Choosing the right tool is the key to a job well done.
For any gardener, quality tools are worth the investment. They'll help you make cleaner cuts and shape your plants correctly, and you'll always get optimal results when you pick the right tool for the task. Remember that pruning tools are very sharp, so follow manufacturers' directions for proper use and consider wearing protective eye gear and gloves. Clean your tools after every use to keep them sharp and to extend their use over a lifetime. These are some of our favorites. Ask for them at your local nursery or hardware store, or order them online.
Best For: Shearing coarse-leaved hedges, such as ligustrum, holly, cleyera, bougainvillea, or photinia
Buy It: Garden Tool Company, $64.95; gardentoolcompany.com
Best For: Cutting branches and stems throughout your garden (also available in other sizes to fit your hands); good all-purpose pruner
Buy It: Wood Avenue, Inc., $56.07; wood-avenue.com
Best For: Trimming fine-leaved hedges, such as boxwood, lavender, rosemary, podocarpus, or loropetalum
Buy It: A.M. Leonard, Inc., $72.99; amleo.com
Best For: Clipping flowers (from roses to zinnias) for arrangements
Buy It: Corona Tools Store, $10.67; coronatools.com
Best For: Snipping herbs, such as basil and thyme
Buy It: Chefs Catalog, $25.95; chefscatalog.com
Best For: Pruning branches no larger than 1.4 inches in diameter
Buy It: The Felco Store, $74.57; felcostore.com