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What Is a Pruning Saw? Unlocking the Secrets of Pruning Saws

The sheer variety of gardening tools to meet specialized needs is astonishing. So, it should come as no surprise that people ask questions, such as: what is a pruning saw? Choosing the right tools improves efficiency and a pruning saw is the best option if you want to cut thick branches that are hard to reach with secateurs.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what is a pruning saw for, how to use it, and some of the pros and cons to consider if you choose to use one.

Understanding What is a Pruning Saw

Lady Pruning Back Trees

So, what is a pruning saw? This is a specialized hand tool that’s designed to cut branches and tree limbs in forestry, arboriculture, and your garden too.

It is a versatile tool that can be used when the branches are too thick for shears and secateurs and too thin for a chainsaw. These tools have a saw-toothed blade much like a handsaw and the branches can be cut at a wide variety of angles and in tight spaces.

Types of Pruning Saws

When people start to research pruning saws they are often surprised at the variety of tools available. Each of the pruning saws shown below is specifically designed for specific pruning tasks.

Eight Types of Pruning Saws in More Detail:

1/ Fixed Blade Pruning Saw:

As the name suggests, this variant has a fixed handle and blade which improves the durability of the tool. This is an ideal option for people who need a heavy-duty pruning saw for regular use.

2/ Folding Pruning Saw:

This saw has a blade that can fold into the handle which makes the tool more compact and safer to carry. It is a great option for many cutting tasks and it’s more portable than the fixed blade saw.

3/ Pole Pruning Saw:

Different Types of Pruning Saws

This is a pruning saw fixed to an extendable pole or long fixed handle. The pole pruning saw is ideal for reaching higher branches without using a ladder. It is a more convenient way to cut high branches, but it’s important to stay out of the drop zone to avoid injury.

4/ Curved Blade Pruning Saw:

The curved blade is ideal for smoother cutting in tighter spaces and it’s easy to reach up into dense foliage. This is a great tool to trim bushes, shrubs, and trees that have dense canopies.

5/ Straight Blade Pruning Saw:

The straight blades are designed to make clean and precise cuts into large tree limbs and branches. These pruning saws are ideal for heavy-duty pruning, such as large tree branch removals.

6/ Bow Saw:

This is a bow-shaped frame with an attached blade that’s designed to cut logs and large tree branches. It is an excellent saw to cut firewood and for heavy-duty pruning tasks.

7/ Fine-Toothed (Carpentry) Saw:

The fine teeth in the blades of these saws are designed to make smooth and precise cuts in softwood. They can be used for fine pruning, grafting, and shaping.

8/ Japanese Pruning (Pull) Saw:

These saws have teeth that cut during the pull which makes the cuts more precise and efficient for hardwoods and other materials. This is the ideal pruning saw to use when extra precision is needed.

Before you purchase a pruning saw it’s important to consider which pruning tasks you need to perform. The blade length, tooth design, reach and comfort are all factors that will affect how the saw performs. It’s also essential to keep the blade sharp to ensure that the saw cuts efficiently and extends its useful lifespan.

Anatomy of a Pruning Saw

Pruning saw blades are usually straight or slightly curved with pointed teeth that are designed to cut through wood. The blade length can vary, but the longer blades are better suited to cutting through thicker tree branches.

Pruning saw teeth are a combination of ripping and cutting teeth. Cutting teeth make the clean and quick cuts and the ripping teeth clear the sawdust from the cut. Blades are typically made of high-quality hardened steel to maintain sharpness and improve durability over time.

A pruning saw may have ergonomic handles with cushioned grips or non-slip coatings to improve grip and reduce hand fatigue.

Benefits of Using a Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is designed to cut through shrubs, bushes, and tree branches efficiently. The specialized design and sharp teeth make them an ideal tool for cutting through thick wood. With practice, it’s possible to make clean and precise cuts which will improve the aesthetic appeal and health of the plant.

The curved blade models are very useful in tight and hard to access areas, such as the tree canopy for shaping and selective pruning. Pruning saws can handle a variety of cutting tasks, including shaping, deadwood removal, and trimming overgrown branches and limbs.

Some of the extendable and fixed-blade pruning saws can be ungainly for transport. But, the folding variants are very compact-able and easy to carry which makes them an ideal choice for campers, hikers, and backpackers.

What is a Pruning Saw. A saw to cut thicker branches

The pole-mounted and extendable models remove the need for climbing or a ladder which improves the accessibility and safety. Clean and precise cuts can be healed quickly by a healthy plant which reduces the risk of disease at the entry point.

A pruning saw causes minimal disturbance, it produces less noise and vibration than a chainsaw and there are no harmful emissions.

A pruning saw is more affordable than a power tool and this makes it a cost-effective solution for small scale pruning and cutting.

Pruning saws require cleaning after use and regular blade sharpening to work efficiently. But, this doesn’t take long and it’s a far easier process than cleaning a chainsaw. In comparison to a chainsaw and other powered cutting tools, a pruning saw is easier to control and safer to use.

When to Use a Pruning Saw

Let’s take a look at ten scenarios where you may consider using a pruning saw:

Cutting Thick Branches:

These tools are ideal for cutting branches that are thicker than the maximum capacity of your secateurs and/or shears. Depending on the exact type and model you can cut branches from 1” (2.5 cm) up to several inches in diameter with no problems.

Thinning of Trees and Shrubs:

When the dense canopy of a tree or shrub is thinned more light can penetrate and the air circulation is improved. The pruning saw can be used to remove specific branches that are crowding the space without damaging the appearance and structure of the plant.

Shaping Bushes With a Pruning Saw:

Carefully trimming tree or shrub branches to achieve a specific size or form to improve the appearance is easier with a pruning saw because clean and precise cuts can be made.

Deadwood Removal Using A Pruning Saw:

The diseased and dead tree and shrub branches need to be removed to prevent the spread of disease to the rest of the plant.

Removing Storm-Damaged Branches:

After bad weather some trees and shrubs may have damaged or broken branches that you can remove safely with a pruning saw.

Creating a Firebreak by Cutting Back Over Grown Bushes:

If you live in a wildfire-prone area you can remove dry vegetation that can fuel a fire and create firebreaks with your pruning saw.

Removing Overgrown Growth:

When a tree or shrub is overgrown it can encroach on pathways or structures causing a number of problems. A pruning saw can be used to trim back the growth to prevent damage and protect the health of the plant.

Pruning Taller Trees:

An extendable or pole pruning saw is useful if you want to trim tall trees without resorting to climbing or using a long ladder.

Harvesting Trees:

A pruning saw can be used to cut nut or fruit-bearing branches that are hard to reach with other methods.

Rejuvenation of Your Plants:

If a tree is overgrown and neglected it can be restored to being healthy if larger branches are selectively removed over time. This will promote healthy growth, sunlight penetration through the canopy, and air circulation to rejuvenate the tree.

ConclusionWhat is a Pruning Saw

Using Straight Pruning Saw to cut dead branch

We hope that we’ve answered the question, “What is a pruning saw?” to your satisfaction. In summary, a pruning saw is a useful garden tool that can make clean and precise cuts in a wide variety of situations.

Pruning and trimming can improve the appearance and health of trees and shrubs in your garden. There are many types of pruning saws and choosing the right one for the task at hand is important for efficiency and safety.

Many experienced gardeners will have multiple pruning saws for specific cutting tasks. When you use a pruning, always wear safety glasses, gloves, and a hard hat and stay out of the drop zone to reduce the injury risk.