The pruning stick is both a well-made and designed item. It is relatively light and the cutting mechanism is activated by simply sliding the grip on the pole. There is no dangling pull-rope to trip on or to get caught in the branches. Just remember that it is for pruning smaller branches and not large branches.
Recommend this product?
The cutting head is rated to cut up to 1" branches but the head is slightly bigger than that and I have cut larger branches with ease. The cutting head can be easily adjusted within a 230 degree arc to create the ideal cutting angle. You can see what looks like a bicycle chain near the cutting head. It all works together to create a pruner that is both powerful and adjustable.
The pole is 62 inches long. As an example, I can reach about 7 feet high with my arms extended and the pole allows me to reach about 4.5 feet higher. Thus I can cut a branch that is about 11.5 feet, if I am standing almost directly below the branch.
I have had this for over a year. For me, I have found that it is good for particular jobs. Living in Hawaii, I use it to prune certain plants like ginger and bamboo.
Ginger is a type of plant in which can grow to about 9 feet tall. Once the stalk flowers, the entire stalk will yellow and eventually die, creating a big ugly mess. So once you pick the flower at the top, it makes sense to cut the remaining stalk at the same time. What is best is to cut the stalk close to the ground, as if you don't you will be left with a pokey spike. I tried to use a regular hand pruner which easily cuts the flower tip but nearer the ground the stalk enlarges and becomes too large to fit between the blades. When you have a dense mass of ginger stalks it is often hard to make the cut with loppers since the handles require a lot of clearance when you extend them. The pruning stick allows for the perfect reach and it cuts easily because you simply pull on the sliding handle built into the pole. I do notice that sometimes the stalk is slightly too big to fit between the jaws.
The same process also works with the reed type bamboo which is growing as a tall hedge in our yard. When a particular branch/stalk dies, you don't want to trim all the stalks but just a particular stalk. The pruning stick fills the bill for this job wonderfully. it allows me to cut very close to the ground. If you don't, the spikes build up and it is even harder to access the area in the future.
The pruning stick is also the perfect tool to help me trim the tops of the bamboo plant.
Small Citrus Tree, Yes
I also use the pruning stick to prune a relatively small tangerine tree. It can easily access the lower and mid-branches but I did find that it was hard to reach the very top branches. What is nice is the you can extend the pruning stick as high as you can reach and there is a second pulling mechanism at the very tail end of the stick. It is a retractable ball on a string and you simply pull on the ball and that activates the jaw mechanism.
Tall Willow Tree, No
Lastly I tried to use the stick on a tall willow tree. I could cut the lower hanging branches but found that the stick was just not long enough and at the height that was accessible, the branches were too thick for the pruning stick's jaw. For this job I realized that I needed an extendable pole saw and trimmer and because I was quite happy with the pruning stick I stuck with the Fiskars brand. I am very happy with the pole saw and hope to have a review up shortly. I know there is an extending pruning stick but I wanted to also have a saw blade to cut bigger branches that cannot fit within the pruning stick's jaws.
I do want to add that the pruning stick is a much friendlier tool than the pole saw. The pole saw has an exposed blade that even when folded back/retracted, has exposed teeth that are very sharp. So you have to be very careful when using and transporting the tool.