Roses forum→My favorite pruners

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Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
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Mike
Apr 10, 2019 8:02 PM CST
I have a lot of roses that have to be pruned hard each spring and kept under control during the growing season, so my choice of pruners matters a lot to me. I've used a variety of brands, but have used nothing else besides Felco pruners for the past 15 years. There's simply no contest compared to most other brands, at least not when you have more than a few plants to trim each year, whether they are roses, perennials, shrubs, vines, or branches.

Like many rosarians, I started out with a pair of Felco #11 for basic pruning, and they are great, all-around pruners. Then I bought the slightly more narrow Felco #2 for precision pruning and flower cuttings. In truth, there's barely any difference between the #2 and #11 in my opinion. Later I bought a pair of #13 pruners with an extended lower handle, based on a claim I seem to remember but no longer see on the website that it was ergonomically optimized for deeper cuts with less pressure on the hand, and in fact can be used for two-handed cutting when needed. But in practice, I don't like them as much as the #2 model, and rarely use them unless I can't remember where I put my #2 or #11 pair.

There are many other model numbers, all optimized for different uses and needs. For me, the #11 are my favorite, and have lasted for years. The whole product line can be seen here, and it's interesting to compare the different designs and details, and what they're for (not only different cutting applications, but different models for different hand sizes):

https://www.felco.com/us_en/ou...

Thumb of 2019-04-11/Mike/20314d

[Last edited by Mike - Apr 10, 2019 8:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1946510 (1)
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Apr 11, 2019 1:01 AM CST
Yes, those look like great pruners! I love that brand too! In fact I have the thinner ones and the one you show in your picture. Thumbs up
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Apr 11, 2019 6:11 AM CST
I too have been using Felco's this year. Felco 100 (I think as that is what it says on the pruner) and Felco 6. I expected to fall in love at first sight with these given the decades I have been hearing from gardeners how fabulous they are. Not really in love yet. The strength in my hands is starting to fade and I have a favorite pair of hand pruners that are ratcheted. Now THOSE are my favorite as they really help me to prune. I did not see a pair like that on the Felco sight when I ordered my Felco's.

I have probably had those pruners (the ratcheted ones) for 15 years or so. The problem with those is that they are anvil as opposed to bypass. However, I have gotten along for many, many years with them, with no problems. Try to find a bypass ratcheted hand pruner? Good luck! Especially one that will fit a woman's hands.

I did just order one but unfortunately, it doesn't have the coating on the part where you put your hands so it doesn't cushion them. Yes, I know I sound like a prima donna, but when you are pruning for 8 hours a day (some days), having that cushion on the pruner really helps. I have not tried it out yet so I don't know how well it works.
It did get good reviews online.

I have done a global internet search but there are some out there but I have never heard of the brand, so who knows how they are, etc. So if someone has a ratcheted bypass hand pruner that they love, please let us know, so I can check them out.
Long Island, New York, USA (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Roses
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Ray_Gun
Apr 11, 2019 8:06 AM CST
That's good to know, thanks. I bought a pair from Lowes last year, I don't remember the brand, but likely they were middle of the road in terms of price. I'm not thrilled with them. They just don't cut cleanly and end up chewing the canes a bit even though they're bypass and not anvil style. I'm going to check these ones out. Thank You!
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Apr 11, 2019 10:21 AM CST
MbN, perhaps you could get the small size silicon "gloves" that slip over the handles of pots. They come in different sizes and are quite cheap for the generic brands. Generally they're sold for cast iron frying pans.Also, I use the hand exercisers and they really help maintain and increase hand strength. The ones I got online have adjustable resistance. The finger exercises sold for musicians are also good.

