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Pruning Shears

Pruning shears, also called hand pruners (in American English), or secateurs (in British English), are a type of scissors use for plants.  They are strong enough to prune hard branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes up to two centimetres thick.  They are used in gardening, arboriculture, plant nursery works, farming, flower arranging, and nature conservation, where fine-scale habitat management is required.

Loppers are a larger, two-handed, long-handled version for branches thicker than pruning shears can cut.

There are three different blade designs for pruning shears: anvil,bypass and parrot-beak.

Anvil pruners have only one blade, which closes onto a flat surface; unlike bypass blades it can be sharpened from both sides and remains reliable when slightly blunt. Anvil pruners are useful for cutting thick branches; one can bite into the stem from one direction, swing the handle around and bite further through narrowed wood from another direction. The anvil is made of a material softer than the blade, so that the blade is not damaged when it meets the anvil. Suitable materials for the anvil are plastic, aluminum, zinc, brass, or bronze alloys. The blades are made from hardened carbon or chromium steels. The hardness of the blades is generally between 54 and 58 HRC. On an anvil pruner, proper cutting is assured even if the blade swerves slightly to the left or right during cutting. As long as the blade meets the

anvil at the end of the cut and fits tightly against it, the material is separated. For this reason, the blades of anvil pruners can be ground thinner than those on bypass pruners. a drawing cut made against a fixed support – combines a drawing cut with a pushing cut. This is possible because the blade lever and base lever are connected by an eccentric bearing. When the pruners are open, the blade is longer than the anvil thanks to the eccentric bearing. When the pruners close, the blade draws back slightly while it pushes through the material. This reduces the cutting force needed to make a cut still further. Because they crush the stem they are cutting, anvil pruners are best for use on dead wood.

Bypass pruners usually work exactly like a pair of scissors, with two blades "passing by" each other to make the cut.  At least one of the blades will be curved: a convex upper blade with either a concave or straight lower one.  Some bypass designs have only one blade, the lower jaw being broad (like an anvil) but passing the upper jaw.  The ratchet pruner, which can handle stems thicker than two centimetres, fits in this category.  Because they make a clean cut without crushing, bypass pruners are preferable for pruning live wood.

Parrot-beak pruners consist of two concave passing blades, which trap the stem between them to make the cut.  These are suitable only for narrower stems.

Type of blades

There are two different types of blades for pruning shears: Stainless steel and carbon steel.

In addition there are pruning shears that have titanium coating.

Stainless steel have a high corrosion resistance, due to the protective chromium oxide layer that covers the steel surface after heat treatment.  On the other hand, they are not durable for long.

Carbon steel has a higher carbon content, which gives the steel a lower melting point, more malleability and durability, and better heat distribution.  The disadvantages are the quick corrosion and staining.

Titanium coated blades offer a balance between durability, sharpness and anti-corrosion.  Titanium is stronger, has higher corrosion resistance, and has about half the density (weight) of steel.  The titanium coating helps strengthen the blade and prevent corrosion, and after being sharpened a few times it will expose the steel edge underneath, giving the best edge with higher strength and resistance to corrosion over the length of the blade.  The titanium coating is recognized by the gold colored blade as opposed to the typical silver colored steel blade.

Handle length

Secateurs have short handles and are operated with one hand. A spring between the handles causes the jaws to open again after closing.  When not in use, the jaws may be held closed by a safety catch or by a loop holding the handles together.  Some types are designed for right-handed or left-handed use only, and some incorporate a rotating handle to reduce friction and minimize hand stress during repetitive use.  There are also longer versions called telescopic pruners, which are adjustable for long-reach and operate by means of a rod system inside of a telescoping pole between the handles and the blades.  An early version of these was known as an averruncator.

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What is the difference between shears and pruners?

Shears and pruners are both garden tools designed for cutting and trimming plants, but they are used for different purposes.

Shears typically have long blades, and they are used for trimming and shaping larger plants like hedges, bushes, and trees. The blades on shears are usually straight, and they may be serrated or smooth. Shears are designed to make clean, precise cuts and can be used to shape plants in a variety of ways.

Pruners, on the other hand, are smaller tools that are used for cutting smaller branches, stems, and flowers. They have shorter blades than shears and are designed for more delicate cutting tasks. Pruners are available in different styles, including bypass pruners and anvil pruners, which each have a different cutting mechanism. They are useful for deadheading flowers, pruning small branches, and harvesting herbs and vegetables.

Overall, shears are larger tools designed for trimming and shaping larger plants, while pruners are smaller tools designed for more delicate cutting tasks. Both tools are essential for maintaining a healthy garden and should be chosen based on the specific task at hand.

What is the use of pruning shears?

Pruning shears, also known as hand pruners or secateurs, are a type of garden tool used for cutting and pruning plants. They are typically used to trim and shape small to medium-sized branches, stems, and foliage, and they are especially useful for deadheading flowers, trimming bushes, and harvesting fruits and vegetables.

Pruning shears come in different types and sizes, including bypass pruners, anvil pruners, and ratchet pruners, among others. Bypass pruners have two sharp blades that bypass each other, creating a clean, precise cut that is ideal for cutting living plants. Anvil pruners have a single sharp blade that cuts against a flat, metal surface, making them ideal for cutting dead wood or thicker branches. Ratchet pruners use a mechanism that increases the cutting power with each squeeze of the handles, making them easier to use for people with weaker grip strength.

What is the best pruner for tomato plants?

When it comes to pruning tomato plants, there are several types of pruners that can work well. However, the best type of pruner for tomato plants is typically a bypass pruner.

Bypass pruners have two sharp blades that bypass each other, creating a clean, precise cut that is ideal for cutting living plants. This makes them perfect for pruning tomato plants, as they can make clean cuts without damaging the surrounding tissue or causing unnecessary stress to the plant.

When selecting a bypass pruner for tomato plants, it's important to choose one that is comfortable to use and made from high-quality materials. Look for pruners with ergonomic handles that fit comfortably in your hand, and blades that are made from high-quality steel to ensure durability and sharpness.

One example of a good bypass pruner for tomato plants is the Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner. This pruner is known for its high-quality materials and precise cutting capabilities, making it a great choice for pruning tomato plants and other delicate garden plants.

What is the best tool to prune plants?

The best tool to prune plants depends on the type and size of the plant, as well as the specific pruning task you are trying to accomplish. Here are a few different types of pruning tools and their recommended uses:

Bypass Pruners: These are ideal for precise cuts on small to medium-sized branches, stems, and foliage, and are especially useful for deadheading flowers, trimming bushes, and harvesting fruits and vegetables.

Loppers: These are larger than bypass pruners and are designed for cutting thicker branches and stems, usually up to 2 inches in diameter. They are ideal for pruning fruit trees, roses, and larger bushes.

Hedge Shears: These are used for trimming and shaping hedges and shrubs. They have long, straight blades that make quick work of light pruning tasks, but they are not ideal for precise or detailed cuts.

Pruning Saws: These are used for cutting larger branches and limbs, usually over 2 inches in diameter. They come in different shapes and sizes, including straight, curved, and foldable, and are ideal for pruning fruit trees, large bushes, and even some small trees.

Overall, the best pruning tool depends on the specific needs of your plants and the tasks you are trying to accomplish. It's important to choose a tool that is comfortable to use and made from high-quality materials, and to keep your pruning tools clean and sharp for the best results.
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