Corona 1¼-inch Long Reach Pruner (TP 3206): Product Review
A stick-style pruner with a lot of great features.
Available on Amazon
When you want to prune something that’s just out of reach of conventional loppers, don’t want to kneel down to get to that one branch that needs removal at ground level, or want to stay off unsteady ladders – what tool do you use? Fortunately, there is a tool for this – a fixed length pole pruner (also called a stick pruner) – like the Long Reach Pruner (TP 3206) from Corona.
- Overall length: 62″
- Cutting Head Type: Bypass
- Advertised Cutting Diamater: 1 ¼”
- Rotating Head: Turns 360 degrees, tilts and swivels
- Handle: PowerGLIDETM center handle with comfort grip
- End Grip: Oval in shape to accommodate all four fingers
- Special Features: Adjustable rope tensioning at the PowerGLIDETM handle area
- Cutting Blade Coating: Non-stick coating to prevent sap buildup and aid in reducing cutting blade friction
- Replacement Parts: None
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
The Corona 1¼-inch Long Reach Pruner (TP 3206) arrived in a long cardboard shipping box. Despite its considerable journey, it arrived unscathed and in one piece.
TYPES AND USES OF STICK PRUNERS
Stick pruners are fixed in length and range somewhere in the neighborhood of 46″ to 72″. They are non-telescoping by nature and used for close-in pruning (in the range of 4′ to 7′).
Some have a single “squeeze” handle at one end and others have a sliding handle in the middle of the pruning shaft (and usually a knob, “T” handle or ring at the end of the shaft, opposite the cutting head). If I need to use the entire length of the pruning shaft, I’ll go for a unit with the squeeze grip at the end. On the other hand if I’m working in tight spaces, I prefer stick pruners that have a central shaft pull handle and a pull grip at the far end of the shaft that gives me extra reach.
Some long-handled stick pruners have a rotating cutting head that spins inside a central shaft and others have a fixed shaft with an adjustable cutting head.
WHAT’S TO LIKE ABOUT THE CORONA STICK PRUNER?
Large Diameter Shaft
First, I like the heftiness of it. It has a large diameter aluminum shaft which for me is easy to hold. But that’s not to say that it wouldn’t work well for people with small hands; it’s not so big that someone of a smaller statue could not handle it.
Next, it has a larger diameter pull-handle (called the PowerGLIDETM handle) that gives you a more powerful grip. I have large hands, so I gravitate toward larger handles, but this handle is not so big that folks with smaller hands couldn’t wrap their fingers around it.
The PowerGLIDETM handle has a rubberized grip and is easy to hold onto with wet or sweaty palms.
Oval Rear Handle
Then comes the rear handle, the one that is used for extending the pole out to its longest length for pruning those branches as far as the pruner will reach. Instead of a ball or “T” shaped handle, the Corona Long-Reach Pruner has an oval ring that I can slip my fingers through. It’s made from a rubber-like molded material that gives you an excellent, comfortable grip.
3600 Rotating Head
The 3600 rotating/tilting head is a real game changer when trying to make those perfect pruning cuts in tight places. I found that I could set the rotating head by loosening the pruning head ball lock (red ball aft of the cutting blades) and positioning it at the perfect cutting angle and then re-tightening the ball lock. Having a locking cutting head ball made all the difference. I have not yet found this 3600 rotating/tilting and locking cutting ball head on competitive models I’ve reviewed.
Corona claims that this stick pruner will cut through “up to 1 ¼-inch” material. I was able to cut through 1 ¼ ” Palo Verde, but it took a lot of strength. I had to brace the stick pruner against my body and pull with just about all my might to get through the wood. So yes, it lived up to its claim, but I would not use this pruner on that diameter wood on a regular basis.
The Corona 1 ¼-inch Long Reach Pruner (TP 3206) is ideally suited for cutting material in the ¾-inch or less range. I did try it on some Mesquite (which is really hard stuff) and it was able to make its way through 5/8″ diameter wood – but that was it.
CUTTING PERFORMANCE: MAKES CLEAN CUTS
When pruning smaller diameter branches in the 5/8 to ¾ inch range, the Corona Long Reach Pruner made nice clean cuts. Even at 1 ¼” the cuts were pretty clean (there was just a little bit of wood compression).
