It’s that time of the year where we’re all looking out at our gardens and realizing we need to maintain them. Fortunately, we’ve got a bunch of pruning and gardening tools that are perfect for the task.
Whether you’re trimming your hedges into shape, pruning back your roses, doing some serious tree trimming, or just popping in some new plants you picked up at the local nursery, we’ve picked out favorite tools to help you get the job done so you can spend more time enjoying your garden and less time sweating in it.
Hedge Trimmer: Worx 20V PowerShare 20″ Cordless ($80)
Hedges and shrubs grow fast. You want to use a hedge trimmer that’s not unwieldy but still powerful so you can cut them back efficiently. The Worx 20V PowerShare 20″ Cordless is a great bet. It has a 20V battery that provides more than enough juice for tackling multiple trees, shrubs, and hedges without running out of power. The battery also works with other Worx tools, everything from power tools to electric leaf blowers, so it’s sure to be handy if you invest in the platform.
It has dual-action cutting blades for a fast and clean cut with minimal vibration, with a D-grip front handle so you can easily grip onto it whether you’re holding it from the top or the side. It’s lightweight too, only weighing about 6 pounds. It’s mostly everything you could want from a hedge trimmer.
Bypass Hand Shears: Fiskars Pruning Shears ($10)
When cutting back light branches or stems, it can be useful to use a good pair of pruning shears. The Fiskars Pruning Shears are the best of the bunch. The fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp even with frequent use and the low-friction coating that helps it glide through stems and small branches without getting gummed up with sap.
The handles provide non-slip grips so you can easily hold onto it and wrap your fingers around it without an issue. These are ideal for those pesky clean-up jobs when pulling out the hedge trimmer would be overkill.
Needle Nose Fruit Pruner: ARS Stainless Steel Fruit Pruner ($24)
Do you find yourself regularly deadheading plants or harvesting fruit? In which case, you need the ARS Stainless Steel Fruit Pruner. Its needle-nose design means it’s perfect for such tasks. That’s backed up by its all-metal construction and high-quality spring that means it puts the hard work in so you don’t have to.
The handles are ergonomically designed with an easy to grip plastic coating, so you don’t feel too much force in your hands when you’re squeezing the pruners. It’s a great time and effort saver.
Bypass Loppers: Fiskars Bypass Lopper ($22)
Loppers are designed to cut small tree branches without needing to climb up on something to reach them or busting out a full pruning saw. Like other Fiskars products, the Fiskars Bypass Loppers have a precision-ground blade that stays sharp through heavy use. That’s backed up by a low-friction and rust-resistant coating that helps it glide through wood while avoiding getting gummed up with sap.
It’s 28 inches long and able to cut branches of about 1″ to 1 1/2″ thickness.
Anvil Loppers: Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper ($27)
What’s the difference between bypass and anvil loppers? Good question. Anvil loppers have a straight blade rather than the bypass’s scissor-style curved action. That means anvil ones are best for dry or dead wood branches while bypass loppers are good for live branches that have plenty of sap and stickiness. Also, if you’re trimming a lot of live branches, stick to the bypass loppers as the scissor-like cut is healthier for live wood than the crushing-action of anvil loppers.
That said, if you need anvil loppers the Corona Compound Action Anvil Lopper are the best ones out there. They have 32″ durable fiberglass handles with extra long 8″ non-slip foam grips so it feels good in your hands even while you’re powering through tough dry wood. The cut capacity is 1 1/2″ which is good enough for most small and some medium branches. The blade is plenty durable but can be easily removed for resharpening as need be.
Pruning Saw: Corona RazorTooth Folding Pruning Saw ($20)
For those times when you’re dealing with branches way too thick for pruners or loppers, there’s the Corona RazorTooth Folding Pruning Saw. Its 3 sided razor teeth 10″ blade is perfect for cutting 5″-6″ diameter small to medium branches with minimal effort on your part. It’s designed for faster cutting with each inch of the blade having up to 6 teeth on it.
Its molded handle is ergonomically designed with a comfortable grip so you don’t have to worry about any strain on your fingers or wrist. When not in use, you can easily fold and latch the blade for safety.
Tree Pruner: Corona Max RazorTOOTH DualCompound Tree Pruner ($87)
If your garden is full of trees and you need to invest in some heavy-duty orchard pruning equipment, you can’t go wrong with the Corona Max RazorTOOTH DualCompound Tree Pruner. The 14-foot compound pruner has a rope pull system and curved 13-inch razor tooth saw blade that works well together to minimize effort for you.
There’s a comfortable 24-inch foam grip to protect your hands while you’re working and molded handle on the pull cord fits comfortably in the hand. For extensive trimming without perching on a ladder, it’s a sure bet.
Tripod Ladder: Werner FTP6212 300-Pound Duty Rating Fiberglass Ladder ($430)
If you’re serious about tidying up your orchard and mini (or not so mini) forest of trees, it’s worth investing in a good quality tripod ladder. What’s the difference between a tripod ladder and a regular ol’ a-frame style ladder? Tripod ladders are intended for use with trees where getting a full-size ladder into the crown of the tree is difficult. The third-leg of the tripod ladder slides into the crown of shorter trees more easily so you can get in and work.
The Werner FTP6212 300-Pound Duty Rating Fiberglass Tripod Ladder is the best of the bunch. Made from fiberglass, it’s lightweight yet sturdy and able to hold up to 300lb.
12 foot high, you can easily climb up to many trees to pick fruit or trim branches. It has a spread handle design that makes it easy to grip onto as well as transport around, plus you can securely store your tools at the top of the ladder. It’s not essential for everyone but for anyone with a small orchard out back or lots of shorter flowering trees it’s invaluable.
Trowel: Fiskars Ergo Trowel ($6)
Up until this point we’ve been focused on the big stuff like serious trimming and shaping. When it comes to simple garden work like digging up weeds, digging holes for plants, or simply turning up earth, you need a good quality trowel. The Fiskars Ergo Trowel is a great bet. It has an ergonomically designed handle that reduces hand and wrist fatigue while you weed (a common pitfall) with the blade cutting through even tough turf cleanly and quickly.
It also has a polished aluminum head that is rust resistant and will for seasons and seasons of use.
Gloves: Pine Tree Bamboo Working Gloves ($10)
Don’t go barehanded when gardening. You’ll regret it when you end up with thorns cutting up your hands and splinters embedding themselves in your fingers. Instead, buy the Pine Tree Bamboo Working Gloves and protect your hands. Made from breathable bamboo fibers, you can enjoy having cool hands in summer yet warm hands in winter without much trouble.
The gloves keep snug to your hands but still maintain a good tactile feel on branches and tools. They’re even touchscreen friendly (you know, for those gotta-Google-this garden emergencies). It’s easy to be a bit cheap with your gardening gloves but a far better option is to invest in a pair like these for long term use.