Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fiskars Pruning Stik Jam-Proofing

If you own one of these sets of pruning shears, you may have noticed that they have a tendency to jam at the ball-shaped pull at the handle's end. (Fiskars may have solved this since my set of shears were made, but it's an annoying problem on my old shears.)

The shears are of excellent quality, but the ball-ended pull at the end of the handle leaves a bit to be desired. Here's a shot of it at rest in its normal at-rest position.

Note the gap between the 'ball' and the handle tube's end-cap. That gap is a good thing to have there.

Now, here's a shot of the same thing after the shears have been set down on the ball-shaped pull's end a few times.

The gap is gone. Where did it go? It went into jamming the pull's shank into its receiver so tightly that you'll only get it back out by clamping a set of Channellocks on it and twisting it. (Hence the jaw marks you can see on the 'ball'.)

In the following shot is the entire pull after having been forcibly extracted.

Note the tapered shank. A tapered shank in a tapered bore will jam there; it's a law of nature. It's the reason that lathe centres are made the way they are, with tapered shanks on them. What were they thinking?

Anyway, there's a quick, effective and dirt-cheap way to solve this.

Put a small ty-wrap around the pull's shank. The ty-wrap will prevent the pull's tapered shank from seating in its tapered bore. If the shank can't seat, it can't jam.

The tiny bit of pull extension added by the ty-wrap has a negligible effect on the at-rest position of the shears' jaws.

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