Pruners and secateurs mean the same thing. These are a bit like scissors for the garden but they are tough, very sharp and able to cut through branches.
There are different types of pruners for different jobs in the garden so before you decide which ones to choose, make sure you know what jobs you want to do first.
Also remember that you might be using the pruners for a long time so it’s important that you choose a size that suits your hands. If you have small hands, choose lightweight pruners but if you have large hands, you can use larger, heavier secateurs. Before buying any, always hold them in your hand to make sure they are comfortable.
FOR TAKING CUTTINGS AND TRIMMING FLOWERS:
Floral snips have sharp, pointy blades on them and they are quite lightweight. They are not strong enough for cutting branches on shrubs or roses but they are perfect for soft or thin stems such as cutting flowers for a vase or for taking cuttings.
FOR PRUNING SHRUBS AND CUTTING THIN BRANCHES:
Bypass pruners come in various sizes to suit different sized hands and for cutting branches of different thicknesses. These are called ‘bypass’; ‘by’ means two for the two blades and ‘pass’ refers to the way that they push past each other to cut, just like scissors do. These can often cut a stem up to about 2cm thick.
FOR CUTTING THICKER BRANCHES:
When a branch is thicker than 2cm, it is best to use really strong pruners which are made for the job. Long handled bypass loppers will do the trick. The blades on these are larger and stronger and the long handles give extra leverage which makes the job much easier.
FOR TRIMMING HEDGES:
Pruning hedges would take forever with a normal set of pruners but hedging shears have blades that are up to 30cm long which means that they can cut a lot of thin branches and leaves at once. They are not much use for pruning individual branches but their design makes them ideal for shaping hedges.