While cutting plants for gardening goes back further than a thousand years in Europe and East Asia. Having scissors only designed for gardening work has existed in Europe from 1819, where a French aristocrat Antonie Francois Vertrand de Molleville was listed as the inventor of the secateurs. Since then secateurs or shears have come a long way. Nowadays it is more widely common to see people using pneumatic shears in lieu of manual shears. There are many reasons why someone will choose pneumatic shears over manual ones.
One of the main reasons for this is to help reduce fatigue, with pneumatic shear the task of pruning is now easier, safer, and more consistent. The pneumatic shear reduce the action needed to make the cut to an easy squeeze of a trigger. This helps to relieve stress to the operator’s hand and therefore reduces the chances of the worker getting a repetitive motion injury.
By being able to reduce fatigue, the shears are able to provide the same level of cut throughout the day, without having a tired hand pull the shear while cutting. The worker will now be able to consistently provide a clean cut to the tree being pruned.
However, knowing which pruning shear will best suit your needs if the first step you will need to take before purchasing one. This will entirely depend on the size of the diameter of the branch you require it to cut. Also, another thing to consider is the type of blade action you are after, there 3 main types, they are:
- Bypass: The bypass works very similar to a pair of scissors, with the upper blade being sharp, passing past the blunt lower blade. This will allow a clean cut when you are pruning live branches. As its small head can pass easily through tight spaces.
- Anvil: the anvil blade, like the bypass, has a sharp blade, however, the second “blade” is wider than the first, not allowing it to pass over, but instead allows more pressure to be applied to a ranch and can produce a crushing motion. This type of blade is used in cutting dead limbs or branches to clean up some trees.
Once you have decided on which setup you require for your needs. The only other main thing you will need to be concerned about is keeping up on the maintenance. With all tools, the better you can look after them the longer they will last. Once you have had a day of pruning is it always a good idea to wipe the shears down with some warm soapy water, just to ensure that the blades are kept as clean as possible without any grit or grime on them. Then another good idea would be to run the blades down with vegetable oil, as this is known to help prevent them from rust prematurely.
If you notice that your blade starts to look dull, it is a good idea to run a sharpening stone over it. Over time the blades may get nicked or bent from general use.