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Spring is pruning season, and we’ve got a big garden full of native roses and other xeric perennial plants that I’m finally able to begin cleaning up and cutting back. At the end of a busy spring gardening weekend, my hands and wrists often hurt or stiffen up if I sit still too long. I’m thinking men design most garden and household tools or maybe I just have tiny hands. All I know is I’ve had several pairs of pruners that expand much wider than my hand can accommodate, which just adds to hand fatigue.
So, I was thrilled to try out these FlexDial Comfort Gel pruners from Corona, because the name alone suggests two helpful features: a flexible dial to set the grip width and a nice soft gel covering the steel handles. It’s the best of gardening ergonomics, at least for the tiny-handed among us.
Here’s how it works: By holding the handles with your pruning hand, you can use a finger or thumb on the other hand to easily rotate the flexible dial to a comfortable fit (choosing from among eight settings). Once you have the best setting, it should ease fatigue on the muscles and tendons of your hand, especially during spring pruning. This is a benefit for women and a plus for getting your kids interested in gardening! They can easily handle these pruners with an adult helping to set the dial (and a little supervision, I imagine). This is a great feature for parents who want to encourage their kids to trim herbs or cut flowers!
One drawback of the FlexDial pruners is merely a matter of physics (I think): When you dial down the grip size, the space between the blades also gets smaller. It’s still plenty large enough for deadheading flowers and pruning most shrub branches. If you need a bigger cutting radius (up to three-fourths inch), you can easily adjust the dial setting for a few cuts and dial it back down for the rest of your work. I also found the sliding lock that closes the pruners a little difficult to push, but I think I think I just have to get used to using it.
Otherwise, the FlexDial is just that – flexible enough to improve comfort, but large enough to accommodate bigger hands or branches. I only wish it weren’t so easy to adjust the dial, so I could make sure these pruners stay in my tool bucket and don’t migrate to the hard-working pair of bigger hands around here who likes the sharp, clean cuts the pruners make!
The fine print: I received this Corona FlexDial Comfort Gel Branch and Stem Pruner in a Twitter #plantchat giveaway. Corona did not require or request a review of the pruners as part of the prize. I’m writing from my own personal experience with, and evaluation of, the tool. Learn more about the pruners here.