Hey all, I was wondering if I could get some feedback on this subject. I’ve seen a lot of posts about who some folks may consider who makes the best pruners, but I don’t think I’ve seen a thread about who makes the best pruners for arthritic hands.
I don’t necessarily have arthritic hands, but after using them for a while, I do get pretty crampy. Does that mean I’m getting arthritis? I don’t know, but I think this thread might be of some value to others on here who might be there or are headed in that direction.
What pruner are you using now? Using a well made very sharp hand pruner with a shape that suits your particular hands might make it easier on them. I’m 71 and have escalating aches and pains from pruning all day long as well as other tasks involved with managing orchards, but my hands seem to agree with the shape of the ARS VS-8 pruners I use. The rotating handle versions are trash to my hands, clunky and not suited to me. When I was about a month into winter pruning I used to get RMS to where it was hard to brush my teethe. Rotating handles didn’t help, but I’ve never had a problem since I started using the ARS over a decade ago. I used to think Felco were best, and for some hands they probably are. But they are never as sharp.
Of course, if nothing else works, battery powered pruners are what both Scott and Olpea use.
Actually I do use a pruner with a rotating handle, it’s a Fiskars. Got it at Lowe’s for about $20 years ago, but it’s not very good quality. It won’t even lock into storage position anymore. Get what you pay for I guess. I usually end up just using an old bypass one.
I am 66 and my hand gets tired and sore doing a lot of hand pruning. Style of pruners didn’t matter. Just a lot of squeezing the pliers was the problem. I was using Absorbine Jr afterwards which worked fine. But then I decided to put it on before using the pruners. From day one I found I didn’t get tired or sore even pruning twice as long as I was doing before. From what I read abut AJ is that it blocks pain receptor signals and also stimulate the receptors that detect cold, causing increased blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients to muscles. Our family used it a lot when I was kid for bug bites and sprains. Then I went decades never using it and wasn’t even sure it was still sold. So I happened to see it on a top shelf at Walmart last year for something else and decided to try it for my hand. It works for me.
Cutting with them is effortless , on your hands ,a light touch of the trigger .
The tool weighs more than ,manual hand pruners , so ,…
Your hand may not get sore, but the extra weight , can take a toll on shoulder/ elbow joints, and muscles .
I love them , has helped me a lot . Batteries last longer than I do !
I usually consider the motorized alternative as a last resort because natural work of all kinds keeps one strong and coordinated. Nothing throws my back off more than chain-saw work, but the time benefit can’t be overlooked- but I was in better shape when I cut my 6-8 chords of wood a year with a Swedish bow saw.
What forced me to the chain saw was that I could make real money pruning fruit trees mostly with manual tools so I couldn’t spend so much time in winter cutting firewood. Now maybe a pro-model electric hand pruner could help me prune faster… but I charge by the hour
Have hundreds of grafts etc. I use ars pruners and my hands get soar very quickly anyway. Think part of that is normal. My legs got soar when i was 18 and pushed a car. Some soarness is normal which is why we need to trade up jobs during the day.
The actual term seems to be RSD- repetitive stress disorder. It’s been many years since I’ve had it… many brain cells ago.
It’s also normal for exercise to gradually make you stronger- but you have to push through some pain.
The trick is knowing what pain is normal, I suppose. If you make your living doing a particular type of work you are going to push through it or break- whichever comes first. .
Only a few times when I was very young. My family moved to CA when I was 11 and from then on it was surfing for me- until I left CA in my late '20’s. When surf’s up you are going to be aching at the end of the day- waves in CA just aren’t very consistent, although more so than on the East coast.
Yeah sometimes you push thru the pain to get the job done, but there’s a point where it can become an injury. My wife did that overdoing it in the garden when she was hoeing and pulling weeds, now she thinks her rotator cuff (shoulder joint) is jacked up. Hopefully she’ll recover from it.