Types of Pruners

Blade and bill slide past each other like scissors
Best for: close, clean cuts on live branches
Not good for: dry, dead branches, which can get jammed between the blades, bending them

Bypass lopper
Choose bypass loppers when you want to trim back an overgrown shrub or tree that's healthy. The long handles give you more leverage, so you can cut bigger stems — up to 1 ½ inches — with less effort.

Bypass pruner
Use bypass pruners on living stems ½ inch or less in diameter, as when cutting fresh flowers, pruning roses or raspberries, or snipping herbs from the garden. These cuts must be as clean as possible to maintain the plant's health, so keep the blade sharp.

Blade chops against soft plate, usually metal
Best for: chopping dead shoots and branches
Not good for: live branches, because anvil crushes soft stems

Anvil lopper
Let a rough-cutting anvil lopper do the grunt work of chopping off thicker dead branches (up to 2 inches) or trimming back live ones before you make the final cut with bypass loppers.

Anvil pruner
An anvil pruner can snip away dead twigs and branches up to ½ inch. The wide anvil prevents close cuts, but the jaws won't jam up with wood shards the way a bypass pruner can.

Folding saw
Rather than try to work a thick tree shoot into the jaws of a lopper, reach for a folding saw. The pocket-size tool is also handy for cutting branches into manageable pieces.
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