The Essential Gardening Tool You Need, Says a Pro Farmer

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Tools of the Trade—Garden Shears

Product: Amazon / Illustration: The Spruce

The world of home decor is vast, and we’re constantly amazed by the designers, creators, and creatives who cross our paths. In an effort to learn more about the innovative eyes behind the scenes, we’ve launched a series that explores the sanity-saving tools, products, and services that keep our favorite designers and decorators focused on the job at hand. Welcome to Tools of the Trade.

If you have questions about gardening, Dan Allen of Farmscape is the man to ask. As California's largest urban farming company, Farmscape is dedicated to creating lush, organic gardens that reconnect people to fresh food right from their own backyard.

Naturally, we had to ask Allen what tool he's declaring his must-have this spring.

What item made your work life easier this week/month/lately? 

Dan Allen: My Felco Model 2 pruning shears make my work-life easier on a daily basis. I've been using the same pair for over a decade, and there's no better tool for the sort of fine gardening that we do. 

FELCO F-2 One-Hand Pruning Shear

FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear


DA: They're incredibly durable and designed for easy maintenance so that they can last indefinitely.

Why is this item so great? 

DA: In particular, the blade can be removed for sharpening (or replacement) so that you're able to achieve clean cuts, which is crucial when we're working with fruit trees, especially. 

Where/how do you use this item most? 

DA: Every time that I'm out in a garden, I have them on my belt. I use them most commonly as part of the vegetable and herb maintenance that we provide—pruning tomatoes, harvesting peppers, or reining in an unruly pumpkin vine. During our fruit tree pruning season, they're an essential tool for smaller cuts that don't require loppers or a saw. 

How did you discover this item? 

DA: A long-time colleague showed me his pair in the early days of our business. I was using Corona pruners at the time, which are great, but weren't as easy to clean and didn't feel as nice when I was working with them. That may sound like a small thing, but comfort and ergonomics are really important for a tool like that when you're using it on a regular basis. 

Will you use this item in the future? 

DA: For as long as I'm gardening, I hope. 

How has this item made your job easier? 

DA: It's a versatile pruner, so it can handle anything from small cuts on a pepper to decent-sized tree branches. Particularly for the latter, some pruners are too delicate. 

How might someone not in your line of work benefit from this item? 

DA: I recommend the Felco, even if you're gardening as a hobby as opposed to professionally. There are less expensive pruners on the market, but the Felco is more durable and easiest to clean and maintain over time, so they end up being a good investment. 

What, if anything, would you change about this item? 

DA: It's not necessarily something that I would change, but I'll just note that this specific pruner is designed for right-handed gardeners. If you're left-handed and planning to use a bypass pruner, consider using the Felco 9 or Felco 10 instead. 

Are there any care/use tips someone considering this item should know about? 

DA: When you're re-assembling the pruners after cleaning them and sharpening the blade, there's a pocket where you can add lubricant so that the pruners move smoothly once they're back together. This step, more than any other, makes them feel like a brand new pruner once you've completed your care regimen.