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How to use a pruning saw

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Before you begin

Checking the blade

Inspect the saw carefully before use

Check the blade for any wood chippings or sap that may have become lodged in the teeth as these will prevent the saw from cutting properly.

Remove any debris, taking care not to cut yourself. Ensure the teeth are sharp and are not bent or misshapen.

cutting a larger branch from above.

If you’re sawing large branches, cut from above

When cutting larger branches (5cm thickness for example) you should try and position yourself so you are cutting from above.

Larger branches will require more effort to cut through, and so working from above will mean that you can saw more easily, as gravity is pulling the blade downwards anyway.

How not to cut a branch from above Cutting a large branch from below may become uncomfortable and tiring quickly as you will have to hold the blade above your head.

If you’re sawing a large branch from below you risk being injured when the branch eventually breaks off. So cutting from above also means you are out of harm’s way should the branch break unexpectedly.

Tired man

Should you push or pull?

Most pruning saws will cut on the pull stroke, so you should only apply force when pulling the saw through the wood.

If you apply force on both strokes, when the saw only cuts on one, you will not cut any quicker and will simply tire yourself out.

Starting your cut

starting your cut

Step 1 – Rest blade against material

Hold the blade against the surface of the material you want to cut.

Step 2 – Pull saw towards you

When you are ready, pull the saw back towards you, applying downward pressure in one long stroke.

Moving saw back and forth

Step 3 – Move saw back and forth

Slowly move the saw back and forth, applying pressure on the push stroke and easing off on the pull stroke, to allow the waste material to clear.

Pruning saw cutting hay Pruning saws have fairly large teeth, so the cut should develop after only a few strokes, and the sawing process will become a lot easier.

Pruning saws are designed for cutting tree branches or sawing logs to size and so generally, the finish they produce will be very rough.

Wonkee Donkee says "This is often a good thing if you’re not an experienced hand saw user as it means you don’t need to worry too much about cutting a straight line or making a mess of the wood"