What is a Pruning Saw?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A pruning saw is a saw which is specifically designed for pruning tasks. Pruning saws can be utilized for thick branches which are too dense for pruning shears, and also for high branches which are difficult to reach. There are several different styles of pruning saw on the market for people to choose from, and most garden supply and hardware stores carry several options, especially during pruning season.

A bleach and water solution can be helpful for disinfecting pruning tools.
A bleach and water solution can be helpful for disinfecting pruning tools.

A basic pruning saw consists of a medium-length blade which can be curved or straight, set on a basic saw handle. Sometimes the handle is curved to allow for a better angle. The teeth are big and very sharp, designed to quickly bite into and saw away branches. This type of pruning saw can be used on the ground or with a ladder.

Other pruning saws have telescoping handles so that they can be used to reach high branches from the ground without the need for a ladder. A trigger may be mounted into the handle, so that the trigger can be pulled to activate the blade, or a rope assembly may be used to move the blade back and forth. Electric pruning saws operate with the flick of a switch. Trigger handle pruning saws tend to be more comfortable and easy to use. In the case of telescoping saws, a lock is usually provided so that the length of the handle can be locked for safety.

When using extendable pruning saws to reach branches from the ground, a few cautions should be observed to make pruning safer and more enjoyable. Placement of the saw is important, as sometimes it is hard to see branches from the ground. Having an assistant to confirm the placement is helpful, as the assistant can view the tree from a distance to ensure that the saw is on the right branch. It is also important to stand clear of the falling branch, as even small branches can deliver a nasty head wound on their way to the ground.

Like other bladed tools, a tree pruning saw should be kept in good condition to ensure that it will always perform at its peak. After pruning is over for the year, the blade should be wiped down and oiled for storage. The blade may also need to be periodically sharpened or replaced as the serrated teeth break down. Covering this pruning tool when not in use will reduce the risk of rust, and the tool should be stored in a high location so that it cannot be pulled down by children, who may injure themselves on the sharp blade.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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