There are two types of secateurs, also called pruners; bypass and anvil. If you are using an anvil pruner for most of your pruning needs – you are using the wrong tool.
anvil secateurs (pruners)
bypass secateurs (pruners)
Anvil or Bypass Pruners? We don't sell Anvil for a good reason.
Anvil pruners work similar to a knife where a blade is pushed through the plant material onto a cutting board, ie the anvil. Bypass pruners work more like scissors where two blades pass by each other. To the novice gardener there does not seem to be much of a difference between these tools, but the difference is very important when pruning. Anvil prumers tend to crush soft plant tissue. When you use a bypass pruner correctly, you will do almost no damage to the plant.
Anvil pruners do work better than bypass pruners for cutting up dead wood but for most of us, that is not a very common job in the garden. We are usually pruning live plant material or wood that has recently died.
Using Secateurs Correctly.
Think about cutting back a branch to a fresh bud.
In order to make the cut this close to the bud, the pruner needs to be held very close to the bud. With the anvil pruner there is a risk that the bud or the tissue around the bud sits on the anvil and gets damaged during the cut. Using bypass pruners, you can hold the pruner so that none of it touches the bud during the cutting process.
Improper usage will result in a stub and the metal parts of the pruner will touch and damage the stub – neither is good for the plant.
The important point to understand is that the secateur should be held so that none of the metal part touches the wood or stem that will be left on the plant. This does mean that you might need to turn your hand depending on your relative position to the bud. If you follow this rule, you will have very little damage to the plant.