The last step on the scale of hand pruning tools is the pruning saw, which should be used for branches and limbs over 2” in diameter. Pruning saws most frequently come on long telescoping poles, or as small handheld saw. Among those held in the hand, the folding models are by far the most popular. Made by every tool manufacturer in many models, they are lightweight and compact. You’ll find many uses for them, from gardening to camping.
When choosing one at your local hardware store, compare the handle shapes and pick the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. Most all have a locking device to keep them safely folded. If you have arthritis in your hands, try these locks to make sure you can easily push the release button and grip the saw blade to unfold them. I think you’ll find a pruning saw so simple and efficient that you will readily step up to it instead of unsafely pushing the limits of your loppers.
For a great recap of all the hand pruning tools we've covered, City Fruit (one of our 2017 beneficiaries) has this informative (and fun) video with Ciscoe Morris.
I hope you find these tips handy and will check back in two weeks when the topic will be container and raised bed gardening, and how to move those heavy pots around.
Vivian Mizuta is a native Puget Sounder who grew up with gardening parents. She’s been an occupational therapist and Skagit County master gardener, and loves to try any tool or technique that will make gardening pleasant and easier. She and her husband, along with their Havanese dog Ghilli, have been busy renovating their 1960s garden in West Seattle. Tuesday Tools & Tips is her bi-weekly blog series about ergonomic garden tools and tips on using them, to make gardening easier on our bodies so we can do it well into our aging years.