Gardening with Daphne Ledward

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All you need to know about secateurs

The other pair goes everywhere with him, and he was recently lamenting the fact that should he lose these, it would be a tragedy, because this brand was no longer on the market.

I told him I thought I’d heard they were back, and rashly promised to buy him a new pair for Christmas, so I did a web search this morning and found that, yes, they are back, but no, he wasn’t getting a new pair, as they are now nearly as costly as the most expensive alternative.

Luckily I found a pair on eBay for £12, so he’ll have to make do with these.

I can understand why many gardeners like anvil secateurs such as the Rolcut. They can be used right or left-handed, there are few parts to break or go wrong, and a sharp blade cutting onto a hard surface will make a nice, clean cut.

I used to have a pair as a youngster (yes, I was keen, even then), but, like bro-in-law’s second pair, they disappeared, possibly ending up in a compost heap or bonfire.

When I started professional gardening, I treated myself to a pair of really expensive Felcos, but I lost these, and after about three replacements I decided I would be better with a cheap and cheerful alternative that could be replaced about four times for the price of one of these up-market tools.

Most serious gardeners are divided into two camps – the ones who prefer the anvil types of secateurs and those who get on better with those with a scissor action.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but, having used both for lengthy periods, I tend to favour the latter as I find I can see more accurately where to cut.

Their only real drawback is that if your prune left handed, you need a left-handed model, but I have overcome this by learning to use them right-handed, which isn’t difficult if you do a lot of pruning.

It’s usually cheaper and easier to adapt!