Best Pruning Shears

Any gardener can agree, the best pruning shears have a good grip cover, ideal cutting capacity, and solid construction material. That was our top criteria for selecting the best pruning shears. The Felco Manual Hand Pruner scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. This lightweight pruner was a favorite with everyone who tried it in the garden.

Pruning_Shear
15 mins to read
59 products considered
12 products reviewed
30 hours reviewing

1. Felco F-2

Best Overall Pruning Shear

5/5 Product Rating
This comfortable, light pruner is a favorite with gardeners everywhere thanks to the sturdy handle that is constructed from forged aluminum and a blade that is made of high quality hardened steel.

This combination allows the user to make precise cuts exactly where they need them. Even when cutting sappy wood, the sap groove prevents sticking and makes pruning much less tiresome by removing the sap and debris with each cut.

You can easily adjust the Felco F-2 Classic that has an angled head which gives added protection to the hands and wrists due to the optimization of the force the user exerts. There is a non slip coating on the handle that prevents slipping even when the hands are sweaty and the cushion-shock absorber reduces hand fatigue. On top of all the great features and construction of this pruner, it comes with a lifetime guarantee as well.

When it comes to having a set of pruning shears that will get the job done, the Felco F-2 Classic is the way to go. These are great for anyone who loves gardening and is looking for an efficient and reliable pair of shears.

Sarah Lytle

2. Corona

Best Overall Pruning Shear – Runner Up

4.8/5 Product Rating
These heavy duty pruning shears by Corona provide users with close, clean cuts and give the maximum cutting capacity as well. The radial arc bypass blade is easily replaceable and cuts precisely without resistance.

Designed with a narrow profile, these shears easily fit into small, tight spaces and are forged for strength and durability. The Coronium steel alloy holds a sharp edge through heavy cutting jobs. Resharpening is easy thanks to the fully heat treated steel.

Remove debris and prevent sticking with the spa groove that is in the hook and preserve your cutting action. In addition there is a tough, wire cutting notch too. The self aligning pivot bolt can be adjusted with only one tool and the comfortable handles are covered in a non-slip material that reduces dangerous slipping even when hands are sweaty.

The handles are cushioned also which gives the users more comfort and less hand fatigue. These strong pruning shears can cut through tough branches that are up to 1” inch thick! A lifetime warranty is included as well, so you can rest easy that you have an excellent, high quality set of pruning shears at your fingertips whenever you have cutting jobs, whether tough or easy.

Sarah Lytle

3. Fiskars

Best Budget Pruning Shears

4.5/5 Product Rating
Make precise, healthy cuts for years with Fiskars All Steel Bypass Pruning Shears. The sturdy and fully hardened steel blades will allow your shears to last years without having to be replaced like other lesser quality models require. They are ideal for cutting light branches and stems.

The low friction coating helps blades stay sharp, even with heavy use and prevents annoying sticking while you’re cutting even sappy wood.

The Fiskars name and reputation are behind these excellent shears that will please even the pickiest of gardeners. You won’t need to replace these high quality shears and gardening will be a lot less tiresome.

Sarah Lytle

Pruning Shear Comparison


Felco F-2


Corona


Fiskars


Smartdoo


Gardenite


Planted
Perfect


Gardenite 6.7


Tabor


Fiskars
Professional


Haus
& Garten


Ezy
Pruners

MaterialAluminum
Alloy
Coronium
Steel Alloy
All SteelAluminum
Alloy
Hardened
Steel
Carbon
Steel
Carbon
Steel
Carbon
Steel
Stainless
Steel
Stainless
Steel
Carbon
Steel
Total
Length
(Inches)
8.508.5010.758.507.008.006.709.0011.009.008.00
Weight
(pounds)
0.530.850.650.510.500.650.200.300.680.560.45
Cutting
Capacity
(Inches)
1.001.000.630.780.780.330.310.341.001.001.00
Grip CoverPVC
Plastic
PVC

Plastic

PVC

Plastic

PVC
Plastic
RubberRubberPVC

Plastic

PVC

Plastic

PVC

Plastic

PVC
Plastic
Rubber
Warranty1 YearLimited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
1 Year1 YearLimited
Lifetime
1 Year1 YearLimited
Lifetime
1 Year1 Year

 

Pruning Shear Buying Guide

Pruning Shear Reviews

What is Pruning Shears?

Gardeners and landscapers use a lot of different gardening tools to do their trade. Pruning shears are a must have for every gardener and landscaper’s tool collection. Their job is to correct the overgrowth of different types of shrubs, hedges, and flowers. Some pruning shears can be easily used on small trees too. Having a high quality set of pruning shears is crucial to doing a good job without overly straining your hands or wrists.

With all of the choices on the market today, you may wonder which ones is the best quality and which you should get for your own gardening needs. This buyer’s guide will give you all the information you need to know about pruning shears so you can make an informed decision that you will be happy with for years to come.

Not all pruners work the same way, so this information will explain exactly how to understand which types of pruners do which jobs and how. You won’t have to guess which pruner you should buy after reading this buyer’s guide. You’ll be able to choose the perfect ones for your needs that will last you for years to come.

