The best tool for trimming plants is a pair of pruning shears, according to Garden Products Review. Three styles are available, depending on the type of plant to be trimmed.
Bypass shears are ideal for precision work, anvil shears are best for dead wood and ratchet shears are perfect for thicker branches. Bypass shears work like a pair of scissors, with two sharp blades passing by each other, hence the name "bypass." Anvil shears operate by having one sharp blade that closes onto a flat surface called an "anvil." These are bulkier than bypass shears, so they are often less precise but more robust. Ratchet shears are a type of large anvil shears with a ratchet mechanism to cut through thick branches in several squeezes of the handles. Pruning shears are also known as pruners and secateurs.