You may ask yourself, “Why does The Fat Rancher need a pruner?” Well, that’s because he has to beat back Juniper seedlings on a regular basis. And the Kebtek Battery Powered Pruner has turned out to be the perfect tool to keep those “cedars” at bay.
Part of my wildlife management plan includes managing invasive species. No doubt, the Juniper tree (Juniperus Ashei) is one of those plants that tend to over-proliferate in Texas.
The common juniper throughout Central Texas. This tree often forms extensive low forests or dense “cedar breaks” on the limestone hills and slopes of the Hill Country and the Edwards Plateau. Considered an invasive weed species over much of its range.Texas A&M Forest Service
The Kebtek pruner looks like an ordinary pruning shear but with the addition of a 25-volt battery pack and trigger. The entire kit includes two sets of blades, two batteries, charger, and oil.
The pruner itself has an LCD cut counter (just in case you want to keep track of how many nips you have made), along with a controller to activate the pruner. The circuitry allows you to select a wide opening of the shears or a narrower opening, which speeds up the number of cuts you can make by only opening the shears halfway.
An essential accessory to the pruner is the extension wand. I chose the 32″ extension, which means I can stand nearly upright and clip off seedings at the base. Wielding the pruner at the end of the extension handle does make the wrist sore over time. However, this is just due to the physics of an arrangement like this. The battery does help a bit for counterbalance.
The Kebtek battery powered pruner is powerful. Most everything that can fit in the shears can be cut. And if a branch is a little too tough for a complete cut on the first activation, a second squeeze of the trigger usually takes care of the rest. Make no mistake: This little bad boy will take off your finger if you should make that mistake. This is not a tool to leave lying around when there may be children about.
Safety features include an immediate stop of the blade when the trigger is released, auto shutoff when unused for a minute, and the ability to “park” the blades in a closed position.
I’ve had the Kebtek pruner for two years now. Not only does it take the backache out of obliterating cedar saplings, but it has been very dependable.
During the time I have had it, I have had to charge the batteries exactly once. Now, I don’t spend hours on end clipping Junipers. However, the battery life should be more than adequate for the occasional pruning exercise. The cycle time is fast, even more so when using the narrower jaw setting.
The Kebtek battery powered pruner is now a fixture in the “frunk” of my Mule.