Professional Quality Pruning Tools
tested and reviewed by Fred-in-the-shed
Updated 15th May 2013
This page is dedicated to tried and tested
tools, designed to be used by professionals, day in - day out, with
reliability and ease of use.
If you have a exceptional item that has given
years of service and is still available let me know at
New Product to the UK - Lowe pruning tools from
Coming soon - Under Testing
Darlac Heavy Duty Long Reach
This new tree pruning system is strong and lightweight but
has one of the best cutting capabilities.
The saw is incredible and like the Anvil pruner fixes
securely to the telescopic pole.
This product is designed for the upper end of the domestic
market and is also suitable for all round contract gardeners.
Heavy Duty Pole Pruner - Fiskars Long Reach
I have used this tool for about 10 years now and
still marvel at its incredible cutting power and ease of use.
It is easier to use than traditional tree pruners as
the cord is on the inside so does not get tangled up in the branches.
Also the multi-angle head contains a brilliant
mechanism with a belt and chain that enables the tool to effortlessly
slice through branches up to 32mm.
There are 3 ways of activating the cut, pull the
sliding handle, pull the side cord or for extra reach pull the ball at
the bottom of the handle. Superb design!
The Fiskars Geared Universal Cutter won a 2002
Golden Shed Award and has recently won other prestigious design
awards. In 2008 it was re-engineered using newly available materials
and is now lighter and cuts with an anvil blade which is less likely
to jam on a hard stem..
The standard version is 1.6m long and weighs only
The telescopic version is2.4m-4m and has a reach of
This is an unconventional tool but trust me, if you
have branches to prune in hard to reach places, you will love this one.
If you don't believe me and want to do things the
old way with a tangled cord I have put a link to a popular ,good quality
standard tree pruner.
(and also a great deal on one with a saw included)
A new version of the long telescopic model is now
This is me with the shorter version
The new materials make the telescopic version light enough for anyone
I have even used it from my wheelchair!
Long Handled Cut and Hold Pruner
This long handled cut and hold pruner is one of my
favorite tools and one that I have used for over 10 years. That's why
it won the first ever Golden Shed Award.
It comes in different sizes from the 650mm version
shown here right up to the telescopic one that extends to 3m!
This tool is ideal for light pruning up to16mm
thick, and for deadheading roses etc. Whilst working as an NHS
horticultural therapist I recommended this tool to hundreds of
patients with back pain. I received many letters of thanks and never
had a tool returned faulty.
650 mm version shown left- but the best version is
longer at 1m and is superb for reaching climbing roses or into the
back of deep prickly borders.
The "snapper" can be used one or two handed and has
a lot of handle adjustment. It is also very well made and I am still
using one that I have had for over 10 years.
If you are going for a telescopic snapper then the
one with the adjustable head is most useful.
The red jaws on the head hold onto stems after they have been cut.
Wolf Tree Pruning Tools
The Wolf multichange system has been around for
decades now and I have been using their tree pruning tools for
nearly 20 years.
Whilst Silky from Japan seem to be the top brand
with professionals for this type of tool the cost is prohibitive to
The Wolf tools are made in Germany and are
excellent quality. The curved saw and adjustable tree pruner are
both superbly efficient and can be fitted to the telescopic
aluminium ZMV4 pole to extend to 4m, giving you a reach of 4m plus
your own height.
This curved saw has a hooked end for side shoots
and can be fitted to a 4m long telescopic pole
Best Secateurs for Professional
Best Quality Secateurs
These classic Secateurs have been copied by all and sundry.
Felco is the choice of the professionals and you can literarily SMELL the
quality when you buy new ones.
At about £35 they are quite an investment but can be serviced and
repaired to last your lifetime. (Please contact Burton McCall)
Many professionals I know, and most of the gardening celebrities on TV
tend to use Felco secateurs.
There is a large range to suit your hand size and
pruning requirements. Unless you lose them these secateurs really will last
your lifetime. Model no 2 are the original ones. Felco also pioneered the
use of rotating handles to reduce RSI and skin chaffing. See models no 7 and12
( 10 for left handed use.)
The only small criticism I can make of Felco secateurs is
that the small metal safety catches can be hard to access by people with
arthritis or large cold fingers.
Made in Switzerland
My Classic no 2 's
When you have hundreds of roses to prune it is essential that you
take precautions to protect your hands from repetitive strain
The Felco professional secateurs have a rotating lower handle
that requires less effort and reduces ligament strain. RRP £49.99
* If you suffer from arthritis or more serious conditions then
you might want to consider ratchet pruners.