How do you Choose the Right Shears?

Pruning Shears1One of the biggest factors in determining the right pruning shears is going to be comfort. You want your pruning shears to fit into your hand comfortably and you want the weight, grip, handle and head angle to work together to provide you with plenty of power and reduced strain on your hands and wrists. To get pruning shears that are going to last a long time and help you do a great job, you may end up spending more, but when you don’t have to replace them for 20-30 years, you’ve more than recouped your investment.

There are several things that you need to know before you start shopping for your pruning shears. The answers to the questions below will help you narrow down your choices from the variety available and will make your choice much easier.

  • How often will you be using them? – This is very important because if you do gardening every day or are a professional gardener or landscaper, you’re going to need pruning shears that can handle the workload without breaking. If you only garden occasionally, you can get away with less costly pruning shears.
  • What type of jobs will you use them for? – Are you just mainly trimming weeds and flowers or will you be trimming bushes, hedges and small tress too? If you’ve got regular heavy duty jobs, you can either buy two kinds of pruning shears or just go for the heavier duty models which will cover the lighter jobs too.
  • Do you have any Health Limitations? – If you have arthritis, carpel tunnel or some other physical limitation, this is important to know before you start shopping around for that perfect pair of pruning shears. There are some that are designed to be easier on the hands and wrists which would be a huge benefit to anyone suffering from any of these physical things.

Specifics

There are many standard features that come with pruning shears. It’s good for you to know what they are before you begin shopping so you understand all of the variations that can exist. The length of the blade, the weight of the shears, and the sharpness of the blade are all taken into consideration when looking for the right shears. Other factors that will determine how well a particular set of pruning shears works is the angle of the blades and how they rotate.

Adjustable blade tension – f you do a lot of gardening or are professional, you may find that certain blade angles are preferred as this makes using them much more efficient and easy.

Handles that work for both hands – Most hand pruning shears can be used by wither the left hand or the right hand but there are some models that are more for one hand over the other.

Length of the Blade – How long the blade is, will determine the functionality of the pruning shears. If you’re cutting flowers and houseplants mostly, 4” pruning shears will work just fine. If you’re trimming outdoor foliage, you may want to go with a much longer blade length. You can even get them 3 feet in length!

Weight of the Pruning Shears – The lighter the weight of the pruning shears, the less hand/wrist fatigue the user will have and the more efficient motion you will have.

Ergonomic Grips Help – If you want to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your pruning shears, you’ll look for ergonomically designed handles that are cushioned and that make the wear and tear on the arm and hand much less.

The Benefit of Snip Shears – pruning shears with a snipping tip are excellent for flowers, plants, Herb gardens and even bonsai trees.

Sap groove – This little inlet that is on the lower blade of the pruning shear takes the sap away from the cutting blade and prevents sticking.

Replaceable Parts – When you buy pruning shears that have replaceable parts, you will keep your pruning shears longer because if anything goes wrong with a particular part, it can be replaced.

Wire Cutting Notch – With the pruners open all the way, you may see a small round notch on the blade. This feature allows you to cut wires without damaging or dulling the blade.

Shock-Absorber – This is a feature that helps protect the wrist and hands from strain during the cutting process.

Warranties – Good tool manufacturers always offer a good warranty on their tools. Make sure that the pruning shears you are considering comes with a good warranty so if something goes wrong, you can get a replacement.

The Importance of Good Handles

Pruning Shears2Having good, comfortable handles is very important for many reasons. When the handles are designed to reduce shock and arm/hand fatigue, this means that those who may have carpel tunnel and even arthritis can use them much easier and avoid the hand/fingers/arm problem that can arise with this type of precision work. Features like cushioning, ergonomic design, power grips, etc. Each of the features adds a benefit to the overall experience with the pruning shears.

When pruning shears are ergonomically designed, the user can get maximum force without strain. The angle of the handles will also play a part in cutting action and how powerful or weak it is; the more powerful the cutting action, the less strain on the hands and wrists.

Left Handed Pruning Shears

If you are left-handed, you want to find pruning shears that are either ambidextrous or left handed. A left-hander trying to use pruning shears that were designed for right handers will have a lot of frustration because of having to use their “awkward” hand. When you use left-handed pruning shears, you will have a lot less strain and discomfort.

Pruning Shears for Small Hands

Not everyone has the same sized hands of course. Regular sized pruning shears can be difficult for someone with small hands to use. They do have small handed shears that you can find that are simply more suitable for those who don’t want to struggle with the larger ones. Some models can weigh as little as 7 ounces! These small pruners were not meant for heavy duty jobs but they are durable and can handle potted plants and flowers, grape vines, small shrubberies and very small saplings.

Types

There are many styles and models of pruning shears on the market to choose from but the majority of them fall into two categories; hand held pruning shears and tree pruning shears. They can be different sizes to accommodate most situations a gardener would encounter. We have outlined the different ones below.

Hand Held Models – Hand held pruning shears come in a variety of styles. The quality and efficiency of the cut will be determined by blade length, shape and the handle grips.

Tree Pruners – The handle and blades of a tree pruner are separated by a long pole that enables the user to cut branches that are high up in trees.

