A gardener is nothing without tools and one essential tool as you start to clear out the scattered brush is a pruner. Like anything that you purchase there are choices and even though a pruning tool seems small it will be something you find yourself using a lot, so you might as well invest in a good one.
There are basically three different varieties of hand pruners -- bypass, anvil and ratchet.
The most popular would probably be the bypass. It works like a pair of scissors. It makes a nice clean cut using two curved blades that bypass each other. One blade is sharpened on the outside edge and it slips by a thicker unsharpened blade.
Anvil pruners on the other hand work very much like a knife. They have a slicing action similar to a knife against a cutting board and work well removing tough dead wood. They tend to be a bit bulkier than bypass pruners which makes it a little tougher to get in on those close cuts.
The ratchet garden pruners are pretty much the same as anvil pruners but they do the cutting in stages. If your hands aren't as strong, they can help with the leverage and control. If you find that you have a lot more pruning then expected these are a good choice as they will save all that hand and wrist action which can lead to sprained wrists and your hands becoming exhausted.
A good start
If you are new to gardening or pruning and wondering which would be a good starter pruner, a bypass pruner might be your best bet. Eventually as you continue to garden you can start experimenting but to make things easier start simple.
How much will a pruner cost? It can range from less than $10 to close to $75. As with any other tool, buying the best quality will save you effort and money in the long run. Look for blades made from high-tempered carbon steel, which can be sharpened.
Find a tool that feels comfortable in your hand. There are some that have comfort grips. The bigger the cleanup project the longer that tool will be working in tandem with your hand and you will want something you can use for an extended period of time that doesn’t hurt.