The maintenance of the massifs, the cutting of the hedges or the pruning of the trees require specific tools, adapted to their dimensions and their natures. Gardeners should therefore choose them according to their ease of cutting, their comfort of use, their ergonomics, their quality, but also their maintenance.
The uses of hand tools
Hand tools are mainly used for pruning and pruning the vegetation of the garden. Pruning the plants promotes their growth, flowering and fruiting. In addition, it helps to keep them healthy, eliminating parts that are sick or infested with parasites. Pruning benefits woody plants such as trees, shrubs or hedges. It accelerates the healing of wounds (broken branches...) and reduces rot. By removing dead branches, pruning also avoids the risk of falling. In small gardens, trees should be pruned regularly so as not to overshadow. The pruning work is traditionally done in winter, when the trees are at rest. However, pruning on a leafy tree stimulates its natural defenses and gives it time to heal before the cold season.
The different tools for pruning and pruning
Pruner is the basic tool for all gardeners. It is mainly used for pruning branches and stems. With increasing blades (similar to scissors): the pruning cut is clean and precise. This type of pruner is recommended for live woods (shrubs, fruit trees, roses...). Anvil, the blade, sharp on both sides, is generally thicker. It abuts on the counter-blade, hence a tendency to crush the stems full of sap. Use for dry or dead wood.
There are also secateurs with a rotating handle that follows the natural movement of the fingers and allows to distribute the force. For branches of larger section one then uses a branch cutter or the lopper which is a big pruner with a long handle. Anvil models are suitable for regular use on hardwoods and heavy-duty blade models with hardwoods and green woods.
For work at heights, the ladder is a tool mounted on a telescopic boom to easily reach the upper branches. Depending on the model, the cut is made using a handle and a pull rope or by a chain system built into the handle. With the combinable option, it is possible to mount the same handle on different gardening tools. The pruning saw is indispensable for cutting large branches by hand. Its blade can be straight, curved or two to three bevels, fixed, folding and even retractable. Finally, the shears can cut hedges by hand. Straight blades are used for soft woods, corrugated blades for hardwoods and straight notched blades for heavy duty use.
Maintain his hand tools
To keep his hand tools in good condition and for as long as possible, a few simple actions are required. Thus, after each use it is advisable to clean them with a cloth, if necessary impregnated with gasoline or alcohol to burn. The blades must be regularly sharpened to keep their sharpness: be careful to respect the angle of the bevel. When the cutting edge is too worn to be re-sharpened, blade replacement is required. Finally, if the wooden handles become rough with use it is possible to sand them with very fine sandpaper to soften them.
Remember to keep your tools in a dry place and not place them blade against blade which would spoil them.