By Jordan Galeles
Updated for 2021.
Pruning shears may not seem like a big deal, but anyone serious about gardening knows the right tool makes all the difference when you’re making cut after cut! Quality hand pruners, also referred to in British areas as secateurs, can take unruly shrubbery or bushes and turn them into a masterpiece.
What’s a Bypass Pruner?
In a nutshell, bypass pruners function like scissors. Named for the top blade that bypasses the other, bypass pruners are the most popular option for general pruning needs. Generally, this is because they excel at providing clean, smooth cuts to delicate plants in a garden and avoid causing damage in the process. Generally, they are used for living, green plants.
What’s an Anvil Pruner?
Anvil pruners on the other hand, function more like a knife on a chopping board than scissors. They are particularly effective for cutting through tough trees or branches, but they tend to squash or crunch more delicate plants. Generally, these are used for dead, brown plants.
To help you prune with comfort and ease, here’s a list of some of the best hand pruners for you. We’ve picked our favorite bypass and anvil models.
Lowe 1.101 Anvil Pruner
The German company Lowe literally invented the anvil pruner, and they still manufacture them in Germany today. Once you’ve tried this solid steel anvil pruner, which has replaceable parts and makes incredibly precise cuts, you probably won’t want to use any other brands of pruners. These are sought out by professionals who use them all day and care about comfort, longevity and the quality of the cuts.
Find it on Amazon. https://amzn.to/39qTNYz
Felco F7 Pruner
The Cadillac of pruning shears, the Felco F7 model is essentially your top of the line pruning shears. The rotating, swivel handle is a perk for increased comfort and reduced blisters when you have a lot of pruning to do. The blades can be replaced as well. Another nice thing is the spring is shielded by a spiral guard that will prevent dirt and debris from catching in the spring.
Find it on Amazon. https://amzn.to/387SCLy
Corona BP 4840 Pruner
Featuring a high-carbon steel blade, Corona’s BP 4840 bypass garden pruner model is more resistant to damage than your ordinary stainless-steel blades, though they’ll rust more easily so you’ll want to pay special attention to caring for them properly. These pruning shears also have a metal spiral guard to prevent clogging.
Find it on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2YIHUbA
Fiskars Powergear2 Ultrablade Softgrip Pruner
With a contoured, rolling grip, the Fiskars Powergear2 garden pruner will get the job done with an extra measure of comfort. The bypass pruner handle also serves as a shield for the spring, providing some resistance to the snippets and dirt that could catch in the spring and gum up the works.
Find it on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3dJdIRL
Okatsune 103 Japanese Garden Bypass Pruners
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.
Find them on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3dHzYeX
Fiskars Power-Lever Anvil Garden Hand Pruners
Fiskars’ Power-Lever Anvil Pruners are a quality pair of anvil pruning shears that will get you through the tough times and thick, dry branches. Amazon users report one notable flaw in that the locking mechanism doesn’t lock very well, so be sure to store it somewhere secure if you’re unable to lock it effectively.
Find them at Amazon. https://amzn.to/2CQ6bE0
Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Anvil Garden Hand Pruner
The ratchet on Gardener’s Friend pruners will help make short work on thicker branches by providing extra leverage. These require less effort than other shears might because of the leverage provided by the ratchet device.
Find them on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3g7Kg9M
Take time to select your pruning shears carefully. Between comfort, ease of use, safety, durability, and effectiveness, there’s a lot to consider. We hope you’ve found something to suit your needs!
Do you have a favorite type of pruner that we didn’t list here or do you use one of these models? Be sure to leave a comment and let everyone know what you think.
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