Different Types of Hand Held Shears

There are three different kinds of hand held pruning shears: bypass, anvil and ratchet. Bypass is the most common of the three.

Bypass – Perfect for cutting small stems, leaves and branches. In the bypass design, one blade slides underneath the other giving the user an even cut. Gardeners, landscapers and professional tree pruners prefer the bypass pruning shear because of this feature. The curved blades of the bypass pruning shear is perfect for trimming perennials, maintaining your flower beds and removing bulbs.

Anvil – This type of pruning shear has a flat bottom plate which is the surface for cutting. The top blade cuts against this surface. Bypass cutters are more precise than anvil cutters which are why gardeners prefer them. Anvil pruning shears are not good for cutting thicker branches. They are good for cutting dry branches and stems.

Ratchet – These pruning shears have strong cutting forces and incremental slicing that is built into the design of the pruning shear itself. This makes it much more efficient at cutting larger branches. Ratchet pruning shears are also good for people who have any kind of wrist or hand problems.

Sharpening

Keeping your pruning shears sharp is important to maintaining their longevity. A dull blade won’t cut properly increasing the chance for injuries, and risking damaging the plants, flowers and other greenery that you are trimming. Learning how to sharpen your pruning shears is not difficult. We’ve outlined the steps below.

  • Cleaning the Shears – You will want to wash your pruning shears before you sharpen them. Wash the blade in soapy water to remove any dirt, grime and sap from the blade. Wipe it dry and then use medium course steel wool to get rid of any rust on the blades if there is any.
  • Setting up to Sharpen – Using a bench vise for safety so the shears don’t slip, secure them with the beveled edge of the cutting blade facing you. The pruning shears will need to be opened wide when you do this. You will also want to wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes during the sharpening process.
  • Sharpening the Blade – Using a medium or coarse diamond hand file (depending on how dull the blades are) position it against the blade at the same angle that the bevel is. Using smooth strokes, draw the file along the blade using one stroke at a time, from inside to the tip. Use a fair amount of pressure and make sure that the file stays at the same angle throughout the entire stroke. Remember that you should always file away from the body.
  • Finish the Job – You will continue the same motion until a sharp edge forms on the blade. This will be anywhere from 10 strokes to 20 strokes. The duller the blade is the more strokes it will take to sharpen it. Remember that when you’re sharpening bypass or anvil pruning shears you will only sharpen the beveled cutting blade. Finish the job with some refining strokes.
  • Sharpening the Other Side – Once one side is done, turn the shears over and slide the finer side of the file over the flat side of the blade to remove any burrs that may have developed.
  • Preventative Maintenance – Once you have finished the sharpening process, get a soft cloth and wipe linseed oil over the newly sharpened blade. This conditions the blade and prevents rust. You can also use a cloth with linseed oil to wash the pruning shears after every use to keep them in excellent condition.
  • Touch ups – You can use a fine file to do quick touch-ups of your pruning shears in between major sharpening. All you need to do is hold the pruning shears flat against a table or work bench and positioning the file at the same angle as the cutting edge, run the file over it a few quick times. This keeps the edge sharper longer and extends the time in between re-sharpening sessions.

Using It Properly

Pruning Shears3If you don’t use your pruning shears correctly you can risk injury to yourself or risk damaging the plants and flowers you’re trimming. The best time to do pruning will be at the end of the growing season. Plants are usually reaching their dormant stage and this is the time to get them trimmed back and ready for the new growing season. Take stock of the trees, bushes and plants around your home and garden and decide which ones need to be pruned. You may want to make them with a string of some kind so you don’t forget.

Make sure your pruning shears are sharpened and ready to use. Sharp blades will give clean, precise cuts. Put your safety gear on which will be goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands and you’re ready to get started.

Start on the first bush or tree and hold the section you want to cut between your fingers. Don’t twist or turn the branch. Snip the branch with the pruning shears in your other hand. You will have a clean cut as a result of this which will prevent the plant or shrub from being damaged during the cutting process. You want to be certain not to over prune anything and don’t cut the branches down to the trunk. Be sure to get the dead twigs and spots from the tree or bush. Continue on with each plant, tree and bush that you have marked to prune.

After you’re done pruning everything, or even if you’re just done for the day, be sure to clean the pruning shears thoroughly with warm water and dry them. Don’t forget to wipe them down with linseed oil before covering them and putting them away so they stay protected and don’t rust.

Conclusion

Gardeners, landscapers and professional pruners are serious about their tools and pruning shears are an important gardening tool to have. Purchasing pruning shears that are right for the jobs you need them for is important so they last and do a good job as well. With the information you have gotten in this pruning shears buying guide, you will have everything you need to narrow down the choices and make the best choice for your needs.

Once you take all the factors into consideration, you won’t feel like you just have to guess on which shears are right for you. You also will learn how to sharpen them and keep them clean and in great working order so you have them a long time.

Resources

  1. Felco – https://www.felcostore.com/pruners
  2. Zavaland – http://www.zavaland.com/bypass-pruning-shears/
  3. Corona – http://coronatoolsusa.com/catalog/pruning-tools.html