To properly complete any job, you need to make sure that you have the correct tools, and pruning is no different. Before you can begin your next pruning job, ensure that you have the correct pruning tools. Here is a list of the essential pruning tools that you should have on hand in your garden shed. In addition, you will also find a brief description of the tool, and how it is used.
- Shears. Shears have become one of the most essential pruning tools around. The reason for this is rather simple since, depending on the size of the shear you can either do large scale pruning, or smaller more exact work. In essence, shears are simply oversized scissors. Typically all you will need are some general purpose shears that are no more than 8 inches long. For more heavy duty work, you should have some heavy pruning shears. There are also other specialized types of shears that have been designed for work on things like shrubs, bushes, trees, and even flowers.
- Secateurs. Secateurs are very similar to shears, but which are designed for very small exacting work. These types of shears typically have a pair of pivoted handles, which have springs that will keep the handles open (and the blades closed) without pressure.
- Saws. While you can always use regular crosscut saws for pruning, there are some specialized pruning saws that you can purchase and use around the garden. Typically pruning saws will look different from regular saws in one respect. Instead of one type of saw blade, there are usually two. These blades are for coarse and fine work. Coarse cutting will work when you both push and pull the blade. Fine work will only cut when you pull the blade, but will jam when you push it.
- Tree pruners. Tree pruners will typically have handles that are between 8 and 14 feet long, and look like strange shears. Often they will have a hooked cutting head and a blade that is attached to a lever by a cable or rod. The extended handles will allow you to prune parts of the tree without the need of a ladder. Very helpful, particularly if you are nervous about heights.
- Knives. Pruning knives, while generally looking like a regular knife, do have a few differences. The largest difference is that pruning knives will have a curved blade that is designed to cut into the wood as you draw it across the wood. Be careful when you use these pruning tools, since you will usually have to use them in a manner that is against how most of us were told to—by cutting towards you. If you are not careful, then you can end up hurting yourself without even meaning to.