Chosing the right gardening tools – cutting tools

There are a surprising number of cutting tools which you will find very useful (if not essential) when gardening. The right cutting tool will make your work much easier.

A pocket knife is one of the most used tools in the garden. Buy one which will comfortably fit into your pocket and which will be easy to keep sharp. Sharpen it regularly particularly if you use it for cutting string. You will use this knife for taking cuttings, so you need to keep it sharp and clean. If you are going to be doing budding, you will need a special knife with a notch at the bottom of the blade.

An edging knife doesn’t really look like a knife.

edging knife

It is a sort of spade with a half-moon shape and a very sharp edge. It is used for cutting the edges of the lawn. If you are a gardener who requires absolute perfection on your lawn edges, then you will need this tool. Otherwise, you can do this job equally well with a spade.

There are two types of secateurs: the anvil type and the bypass type.


In my opinion, they are both perfectly capable of doing the job, its just up to your preference which one you choose.

Recently,  battery powered secateurs have been added to the arsenal, which takes away a lot of the effort needed, but, in my opinion, also takes away the ‘feel’ for the job. Make sure you only use the secateurs for cutting the size branches  they are designed for (it will tell you on the packaging). If you try to cut branches too large, it will damage the secateurs and probably the branch as well. If you are pruning branches on fruit trees or even large shrubs, use long handled pruners.  For large branches use a pruning saw.

The pruning saw is a very useful tool for cutting branches too large for secataurs or pruners to handle.

pruning saw

The saw has wide serations on its cutting edge, making it easier to cut green wood. It is slightly curved which makes it easier to get between branches and in restricted spaces.

The last cutting tool is a pair of hedging shears.

hedge shear

Or I should say two pairs of shears. You will want a short handles pair for cutting hedges  and plants such as lavender and a long handled pair of border shears for trimming lawn edges. (You can manage on one pair, but the right tool makes the job easier).

border shears

Neat lawn edges  make a lot of difference to the look of your lawn and it is not easy with short handled shears. Long handles shears will save you a lot of bending. It is worth buying expensive shears as they will hold a good sharp edge.


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