Most people don’t think about hand pruners until the one time they crawl into a tree stand and there is a branch that mysteriously grew out of nowhere since last season and now it’s blocking their shooting lane. They can try to break it, use a broad head (not recommended), or twist and tuck it out of the way. Or, a better option is to carry a light and durable hand pruner to take care of the pesky growers the right way. Wicked Tree Gear has built a brand around their line of outdoor saws designed for hunters which include the hand saw, bone saw, pole saws, and now a hand pruner. They have made an impact on the outdoor market becoming known for their reliability, strength, and compact designs. New for 2017, they added the Wicked tree gear hand pruner which may be a great addition to your outdoor tool line.
I have to admit, testing this product gave me a new obsession with hand pruners. There tend to be a few products that when you find one you like, you use the heck out of it. Many people have found durable products they trust in the Wicked product line, based out of Iowa. The pruner is designed with a forged aluminum body to keep it light at 9 ounces, and high carbon steel blades for strength. Although, the blade is replaceable, it was fairly easy to re-sharpen while still connected. The pruners measured in at around 8.5 inches on the tape and fit comfortably in the hand with their curved finger ridges. I was impressed by the initial comfort of the grip compared to other pruners that I have used.
The pruners feature a wound spring action opening mechanism that is compressed between the inside handles similar to some other pruners like Fiskars and Felco. They also feature a mechanical blade lock. The molded aluminum body is noteworthy given the durability and strength over cheaper plastic models. The yellow rubberized shock absorbing handles help you find them if you drop them in the woods. Lord knows how many items I have donated to the woods over the years.
Hand pruner Test / Use
Having a sharp pair of pruners is essential to a clean and quiet cut. From the factory, these blades were very sharp and made cutting an enjoyable experience rather than a hassle. I tested the pruners with different sized branches and limbs from 1/8 inch to just over 1 inch. Wicked Tree Gear advertises that they will cut up to a 1 inch diameter branch and I found this to be fairly accurate. However, a very dry 1 inch limb was difficult to cut, and I had to use the bite and twist method to cut into the branch a bit. It took some work, but realistically this tool is not designed for that type of cutting. For that kind of work, you would be better off looking into a hand saws like this one from Wicked.
The pruners open extremely wide compared to a lot of other pruners allowing you to get a really good bite on a branch. The inner most part of the blades give the strongest bite which are close to the pivot.
Pruners can be used to serve a variety of needs in hunting preparations. I personally use them to clear open lanes for trail camera photos, clean up tree stand or blind locations, clear shooting lanes, and make paths to enter quietly into ambush locations. Having a pair that is reliable and packable is essential.
The finger activated lock is pretty easy to get used to and ergonomic. Once your hands get used to the position it is easy to slide the lock on and off. The lock is designed for right handed thumb on and off position lock. Lefty’s can use their pointer to easily slide it off or flip them around which makes sense too.
I put the pruners to the test making over 1000 cuts on a small branch. My hand felt good until cut 343, and then I needed a glove. The handle became a little slick after the pruners were dipped in water, but I doubt most people will be trimming in the rain. The blades cutting sweet spot is in the 1/4 -3/8 inch range. However, most of the sticks were dry when cut. Green sticks obviously will cut easier. Re-sharpening the blade after that many immediate cuts did drastically improve the cutting experience again. I fell in love with this carbide blade sharpener from Corona on Amazon for $9.99.
Just like with anything, before you make a purchase, you need to figure out what you are going to use the tool for. This handy tool from Wicked Tree Gear is easy to slip into a pack or cargo pocket and have handy when working on your properties. There isn’t a sheath available from Wicked yet, but there are many on the market that will fit this tool. At $29.99, and featuring a lifetime warranty, this new hand pruner from Wicked is definitely worth a look.
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