If your plant-trimming activities go beyond the occasional tidying up of small shrubs, you'll be need tools more potent than a hand pruner: long-handled loppers and a pruning saw. Let the loppers take over the moment you feel yourself straining your wrist or needing two hands to squeeze a pruner's jaws shut. And when faced with an even bigger job—typically, branches thicker than 1½
inches across—switch to a pruning saw. The best saws have long, triple-beveled teeth that cut on the pull stroke. And the longer the blade, the faster it cuts.
Folding saw: Approx. $47; japanwoodworker.com
Loppers: Approx. $77; felcostore.com
Leather-grip pruners: Approx. $50; garrettwade.com