Pros: outstanding product
Cons: none for me
Every product category has a level of excellence to which others strive to meet. In the category of pruning devices, Felco has carried the banner for over 50 years and though often copied, they have never been equaled. To date they are the most recommended bypass pruner in the world.
What makes it so?
They have no equal to quality and durability. I’ve had my Felco F2 pruners since 1988. I’ve left them in the rain, in the snow, buried in mulch and compost. And, yet, here they are, still in operation. I will admit, however, I don’t prefer the F2 model because of size only. My usual choice is the F6, which is made for smaller hands. Still the same quality unit, just smaller.
The handles are a hard alloy steel, covered with their classic red rubber. Pretty hard to lose that shining red handle in most landscapes. Their Swiss replaceable cutting blade is precision made. It is easily changed out with the tools that are included with your original F2 purchase. A lot of people don’t know what that little key looking thing is and toss it out … big mistake … it is all you ever need to keep your Felco in operating order as far as parts go. The anvil blade, also replaceable, has a sap groove.
The operating mechanics include a steel center nut and bolt, rubber bumpers to prevent knuckle smacking, and a shock absorber. If you are smart, you will keep the cardboard backing that comes in your pruner package. On it is a complete listing of replacement parts, how to replace them, and care and maintenance tips.
Replacement parts are sold in small packets at most nurseries and garden stores. The blade is sold separately since it is most likely the thing you would have to replace most often. The other working parts such as bumpers, nuts, bolts, etc., come together in one package. Since your original F2 can run upwards to $70, it is wise to purchase the parts as necessary to keep it in good working order.
While we are talking about that …
The Felco F2 is designed to tackle a maximum size branch of 1 inch. It is not designed as a lopper or as a wire cutter. Felco does make a lopper and I would suggest purchasing it for that purpose and leave the pruners to do their job, trimming and cutting back small brush. They call them pruners for a reason ya know.
Yes, they do have a little notch at the axis of the blades to facilitate wire cutting, but that is designed for soft nursery wire similar to tie up wire, not for hard wire like on the balls of trees.
Care and maintenance
After use wipe the blades down with alcohol in case you have run across some plant virus you aren’t aware of, to prevent spreading. Then jam them into a bucket of coarse sand a few times with the blades open. This will help remove debris that is clinging in small places and help keep them sharpened.
Check at least once a month, if you are active with them, for damage to blade or tightness of nut and bolt. Replace all parts as necessary, store in a dry location, and these babies should be around long after you are gone.
I’ve used these things for years and have replaced every part several times. Well, I’ve abused them so you can’t really blame the product for my neglect. The Felco F2 is probably the most popular for most people. I don’t care for the size myself, it is 8-½ inches long and weighs about 9 oz, so I use my smaller F6 most of the time now. They also make some other models, F9 which is designed for lefties … yes, finally the lefties have been recognized. The other, among many, models I have used is the F7 which has a rotating handle. That is just strange to use. I can’t tell you how many times it just flew out of my hand because the handle rotates as you are opening it and it just kept rotating right off my palm. Didn’t like it, but many others do.
They make a blue million other products and if you are in the business to upgrade your gardening supplies, then give them a look. You can’t go wrong and you are sure to find something perfect for you, just like I did.