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Old 09-18-2020, 06:43 AM
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Its time to consider new pruning shears. I have two four year old Fiskars but they have lost padding, need constant sharpening and bind; they do get heavy use. They also hurt my hands after holding them for a long time (and I have a lot of shrubs). They are easy to find, but I am reading good things about Corona and Felco (very expensive). Any suggestions?
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Old 09-18-2020, 02:15 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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I had Fiskars and wore them out too. For the replacement I went with Corona BP 3160 and have been happy with them for many years now. They get a lot of use, our lot is 12,000 sf with a lot of trees and shrubs to prune. It cost more than I normally would have paid but I had been given a generous gift certificate to a nursery. It turns out that spending more means lasts longer, and in the end you are saving.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:58 PM
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I believe I have Corona BP3180D. Any markings wore off long ago, I’ve had them for probably 30 yrs. They still work great today.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:03 PM
Location: Canada
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Webster, you might find the information about all these different models of Felco pruners to be helpful.
Felco Pruners

So ... I literally have a bucket full of pruners and other kinds of cutters but I have almost always used both Felco and Fiskars pruners and lopping shears (different sizes and models for different jobs) and found the Felcos give best performance and last the longest number of years before having to be be replaced. Now it is also easier to get replacement parts for the Felco pruners than it used to be.

My last and oldest Felco pruners (35 years old - see original Model 2 in link above) finally kicked the bucket last summer when I abused them and bent them beyond redemption. I replaced them with the Felco Model 11 which are almost too big for my little old lady's arthritic hands now so I sometimes have to use both hands with them, but they are really tough instruments worth the effort and every penny for the jobs that they do. And I treated myself to a couple of smaller sets of Fiskars which are easier to handle but need to be handled a little more gently than the sturdier Felco pruners. But the Fiskars blades hold a razor sharp edge that are best if you are working with material that requires delicate precision cuts that look and feel as smooth as glass.

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Old 09-18-2020, 07:11 PM
Location: Home is Where You Park It
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But Coronas are a pretty good second choice. IME, Fiskars can't handle heavy (ab)use.

It's amazing to me how the Felcos will cheerfully take on branches that are way too large for them.

The biggest thing is to take care of whatever you get. Keep them sharp, keep them clean and oiled, keep those screws tight enough but not too tight.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:15 PM
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Thank y'all. Its worth it to me to spend the money so I will see if I can find and try out some Felco and Corona models. My right hand gets really tired with the Fiskars and the last time, my hand swelled up putting me out of commission for a week. The downside of getting older I suppose.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:39 PM
Location: North Alabama
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I’m a Felco guy for the by-pass hand pruners. Corona once upon a time had a lineup of “Pro” tools that were second to none, but over the years they seem to have forsaken that segment of the market for more “Consumer” grade tools.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:04 AM
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Felco are good. But the real solution is to learn how to sharpen pruners. I have several antique made in USA pruners, that I got really cheap in boxes misc at auctions over the years, sharpened and they are fine. Corona used to be a good brand, but now made in China and like Fiskars, pretty mediocre not much better than the Chinese nonames. There are some Chinese pruners that arent bad if money is tight, but they tend to need some sharpening new out of box. One ratcheting pruner from China sold under many names you never heard of did amazingly well. I gave $4 for a pair on Amazon couple or three years ago just out curiosity cause they had good feedback. They would benefit from proper sharpening but were good enough. They now have doubled in price, maybe partly due to Trump tariffs, dont know. At $10 would say they still arent bad deal. But if you can afford the money, get Swiss made Felco for like $35 to $45 on Amazon. You wont regret it. Or learn to sharpen the antiques or the cheapies. It really isnt difficult though lot easier if you can remove pivot bolt and take them apart. Edge needs to sharpened then polished like you would a knife. Edge wont last nearly as long if you just go after them with file or something.

Will add that few years back, friend bought a Fiskars lopper. Had compound gearing. It was useless brand new out of package. She gave it to me. I tried it and boy was it dull despite its fancy nonstick coating. Usually stuff with coatings like that are meant as throw away tools. I took it apart and sharpened it, and wow, it worked great. I offered it back to her, telling her how well it now worked. But she had already moved on to another brand. I've actually used it quite a bit. Still horrible that it was sold dull. Fine if it was sold to need sharpening out of package, at discount price, but it wasnt.

Last edited by HJ99; 09-19-2020 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:55 AM
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Yes, sharpening is a key. I get that done all the time; my neighbor is 89, a retired shop teacher and has all the tools. Alas, part of it is the age of the gardener's hands . The Elaeagnus hedge grows fast and I might rip it out now that the slower growing shrubs give me privacy. On the other hand, it blooms when not much else does, the bees love it and the smell is wonderful. So far, it has not proved invasive, just grows fast.

The only store locally that has Felcos have them for $79. Might add it to my list for the holidays.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:25 AM
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I hadnt looked at prices of Felco for some time on Amazon. There are couple low end Felco models under $40. But most seem between $50 and $65. The big trick to buying high quality tools is to not lose them and dont leave them out in rain. You lose a $10 pair pruners, you dont feel so bad. You lose a $60 pair and it kinda hurts your feelings.

Oh remember reading that Harbor Freight offers (or offered??) a Chinese clone version of Felco. Close enough, people mentioned being able to directly replace the cheaper blade on them with Felco replacement. The Felco blade was higher quality. There are several Felco clones out there, think one even sold under Fiskars name, but not close enough to where parts are directly interchangeable or so I think. Personally if I wanted pair Felco, I would buy pair Felco. But another option and sure even the clone blade would benefit from proper sharpening.
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