When it comes to a tool that you’ll use in almost every topiary task, a reliable, comfortable pair of secateurs is a must. I’ve written an in-depth article about what to look for when choosing a pair, but to cut to the chase (pun intended) here is my main choice.
My personal secateur choice for everyday pruning and trimming are the FELCO 12 Compact Deluxe. The construction and materials combined with the rotating blade handle mean they will be your best friend in your topiary and hedge trimming travails.
These Swiss-made secateurs are the compact deluxe pair within the, quite substantial, selection that FELCO have to offer. They have been making tools since 1945 and you can tell by the weight and feel of this pair that they are a well-made tool.
The two blades are made of hardened steel and they’ve got a good weight to them. The shiny shock absorber cushions cushions those strong snips when you’re cutting through thicker stems gives you the surety to cut with confidence.
The locking mechanism is strangely stylish, but also satisfactory as it doesn’t close when unexpectedly, something that can happen with locks on the ends of handles, for instance.
A nice thing about the FELCO 12 is that you can completely deconstruct them if you wish, for replacing parts and maintenance. The image above illustrates the engineering and design simplicity of the tool.
Take a moment to look at Part 7/22B, the cutting blade handle and how it connects with Part 7/23 and you will see my single favourite element of these tools – the cutting blade handle rotates. As you close your grip, your hand curls around the handle and in this instance, the handle rotates with you.
It’s such a good idea. It means you can use these tools for hours, as I have done, without getting a single blister. The rotation seems weird for the first five minutes and after that you forget that you’re even holding them.
The FELCO 12 Secateurs weigh 260g, are about seven inches in length and are not too expensive. I think they are a brilliant tool and one that will last you a lifetime – did I mention you can buy spare parts from FELCO directly?
It is worth pointing out that I do make a different choice for topiary secateurs, because although they do the same job, my choice here is for a pair that you can use for hours on end without worrying about blisters. The topiary choice is for something a bit more ninja – a pair that will inspire your incisions to create precisely pruned plants.
So there you have it! You can learn more about secateurs in my detailed article, which has some other choices for you. Or you can just crack on and get yourself a pair of FELCO 12 Secateurs now!