Mini Pruning Shears & Snips

Pruning shears are often referred to as clippers or pruners. These pruning tools are the most used form of garden equipment. Pruners can shape and trim plants, cut back perennials, deadhead, and prune damaged and dead little branches and foliage.

What types of pruning shears are available?

There are 2 basic kinds of shears:

  • Anvil pruning shears - These pruners close onto a flat edge with a straight blade which simulates a knife as it contacts a chopping board. The sharpness of the straight part crushes stems as it cuts. Therefore, instead of using the anvil clippers on live plants, you should use these clippers on dead wood instead.
  • Bypass pruning shears - Of the 2 types of shears, these are the most commonly used. Bypass pruning shears have two blades that have a curved shape and "bypass" each other to provide a clean cutting motion, much like scissors. However, just one blade is sharpened.
How does the locking mechanism on these tools work?

Most shears available have an apparatus that makes it possible to lock the tool in a closed position. By securing the clippers, you protect yourself from getting cut accidentally on a sharp blade, and you preserve the incisiveness of the edges when the instrument is not being used. The ideal locking mechanism will have these features:

  • It will not get in your way when in use.
  • It will stay in its desired place, whether it is in the closed or opened position.
  • It will be easy to lock and unlock.
Is ergonomic design important?

If your intentions are to deadhead or prune, this type of design is likely to cause you the least amount of wrist strain when compared to other traditional models. Ergonomically designed shears also allow you to use less pressure to close the tool. Features of this design often include the following:

  • Angled blades
  • Soft-grip handles
  • Somewhat curved shape
What are the blades made of?

For pruning shears, the blades are made of steel. You want to purchase clippers that have high-quality carbon or hardened steel blades. You may also find that many pruners have a coating which makes the edges resistant to sticky substances, such as tree sap. A simple way to determine the quality of the blades is to see how closely they pass each other when opening and closing them. The greater the tightness between them, the better the quality.