Felco no 7, with rotating lower handle
Felco secteurs have been around for decades rarely
change. This means that spares are easily available and you can make
your Felco secateurs last a lifetime.
Very occasionally even Felco
bring out a new product and this time its a cut and hold pruner (Felco
model 100) that
is great for one handed work when you need to reach or stretch or hold
onto something. If you watch any TV gardening program you rarely see
anyone using anything other than a Felco Secateur.
Spares for most popular models
Felco secatuers online from another discount supplier
Roses flower for much longer if you deadhead them
This Secateur cuts then holds onto the rose for easy disposal with one
Handy Secateur accessories and the model 100 cut and hold secateurs
Return of the Rolcut!
German Made Professional
Secateurs Return to the UK
Lowe Pruning Products Launched November 2011
Best Quality Secateurs
I started my first paid gardening jobs in 1975 and
borrowed my Dad's all metal Rolcut anvil secateurs. (shown above)
Although Rolcut was a well known brand in the UK
the tool design was from a German company called Lowe who had
patented the first anvil pruner in 1923. My Dad's old Rolcut
secateurs were very well used (and abused) but always provided good
service. The all metal design and anvil blade made them the toughest
pruner available and they were the choice of many professionals and
Well Lowe pruning tools are now back in the UK and
I have been testing some of them with my team.
All of the tools performed well and are a similar
quality to Felco. Spare parts are stocked in the UK and easily
Sadly the spare parts for the modern Lowe tools do
not fit the old UK made Rolcut tools. If you want an old original
pair of the Rolcut no1 model I have a set spare I dont need, £10
plus postage - for spares or repair, mail me if you want them.
The original design, all metal version is now called the
There is a version with soft grip plastic handle
(There is a pair with adjustable handle opening
There is a very small pair
There is an excellent and unusual curved blade
Also there are some fantastic loppers with
polished aluminium handles.
Lowe 21.065 approx £84
Like the Original Rolcut pruner but with
The Unique curved anvil blade works a treat
Superb Quality Loppers
The Bahco Professional range - an ergonomic
improvement on Felco?
A lower price alternative to Felco secateurs?
Ergonomics taken to a new level
Bahco are a EU manufacturer formally known as Sandvik. In
the UK their tools are mainly used by landscape gardeners who like the wide
range of secateurs and the reliable supply of spare parts. In 2007 they
introduced new Secateur ranges. The ergonomic handle shape curves in 2 dimensions and
which I find genuinely nice to use. The Bahco PG range of secateurs come in range of handle sizes, AND 2 blade sizes. The pair featured here (and used by myself) are the PG -M2-E
model which is a medium sized, economy version. Whilst the blades are good
they are not as good to use as Felco and the small button like safety catch
is really annoying.
Bahco make the widest range of secateurs and cutting tools
of any manufacturer and all spare parts are available . This makes Bahco
cutting tools very popular with professional gardeners.
In contrast to these new fangled ergonomic secateurs Bahco also make
old fashioned , all metal , no -nonsense , secateurs.
P121,s are virtually bullet proof and the ideal tool for contractors
and their employees.
Made in France
If you found my advice helpful you can support my work
by returning to this page and using my links when purchasing your
secateurs. Also any products bought from Amazon using the links below will
produce a small commission that helps cover my hosting costs. thanks, Fred
PLEASE CONTINUE ON THIS PAGE OR CLICK BELOW FOR MORE
Best telescopic Loppers -Best Professional Loppers
Top Quality telescopic Loppers
In my experience many telescopic loppers either snap
or the twisting mechanism gets jammed after extensive use.
These loppers made by Wolf Tools are the telescopic
loppers that I recommend for serious work based on 5 years of
hard work with them. They genuinely cut a 40mm branch with
ease and have an easy adjustment method.
The difference between these and other telescopic loppers is that the
handles are oval in section and are stronger than round section
handles. Also these handles lock in position with a sliding catch with
a locating pin. Inferior telescopic handles twist to lock - most of
Wolf RS650T Anvil telescopic Lopper, RRP £55
Whilst ratchet loppers sound like a good idea and many
work well, they are prone to breaking if used incorrectly. If you are
a professional gardener it is likely that you will use hired help, and
they may not take the best care of your tools.
Simple and strong loppers are better for constant use by a
variety of people.
The Wolf RS870 expert anvil loppers cut an amazing 50mm thanks to
slider on the handle that opens the blade just that bit further and
provides more leverage. RRP £70
Click to see prices of Wolf Loppers from Fredshed's recommended
If your budget is stretched and you want maximum
performance for minimum price these loppers are made by Bulldog and
are well made and light.
