Trimming Shears

memrysAugust 27, 2012

What shears do you recommend for trimming conifers, e.g. to maintain a particular shape?

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wisconsitom

Different tools for different types of cuts and different pruning objectives. A good hand shears is always necessary. Most like the Felco. Me and a few other oddballs like the Corona BP something or other.....the bigger one.

Lopping shears for targeted cuts of too great a diameter for hand shears. That Bahco that A.M. Leonard lists as their best seller is still, after decades of using different tools, noticeably better than all.

Hedge shears for shearing-type pruning, ie. creating a close-clipped hedge. Again, I prefer Bahco's good one and again, I don't remember the model # off the top of my head. This is probably the tool you're asking about. What species of plant(s) are you intending to prune?

+oM

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:45PM
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memrys

Thanks for your response -- much appreciated! I have Felco secateurs and a lopper. I would use the shears mainly for trimming and shaping abies, cedrus, picea, and pinus, not clipping hedges.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:55PM
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wisconsitom

To each his own, Merlinus. Personally, the normal growth form of pines, firs, etc. is as good as it gets, with each attempt to improve on it doing the opposite!

In any case, it is not the hedge shears you need after all. Your Felco and loppers, plus a nice "TurboCut" style hand saw are all you need. If you don't know what I'm talking about, TurboCut was a badge of a then new type of pruning blade made by the Japanese company ARS. Since then, many manufacturers have come out with their own versions of this saw type. Blades are precision ground in-line, there is no "set" to the individual teeth. They are all ground in one plane, but with three edges. They are designed to cut on the pull stroke and quite simply, work about ten times better than the old style of pruning saw blades.

+oM

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 12:28AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

my felco hand secateurs are going on 20 years old ... taken apart late every winter.. and cleaned and sharpened .... blades never replaced.. just honed ... whass had a post on this last winter i think.. to each his/her own as to brand ...

do you have a saw like the one at the link ... type is more important than brand name ... the double row of surgical sharp teeth.. allows you to go thru a one inch branch in 3 or 4 swipes ... but more important.. i like that it folds in fits in my back pocket .... have seen generic brands in the 10 to 15 buck range ... and since i found this type.. my loppers have been rusting in the barn ...

i got rid of anything that needed to be sheared twice a year ... there are alternatives to the wrong plant in the wrong place.. consider getting rid of such.. rather than spending time making them fit ....

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:24AM
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memrys

Thanks for the info, everyone -- greatly appreciated!

So, relative to a pruning saw, is there any length that is preferable? Also, I see some blades are meant for soft and green wood, and others for hard, so which would be better for general pruning of conifers?

As to brands, what about Bahco and Felco compared to Leonard?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

relative to a pruning saw, is there any length that is preferable? Also, I see some blades are meant for soft and green wood, and others for hard, so which would be better for general pruning of conifers?

==>> just go to bigboxstore.. and buy a cheap one .. to try it.. lowes.. tractor supply .... etc ...

worry about upgrading on the second ...

my orange ones were best.. hard to lose.. my latest knockoff is grass green.. whats that all about ...

the one that doesn't fall out of your back pocket is just long enough .. lol ... my blade is 10 inches or so.. so opened.. the whole is probably about 20 inches.. will easily handle up to a 2 inch branch.. if not more ... i grew up using dads bow saw.. 2.5 feet long .. this little thing will make your head spin .. soon you will be knocking on the neighbors doors.. asking if they need anything pruned.. lol ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:39PM
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wisconsitom

A.M. Leonard "store brand" is decent stuff. It's just that once you try the Bahcos, you feel the difference. That's the best I can describe it. But the house brand stuff is alright-we've got some of them too.

Eventually, in addition to your folding pruning saw, you may want a pole saw. That will have the same style of blade on the end of a wood, fiberglass, or other material pole. That'll give you some reach. But for now, get a straight or folding version of the type both Ken and I describe. You can finally get decent pruning saws at the hardware store. That was not previously the case.

+oM

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 5:44PM
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memrys

Any recommendation as to the best all-around blade for the Bahco for general pruning of conifers and roots? It would appear there are three (coarse, medium, fine).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:24PM
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wisconsitom

Mer, I've got to think the loppers that I like is the P1624 and the hedge shears is P51S I believe.

+oM

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:58PM
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