Pruners I Dated Before I Found the One I Love

How many hand pruners do you have?

Continuing my “great household purge”, I headed out to the garage this morning and began sorting, cleaning, pitching, sweeping and otherwise re-organizing all the “stuff” out there.

Mid-way through, I discovered all these hand pruners dumped in a five-gallon plastic bucket.

I had at one time put a canvas organizer around the top of the bucket, one of those with all the pockets, but I didn’t use it very often. So the bucket ended up hanging from the pegboard, with the pruners in the bottom.

These are just some of the pruners I dated before I fell in love with my Felco pruner. Some of them look like we went together for a long time, others maybe had one or two trial dates in the garden and still looked brand new.

Some were name brand, though I’ve flipped them all so you can’t really see the brands, because this isn’t really about these pruners, it is more about my beloved Felco pruner.

Many of us are united in our love of Felco’s. My Felco pruner has never failed me, is easy to sharpen, and comes with a very handy clip-on holster. I’ve mentioned before that often when I have been out in the garden, I’ll come inside and hours later, realize that I still have the holster clipped to my jean’s pocket, with my Felco’s ready for a quick draw and cut, should an errant branch get in my way inside.

I also found another pruner while I was cleaning, hanging alone at the top of the pegboard. This one is sort of the “tough guy” of the pruners. Technically, it’s a shear.

I ordered it once when I had a gift certificate from White Flower Farms. They had a deal where if you subscribed to their new magazine, The Gardener, (which wasn’t published for very long) for something like $25, they would give you a gift certificate for $100. Or maybe for $100, you would get a $150 gift certificate and a subscription.

Whatever the deal was, it seemed too good to pass up. It seemed like free money, a great investment in my garden. After looking at the catalog for a long time, because it is almost harder to spend a gift certificate that it is real money, I ordered a straw hat, a flower harvest basket and a Burgon and Ball garden shear.

The shear came in a beautiful box and was held closed with a metal band that looked like a flattened cigar band. I took that off, opened the shear up and immediately closed it and put the band back on. The shear was too big for my hands and the blades were very sharp and it just seemed like an accident waiting to happen. That shear was like that cool, tough guy that maybe you thought you wanted to date, but realized he was out a bit too dangerous.

So today as I cleaned, I left that particular shear alone, still hanging on the pegboard. I’m not ready to use it but I’m not ready to give it up, either.

I checked out the other pruners, and decided to keep the red-handled one because it is an anvil-type, and might be useful on larger branches. I took the rest to a charity organization. Perhaps a budding gardener will see them and find them useful? I can only hope.

Then I came in and looked at my Felco pruner, which yes, is kept inside most of the time when I’m not using it. I keep it in a basket by the door so I can find it when I go outside to the garden.

There’s still a lot of summer left, which means deadheading flowers and getting some of the shrubbery back under control. My love, the Felco’s, needs to be ready. I think later I’ll clean it up a bit and sharpen the blades. And maybe I’ll find some leather cleaner around here and use that on the holster…

(No hoes were touched in the 'great household purge'. This isn't about giving up what you love, it's about getting rid of the clutter, the useless-to-you junk, and giving what's left a bit more room.)


  1. Gonna try again. Charming post. I have four pruners now, but love my Felcos best. Love them so much they need some TLC. The spring is missing & the lock (had to disable it because the screw had worn thin.) I bought some Coronas the other day to try. They are all right, but not Felcos.~~Dee

  2. I can see you treat your pruners well. I feel very guilty about mine( not Felcos) because I leave them out in the rain and lose them in the compost pile. Can't wait to see what's down there this fall-- but you are selling me on the idea of finally buying some REAL quality pruners. I have a gift certificate from the MG's for opening our garden on the tour this year. I also have some of those old fashioned shearers that I bought at a garage sale years ago.

  3. My Felcos are my favorites too, Carol, but in my case it's best not to carry the boyfriend analogy too far...this is my second pair of Felcos. The first one turned into a twisted blob of metal and melted plastic when I accidentally dropped it into a running Shredder. It's too close to that scene in Fargo!

    It's amazing how many kinds of pruners you tried before you got to the Felcos! Those "singing shears" look wicked! Will your HOA let you keep sheep?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. My Felcos are the one. I knew as soon as I made the first pruning cut with them.