The Bulldog loppers are longer and can cut a bit larger but the Wolf
ones are much faster to use.
Wolf Garten RS650T telescopic loppers -up to 42mm cut
Click to see prices of Wolf Loppers from Fredshed's recommended
Wolf Garten RS870 Expert Anvil loppers - 50mm cut
Best Garden Loppers?
Carbon fibre handles & Swiss Engineering
My favourite loppers for many years have been my
Wolf telescopic ones. Now Felco of Switzerland have bought out these
state of the art, carbon fibre handled, bypass loppers and I am very
The blades are made from precision ground, top
quality steel and this tool has the sort of engineering usually seen
in Formula One cars.
The carbon fibre handles make these medium size (24
inches long) loppers extremely light but very strong.
At around £120 you would expect superb cutting
performance and this is what you get, plus a design statement too. If
you can afford it and enjoy having the best then you wont be
disappointed. Or if you want to buy a special gift for a a special
gardener then these loppers have to be the ultimate gardening gift!
click to buy from a Fredshed recommended retailer
Fantastic New Geared
Shears and Loppers
I have been using geared loppers and shears for a many
years now and dozens of readers have bought them on my recommendations and
provided positive feedback.
This first geared loppers were from Wilkinson Sword
and they have now been improved further with the use of lighter stronger
As the Wilkinson Sword brand has been bought by MTD of the
USA the best new geared loppers are made by Fiskars of Finland.
These loppers have the all important gearing mechanism
that provides extra cutting power but now the tool is 80% hi tech plastic
which makes them ultra light - but still very strong.
Available in 3 sizes! (formally known as Wilkinson sword
use my links below to make sure you get the latest version
3 bypass blade models and the large Anvil version
for clearance work.
The Felco Loppers with carbon Fibre Handles
The original , now obsolete, Fiskars geared loppers ( branded Wilkinson Sword)
The new , lighter , stronger versions, (branded Fiskars)
Best Pro-Quality pruning Saws
When it comes to blade quality and value I don't think anyone beats Bahco.
The tools are not cheap but are sensibly priced compared to brands
like Silky. Also the range of Bahco pruning saws is the
most extensive and offers the widest choice to the professional
gardener. Bahco proved tools to the forestry industry and most tools
are made in the EU.
My favourites - the Bahco 5128 fixed
blade pruning saw comes with a leg holster - for quick draw action!
If you are short of space the Laplander is the best folding pruning
saw I know.
The Fiskars folding saw is an amazing bargain if
it is still under £6 (see link above)
(New models have half orange handles )
The Pruning saw is designed to get into hard to
reach areas and give an precise clean cut to help prevent disease
entering the plant.
You will be amazed at how quickly
a top quality blade will cut through green wood.
Folding pruning saws are also
available but I find they flex a little and do not cut as quickly as a
fixed blade model.
The Japanese brand "Silky" is
considered by professionals to be the Rolls Royce of saws.
More cost conscious professionals use Bahco which is my preferred
These Fiskars saws with retractable blades are safer for your
The quality of the cutting edge is exceptional too.
Bowsaws tested and reviewed
This humble Bowsaw in the right hands is one of the most
cost effective garden tools available.
For a few quid and a bit of effort you can prune or
clear tress and shrubbery in rapid time. A Bowsaw is a lot easier to start
than a chainsaw and requires little maintenance, and no petrol. If you
have a chainsaw the bowsaw makes a good back up tool. If you buy
either of the Bahco Bowsaws shown in the link boxes below you can be
sure of always being able to obtain spare blades and keep this tool
for many years.
Bahco Bowsaws come in a wide range of sizes with
replacement blades easily available.
you have a chainsaw you should also have a bowsaw as a backup in case
of failure or if you are working in areas were people don't want
Some Top Quality Digging Tools
Best Pro-Quality Forks and Spades
|When it comes to forks and spades you can't beat solid
forged.. Cheap welded forks and spades are a waste of money and
just pollute the planet when they end up at the tip.
I have many
forks and spades out on long term test with full time professional
gardeners. Used properly any of the solid forged tools should last for
In my opinion the best you can get is a Bulldog Premier Fork and
Spade. If you want an even stronger one get a "strapped" version.
These are pretty rugged tools made in Wigan and might have a few
rough edges that put some buyers off and I agree they dont "look" as
good as Stainless steel tools.
You might be surprised to know that stainless steel forks are not as
strong as carbon steel ones. Stainless steel is easier to push in
and out of sticky soil but remember it is less robust than normal
forged steel and may bend or break in stony
tradesecrets for BSI strength testing of forks and spades. Use
links below for replacement fork and spade handles.
