaning sap groove keeps blades from sticking
- Non-slip comfort grips
- Right or left-handed use
- Cutting capacity-5/8 inch
Here is a higher quality more professional by pass pruner which we have tested and liked.
The Fiskars professional bypass pruning shears are an ideal choice for all kinds of pruning tasks. The pruner features adjustable blade tension that gives the user increased control over desired cutting force and precision. The replaceable stainless steel blade can cut branches up to 1 inch in diameter and features an integrated sap groove to keep the cutting action smooth and stick-free all-season long. The bypass blade provides a cleaner cut for living, green growth, and the ambidextrous handle design allows for comfortable left or right-handed use, making it an ideal choice for personal or professional use.
This tool has a different design that allows you to cut branches with less pressure from your own hands.
Loppers Shears Pruners - Garden Tools Type: Hand Pruner Blade Length: 3/4 Handle Type: Nyglass
In this style, the cutting blade comes down in the center of a soft metal or hard plastic anvil, sort of like a knife cutting on a cutting board. This tool is designed to cut dead or very dry tough wood. The blade should make contact with the anvil all along its length. This design makes them better for cutting larger branches without springing the blades, up to ¾ inch. But the anvil design won't cut as close to the trunk, leaving a small stub.
This is a heavy duty quality anvil type pruner.
A variation on the anvil theme, our ratchet pruner increases cutting force by up to a third. So weaker hands have an easier time cutting through stems and deadwood up to 3/4" thick.
Oxo is a very reliable brand.
- Versatile bypass hand shears with 3/4-inch-diameter cutting capacity
- Hardened, Teflon-coated, steel cutting blades provide maximum cutting strength
- Conveniently located locking switch; easily accessible by both left- or right-handed users
- Convenient for gardening and various yardwork projects; soft, comfortable non-slip grip
- Measures 8 by 1 by 2 inches
What about carrying your hand pruner in a holster?
This is a nice one.
Brook & Hunter build unmatched, world class garden tools. They have a unique appearance and capable of standing up to rigorous use. They require very little maintenance, yet are able to last substantially longer than other tools in the market. But most importantly, Brook & Hunter garden tools are treasured by the gardeners who use them. For the handle, they are made of extremely dense wood, a wood that is readily available and recognized by craftsmen as strong and durable. They have material strong enough to be used in flooring and as structural supports in construction. They use great care and patience, always ensuring the natural shape, beauty and strength of the materials. Brook & Hunter brown leather holster for large pruners.