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Different Types of Pruning Shears

Removing deadwood and unwanted growths is an essential task in the garden. Pruning helps maintain different plants' shape, size, appearance, and health. Removing diseased or overgrown branches and stems stimulate growth and prevent disease and pests from spreading.

There are loads of gardening tools out there, but nothing beats the humble pruning shears in terms of versatility and usability.

But here’s the thing: there are different types of pruning shears; which one is the best for your needs? That’s what this guide is all about! Let’s talk about the different types of pruning shears, what each tool does, and which one is the right choice for your garden!

Types of Pruning Shears by Blade Designs

ecogardener pruning shears

Pruning shears come in various types. Depending on the size of the stem or branch, as well as the location of the dead growth, you’ll need a pair of pruning shears that are designed for specific applications.

Types of Pruning Shears by Blade Designs

Before we get into the different types of pruning shears, it’s vital to know the various blades of the tool. Generally, pruning shears come in four distinct blade designs: Anvil, Bypass, Ratchet, and Parrot-beak.

Anvil: The blade is sharp on one side and a wide one that acts as a chopping board on the other. This blade creates a clean cut on thick, woody branches or dead wood. This blade provides excellent cutting power, although the cut is not as precise because the other blade is dull. You’ll need to keep the sharp blade sharp; otherwise, you’d have to squeeze harder to cut the stems, which might crush the dead or live growth.

Bypass: Features two curved, sharp blades that overlap during pruning. This design enables you to make quick, clean cuts for faster pruning. It’s terrific for intricate pruning when you want to make the least damage to the live growth. Because two blades work together, you can make clean, small cuts. It’s perfect for small plants with soft growths, although it can also be used to remove deadwood.

Ratchet: The blade is similar to the anvil, one is sharp, and the other is dull, serving as a cutting board each time you make a cut. The difference is that ratchet has a ratcheting mechanism similar to a car jack, giving those with weak hands stronger cutting power. It usually comes with a lock, so the blades are held together safely when not in use.

Parrot-beak: This features two stubby concave blades akin to the shape of a parrot’s beak. The two blades hold the stem in place to make a clean cut. Pruners with a parrot-beak tend to have shorter handles, so this pruner is best for thin branches, deadheading, and pruning small plants.

5 Common Types of Pruning Shears for Garden Care

man trimming plant stalk

Hand Shears

Also known as hand pruners, hand shears have scissor-like blades that let you cut small, thin growths up close. The handles are short, and the blades are sharp, thick, and strong - able to prune hard branches and shrubs up to two centimeters in size. Because the handles are short, you can prune plants with accuracy.

Hand shears come in two types: anvil and bypass. The anvil hand pruners have a straight upper blade and a thick lower blade. When you cut dead growth, the thinner upper blade cuts the branch while the lower blade acts as a block or "cutting board." This hand pruner is designed to cut thick, woody stems and deadwood.

Bypass hand shears feature curved scissor-like blades that overlap with each other. This pruning tool is meant to cut young, soft branches and thinner stems. Both blades are razor-sharp - able to make clean cuts, so these hand pruners do not cause bruising or stem damage. Check out our hand pruner here

Lopping Shears

These are pruning shears designed to cut larger, thicker branches - growths up to ¾ in diameter. Just like hand shears, lopping shears come in two blade types: anvil and bypass. The difference is that lopping shears have longer handles so that you can prune dead growths in high and hard-to-reach places. This tool is best for pruning large plants and trees. Some lopping shears come with ratchet joints, which are used for longer, more heavy-duty use.

Hedge Shears

ecogardener hedge shears

As the name plies, these are shears made specifically for hedges. Hedge shears look like giant scissors with long, narrow blades and short handles. The short handles give you more control over the long blades, allowing you to make short, quick cuts with precision. Some hedge shears are battery-powered; some are run by gas. The most popular is the manual pruner.

What type of hedge shears is best for your garden? Check the blade length. Hedge shears are often used to trim and deadhead small shrubs, evergreens, and perennials. Because the handles are shorter than loppers, they’re not ideal for pruning at greater heights. The blades are pretty strong, able to cut stems and braces up to 2 ¼ inches thick.

Pole Pruners

Pole pruners feature blades attached to hooks mounted on long poles. A chain or cord controls the blade. The blades are typically spring-loaded, providing stronger cutting power in hard-to-reach places.

Telescoping pruners are a type of pole pruners. These pruners come with adjustable long handles to give you better reach. With the ECO gardener telescoping pruners, you can reach branches 12 feet above the ground or higher without a ladder.

Pruning Saws

cutting tree branch using prning saw

As the name implies, these pruners feature either a coarse or fine-toothed curved pruning saw. The fine-toothed pruning saws are used to cut thick branches, about 2 ½ inches in diameter, while the coarse-toothed pruning saws can cut through 3-inch diameter branches and larger. These are quite large tools that require upper body strength to use.

Buy ECOgardener Pruning Shears for Garden Care

No doubt about it, pruning shears are vital in and around the garden. These are essential for manicuring your landscape, creating fancy shapes for topiaries, and tame plant overgrowths.

Whatever type of garden shears you need, be sure to get them from a trusted brand. ECOgardener gardening tools are designed for precision, power, and versatility. Our pruning shears provide exceptional cutting power and will last you years. But don't take our word for it. Try our heavy duty pruning shears and find out why they’re one of our bestselling products.

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