Melnor-Bypass-Pruner-Featured-Image Pruning & Cutting Tools

Melnor Talon Bypass Pruner (83270): Product Review


GPR Recommendation

Ease of Use:
Quality:
Performance:
Summary

A inexpensive, marginal quality bypass pruner.

Overall Score 1.1

Available on Amazon

Buy It

Melnor has been known for decades for its sprinklers and watering tools. More recently they decided to dive into the pruning market. They offer a line of lopping and pruning tools, known as Talon, that’s easily identified by a gold-colored cutting blade. This signature look signifies that the blade is coated with titanium for blade strength and wear resistance. In this review, we put the Melnor Talon Bypass Pruner to the test.

PRUNER MEANT FOR LARGER HANDS

I found that the pruners were the right size for me to grip both handles. But I have big hands and the Melnor Talon doesn’t work as well for those with smaller hands. When my wife tried to hold them the handle spread was too large for her medium sized hands. It was difficult for her to get a cut started. The only way it was possible was to choke-up on the handles so that her index finger was above the handle bump (which is meant to keep your fingers away from the blade) and place it on the flat metal part of the lower handle next to the counter-blade (the non-cutting blade).

Melnor-bypass-pruner-too-large-for-small-hands

The pruners were meant for larger hands

HARD RUBBER-LIKE BUMPERS WERE A PINCH POINT

Just behind the volute spring is a rubber-like (more like plastic) bumper that is supposed to ease the shock at the completion of a pruning cut. However, the bumper material was very hard and did little to absorb the shock.

More problematic, however, was the pinch point where the handles came together at the bumper point. On several occasions I pinched myself hard enough to cause a blister. This area of the pruner needs some real attention from the design department. And be sure to wear gardening gloves when using the Talon pruner!

Melnor-bapass-pruner-pinching-1

Hard rubber-like bumpers acted as pinch point and didn’t absorb shock

The handle design on the Melnor Talon bypass pruner puts the handle ends very close together. I found that the metal, triangular-shaped bottom handle created yet another pinch point while pruning, making for a very uncomfortable pruning experience.

Melnor-bypass-pruner-pinch-point-2

A second pinch point at the rear handles of the pruner

CUTTING WAS GOOD AT ¾ INCH BUT NOT IN THE 1 INCH RANGE

Melnor claims that the Talon bypass pruner will cut through 1 inch material. I’ve found that many companies rate their cutting capacity based on how far the blades spread apart at their maximum, rather than the size of material the pruner can actually cut through. Sure enough, if you measure the distance between the tips of the two blades on the Talon, there’s a 1-inch gap. But when I tried cutting a 1-inch piece of material it failed miserably. Granted I was cutting some medium hardwood (Palo Verde), but a good pruner will cut even this wood without any problems. The good news is that the Talon made clean cuts through ¾ inch wood with no difficulty.

Melnor-bypass-pruner-cutting-diameter

The pruner would not cut through 1 inch material but did just fine with ¾ inch

CUTTING BLADE QUALITY WAS AN ISSUE

The more cuts I made, the more the cutting blade developed a burr and the more titanium wore off (or at least the gold colored coating wore off). I’ve found that most pruning blades that are coated in titanium are more of a selling feature than an actual benefit. Titanium is harder and lighter than steel, but I have rarely found it a particularly good coating to make a blade stronger.

Melnor-bypass-pruner-burred-edge-and-warn-titanium

Burrs developed on the blade after about 20 cuts and the titanium coating started to wear off.

SLIPPERY HANDLE GRIPS

The handle grips on the Talon are coated with a plastic like material. I’m not sure why Melnor made that design choice as it’s not as slip-resistant or any easier to hold than a rubberized handle coating. In fact, my hands kept slipping on the grips when wet or sweaty, even when wearing gloves.

LOCKING SWITCH WAS EASY TO USE

The locking button is placed in an intuitive spot, right on top of the pruner head. I found it very easy to lock and unlock the pruners with a slide of the button.

Melnor-bypass-pruner-locking-button

Nice placement of the locking button made for easy opening and closing of the pruner

NO REPLACEMENT BLADES

At present there are no replacement blades for the pruner.

WARRANTY

The Melnor Talon bypass pruner has a warranty that covers it against materials and workmanship defect only.

RECOMMENDATION

At only $9.97, the Melnor Talon bypass pruner is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for.” It works but it has some quality issues (burrs formed on the cutting blade after only about 20 cuts), it cuts through only ¾-inch branches (rather than the claimed 1 inch), and it pinches your hands with each cut. If you have large hands and a limited budget, this pruner may work for you (but wear gloves!). If you have small hands, give it a miss.

WHERE TO BUY

The Melnor Talon bypass pruner (model 83270) is available at Target for $9.99 and the Home Depot for $9.97. It’s also available on Amazon for $9.97 although it’s been out of stock recently.

And now over to you – Have you used Melnor products before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you liked this review, please sign up for our email updates with reviews, special offers and giveaways.

Related Reviews

Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Melnor for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

Please note that the Amazon links (and only the Amazon links) above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase products through these links, GPReview will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!

Share Your Thoughts!