Navigating the world of gardening tools can be a complex task, but understanding the right equipment is crucial for any green-fingered enthusiast. This guide focuses on secateurs, a fundamental tool in any gardener’s kit. Whether you’re pruning roses or shaping hedges, selecting the best secateurs can make all the difference in life. We’ll delve into the various types, how to maintain them, and what features to look for, ensuring your gardening efforts are as effective and enjoyable as possible.
Essential Insights on Choosing and Using The Best Secateurs
If you’re new to gardening or have limited strength and find pruning tasks difficult, these secateurs could be ideal for your needs. Our picks for shears, secateurs and scissors feature a ratchet action that relieves strain from hands and wrists for effortless pruning tasks.
Precision blades are great for precise cuts on smaller plants and creating a well-shaped hedge, as their blades pass by each other to reduce stem bruising.
This table provides a comprehensive overview of secateurs, including their types, maintenance, uses, cleaning, and factors to consider when choosing the right pair. It highlights the importance of proper care and the suitability of different types for specific gardening tasks.
– Secateurs are a precise pruning tool ideal for trimming plant stems.
– There are two primary types: bypass and anvil. Bypass for living stems, anvil for dead growth.
Types of Secateurs
– Bypass: Similar to scissors, reduces bruising to living stems.
– Anvil: Suitable for pruning dead growth, could crush living stems.
– Ratchet: Eases effort, ideal for weak wrists or arthritis, cuts stems in stages.
– Clean after each use, wipe blades regularly, sharpen with a small stone.
– Lubricate with methylated spirit or disinfectant, spare blades and springs for replacements.
– Ideal for cutting small weeds, thinning shoots, deadheading perennials.
– Blade type determines stem thickness capability.
– Essential for dead-heading flowers, pruning shrubs, harvesting fruits and vegetables.
– Lightweight, with safety catch and adjustable blade opening.
– Anvil design for larger stems, comfortable for long sessions.
– Clean with warm soapy water, wipe with an oily cloth.
– Sterilize with methylated spirits and water mix to prevent disease spread.
– Safety features like central catch, options for left-handed use, and ergonomic design for reduced strain.
BBC Gardeners World Buying Guide
What Are Secateurs Used For?
Secateurs are an accurate pruning tool ideal for trimming the stems of plants with live, green growth. However, when taking on larger tasks, it is always recommended to use shears or loppers alongside secateurs.
There are two primary types of secateurs: bypass and anvil. Bypass secateurs use blades similar to scissors to cut, which should reduce bruising to living stems when properly maintained. When you close their handles, anvil secateurs press against stems with a flat metal plate called an anvil. These should only be used for pruning dead growth, as anvil pruners could crush stems, which prevents healing.
A pair of properly maintained secateurs is essential to creating an orderly garden. Clean the handles after every pruning session to remove sap and other debris; wipe down blades regularly so as to avoid infection of plants or cross-contamination with disease-causing bacteria; if dullness arises, simply sharpen with a small sharpening stone for best results.
Some models of secateurs feature ratchet mechanisms to ease effort and cut stems in several stages, which may be beneficial if you suffer from weak wrists or arthritis. Handles should fit comfortably around your fingers; make sure they open and close smoothly without strain on either hand or wrist.
Proper use and maintenance should ensure that a pair of quality secateurs lasts many years. Wiping them down with methylated spirit or disinfectant as well as spraying some light lubricant should help to keep handles and blades working in good order, and purchasing spare blades and springs might come in handy if damage or wear causes jamming or non-closure of the secateurs; make sure the warranty covers costs associated with replacing such components should you need them in the future.
Pruning using secateurs
Gardeners use best secateurs for an assortment of gardening tasks. From cutting small weeds, thinning shoots or flowers and deadheading perennials to deadheading and trimming soft living stems, secateurs have proved themselves indispensable! Heavy-duty secateurs with rubber grip cushions that protect hands and wrists during longer jobs can also come in handy when pruning woodier stems or branches.
The type of blade will determine how thick of a stem you can cut, with three options—a bypass, anvil, and ratchet—available to choose from. Of these options, bypass mechanisms (two sharp blades that cut each other) are probably the most familiar and suitable for most light pruning, deadheading, and cutting green stems up to about 25mm thick.
