Choosing the right hand pruners for your task can be a matter of personal preference, or it can be job-specific. There’s a variety available to choose from. Do you need ergonomically designed secateurs? Perhaps something with a fine point? Or do you just need good bypass pruners that’ll handle most basic tasks?
Today, we’ll help you break down the various components of a quality pair of gardening shears and decide what, exactly, you’ll need to get your job done. With the best pruning shears, you’ll have no problem keeping everything properly trimmed!
Top 10 Best Pruning Shears For You
Below, our recommendations for the best pruning shears, hedge shears, lopping shears, and garden scissors.
1. Felco Model 2
In our tests, the Felco 2 made clean, straight cuts on almost everything we tried. Its bypass blades opened and closed smoothly, and required only slight force to cut thick branches. The hardened-steel blades are strong enough to withstand sharpening dozens of times, the plastic-coated forged aluminum alloy handles are nearly unbreakable, repairs are easy, and replacement parts for any worn-out pieces are widely available.
Felco models are consistently priced, well known, and widely beloved among gardeners, many of whom have kept their Felco 2 pruners for a decade or more. The pruners crushed a ¼-inch dowel a tiny bit, and the handles spread a little wide for some people (if that’s you, the Felco 6 should work). But those flaws aside, they’re close to perfect.
2. Okatsune Japanese Secateurs No. 103
These Japanese-made pruning shears are razor-sharp to help you make fine, clean cuts in your garden. Reviewers on Amazon mention you can swipe the latch mechanism against your leg to open or close for ease of one-handed pruning. They also mention you’ll want to be cautious about your hands slipping forward during use with the smooth handles, so be sure to wear gloves during use. These pruners provide extra precision for a quality pruning experience.
3. ARS HP-VS8XZ Signature Heavy Duty Pruner
This was probably the best surprise of the ones that I’ve used over the years — I knew nothing about the brand, nor did I know of anyone who had used them prior to my getting them. So, a true wildcard here. They way they handle, the cuts are easier than with most other tools, and it did so on a variety of differently sized branches. A versatile and durable gem that I came across.
4. The Tabor Tools S821
Next on our list of best pruning shears is the Tabor Tools S821, bypass model shears that boast a modern look. They are smaller than most models on this list and are designed for medium sized hands. The S821 can cut branches and plants of up to 1” inch in diameter. The blades are forged from carbon stainless steel and are chrome plated for corrosion resistance.
These shears are pretty easy to use thanks to the aluminum handles, which minimize the weight without compromising quality or comfort. The soft non-slip cover makes it easy to grip the shears. Tabor Tools placed the locking mechanism at the end of the handles where they are secure enough and don’t get in the way of pruning.
5. Dramm 18016 Stainless Steel Compact Pruner
Dramm has discontinued their cutting tool lines but you can still find them online so we’ve included them here because they have some very nice pruners and snips for light-duty gardening use. Plus they come in a range of bright, fun colors. With stainless steel blades to resist rust, a latch to keep the blades locked, and a 1/4″ cutting capacity, these are best used for deadheading, cutting flowers, or handling very thin branches; perfect for balcony gardens. Priced under $20.
6. Niwaki GR Pro secateurs
Leading pruning specialist Jake Hobson learnt the craft of tree training, pruning and rootballing in rural Osaka, and founded Niwaki (it means “garden tree”) to bring Japanese techniques to Western gardens. His range of secateurs don’t disappoint.
“A good pair of secateurs is the single most important bit of kit for any gardener,” he explains. His bypass designs have a simple, chunky catch at the bottom, just like the Okatsune. According to gardening writer Anna Pavord, he approaches the subject “with the eye of an artist”, and as a result, his loppers – in particular these limited edition S-Type secateurs – are a work of art in themselves. The only reason the Okatsune pruners pipped them to the post here is because of the price: but really, I’d highly recommend both – it just comes down to aesthetics.
Known to Hobson affectionately as his “double yellows”, the bright yellow Niwaki GR Pro secateurs are made with KA70 carbon steel, they’re a 23cm long pair of whoppers, weighing 239g.
Hobson also sells hand-sewn leather holsters with copper rivets in which to store them. They can both be cleaned the Japanese way with odourless, non-oily camellia oil and also with a “Crean Mate” – a scouring block for cleaning resin, rust and other gunks from blades.
7. Niwaki s-type shears
The Niwaki pro secateurs have been our bushwhacking weapon of choice for a good few seasons now, but recently our heads have been turned by this plush pair of snippers that have snuck on the market. The s-type are forged from carbon steel and sport handles that have been bound with varnished wisteria rattan to provide an extremely comfortable, textured grip.
