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How To Buy The Right Pair Of Shears
Plants can be damaged by blunt objects such as thorns, and so it is important to keep sharp shears handy. Pruning shears, which are sometimes known as hand shears (in British English) or secateurs (in American English) are a particular kind of hand scissors used for cutting back unwanted or dead growth on plants, branches or even flowers. They are generally strong enough to cut back very thick, hard branches of certain trees, even up to 2 inches thick. Certain types of secateurs are designed especially to cut back certain flowers. The blades of these shears can be made from a number of different materials, including plastic, wood, metal and paper. While metal shears are more expensive than those made from other materials, they tend to last longer and are better able to deal with thicker or larger branches.
One of the main differences between pruning shears and secateurs is the design of the blade. Whereas secateurs have a single cutting edge, shears usually feature two, which is facilitated by the presence of groove-like channels in between the blades. This allows the user to more efficiently and precisely control the distance that the shears' blades will travel, resulting in more controlled cutting.
Another distinction is in how the blades work. Unlike the pruners described earlier, bypass pruners have a thin metal plate attached to the blade. This plate can be adjusted, moving it into either a "cut" mode, where it cuts the branch into two perpendicular blocks, or into a "clear" mode, where it just clears the end of the branch. In addition, bypass pruners can be further modified to allow for the use of synthetic limbs, which are thinner and more flexible than natural ones.
Bypass shears are used primarily for small branches and twigs. The blade, however, can also be configured to cut smaller saplings. As well as being more affordable and versatile than secateurs, they are also easier to clean and maintain. Toe nails can also be attached to bypass blades for a unique and elegant look.
Anvil pruners are larger and heavier than their bypass counterparts. Their long, solid blades offer greater control over the distance the blade can be moved, which is useful for trimming large branches. Though anvil pruners are generally not as versatile as other types of blades, their weight makes them useful for pruning even larger trees.
All three types of shears also come with their own unique features and capabilities. For example, bypass and anvil pruners typically come with either a titanium coated steel blade or some type of self-cleaning diamond coating. Tungsten carbide blades can also be found in many of the better quality secateurs. These blades are often coated with a hard metal oxide layer that protects the steel from rusting and also makes the blades more resistant to impact. Lastly, stainless steel blades are available for high quality shears. Stainless steel blades are significantly less susceptible to rusting than the oxide coatings found on titanium and carbon steel blades, and they're also much lighter weight.
One important consideration when purchasing a pair of secateurs is how the shears will be used. While the most common use of shears is to simply trim branches, secateurs can also be used for shaping small buds and flowers. In addition to using the appropriate shear type, one should also choose blades with the right amount of stiffness for the job. A high quality pair of secateurs will have a spring back on the blade to allow it to return to its initial position after it has been pressed down.
Although shears are very useful tools, they do not need to be purchased expensively. Many good quality brands are relatively inexpensive, and as long as a pair of shears is properly maintained, they should last a lifetime. If a pair of shears is purchased and neglected for even a short period of time, the blade will dull extremely quickly, and may eventually need to be replaced. It is very important to maintain a sharp pair of shears throughout its life span. A pair of quality shears can be purchased for as little as twenty dollars, and for as much as one hundred dollars, a high quality set of shears may be purchased.