Tools and Stuff forum: Ratchet hand pruner that will stand up to use?

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Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Feb 13, 2017 3:15 PM CST
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.
Falls Church, VA
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tantefrancine
Apr 22, 2017 3:49 PM CST
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.
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Apr 22, 2017 6:21 PM CST
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.
Falls Church, VA
Irises Region: Mid-Atlantic Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator
Bookworm Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hellebores Peonies Orchids
tantefrancine
Apr 23, 2017 2:14 PM CST
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.

SeniorSitizen
Sep 7, 2017 12:22 PM CST
Choose your branch wisely. A bypass pruner's biggest enemy is a dead branch.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 1, 2017 9:51 AM CST
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.
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