This is especially welcome if you prefer to wield your secateurs sans gloves – the bare metal handles on the Niwaki pro can sometimes prove to be a tad slippy in use. Not cheap, but these beautifully crafted secateurs are a limited edition and come served in a swish wooden presentation box. Due to high demand, these are currently out of stock, so we urge you to sign up to the email alert to notify you when they’re back.
8. Grüntek Pruning Shears
When to use these pruners: These are pruners for sharing. The adjustment lever lets the pruner handles expand a little, or a lot, enabling users with small and big hands alike to use these shears comfortably. If you share yard equipment with a friend or loved one who isn’t the exact same size as you, these are the pruning shears to get.
Strengths: You’ll never have to worry about losing these screaming-yellow pruners under a bush. Their adjustment lever makes it easy for users with different-sized hands to use them.
Drawbacks: These pruners are a little stiffer and take slightly more force to close around larger twigs than the Fiskars or Felco pruning shears. The tip of the Grüntek’s cutting blade chipped off during the drop test—something that didn’t happen to any other pruners in our sample.
Bonus features: The top blade is coated with Teflon to resist rust and make cutting smoother.
9. Felco F310 Pruning Shears
This is a fairly versatile example of a pruning shear. It’s primarily intended for flowers, shrubs, thin branches, and vegetable stems. However, it can still be used for hard branches of up to 1/8 inches. It provides an insane value for money, often lasting four or more years without needing to be sharpened.
It can be used for houseplants to entire orchards without issue thanks to the ergonomic handles. You can also use the precision-cut blades for designing during flower arrangements.
10. Gonicc 8″ Professional Secateurs Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears
When it comes down to keeping your bushes, shrubs, or trees in check, there’s no better tool for the gardener then the pruning shears.
These small clippers are perfect at their jobs of fine tuning your plants and removing dead limbs, as well as getting rid of unwanted growth.
Not everyone needs top of the line shears, but every gardener needs reliable cutting performance if they plan on taking care of their plants. Not all shears are the same, and some are more ideally suited for different gardening jobs.
Before checking out the list of best pruning shears, here’s some pruning shears knowledge to brush up on before you pick the best shears for your garden.
How To Choose The Best Pruning Shears
Gardening shears are common tools indispensable for those who want to maintain the aspect of their gardens. As we already mentioned, there are many models available on the market, but only the best brands stand out in terms of effectiveness.
Effectiveness is a key requirement for professionals, and even if you’re only an amateur gardener, you should still choose an effective tool if you want to improve your gardening performances.
For this reason, the quality of the construction and the choice of materials should be a decisive factor in the choice of the shears. Remember that not all shears provide the desired reliability and durability, two decisive factors for those who use them often.
In order to understand the effectiveness, you should evaluate a few aspects such as the quality of the make, the type of steel used for the blades and the ease of use.
Another thing to consider when measuring effectiveness is the ease of finding compatible components or spare parts. Shears don’t need excessive maintenance yet it could sometimes be handy to have a tool that is easy to repair.
Finally, the blades are the most fundamental part you should consider when measuring the effectiveness of your tool. The blades must be really sharp to ensure a fast and precise cut. You should not settle for anything less than excellent and, even if high-quality shears have higher prices, it is recommended to invest in them.
The blades should also be coated with a non-stick and anti-rust coating, two treatments that will maintain the performance of your tool.
You should choose the type of shears based on the characteristics of your garden. If you have a small vegetable garden or a lawn with just a few flowers, then a classic type of shears should be more than enough.
On the contrary, if you have a garden full of shrubs and trees or other plants difficult to reach, you might want to consider a model with a telescopic arm. The advantage of these models is that you will be able to trim the shrubs and trees without having to climb up a ladder.
If you decide to invest in shears with a telescopic arm, make sure that the arm’s length is adjustable at the desired level. In other words, you should be able to reach the desired height with ease, otherwise, it is better to choose regular shears and use a ladder to trim the tall branches.
If you have an orchard, know that there are some models of shears that have a special jaw designed to harvest the fruits and hold them. In this way, your fruits will not be ruined anymore by harsh falls on the ground.
Regardless of the type you choose, make sure that the model has a tilting head on both sides and that it is versatile enough to allow you to cut and trim in any position.
Ease Of Use
Lastly, another key element you should check before buying a shear is the handle of the tool. The model you choose should be ergonomic and equipped with a non-slip handle that ensures a better and safer grip. Especially if you have to use the shears for long periods of time, make sure that you will not have to hold the tool in awkward positions, as this will prove to be impossible in the long run.
No matter which tool you use, take your time when pruning. Remember to step back after a few cuts to study the shape and structure of your plants. With sharp tools in your hand, you’re in charge of your garden’s good looks.
What did you think? Was this information helpful? Comment and share which pair of shears were best for you and if you have any other suggestions.