I love my pruners! I use them all the time and I like to have several pair.
I have the long handled ones that I use for pruning roses or cutting back grape vines. It’s the short handled ones, though, that I use every day in some way. Also known as secateurs, these pruners have short handles and are operated with one hand. A spring between the handles causes the jaws to open again after closing. When not in use, the jaws are held closed by a safety catch or by a loop.
Why do I have so many pruners? One lives in the tool box in the car so I always have it at the community garden. One lives in the shed out back. One is under the kitchen sink and the other one always seems to be lost!
I really do use my pruners every day. I use them to deadhead roses, and cosmos, and dahlias and every other flower I grow. I use them when I cutback the hydrangeas in fall and roses each winter. I use them to harvest tomatoes. Yes, you read that right! Sometimes tomatoes can be very easily plucked from the plants but to be safe, I like to cut them. If not, it’s too easy to accidentally remove the stem and tear into the skin. This is especially true of cherry tomatoes.
There are several really good brands of pruners and they’re available at most of the garden shops. Felco, Corona, Fiskars are all great lines that offer various sizes. Some have a slightly padded handle, which I like. There are some made just for left-handers. The shape is most important to me as I want them to have a small enough point to be able to get into small places.
My Mother once told me that if you give someone something sharp as a gift they need to give you a nickel. It’s something about not severing a friendship. I really don’t know the full details about that superstition but here’s what I do know – every gardener loves to get new pruners. Just make sure they have a nickel ready.