Anvil secateurs resemble knives in that their single blade cuts against a metal block called an anvil, providing an effective tool for cutting thick or woody stems and damaged plant sections. Curved blades make for easier access into narrow gaps, and serrated edges help secure stems.
Ratchet secateurs work much like pliers and are particularly useful for people with limited hand strength. Their handles are spring-loaded for easier cutting action while widening gradually until cutting through the stem. Furthermore, the handles are designed with safety in mind to prevent excessive strain on fingers and wrists during use.
All types of secateurs require regular maintenance in order to stay in peak working order. After each use, they should be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, sap, or rust from both blades and handles; warm, soapy water should then be used to wipe over everything for a thorough washout; occasionally, spray lubricant may also help. Furthermore, any dull blades should be sharpened regularly; they can easily be taken apart to be sharpened and replaced if needed and many models come equipped with extra springs and blades in case any become damaged. Many models also come equipped with extra springs if one breaks or becomes damaged, making maintenance essential!
Cutting stems with secateurs
Novice gardeners and experienced horticulturists agree on one thing: having quality secateurs in the toolshed is essential. From dead-heading flowers and pruning shrubs to harvesting home-grown fruit and vegetables, their multi-tasking abilities cannot be rivalled by other tools.
These robust secateurs were honoured with a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for comfort despite being the lightest among our top three choices (330g). Easy to use with their central safety catch, which rests conveniently at the end of both handles for thumb engagement, you can adjust blade opening width, right or left-handed useability and two-year warranty coverage are some of their hallmark features.
These RHS-endorsed secateurs are ideal for pruning larger stems and thicker material. Their anvil design can cut through growth up to 2.5 cm, while their adjustable locking mechanism fits any hand comfortably. A rubber cushion stop prevents jarring when the blade closes, and their lightweight construction makes these comfortable enough to use even after long sessions of cutting.
However, they’re more expensive than the Felco and Okatsune models but remain one of our favourites due to being extremely comfortable to hold and featuring high-quality, precision blades. Their handles are constructed of aluminium with FSC-certified ash handles for smooth gripping even while wearing gardening gloves, and there are options for both right-handed gardeners as well as left-handed ones. Furthermore, their blades can easily be replaced if necessary and feature an easy locking latch system designed specifically to be engaged by your thumb.
These options may be slightly more expensive than their Felco and Okatsune counterparts, but we still highly recommend them due to their soft plastic shock absorbers, which offer maximum comfort when gardening. Their ergonomic handle follows the shape of a gardener’s grip for further reduction of tension on hands and arms, and their hardwearing SK5 Japanese steel blades can even be sharpened in just one click if they need sharpening again later on!
Cleaning and maintaining secateurs
Cleaning and maintaining secateurs as you use them for your home garden is essential for longevity of your new garden tool. Doing so helps protect them against the elements and extend their lives much like taking care of your windows can prevent the need for window replacement. After each use, such as pruning, you should thoroughly cleanse your secateurs using warm soapy water, followed by wiping them clean with an oily cloth to maintain optimal working conditions for maximum effectiveness. Some gardeners also advise spraying their secateurs with a mixture of methylated spirits and water in order to sterilise them and prevent diseases from spreading between plants.
Bypass secateurs are among the most commonly available on the market and function like scissors in that one blade passes over another to produce a clean cut. This design is very versatile and allows you to prune various shrubbery easily; anvil secateurs may provide more powerful cutting action, which is especially useful in taking on thicker stems or tougher growth.
WD-40’s Specialist Lawn & Garden range is an effective way of maintaining clean and lubricated gardening tools—just apply some to where their handles meet on each secateurs pivot point for instantaneous results that’ll have you reassembling them quickly!
When purchasing new secateurs, it’s essential that they meet both your gardening and personal needs. Make sure the handles are easy for you to grasp without straining your hands, while some models include rubber shock absorbers to ease finger and hand strain and left-handed versions for those suffering from arthritis symptoms. A central safety catch may also come in handy.