Getting the best from your Pruning Saw
Shrub and tree pruning with a pruning saw can be a rather tricky subject to get your head around when you’re a novice. If you initially take the time to study the tree or shrub needed pruning, you’ll be amazed at your handy work. Like everything in and around the garden, it’s about using the right tool for the right job, and a pruning saw is no exception.
Pruning saws are the second handiest cutting tool you will use around your garden. Choose the quality of saw to satisfy what you intend to use it for and how long you intend the saw to last. For use around the property, most people can expect satisfactory service from a mid-price pruning saw. If you intend to earn your living from this type of work, buy the very best quality pruning saw you can afford, this will ensure you a hardworking, longer lasting tool. For fast efficient tree branch sawing, use only dedicated and specially designed hand operated pruning saws.
Fold-Knife pruning saws are fast becoming the pruning saw of choice. They are ideal for non-dedicated saw pruning jobs. As you approach a shrub or tree, you can quickly determine whether you will require a pruning saw. Easily carried in your back pocket or similar, it can be quickly retrieved, unfolded to the lock- out position and used as required. There are a range of blade shapes and sizes available depending on the average diameter of cut you will need to make.
Fixed Handle, Scabbard held pruning saws are the most familiar shape and style, most have a curved and tapered blade, depending on the diameter of wood requiring sawing, and this will determine your choice of blade shape and size. If it’s a one-off, an inexpensive saw will most likely do. If you have quite a bit of work to carry out now and into the future, don’t skimp. Buy yourself a great tool that will be around for a long time. Most top-end pruning saws have replaceable blades, however these can cost nearly as much as the complete new saw.
> The best tooth shape is either the treble or quad cut multi-level precision ground teeth, nicknamed the Silent Chainsaw. Stamped out teeth, while okay, are slow-cutting and tend to go blunt quicker.
> For larger branches, before cutting through from the top, give three good underneath-the-branch cutting strokes, up to one third of branch penetration and about 3mm apart. This will stop bark tearing when the branch drops.
> For pruning fruit trees, remove the inside branches first. Ask yourself, can a bird fly through the tree without hitting an internal branch or twig? Leave all external 'spurs' 20-50mm long, as these are the buds for next season's fruit.
> For fast and efficient cutting, the high quality pruning saws are designed to draw back toward you through the wood for each cutting stroke.
European, Japanese and Taiwanese brands generally make the best quality steel. For quality, choose these countries of manufacture.
Treble or Quad-Cut multilevel precision ground teeth (not stamped) are the best and fastest cutting teeth available.
Choose back edge taper-ground blades where possible. They offer less resistance and sticking when cutting (high quality option).
Knife-folding pruning saws must have a heavy-duty lock out mechanism. Some have a two position lock for ease of under cutting branches.
Handles should be ergonomic and fit snuggly into your hand.
Saws with their own belt fitting designed scabbard offer the best convenience.
Cutting capacity will be determined by the blade length.
‘Heat treated’ high carbon steel is a must.
Hard chrome finish is preferred, however a good quality zinc or teflon finish is OK.
Although the price may be attractive, it is best to avoid “Bargain Bin” saws unless you only intend to use them once.