Corona Rolling Handle Bypass Pruner (BP4840): Product Review
A high quality pruner that’s a great bang for the buck.
Available on Amazon
At first glance, the Corona Rolling Handle Bypass hand pruner (model BP4840) could be mistaken for the Felco #7. They’re so similar in fact that I did a double-take when I saw it. Felco has controlled the market for years with their iconic brand, but recently there are a few competitors that are capitalizing on the Felco classic model. Corona is one of those entrants and they have made an exceptionally good hand bypass pruner to compete with the likes of Felco.
ROLLING HANDLE DESIGN
In an effort to reduce wrist and finger fatigue, the pruners have incorporated an ergonomic rolling handle. If you do a lot of pruning this feature is a real plus. In addition to relieving hand stress, it also helps prevent blisters on your fingers.
If you’re not used to a rolling handle it may take a while to get comfortable with it. As you open your hand, the handle held in your fingers rotates with your fingers. It feels frictionless and, at first, may feel like you’re going to drop the pruning shears. Don’t worry; there’s a stop built into the rolling handle that prevents it from rotating too far and falling out of your hand.
SHARP CUTTING BLADE & REPLACEMENT BLADES
The blade is made of high-carbon steel that’s incredibly sharp. High-carbon steel is excellent for holding an edge, but like all cutting tools it will eventually need sharpening. Corona has a great article on how to sharpen its pruners and sells a tool specifically designed for sharpening pruners.
The blade is also replaceable, which is a really nice feature when the blade has outlived its useful life. Replacement blades can be ordered directly from the Corona website.
The frame of the Corona model BP4840 pruner is made from forged aluminum, making it not only very strong but lightweight, especially when compared against steel-handled pruners.
PRECISE BLADE ADJUSTMENT
Getting a pair of pruning shears to cut cleanly yet not bind when the blades touch is tricky; being able to micro-adjust the tension between the two blades is key. The Corona pruner comes with a geared pivot bolt and retaining clip that allows you to make precision adjustments to the blade tension.
When tightening any type of adjustable tension hand pruners, I first recommend cleaning the blades of any sap residue and then using some kind of lubricant between both blade surfaces. This provides for a smoother squeeze of the handles, and also helps in hitting that “sweet spot” when tightening the pruner halves together.
SPRING ACTION & BUMPER
Corona uses what’s called a Volute spring. Basically, it’s a conical coil of steel that wraps around itself and seals any debris from getting inside the spring and jamming the mechanism. Felco also uses this type of spring in many of its hand pruners.
I’ve found this type of spring to be highly reliable and effective. I’ve used hand pruners with the Volute spring for many years (one pruner is going on 10 years of faithful service) and have never encountered a jamming problem due to debris getting into the spring. While I can’t say that the spring in the Corona pruner will last 10 years, I’ve had no problems with it so far.
There’s a nice cushioned rubber-like bumper located between the spring and the blade pivot point that I found provided excellent shock absorption.
Corona claims that the rolling handle bypass pruning (BP4840) can cut “up to 1-inch.” This may be true for some incredibly soft woods, some soft vines and canes, but in my tests on harder woods like Mesquite and Creosote I was only able to cut through ½-inch material. The good news is that I was able to cut through 3/4 inch Palo Verde, which is a softer wood.
I have yet to find a bypass hand pruner on the market that will cut through 1 inch wood. I would expect this Corona pruner to cut through 1 inch hollow caned and stalk like materials, but for typical woods found on most homeowners property, I would downgrade the cutting capacity to 3/4 inch. I’ve found that manufacturers’ claims about cutting capacity aren’t always accurate, which is why we test all pruning tools on a standard range of woods and diameters that replicate what the typical gardener will encounter. And in this case I found that the claimed cutting capacity of 1 inch simply doesn’t hold up when cutting medium density to harder woods.
This pruner excelled at cutting smaller diameter shoots. It made excellent clean cuts with no ragged edges, and the angled cutting head made it easier to maneuver in tight areas.
Corona offers a limited lifetime warranty against material or workmanship defects. They do not warranty their products for normal use or wear and tear.
The Corona Rolling Handle Bypass Pruner (model BP4840) has excellent fit and finish, fit comfortably in my hand, and made clean, precise cuts in wood up to 3/4 inch in diameter. However, it wouldn’t cut through stems and branches over that, despite Corona’s claimed cutting capacity of up to 1 inch.
It’s built with high quality materials, the cutting blade holds a sharp edge and overall performance is very good. Plus, the ergonomic rotating handle definitely reduces hand, wrist and finger fatigue.
Given that a comparable Felco #7 hand pruner will run you around $59.00 on Amazon, the Corona BP4840 is a great buy. Granted, Felco is the industry standard, and if a Swiss made, super quality bypass pruner is what you’re looking for then by all means purchase the Felco pruning shears. But if your budget is a little more modest, you can’t go wrong with this Corona bypass pruner – it’s an awesome bang for the buck.
WHERE TO BUY
And now over to you – What’s your favorite pruning shear? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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