The 7 Best Telescoping Pruners
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in December of 2016. With a good telescoping pruner in your hands, those higher branches and bushes can be readily trimmed into shape. Using a long-reach tool means less reliance on ladders and leads to safer and more precise work. The extendable options on this list feature extra-sharp blades and a variety of cutting mechanisms to satisfy gardeners and landscape professionals with different needs and preferences. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best telescoping pruner on Amazon.
June 24, 2019:
If you have a garden or yard of any sort with tall bushes or trees, or if you're a landscaper by trade, chances are you're going to need a pruner that extends to chop out-of-reach branches. The telescoping pruners featured here are surprisingly varied. There are options that are operated via a pulley system, where you yank a rope to close the blades around a branch, in addition to trigger-style models. We even found a pruner that has a mini chainsaw on the end. Whatever your preferred method of clearing excess foliage, there's definitely something in this comprehensive list for you.
The EasyGoProducts Lopper and DCM Cut and Hold got the ax because of availability issues, while the Zenport Anvil was removed due to its being more of a lopper than a pruner. The Fiskars Chain Drive has also been removed due to complaints concerning safety. Because of its durability and popularity, we've moved the Fiskars ExtendableTree to the number one spot. Finally, there are two new additions: the ARS Razor Edge and Jameson FG-Series Manual, the latter of which features the aforementioned pulley system.
A Tool With Extensive Benefits
Using a standard hand shear on large plants, you’d have to routinely climb and reposition a ladder and contort your body to access tight spaces.
Those of you who maintain a property with a healthy amount of greenery are already acutely aware of the importance of regularly pruning shrubs, flowers, trees, and even fruits and vegetables.
If your landscape’s assortment of plant life is limited to flower beds, hedges, relatively small shrubs, and a modest vegetable garden, a simple set of hand shears will probably get the job done. However, once you decide to take on trimming tree limbs, large bushes, and any other plants that tower over you even when you’re standing, a quality telescoping pruner will make all the difference in the world.
Of the thousands of ladder-related injuries recorded each year, the clear majority occur at home or on a farm. Knowing this, why decide to take an unnecessary risk? With a pruning tool that extends several feet, you won’t have to rely on a ladder — you’ll be able to safely reach branches with your feet firmly planted on hard, solid ground.
The usefulness of a telescopic handle extends beyond trees and tall plants — it also comes in handy when obstructions stand between you and your target. For example, if you’re forced to reach through a thorny bush or a thin fence opening, a long handle will make the process significantly easier, and you won’t come away with nicks and scrapes when you’re finished.
Speaking of aches and pains — your body will thank you for picking up one of these tools. Using a standard hand shear on large plants, you’d have to routinely climb and reposition a ladder and contort your body to access tight spaces. When wielding an extending pruner, there’s no need to stretch, lean, or crawl around, and you’ll be able to complete more work in a given amount of time. This means more productivity and less fatigue.
It also means you’ll be able to enhance the health of plants and trees that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to help. Overgrown greenery not only faces challenges in developing at a healthy pace, it’s at greater risk for contracting diseases. Improving air circulation and the passage of sunlight will result in better growth and more lively plants.
Different Pruners For Different Plants
Telescopic pruners are available in several different designs, and you'll want to consider what you'll be trimming before making a selection.
A pruner with a saw attachment is the obvious choice for slicing through tough, thick tree branches, as its tapered blade with razor-sharp teeth is ideal for jobs that require a bit of power. Keep in mind that these can be difficult to use in a dense tangle of branches, as the blade tends to get caught.
Whatever types of plants you’ll be cutting, you’ll want your blades to be strong and sharp.
For those of you accustomed to power tools, an electric model will suit your style nicely. Powered by a motor, these can cut through limbs up to several inches thick, thanks to a mini chain saw system at the end of the pole.
Bypass models feature two curved blades that bypass each other, much in the same way as a pair of scissors. This style usually produces a clean, straight cut, which helps you avoid injuring the plant or tree and allows the branch to effectively begin the healing process.
Anvil pruners operate like a knife on a cutting board, with a single cutting blade that closes down over a flat edge. Ratchet pruners are essentially anvil pruners with extra versatility, as they use a ratcheting mechanism to offer more leverage and reduce the amount of effort you must put forth to achieve a cut.
Whatever types of plants you’ll be cutting, you’ll want your blades to be strong and sharp. You'll also want the shaft to feature a reliable locking system, so you can be confident that it will remain securely in place as you go about your pruning.
When you’re assessing the tools available to you, try to find one with blades that are treated to resist sticking, so you won’t have to constantly wipe off brush and leaves as you work. Some options come with lifetime warranties, which is worth considering, as well.
Pruning Tips And Tricks
Most plants benefit from regular pruning, but if you’re not at least somewhat familiar with how and when you should be employing this tactic, you’ll be limited at best in your success.
Trimming fruiting and flowering plants is most advantageous while they are dormant — which means you’re looking at late winter through the early spring months.
Trimming fruiting and flowering plants is most advantageous while they are dormant — which means you’re looking at late winter through the early spring months. On the other hand, some trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring prefer to be pruned shortly after flowering. By predetermining the best time to prune your specific plants, you’ll be able to develop an annual strategy for fostering consistent growth.
Once you’ve put together a plan of action, you’ll have to execute it out in the fresh air. Make sure you know how to properly hold and utilize your tool. For example, with bypass pruners, you’ll want to face the hooked side of the blade away from the plant. Using this approach, if the hook does damage any part of the plant, it will be the section that you’re lopping off.
You should try to always wear gloves and protective eye gear when using these tools. Sharpen the blades regularly, as your pruner will not operate nearly as efficiently as it should if its blades are dull. In addition, the cleaner the cut you make, the faster the plant will heal, which leads to healthier growth.
Cleaning the tool after every use is advisable; scrubbing it with bleach or alcohol will help remove any contaminants that could potentially lead to corrosion or disease. If you’re willing to spend a little extra cash, some high-end options even contain built-in automatic oiling mechanisms, which help save you time and energy.
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