There is only one factory left in the UK making
solid forged Forks and Spades.
This factory is in
Wigan and is owned by Bulldog Tools.
Jackson is a US Owned company with all garden tools now made in the
Wilkinson Sword is American owned and has no UK manufacturing.
went bankrupt in 2009 and was acquired by Buldog
click here for my page on Bulldog Tools
Stainless steel is not always stainless, or the
When I say I test forks and spades I mean I test
forks AND spades
lots of them - for many years now
Best Axe - Handy Bush Hook
A great tool for controlling or checking unruly
bushes is this plastic handled bush hook made by Fiskars.
It uses space age "fibrecomp" plastic and has a grey
coating of Teflon on the blade to give strength and durability. It is also
made of a special German steel engineered specially for axes. I have met the
man who invented this tool and was amazed at the amount of science and R&D
that went into this excellent product.
The Fiskars Handy Bush Hook is superbly balanced and sharp. I use one of these to
chop back tree suckers and also to chop firewood! This tool is so well
balanced I still have 10 fingers!
I was really surprised how good this tool is and am a bit
annoyed I didn't get one before when they first came out- and I don't say
that about many tools!
The Fiskars Bush Hook is a high tech version of an old tool, and one of the
few that I think is an improvement
on the traditional type. .It's Teflon coating prevents rusting and it comes
with a sturdy holder too.
Click link below to see my new page on
Solar Garden Lights
best Lawn Edging Shears
Lawn edging shears are simple tools that have been
around for hundreds of years with few changes. Some of the 200 year
old edging shears I have seen in tool museums could still be used
today. I have tested dozens of
modern pairs of edging shears and gave one of my coveted Golden Shed Awards to the lightweight
Aluminium handled CK legend lawn edging shears.
I thought these shears were the best because they
were lightweight, had longer handles and a better cut than any others I had
used. They were made in Germany so are a bit pricey but will last a
lifetime if kept oiled and adjusted regularly. Sadly the high price of
the CK shears and the recession has made them too expensive and they
were discontinued in 2012.The wooden handled CK edging shears are
still available for now but are even more expensive.
At around £30 the European made Bahco P75 edging
shears are now my recommendation for professional use and this model
has been around for decades and can be found in the sheds and stores
or many gardeners and contractors that I have visited.Most contractors will probably use a petrol trimmer
more but if you prefer
to be more eco friendly or your clients object to noise then a top
quality pair of shears is the best solution.
Bahco P75 lawn edging shears
You will find at least one pair of Bahco shears in most professional
Professional Quality Hedge Shears
These European made shears are the best quality and have quite
short handles for easy storage and use in confined spaces.
Bahco tools are renowned for their long lasting cutting edges which
is why many professionals buy them.
The short shears have notches at the handle end of the blades and
these can be used to cut thick stems. If you are not working in
confined spaces the long handled ones are the nicest to use as you
can reach further in more comfort.
These short shears with notches are the best for
tough hedges (15mm cut)
and for working in confined spaces.
Its the notches that enable thicker stems to be
The longer handles silver ones don't have the
notches and don't cut such thick stems (10mm)
Still can't find the
tool you are looking for?
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WITH OLD MODELS OR GRADED PRODUCTS.
Phone For Gardeners , Landscapers and Outdoor Workers
Working outside and often with water is too much for
most mobile phones so I always buy a so called "tough phone"
I have had a couple of Nokia's that were great but are
now no longer made. Tough phones can withstand dropping, moisture, dust
Landrover make the most expensive model but I think the best value
and most practical mobile phone for gardeners is the Samsung Extreme.
The JCB toughphone is made by the same manufacturer of
the Landover S1 (Sonim) and is good value if you don't need a camera
It has had a mixed bag of reviews and I have to say I
have not had good experiences with JCB regarding repairs.
I have put a link below to a range of tough phones, if
you buy this using my link you will get a great phone and also help this
website and my ongoing research. Thanks.
Current tough phones range in price from £60 - £340
My old Nokia 5140i was the best phone I ever had and
It has a camera, and replaceable covers and long
Now I have to have a Blackberry to answer all your
(and a Samsung Extreme as a back up phone)
I think the the best tough phones currently available are the Samsung
Samsung Extreme basic - good but low- res camera
Samsung B2710 Makula- improved camera, screen and IP rating
Best Buy New Samsung C3350 - waterproof for 30 mins!
this new Samsung is IP 67 rated! waterproof, dustproof & shockproof!