Great gifts: Top-notch loppers and other pruning tools

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The best way to know a tool is to use it. The best praise: "...They were so wonderful I bought a pair for each of my kids..." 

I used your Fiskars loppers at a Garden By Janet & Steven session.

I never thought I could cut branches so easily, so clean. They were so wonderful I bought a pair for each of my kids that has a house. - S.W. -

We believe in good tools, and that the chance to compare tools is one of the great things about getting together for hands-on work. Thank you for confirming that.


This is the pruning kit we swear by,

and URLs for reliable suppliers. Most are also available at garden centers, hardware stores and home stores:


For branches up to the thickness of a finger:

  • Fiskars Power Gear Bypass Pruner. We chose them because they cut easily, fit the average and small hand much better than others, are reasonably priced, and are lightweight with a rotating handle -- both features which reduce stress on arm and hand.



For branches too big for hand pruners, up to an inch in diameter:

  • Fiskars Power Gear Anvil Super Pruner - 15 inch. Short-handle loppers, pictured at the beginning of this article. We love the light weight and ease of use and can well understand why the Arthritis Foundation commends them. Unfortunately, these cut against an anvil, which crushes one side of the limb. So these are not good for the final cut at the branch bark collar which should be a clean cut.




For anything too big for pruners or loppers up to about 4 inches in diameter:

  • Corona 8" Folding Saw. There are many folding saws out there and we've used many. We keep coming back to this one for a durable blade, reliable open/close, and holding a good edge.



For limbs bigger than 4" in diameter:

(and/or professional help!)



For limbs up to an inch in diameter out of easy reach

  • Fiskars Pruning Stick Telescoping Tree Pruner, for light weight, great cutting power and which nips rather than hooks over a limb to make its cut, which reduces the chance the cuttter will become bound up on a branch. However, throw away the saw unless the work you're doing is demolition, because it nearly impossible to undercut a limb to keep it from tearing, if you cut from below with a pole.


For shearing