Ratchet Up Your Performance
As we all get a little older, our bodies start to complain about all the work we give them. Gardeners know this only too well, with sore hands and shoulders, bad backs and broken fingernails just some of the ailments we try to ignore as we tend to our plots. Over the years I have written this blog, I have been lucky enough to avoid any serious injury that could keep me out of the garden for long. However, a friend of mine recently severed the ring finger on his right hand which not only required surgery, but also needed ‘restrengthening’ after it had healed. He was unable to use normal secateurs and found the excellent Bulldog Ratchet Secateurs slightly too heavy for his weakened hand.
This became my starting point in a search for secateurs, suitable for those with limited hand strength, arthritis or even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Any pruners I found would not only need to easy to use, but also lightweight so that even my injured friend would be able to use them easily.
Last month after an exhaustive search, an American gardener recommended Florian ‘Ratchet-Cut’ pruners to me and I duly bought a pair. On first inspection the Florian ratchet secateurs look plastic, however I have since discovered they are fibreglass reinforced nylon which explains why they are not only very light, but also extremely strong.
Ratchet secateurs work in a similar way to the jack you may have used to lift your car to replace a wheel. You simply place the blade well onto the branch and squeeze the handles until they close on the branch, then release them until you hear the ratchet click, squeeze the handles again and repeat until the cut is complete. This may sound complicated (I thought so initially), but is very simple and even I found it easy after 2 or 3 goes!
Florian ‘Ratchet-Cut’ pruners are made in the USA and their ratchet mechanism allows cutting strength to be increased by 700%, pruning branches up to 19mm (¾") in diameter. As well as the fibreglass reinforced handles and anvil, they also feature a Teflon coated, high carbon spring steel pruning blade – the coating helps reduce sap build up on the blade and allows you to easily wipe them clean.
My friend’s finger is still not at full strength and he loves his new ratchet secateurs, especially as they come in a cheerful yellow colour ensuring that if he drops them or puts them down, they aren’t lost for long.
I would really recommend these Florian pruners to anyone who struggles to use normal secateurs, suffers from arthritis, or just needs a little help with tough pruning tasks. They are much stronger than they look and I have already put a pair to one side for when I am a little older and need to ratchet up my own performance!
The Florian ratchet pruners are now available from Quality Garden Tools, to see them please visit: www.qualitygardentools.com/hand-tools/secateurs/ratchet-geared-secateurs/id-FL701/view
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