Friday, August 08, 2008

Pruning Tools

Pruning is the biggest job in a vineyard in winter.
It is long monotonous process that does require skill, attention to detail and strong hands.
While many large vineyards today are mechanically pruned, many are still done by hand.
The main prerequisite is a good set of pruning shears.
I have used the Swiss Felco brand for many years.
Considered to be among the best pruning shears in the world, the Felco company began in 1945 when FĂ©lix Flisch designed his first forged aluminium pruning shear and manufactured a high-quality and exceptionally durable tool.
Today this business employs 150 people in its modern factory in Swizerland, has four subsidiaries in France, Belgium, Australia and Germany and exports over 90% of its products to over 100 countries.
Their shears are strong, cut well and are easy to maintain.
My original Felco pruner was the F2. They are the most recommended bypass pruners in the world with solid-forged metal alloy handles, Swiss precision-made hardened, replaceable cutting blade, replaceable anvil blade with a sap groove.
A hardened steel center bolt and nut ensure exact adjustment of both the cutting and anvil blades. A rubber cushion and shock absorber provide smooth working and soft closing.
But I found that on larger cuts ie. thicker canes, especially when cane pruning, my hands soon became sore after a few weeks.
The answer was the Felco F7 which is an ergonomic bypass Felco professional pruner.
It has a rotating handle that revolves on its axis, allowing the fingers to move naturally, reducing hand fatigue and the inevitable blisters that so often accompany prolonged pruning work.
The unique swivel action requires up to thirty percent less effort than conventional models and offers maximum comfort on continuous pruning. The swiveling handle feels a little strange at first, but I quickly wondered how I ever lived without it.
Both cutting and anvil blades are not riveted, so they are easy to replace. The narrow, pointed blade design allows for close pruning.
These tools are available in both left and right handed versions.

The next step up is of course the battery operated pruner.
Nice to think about but at around $3000, not something for a really small vineyard like ours.
Pneumatic pruners similar to the these are also available.

1 comment:

myolivebranch said...

men and their tools.