A Snip-Snip Here and a Snip-Snip There -- Fiskar's Power Lever Anvil Pruner
May 29, 2002 (Updated Jul 15, 2002)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:sharp, non-stick blade, easy lock, 5/8" capacity, durable
The Bottom Line: When working with dead wood or new growth, this pruner gives you the power and sharpness necessary for quick, smooth cuts without damage to plant or YOU.
One Man's Trash Isn't Exactly This Woman's Treasure
Recommend this product?
Having previously lived on 0.08 acres with prunable foliage limited to one maple, one dogwood, one hydrangea (tree variety), three privets, and one trumpet vine, I made use of a pair of marginally capable pruners for years.
The pair I used, made by Craftsman, came into my life one day quite by accident: I found them in the alleyway behind our house.
They cut pretty well, though not through new growth on our hydrangea tree (very pliable, sometimes spongy, almost dead-wood consistency, yet still green and growing), and they often became stuck on a piece of branch midway through a cut and I'd have to wrestle them free.
And "free" was the operative word. Had I not come upon these lying in the dirt I may have discovered the wonder of "Fiskars" years ago.
From Small Shangri-La to Green Acres . . . we hoped!
We moved from our little plot of gardening bliss to a piece of property almost 16 times the size, and we arrived just a few days short of winter.
The deciduous trees had thrown down their mantles of leaves weeks earlier, and I couldn't wait for spring to see what we would have in the way of flora on our new property. Approximately 4 months later, the trees and shrubs began to awaken from their winter slumber . . .
Allow Me to Escort You through the Brack and Bramble that Was Ours for the Mortgage
With the arrival of warmer weather and the promise of blossoming plants all around us, I waited impatiently for new leaves, buds and shoots to show themselves. When they did, I found myself wishing I could have a word with the previous homeowners . . . three words, actually:
"How could you?"
For who knows how many years, the trees, shrubs and assorted perennials in the yard may have had minimal maintenance, if any. If it rained, they got water. If a good wind kicked up, the dry branches broke and fell. In sum, the following were in need of major pruning:
12 mature trees of several varieties
2 hydrangea trees
28 holly shrubs
2 wisteria vines (rampant runners as long as 130 feet)
110 Rose of Sharon trees (that is not a mistake nor oversight -- one hundred ten)planted to form a hedgerow along some fencing in the yard.
Every tree held multiple dead/dying branches and a few, like the hydrangea, were zapped of strength by masses of dead wood. I made a few attempts with my Craftsman pruners to rid some of the plants of deceased branches. The Craftsman pair were no match for what lay ahead on our lawn.
Fiskars Free Trees and Shrubs from Mass Destruction
The trees on our land were in urgent need of pruning, and that's an understatement. Several were old specimens we probably could not replace easily or successfully.
I took a trip to the local garden center and checked out the displays of pruning paraphenalia, finding that there really are too many to choose from when you feel pressured to make a purchase in an irritated state of mind.
I envisioned myself needing a sort of "Edward Scissorhands" outfit if I were to make even a dent in the dense overgrowth and dead branches prevailing on our property.
Fortunate to Find Fiskars Fit to Fulfill Freeing of Flora
Fortunately, I found Fiskars. Having owned scissors made by Fiskars, I figured I couldn't go wrong -- they manufacture products with one purpose: CUTTING. I don't believe they have branched out into unrelated territory -- the top-of-the-totem people must be good at keeping corporate growth under control, too.
Amid the vast array of other models and makers, Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner made the cut. Really.
Why an "Anvil" Pruner?
The purpose of the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner is to cut dry growth and we had lots of it. That's not to say the use is limited only to dry growth, but it works better on the dry stuff than the standard bypass pruner.
Rather than two curved blades coming together and "by-passing" each other (they are called "by-pass" pruners. Catchy, huh?) to cut through branches, the "anvil" pruner offers a flat-edged blade that meets a flat surface, or "anvil". The anvil design gives the branch a steady surface while the blade does its job of cutting.
When working with dead wood and vines, the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner makes pruning more accurate and simple.
What's This "Power Lever" Thing?
You can't see it, but it's there. It makes your job as household gardener easier, without question.
The "Power Lever" consists of a spring mechanism between the two handles of the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner, and any other "Power Lever" product. It offers resistance to the blades, giving them more power for the cutting with less exertion from you, the power-ee. The company claims:
Pantented lever ation reduces your cutting effort by 50%
No chintzy plastic parts here, so unless you run the pruners over with an automobile they should serve your purposes and then some.
Remaining Features Included
The cutting capacity of 5/8" allows for the cutting of more than you might think. "Power Levering" off dead tips of shrubbery is quick as a snap (as well as better than one). . . taking down unruly vine populations won't find you swinging from said vines in order to remove that one last fiber that won't let go . . . eliminating "suckers" (energy-draining new growth near the base of mature branches, rather than at the tips) is better than a breeze -- the wind won't kindly whisk them off your trees for you . . .
Steel handles give the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner a weightier feel than cheaper models/brands, and to me, that signifies better quality. I don't want the jar of my blender to be plastic rather than glass, and same goes for gardening tools I hope to have around for a long time.
The steel handles sport a "comfort grip" coating -- rubber. It makes a difference in getting a grip on your pruning whether you're wearing gardening gloves or not. For cuts that require a bit more power from you, the comfort grip handles won't have you rubbing your hands afterward to try to get the feeling back!
The single blade of the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner offers a non-stick coating to keep away rust when not in use and friction when in use. The blade of the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner is replaceable, too. With the tough construction, it's good to know that I won't have to toss the whole tool if I need a new blade.
To keep the blade in check when not in use, the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner makes use of a small brass locking lever that pivots upward to hold the edge of the blade against the anvil. With a simple push of a fingertip, the lever disengages to allow for use of the tool. This is by no means child-proof!
The packaging of the Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner offers tips for proper cutting as well as a description of the limited lifetime warranty. Normal wear or damage/abuse is not covered, and the warranty basically covers manufacturer's defects.
Success Lay at My Feet
I got to work during my kids' afternoon nap, affording myself about 2 hours to get a handle on our greenery. I started out on the largest Hydrangea tree, which needed to lose roughly half of itself to continue snowballing every summer (this is the variety of Hydrangea used for drying in floral arrangements/wreaths).
Within half an hour, I had cut away all the dead wood and trimmed some new growth to give the Hydrangea a less haphazard look. This being a 10-feet tall by about 8 feet wide specimen, I thought I'd need more time to work, but because I didn't have to make multiple cuts to take off branches I astonished myself when I checked the clock! One "snip" to each branch was it.
I tackled the hundred-plus Roses of Sharon next and completed roughly half of the lot in an hour. In the time remaining, I attempted to clean up the remains . . . it was more work than the pruning and not nearly as fast!
I wonder if the PowerLever and Comfort Grip people might design something on the clean-up end, next?
You, Too, May Offer Your Yard Treatment for the Ravages of Winter . . . Hopefully Not as Many Winters as Ours Suffered!
The Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner made short work out of long years of neglect. I doubt I'll ever have to put them to this kind of test again (unless we move someday under similar circumstances!), but I'm happy to report that they passed this type of testing and are still sharp and ready to take on some fall cutting in months to come.
The Final Cut
The Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Pruner is a tremendously helpful gardening tool that should give you years of quick cuts and easy trimming that give you the green, lush landscape you've always wanted, with 50% less work from you!
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