If you intend to carry out any type of pruning a good pair of garden secateurs, also referred to as hand pruners are an absolute must. Just make sure the blade always remains sharp in order to avoid damaging the plant.
These gardening hand tools are robust enough to slice through the hard branches of shrubs, woody perennials and tree branches, in some cases up to 2 centimetres thick.
Cutting thicker branches will require a lopper, this is a larger, two-handed, long-handled version capable of cutting thicker branches than can be handled by secateurs.
Garden secateurs have short handles enabling them to be used with one hand. Generally there is a spring in between the handles which allows the jaws to open up again after closing
When not being used, the jaws can be held together by a safety catch or loop. A number of secateurs are designed for right-handed or left-handed use only, and there are a few designs that include a rotating handle to lessen friction and reduce hand stress when being use continuously.
Some types of garden secateurs have a single blade which cuts against ana anvil, whilst others have two blades which have a scissor action. Both types owrk well providing the blades are kept sharp and free of rust.
Keep your eye out for models that have blades which can be sharpened or replaced, versions with tension control and with sizes that fit your hands. You will find that prices can cost anything between $50 - $130.
Felco pruners/secateurs have been the choice of gardeners for decades and their classic model the Felco F2 shown here is remarkably well made. It features a design that's remained unchanged for more than half a century.
It incoporates a couple of handy features such as a deep sap grove to prevent sticking, and a precision-made cutting blade with soft wire cutter that is replaceable.
Additionally there is an easily-adjusted nut and bolt for blade alignment for more efficient operation, and rubber cushion with shock absorbers pads blades where they come together to reduce impact and strain on wrists.
The high quality hardened steel enables clean and precise cuts whilst the sap groove stops the blade sticking when cutting "sappy" wood. It helps save time and makes pruning a lot easier by getting rid of sap and debris after each cut.