How to Use A Pruning Knife & Other Garden Knives

Pruning Knife | Billhook Knife | How to Use a Pruning Knife | How to Sharpen a Pruning Knife | How to Prune Fruit Tree | How Much to Prune Bushes

A pruning knife is a must-have in the garden. It’s similar to a pocket knife but instead of a straight blade, a pruning knife features a curved, hooked blade. These are great for countless garden tasks including edging, cutting, harvesting and tidying up bark.

Because of this versatility, it’s important to know how to properly use it before starting your many tasks.

Pruning Knife | Billhook Knife | How to Use a Pruning Knife | How to Sharpen a Pruning Knife | How to Prune Fruit Tree | How Much to Prune BushesHow to Use a Pruning Knife

It’s important to use a motion that takes the blade away from your body, not toward it.

For example, if you are cutting back plant stems, hold the section to be cut away from you. Put tension on the stem to keep it tight, then cut it with a sharp slicing motion away from your body.

Another common use is to clean up pieces of bark left hanging after a branch is cut. Hold the knife with the blade parallel to the branch, then slice the hanging pieces off the stem. Use a quick motion away from your body and make the slice in a swipe rather than using a cutting motion.

Types of Pruning Knives

There are a few different types of pruning knives. Though many of them are interchangeable, it’s wise to invest in the right tool for the job.

Curved Blade Knife

A billhook knife features a curved blade with a sharpened inner edge and a duller outer edge. The blade is usually thicker and heavier than other small knives as it’s designed for cutting small branches, vines and dense undergrowth. Billhooks are versatile gardening tools for managing woody vegetation. Smaller curved blade knives offer similar benefits for less dense vegetation or more herbaceous vegetation.

Curved blade knives offer a more ergonomic design, following the natural motion of the hand, which is more ideal for slicing cuts. They can apply more gentle cutting, with a lower risk of unintended damage for more delicate pruning tasks.

Straight Blade Knife

Budding and grafting knives have straight edges, sharp, thin blades and a pointed tip and are designed to quickly make precise, quick cuts on live plants. Both budding and grafting knives are used for grafting, as the differences between the two types are very slight. Grafting knives are slightly more versatile, as they’re designed for a a variety of grafting techniques.

Straight blade knives are highly versatile, suitable for a wide range of pruning tasks. They can perform very precise cuts, making them ideal for clean, accurate cuts on small branches and stems. Additionally, straight edge blades are easier to sharpen, as the edge profile is simple and neat.

At Eaton Brothers, we offer a few types of gardening knives, including:

Billhook Knife | Billhook Pruning Knife | Grafting Billhook Knife | Opinel Billhook KnifeFolding Billhook Knife

With its curved blade beveled on both sides, this knife is an ideal tool for grape-picking, shrub pruning or cutting ties in the garden.

Garden Knife | Opinel Garden Knife | Garden Knife Tool | Best Garden Knife | Opinel Garden Knife No 8Folding Gardening Knife

A tapered handle combined with a light weight makes this a favorite among gardeners. A versatile size that keeps the blade locked while in use.

Every gardener needs a pruning knife! But more than that, every gardener needs to know how to use a pruning knife to bring its many benefits to your yard.