To keep trees and shrubbery on your property properly pruned, healthy and looking their best, you'll need at least one good hand saw to supplement hand pruning shears. A garden hand saw is indispensable in removing branches too large to comfortably prune off with hand pruning shears, but too small to justify using a chainsaw.
Small hand saws are a simple arrangement of a blade inserted into a wooden, plastic or bone handle. Some types have a blade that folds into the handle for storage. Other hand saws are large enough to require a sheath for storage. Models are available with a curved blade that cuts only when pulled towards the user, as well as those that cut on either the push or the pull. These smaller hand saws are best to use when trimming off branches from 1 1/2 inches in diameter up to about 5 inches in diameter, which are too large to remove with pruning shears.
A bow saw has a small, sharp blade that is connected at each end to a handle. The entire apparatus resembles the bow part of the ancient hunting weapon “bow and arrow.” Bow saws have thin, sharp blades that are a fraction of the width of a blade on a hand saw. Their power comes from the leverage obtained with the bow-shaped handle. They can be used to prune off branches larger than 5 to 6 inches in diameter, but are also effective in pruning much smaller branches.
A pole saw is essentially a small hand saw blade mounted to the end of a pole. This enables the operator to prune high-up branches from ground level. Most blades on pole saws have curved blades, deep, prominent teeth and cut on both the push and the pull of the sawing movement.