  5. I still have no Felcos, but, like Jenny, you're all beginning to convince me that I can't live without a pair. ;-)

  6. Maybe I'll put Felcos on the Christmas list. I have a small scissor type pruner that I love, I don't know where I got them and haven't seen anything like them anywhere. I keep them inside and protect them from the elements, (unlike my shovel which is still outside). Since I've taken such good care of them, I know I could finally have some nice Felcos.

  7. Beginner's luck for me: the first "serious" pruners I ever bought were Felcos, recommended to me by a pro. I was an instant convert!

  8. *sigh* We really thought we could do the household purge but, alas, all we did was go out and get more "stuff" and moved the old "stuff" around to make room for the new. If you are purging more successfully, then you are a better homemaker than we are and we salute you!

  9. Hi Carol, somehow I try to tell myself I'm always doing this purging thing and really I think I'm ready to admit I'm mostly moving stuff around. Even before I read your post I had determined to get busy on the closets (again) in August. August is a good time to get household projects accomplished ... so hot outside it's nice to stay in the a/c ... otherwise the rest of the year I have a difficult time making myself stay inside.

    My Felcos are definitely my favorite pruners. I have four other random pair. I keep one out on the back porch just so I don't have to walk all the way around to the garage if I need a pair... and I always do.

    Good luck with those magazines. Strangely enough I've not ever subscribed to gardening mags. They don't have too much in them that pertains to Florida.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  10. Yes, those Felcos can't be beat. I believe we have an old anvil pruner still in the garage someplace. It can definitely be purged. At one time I think I have tried all of the pruners you have shown except the big scary one. It looks like something Edward Scissorhands would like to use.

  11. Dee, it sounds like you could use a new pair of Felco's. I know there are some other good pruners on the market, but...

    Lancashire Rose, I can't believe with as beautiful as your gardens are that you don't have some really good pruners! And yes, what waits for all of us gardeners at the bottom of our compost bins?

    Annie in Austin, Unfortunately sheep are not allowed by the HOA, but if I could teach one to bark, maybe I could have one and they would never know? And yes, best not to take the analogy too far with that horrible shredder accident.

    Debbi/Kurt's Mom, Ah, yes, love at first cut... that's usually the way it goes.

    Pam/digging, Go get some today!

    Robin's Nesting Place, Yes, it does sound like you are ready for Felco's.

    Iris, That's great and very lucky.

    Shibaguyz, My trick in cleaning out the garage was that anything to be given away was immediately put in the back of the truck, conveniently right there, and then as soon as I was done for the day, I drove to Goodwill and "never looked back". I might have some remorse later, but it is just stuff! Try again! But don't go to the store first!

    Meems, Yes, I did move a lot of stuff around too, AND came up with the need for six new containers, those plastic kind, and bought them last night. I'll organize some stuff in them today.

    Lisa at Greenbow, Yes, the one on the pegboard is very scary!

    Thanks all for the comments,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  12. I'm a heretic. I have a pair of Felco's, but I love my Corona's. I have 2 pairs of them, one large for smaller branches, & I small for deadheading. I had a pair of small deadheading shears, but they got sucked into another dimension through that wormhole in my house. They'll show up again someday.

  13. I've wanted to buy a pair of Felco's but I'm cheap. Last year I stumbled on a page of their website where they had a photo contest and the prize was a pair of pruners. Is it wrong that I'm so cheap that I regularly check their website to see if there will be another photo contest and I could enter it and by chance win a pair and not pay for them?

    I've had a couple of pruning shears that I got along the way but my bonsai shears work pretty well so I use those for everything.

  14. carol,

    Is there a good Felco for smaller hands? Or for hands that might have arthritis? I might have to order them from a catalog since local nurseries don't seem to carry any that make sense for me!

  15. What's that saying about how you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince? *grin*

    I subscribed to The Gardener, too, and I was very upset when they stopped publishing that. Very pretty magazine.

  16. I, too, have bought all the cheapies and semi-cheapies and was saving up for a Felco when a good friend bought me a pair of ARS pruners. I loved these as they fit my hands and haven't needed sharpening in the 8 years I've used them. I bought my roomie a pair of Felcos since we were both in the garden a lot. But she didn't like them as well as my ARS. Both are great tools, but I think we prefer the ARS pruners.

  17. I have really enjoyed my first garden season with my new Felcos. I am does one sharpen them?


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