Bulldog Ratchet Pruning Shears BD31303 – Product Review

20mm cutting diameter ratchet pruning shears

Review by Michael Smith

I have to say that this is the first of those kinds of pruning shears that I ever really have had an opportunity to use and review.

Other manufacturers and vendors for some reason have been more than reluctant, to say the least, to part with one of those for a proper and thorough product review and I leave the reader to draw his or her own conclusions as to the why and wherefore of this.

Bulldog's representatives on IOG Saltex 2008 were more than happy to supply me with one of those and so far I must say that I am quite impressed with this tool.

It took a little while for me to get the proper hang of it as to the best way of using it but once that had been mastered it is just a great piece of kit.

The maximum cutting size, in my opinion, should not be exceeded when cutting hardwoods, whether green or not, such as apply, plum, oak, etc. While it may work alright with slightly larger branch diameters, I must say that I would not recommend doing it.

Once the “trick” of properly using the ratchet is mastered this pair of pruners cuts through quite thick branches without any real effort. Small pruning is best done with the topmost tip of the pruners as it is then just the single snip. This is very good for dead heading of roses and also general small pruning rather than using the cutting jaws further down that then still employs the ratchet, making the cutting process a little slower.

On larger material the ratchet makes cutting virtually effortless and I recently used it to cut back a Willow (Salix) and in this instance cutting material with diameters of 35mm and such without any problems. It must be considered thought that green willow is a rather soft wood.

I also used it to prune some apple trees and in that case I restricted myself to about the maximum given diameter for this pair of pruners and there as well very little effort and strength was needed for the cutting.

From what I have seen so far as to the performance and reliability I can, I think, very much recommend this model of Bulldog's pruners without any hesitation.

Once again another piece of kit that is of fine quality at a very reasonable price.

© M Smith (Veshengro), October 2008