The secateurs, the essential tool for your pruning: how to choose it?


Among the great variety of garden tools, the one that can be recognized among a thousand and is known among all remains the secateurs. Even those less interested in caring for plants and the garden know what to name. The very first secateurs appeared at the beginning of the XIXth century were used to prune vines. In the garden today, everyone has their favorite tool, but no one will be able to dispute the essential character of a good secateurs.

For loose stems you can get away with good scissors, but sooner or later you will have to come to the pruning shears. Because to cut harder stems, you will be delighted to have a good tool. Proper pruning of the branches of trees, shrubs, flowers and garden plants is not possible without a good secateurs. What are the different types of pruning shears and what is the best ergonomics. What price range for a secateurs?

What are the different types of secateurs?

There are basically three types of pruning shears: clean cut, anvil and battery. Pruning shears with a straight cut or growing blade are probably the most popular. You make a nice, clean cut with two curved blades that twist around like scissors. A blade is sharpened on the outer edge and slides through a thicker, un-sharpened blade.

In contrast, anvil pruners have a single straight knife that closes over a flat edge or anvil. Anvil pruners have a cutting action similar to that of a knife against a cutting board and work well for removing hard deadwood. They tend to be a bit bulkier than straight cut pruners, making it more difficult to access certain branches.

Battery pruning shears are basically anvil pruners with a mechanism that performs the cutting action in stages. Battery powered pruners offer more leverage for smaller or weaker hands. If you do a lot of pruning, battery scissors can save you a bit of effort and fatigue.

What is the best ? Each style has its followers. If possible, try or at least pick up the pruning shears before you buy them. Feel the feel in your hand, the weight and the grip.

What is the price of a secateurs?

Prices vary considerably from less than 10 euros to well over 75 euros. Buying the best that you can afford will save you effort and money in the long run. First of all, go for a quality brand. Then surf the net by typing keywords such as “professional” in search engines. Choose a model with a hardened steel blade that you can sharpen. Preferably also choose a secateurs with interchangeable parts. It’s a mechanical device, after all, and the parts will wear out. Most high quality pruning shears are available in different sizes. For example, you can hear the greatest good everywhere from a certain product. But even if it is acclaimed by all, it will not necessarily suit you if you rather have small hands, for example.

What ergonomics for your secateurs?

Trimming is tiring in itself, so if you have arthritis or carpal tunnel problems, treat yourself to the most ergonomic models. You can opt for padded handles to relieve pressure or swivel handles to reduce wear and tear on your wrist or even models with a horizontal tilt to keep your hand in a neutral position. If you are a left handed gardener, you are not forgotten. Usually there are models just for you, although they are quite difficult to find in garden centers.

What you need to consider before buying a pruning shears: First, what type of job it will be used for. Then the spring force so that you can use it easily. To do this, before buying, you should squeeze the handles while checking that they match the size of your palms and fingers and that the tool itself is not too heavy for you (or for those who will use it). It is advisable to find a pruner that can be used with both the right hand and the left hand. Pruning blades don’t last forever. Make sure the model you choose offers the option to trade them in. Otherwise, over time you will either have to look for ways to sharpen the blades or part with the tool.

Finally, make sure you have a good, firm grip on the tool so that it does not slip and cause discomfort and risk of injury. Do not limit yourself to the product user manual or count on a high price – this is not a reliable guarantee of high quality. Do not disregard the advice of professionals – they will help you compare the offered price with the technical condition of the purchased item and your financial possibilities. The main thing is to choose a pruner that makes clean, light cuts and that you enjoy handling. Invest the time and money to find the right tool, it is well worth it.

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