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Avatar for jsf67
Feb 13, 2017 3:15 PM CST
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
Looks like I will soon be stripping a LOT of fallen pine branches (so they can be piled in less space). That tends to require holding the branch in one hand and pruner in the other.
Years ago I bought a ratchet hand pruner, that seemed to be the right design for such a job and worked great for a short time until it broke. I think it was the EZ KUT 3130 (otherwise one with exactly that same shape and green color).
Once it broke, the design flow seems obvious. Look at a picture of one of these online (sorry I couldn't find a URL that doesn't depend on the cookies that got me there): The ratchet mechanism is in between the two handles. In side view, you see a dot in ratchet mechanism, which is the end view of a pin. That pin is the heart of what makes it all work, but also the place the maximum forces are focused. Unless that pin is made out of something incredibly strong, it will wear out once you've cut 100 moderate branches. Some other brands have and advertise titanium for the sharp blade, to keep it sharp. But that pin is still junk and would wear out long before the blade.

Ratchet hand pruners are great to use, but not if an expensive tool is going to wear out that fast.

Have any of you seen a different design ratchet that doesn't put all the force on a rapid wear component? Or one that makes that pin thicker or from a stronger material? Or one where that high wear pin is designed to be removed and replaced (rather than the rivet-like installation of most of them, which means it must be softer metal than the rivet machine that installed it, and it can't be replaced by the end user.
Avatar for tantefrancine
Apr 22, 2017 3:49 PM CST
Falls Church, VA
Birds Roses Garden Procrastinator Plumerias Peonies Region: Mid-Atlantic
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I use Florian. Expensive but so far so good. Lots of people do not like them, somehow they do not work for them, but I do not have any problems with them, you just have to move the green handle and keep the red handle steady. I have both the small ones, medium 2 hands operation, and the large ones.
Avatar for jsf67
Apr 22, 2017 6:21 PM CST
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
I'll look into that next time.
Instead, I bought a cheap non-ratchet hand pruner. It should stand up to more use before failing and it costs less.
The boundary in limb strength, at which I can't use the hand pruner and must instead shift to full size two hand pruner, obviously is lower because of this choice. A ratchet pruner can be pumped a few times to cut any branch that fits into it at all, while a simpler pruner easily fits around branches that either it can't cut at all or require so much turning while cutting that it isn't worth it.
Avatar for tantefrancine
Apr 23, 2017 2:14 PM CST
Falls Church, VA
Birds Roses Garden Procrastinator Plumerias Peonies Region: Mid-Atlantic
Irises Hellebores Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Photography Bookworm
I bought the large ones on a garden show. It was discounted, but it did cost almost $200.00 and that was a long time ago. I am still able to cut any branch that fits into it with ease, and I am closer to 80 than 70 years old. I think it is better to get something that is good than have a lot that is not good, then you will buy the good one anyway. So you end up spending more money. If you check the Florian website, they do have sales sometimes.
Avatar for SeniorSitizen
Sep 7, 2017 12:22 PM CST

Choose your branch wisely. A bypass pruner's biggest enemy is a dead branch.
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Nov 1, 2017 9:51 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
My 92 y/o MIL swears by the Cutco(the knife company with the lifetime warranty) ratchet pruner we gave her. You'll have to search for it though. They are discontinued.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
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Apr 1, 2021 6:42 AM CST

Thanks for the information.
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Apr 1, 2021 6:57 AM CST

I also have a lot to do this spring.
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Apr 1, 2021 7:06 AM CST

I will try to help you.
Last edited by LisaMartin12 Apr 8, 2021 6:52 PM Icon for preview
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Aug 12, 2021 1:28 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I've been using the $10 Husky brand ratchet pipe cutter from Home Depot. Cuts branches up to 1" diameter cleanly! There is a larger size available as well.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
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