Lee Valley anvil pruner for cutting dead branches
Photo: Jonathan Kantor
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Anvil

Hacking through the dead stuff is the job of an anvil pruner, which has a single blade that strikes against a flat metal plate (the anvil), like a knife on a chopping block. When the blade of this Lee Valley pruner encounters resistance, the handles engage a ratcheting mechanism, allowing you to cut through a tough branch in several easy squeezes rather than a single strained bite. Approx. $43; leevalley.com
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