Not everyone who loves gardening has the same feelings of affection when it comes to pruning tough, woody stems with hand pruners that make your hands hurt after pruning too many plants. This goes especially for the elderly or those whose hands are weakened through conditions such as arthritis or hand related accidents. In these cases, pruning becomes a real chore, so it makes sense to look around for alternatives that will make the task of pruning a more enjoyable one. There are two or three options to look at here.
The first are still technically hand pruners, although they work on a ratchet principle so that you don’t need to use any real pressure with your hands to cut though tough, woody plant stems. By placing the blades around the stem to be pruned, you then simply apply several light squeezes on the handles. With each consecutive squeeze, the blades close a little further until the stem is cleanly cut through.
Moving upmarket, there are the electric pruners that are powered direct via a power cord. There are also cordless electric pruners that operate on a rechargeable battery, in a similar manner to cordless power tools such as drills or screwdrivers. Both have advantages, although for most people the cordless electric pruners are the easiest to use and most portable. These work by again placing the blades around the plant stem that you want to prune and depressing the trigger, which closes the blades and make the cut.
The third type of easy to use pruning shears are the gas powered pruners, which operate on compressed gas, usually propane. These work by placing the blades around the stem that needs to be pruned and a trigger pressed to close the blades and initiate the cut. There are two types of gas pruner. One can be connected to a larger gas bottle via a tube and is used in commercial or professional situations, or there is a rechargeable version that contains a small refillable gas chamber that you simply refill from a larger propane repository.
All three types of garden pruner are very easy to use. Ratchet pruners require a small amount of pressure to close the blades, but the electric and gas pruners require no hand pressure at all apart from depressing the trigger to close the blades and prune the stem. For those people who have only limited strength in their hands, these make an ideal garden tool for bringing the enjoyment back to pruning.