These small cutters go easy on your hands.
There are many excellent bypass pruners on the market, but I had carpal tunnel surgery years ago, and my hands tire easily when using many standard options. Okatsune’s Model 101 bypass plungers are only 7 inches long and weigh about 6 ounces. They are designed specifically for smaller hands, and I find them less stressful for me. (For larger hands, see Model 103 and 104 cuts). These super sharp pruners fit into tight spaces, and I’ve used them to cleanly cut branches up to 1 inch in diameter. The sturdy latch, located at the base of the handle, is designed for one-handed operation. My biggest complaint with other mowers is that the latch can slip and lock the blade. These harvesters don’t have that problem.
-Marty Neely, FAPLD, owns and operates Marty Neely Design & Associates in Omaha, Nebraska.
This small trim saw has great reach.
I’ve always been frustrated with high branches that traditional loopers just can’t reach. Pole saws are often used in these situations, but they can be cumbersome to maneuver. The Arborist Folding and Extending Trim Saw from Garrett Weed is the choice for those who are beyond pruning needs. When folded, this tool is only 24½ inches long, but once the blade is extended you have a reach of 53 inches. This length is perfect when I’m cutting small branches directly from above, and I often use this saw when pruning small ornamental trees is passive. Strong and light, it can be used with one hand if necessary. The curved, 10½-inch, ultra-sharp blade is narrow enough to fit into tight spaces and is designed for efficient cuts. It can be locked in various positions with a convenient aluminum thumb lever.
Mark Dwyer is the garden manager of the Edgerton Hospital Healing Garden and runs MDK Landscape Prescriptions in Wisconsin.
A chain for those who don’t like chains
I have been harvesting for a long time and am always looking for ways to make it easier. That’s why I was happy to discover the Stihl GTA 26 Garden Pruner Kit. For years I used a cordless reciprocating saw to cut large branches and small trees. I needed two hands to use it, and I found it wasn’t very accurate. This little chainsaw from Stihl has replaced my reciprocating saw. It is battery operated; Without the traditional pull start, and without running out of gas, it’s surprisingly easy to use. The saw cuts faster and faster. You only need one hand to use it, so you can hold the branch with one hand while cutting with the other.
Source: chelfordfarmsupplies.co.uk (International shipping rates apply)
Price (toll only): $130
Price (device with battery and charger): $170
-Susan Calhoun is the owner of Plants Woman Design in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Dealers of Stihl USA products are prohibited from selling their products online. To find your local Stihl dealer, go to stihlusa.com/locator.
Images, except where noted: courtesy of contributors.