A pruned and full Bitcoin node differ in the amount of blockchain data they store. A full node stores the entire blockchain, which includes every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. In contrast, a pruned node only stores a subset of the blockchain, which is beneficial for users with limited storage capacity or who want to avoid the longer wait time of the initial block download required with a full node.
Unless you are low on storage space, we recommend running a full archival node rather than a pruned one. The reasons are many. For example, a full node:
- can serve blocks to other nodes
- can index the blockchain, enabling much faster access
- can find older transactions, which may be necessary to recover an older wallet
- allows you to run an Electrum server, a software that enables easy integration with many signing devices