by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2013)
When taking care of your garden or yard, it is important to have the right tools. For instance, it is hard to till your garden without some sort of tilling tools, it is hard to mow your lawn without some sort of lawn mower, and it is hard to take care of trees and large shrubs without a variety of pruning tools.
I've had a pair of manual hedge clippers for years, and I've just about worn out my small hand-held pruning shears with my rose bushes. But until recently I've never had anything except these two. For some jobs the clippers are too big and for other jobs the shears are too small.
That's why I was excited to work with the "mini bypass pruner" by Corona. This forged beauty has a smaller cutting maw, like my hand-held pruning shears, but longer handles that provide more torque when cutting larger stock. The guidelines for the pruner indicate that it can handle stock up to 3/4 of an inch in diameter, but I found that this is a rough guide that depends, in large part, on the type of stock you are trying to cut. (There is a huge difference between cutting a rose bush and cutting hardwood branches. For the 3/4-inch hardwood I brought out the saw; it was just easier—and safer.)
Corona describes the BP3225 not only as a "mini bypass pruner" but as a "two-handed pruner." Either is an apt description of the tool. You can find more information on the pruner at their website: http://www.coronaclipper.com
The handles aren't as long as those on my manual hedge clippers, but at just about 12 inches (not counting the cutting surface) they are long enough to be powerful without being unwieldy. They are oval and fit nicely into my hands, with the rubberized padding providing a good deal of comfort. It is hard to tell if the handles are steel or high-strength aluminum, but either way they seem durable and up to the task of working throughout the yard.
The cutting edge of this pruner is technically designated as a "bypass blade." This means that the two cutting surfaces pass by each other, similar to the action seen in a pair of scissors. The edges are crafted of forged steel and can be resharpened, if needed. Their curved shape makes it easier to lop off the branches you need to work with. In my testing they provided a smooth cut that wasn't jagged and didn't crush the stock I was cutting.
At a normal retail price of just over $30, this pruner may seem a bit expensive. It isn't; the quality I found in using the tool evidenced that the price was well worth it. (You should be able to easily find the tool for as low as $25.) Corona's lifetime guarantee is also a plus; it means you won't have to worry about your investment being lost should there be a problem with the tool.
The Corona pruner was a joy to work with, as it was able to do everything I expected. This size of pruner has just become a must for my arsenal of gardening and yard work tools.
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