It's worth getting well kitted out with pruning tools. Secateurs, loppers and a folding pruning saw will enable you to tackle a wide range of jobs. Other useful tools are ideal for specific pruning jobs, such as shears for clipping hedges and long-reach pruners for high branches in trees.
Whichever tools you use, it's important to look after them. Sharp secateurs, for instance, are a pleasure to use, and when they cut cleanly they don't tear the stems so there are no flaps left to die off. Always wipe the sap of secateur blades after use, spray or wipe with oil, store them in a dry place so they don't rust - and remember to sharpen them every winter.