I was gifted a pair if Felcos last year and promptly lost them in the yard. :(( Then I found a pair I didn't even remember buying, but they are small. Recently, I got some unbranded pair from Bargain Hunt of all places and they are great! I was shocked. I still use loppers for big canes,but wow!, for three bucks I figure
I can lose them without feeling so bad.I'm still hoping I find those lost ones, though.
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Apr 11, 2019 11:57 AM CST
Here is the pruner "I Love"
ARS HP-VS7Z Heavy Duty Hand Pruner, 7-Inch

https://tinyurl.com/y2pv82mn

I wear a size 7 - 7 1/2 glove.

You can get replacement parts for ARS pruners - like the little spring located towards the center of the pruners at Gempler's
https://gemplers.com/products/...
Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Apr 11, 2019 12:40 PM CST
Margie, I really like the opening mechanism and the fact that they're designed for smaller hands. Very nice!
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Apr 11, 2019 2:12 PM CST
vaporvac said:Margie, I really like the opening mechanism and the fact that they're designed for smaller hands. Very nice!


In addition, I like that their handles are colored red.
I specifically bought shocking pink colored handle scissors recently to cut velcro ties for my climbers.
Quick to find and retrieve.
Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Apr 11, 2019 5:35 PM CST
I've been known to spray the handles of my tools with fluorescent orange paint so I totally get it!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Apr 11, 2019 9:01 PM CST
Me too.
Porkpal
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
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LolaTasmania
Apr 13, 2019 4:01 PM CST
For over 20 years I have been meaning to put red electrical tape around the handles of my gardening tools, but the tools and tape live in different sheds and I never remember to take one to the other.

I have had my dark green snippers for 25 years and they originally cost $2. I bought 20 of them to give to my landscaping classmates when they came to help me with a project in my garden. I have a pair still in their plastic pouch but the originals are still going strong, although they are being held together with wire. The light green pair I found at a garage sale for 50 cents around 15 years ago. I can't find an identifying brand mark on them.
Thumb of 2019-04-13/LolaTasmania/d5febb

Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Apr 13, 2019 4:35 PM CST
"Better Garden Tools" makes really fabulous ratcheting pruners & loppers. I got their "deal" last year at the Philly Garden Show, compact loppers, compact ratcheting pruners, floral snips (used a lot on my new roses!), and sharpener. Can't say enough about how easy they are to use.

Prior to getting those, my favorite pruners were stainless steel ones from Lee Valley (or maybe AM Leonard?) -- not only were they sturdy, they were also OK if I managed to lose them outside for a few days... I did actually lose the matching pruning saw outside for a whole winter, and you'd never know it.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
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Mike
Apr 13, 2019 7:47 PM CST
I'm very intrigued... what's the advantage/purpose of the ratchet?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Apr 13, 2019 9:01 PM CST
I find it annoying - but that is not the intent.
Porkpal
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Image
Mike
Apr 13, 2019 9:29 PM CST
LOL
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Image
Mike
Apr 13, 2019 9:33 PM CST
Jill, you must tell us all about the famous Philadelphia Flower Show. I've made it to Britain's Chelsea Flower Show twice (see my website here: http://www.lens-work.com/Home/...), but oddly haven't made it to Philly's, which is just a 100 miles away. I keep promising myself I will go one of these years and still haven't managed to get there.

BTW, I also use Lee Valley tools in my wood shop, mostly for furniture making. Good stuff.
[Last edited by Mike - Apr 13, 2019 9:38 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1948889 (16)
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Image
Mike
Apr 13, 2019 9:45 PM CST
Lola, I think the yellow handled pruners you found are Leyat, also Swiss made, like Felco.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Apr 13, 2019 9:54 PM CST
Love this thread. Learning a lot from everyone.
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Image
Mike
Apr 14, 2019 9:05 AM CST
I'm guessing the ratcheting is good for thick woody canes, or even small tree branches, where you may have to squeeze the handles more than once to cut all the way through? Or so that you don't "lose your place" in the cut if you were to release between squeezes and the spring mechanism popped the handles back open?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Apr 14, 2019 10:08 AM CST
Yup, quite a nuisance.
Porkpal

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