It’s important to remember that the cutting blade has to be positioned next to the branch/limb that is going to remain (pic below). If you make a cut with the counter blade (the hooked, non-cutting blade) next to the limb then you’ll end up with a “stub” (a protruding piece of the remaining branch, which is detrimental to the health and vigor of the tree/shrub). The stub will be the width of the counter blade, and bark damage from the compressive forces of the counter blade will be located on the stub. Another reason to get the cutting procedure right the first time.
One way to increase the cutting diameter, help reduce bark compression, and make cleaner cuts is to make sure that the cutting blade is razor sharp and that the counter blade is burr free. There are several good sharpening tool options. Choose the one that feels right for you.
Video: See the Corona Long Reach Pruner in Action
Check out our video review to see the rotating head, the cutting power, and more of our initial thoughts on this stick pruner.
FEATURES THAT I THOUGHT WOULD HANG ME UP
Initially, I was concerned that the rope on the outside of the shaft would get caught on branches and twigs when I tried to insert or retract the pruner from brushier areas. However, that turned out to be a non-issue. The pruner has an adjustment point in the PowerGLIDETM handle to take any slack out of the rope, virtually eliminating the chance of it catching on branches/brush.
Another possible hang-up is the exposed blade expansion spring and cable at the cutting head – something to get hooked on or have the spring detach altogether when wrestling the head through thick brush. I didn’t experience problems with this either. That’s not to say that it’s not possible, but none of the other stick pruners I’ve tested with a similar design have had hang-up problems either so I’m not particularly concerned about it.
The pruner has a 1/8-inch diameter nylon cord attached to the steel cable that operates the cutting head. I was concerned about rope stretch/breakage when cutting through thicker materials but the cable never separated from the rope, even when I was pulling it with almost all my might. There was, however, a fair amount of rope stretch.
Fortunately, there is a rope re-tensioning mechanism integrated into the PowerGLIDETM handle to help keep the rope flat against the aluminum shaft. If the rope does stretch under high-stress conditions, the rope tension can be adjusted by either tying another knot in the line or untying the original knot and pulling out the slack and retying it. (It’s worth noting that some stretch in the system is expected whenever a long-handled pruner is taxed to the maximum; all quality brands and models incorporate some sort of re-tensioning mechanism into their design.)
As a final note, I tested the pruner again on ¾” diameter material and there was no rope stretch. All the stretch was eliminated when I made the initial 1 ¼-inch cut.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE PURCHASING
When purchasing any stick pruner, know that it has cutting diameter limitations and, even if it can reach the maximum diameter stated, there will be some bark damage/rough cuts. Plan on being able to make clean cuts in diameter that are about half to 3/4 of the stated maximum cutting diameter. Each pruner is different, and some may cut a little more or a little less depending upon design.
One Minor IMPROVEMENT
The pruner lacks a blade locking mechanism (to keep the blade closed) for transport of the pruner from job to job. The cutting blade is exposed at all times and there is no way to lock it down. Granted most folks would respect this and be careful, but safety around cutting tools with very sharp exposed edges is a concern.
I’d recommend wearing a pair of sturdy gloves since you’ll likely come in contact with the cutting blade at some point in your pruning tasks and they also protect your hands from sharp sticks when inserting the pruner into brushy areas.
And this is just a pet peeve of mine – wear safety glasses. We recommend Wiley X . Equipment can break, twigs can poke you in the eyes – you get the picture.
And finally, if you’re going to be pruning directly over your head, a hard hat is a very good idea. Gravity has a way of exacerbating Murphy’s Law.
Corona offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The Corona 1¼-inch Long Reach Pruner (TP 3206) is well designed for its intended use, makes very clean cuts up to about ¾ inch diameter, and is lightweight enough to be used for hours at a time. The rotating/tilting head gives you almost infinite approach angles when trying to reach awkwardly-placed branches (this is one of the outstanding features of the pruner). The rubberized surfaces and design of the sliding PowerGLIDETM handle and oval end handle allow for excellent grip, preventing slippage even with sweaty or wet hands. My only concern is the lack of a blade lock (to keep it closed while in transit).
WHERE TO BUY
Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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