In order to ensure the health of your plants the task of pruning is a necessary one that should be undertaken on a regular basis. Pruning will help to control the shape of the plants, ensuring they don’t become too leggy, that the spent blooms are removed cleanly or that diseased stems are removed without harming the rest of the plant. There are a number of different types of pruners available that can be used for different circumstances.
Your regular pruners should be a pair of bypass pruners. This pruner consists of two curved blades that pass smoothly by each other so that they cut through stems smoothly to create a clean cut. One blade is sharp while the other is slightly thicker and unsharpened.
Anvil pruners are more heavy duty with a single sharpened blade that comes down on a flat edge. You would use one of these pruners to snip older, twiggy stems that are already dead. Using one of these pruners on soft or succulent stems would cause too much trauma to the living stem, possibly crushing the delicate green stems.
For cutting thicker branch-like stems a set of ratchet pruners should be used. These pruners operate by degrees as you make your way through the branch. The pruner is equipped with a mechanism that progressively moves the blade deeper into the wood until they cut through. These types of pruners are ideal for older gardeners or people who have problems gripping the handles strongly enough to cut the larger branches.
To effectively perform all of the chores that you would regularly come across in the garden it would be advisable to have one of each of these hand pruners on hand. You wouldn’t want to ruin the precise cutting ability of your bypass pruners by using them when performing the task that should be carried out by a pair of anvil pruners.