In pruning, there are basically three categories of hand pruners to consider: anvil, bypass, and ratchet pruners. Bypass pruners can be a useful tool in general, though not so much so in cutting back thick stems in shrubs and trees. These types of pruners do not have a blade that you pull or push down. Instead, they simply loop a wire, thin and wide enough that it will not catch on any twigs or leaves, over and pull the pruned wire back through its teeth.
Ratchet pruners, on the other hand, are very different. They use a chain and trigger mechanism that pulls the wire back up by bending it in the opposite direction. This results in a clean pruning cut, but the pruners usually do not have as many uses as the other types. Because they require more effort than Bypass tools, ratchet pruners tend to be more expensive.
Loppers are used more for maintenance pruning. Often they are also used with other tools to help with thinning out thick branches. Loppers look like scissors but have a loop at the top. You push the pruners up, and they pull them down. Most shoppers have a teeth pattern that looks a little like a bird’s beak.
For pruning branches and other low growth areas, there is another type of tool to consider; the anvil pruner. Anvil pruners use a heavy metal blade. They will not clean your branches or cut them as efficiently as the other types, but if you want to prune small areas, then this might be the way to go. Like bypass pruners, anvil pruners cost more.
With all the types of garden shears tools available today, it may be hard to choose which ones to get. Some people like to get several different types of pruners to work on their garden pruning. When choosing which one to get, make sure to consider how often you prune your garden, how big your pruning tools are, and what kind of job you want to accomplish.
The best way to learn to prune is to actually watch someone prune. Get some hands on training so that you can see what they do. There is plenty of information about pruning online and in books. When selecting tools, make sure to select tools that make the process of pruning easy and enjoyable.
Loppers are more ergonomic than cutters. They are made from a hard plastic, which protects the hands from cuts when pruning. Pruners are more expensive but they are worth the price for many people.
To purchase any of these tools, check out your local home improvement store. Cutters are available in different sizes and brands. The two inch pruning saw is the best choice for smaller branches and twigs. If you have a large tree pruning pole saw, you can cut through branches two inches thick.