While you might use large loppers to cut out big branches from overgrown plants on your property, you’re likely to use bypass pruners for different tasks. What are bypass pruners and what are the best ways to use them?
Many home landscapers or gardeners do not know the names of each specialized tool that they are using, and that’s okay. In fact, you may own a pair of bypass pruners already and not know it.
Let’s take a closer look at this useful garden tool and how you can make the most of using it around the yard.
All About Bypass Pruners
Let’s address the most important question first: "What are bypass pruners?" Bypass pruners are a type of hand-held garden shears that have two blades which come together to make a clean cut. These pruners are used to cut a variety of things in the garden, and they’re known for being able to make cuts even in tight spaces, and the cuts are very clean.
Bypass pruners come in various sizes and typically have one blade which is beveled and one that is not. This gives you the ability to make the right kind of angled cut to trim back live plants without damaging them.
Bypass pruners are just one type of secateurs or pruning shears. Secateurs as a general category refers to any type of shears that are handheld and can be used to do various types of yard work. While many people may have never heard the word secateurs before, most gardeners have owned and used a few different types before.
Alternative Type: Anvil Pruners
There is another type of secateurs that is very common, and they are known as anvil pruners, which do not have two blades. Instead, they have one sharpened blade. When you squeeze the pruners into action, the sharpened blade strikes a solid piece of metal, much like you would strike an ax or hammer on an anvil.
Anvil pruners though are not as good at making clean cuts as bypass pruners, so most gardeners prefer to only use these on dead wood or on plants that they are removing entirely. If used on live or semi-live plants, they can cause unfixable damage to the living stems which can adversely affect the plant’s life.
Proper Way of Using Bypass Pruners
Now that you know what bypass pruners are, it is time to learn how to use them correctly. Even though making cuts with these pruners is very easy to do, you want to learn how to make the cuts properly if you will be trimming back living plants.
When using a bypass pruner to trim back some extra growth or height from a living plant, be sure to follow these rules:
- Cut above a node on the stem when possible to help the plant heal more efficiently.
- Angle the blade at a 10 to 15 degrees angle to give a clean cut.
- Always use the beveled blade on the top when cutting a stem.
- Do not cut anything more than ½” in width since the pruners will not be able to make a clean cut and can damage the plant.
Choosing the Right Bypass Pruners
If you don’t own this universally-useful gardening tool yet, what are you waiting for? It’s time to try it out!
That being said, remember that there are many different styles of bypass pruners that you can find. So, take the time to choose a pair that fits both your budget and your hands.
There are a few different factors that you should pay close attention to when choosing your pruners and they are:
- Do you want cushioned handles?
- Are the pruners the right size for your hands?
- Can you easily reach the safety latch to lock and unlock the pruners?
- Do you want a model with handles that can rotate?
- Do you need a left-handed model?
- Do they have a warranty?
By paying attention to these factors while you are making your choice, you’ll be sure to come home with a pair of pruners that you will love. You want this tool to be as useful as possible, so do not rush the buying process.
Bypass Pruners Make Sense
Even if you already own loppers, anvil pruners, or another type of garden shears, it’s unlikely that you own any tools that are useful in the garden as bypass pruners are. These tools have some of the greatest versatility of any gardening tool, so it makes sense to try them out in your garden.
Whether your focus is growing food or flowers in your garden, or you simply want a tool on hand to keep weeds at bay, you’ll be happy to know that the bypass pruners can help make those goals a straightforward reality.
All you need to do is get your hands into a pair of bypass pruners, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try them out sooner!