While the goal of gardening is to grow things, there comes a time in every gardener’s life when our beloved plants become overzealous with their growth.
Whether your plants are spilling out of their pots and beds, invading the territory of their leafy neighbors, or simply need to shed some dead limbs, proper garden care requires the use of pruning shears at some point.
Despite appearances pruning shears are not just a fancy pair of scissors. Your average household scissors are not going to be able to cut through most plants.
You certainly can’t trim branches or rose bushes with scissors. If you want cuts that look clean and do the least amount of damage to your plants, the only way to go is with a tool specifically designed for the job.
But what exactly is the best tool for the job? A simple internet search will quickly prove that there is an abundance of pruning scissors from which to choose.
With so many choices how can we ever know which are the best pruning shears?
Ultimately picking the best shears comes down to two questions: “what are you cutting?” and “who is doing the cutting?”.
With these two questions and our detailed list of the best pruners available, you can save your energy for the garden and quickly find the best pruning shears for you.
The 15 Best Pruning Shears
1. Felco F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner
The Felco F-2 hand pruners are bypass pruners capable of heavy-duty work with a cutting capacity of 1 inch. These trimming shears are designed to last with a micro-metric adjustment system, which allows you the tighten or loosen the blades to maintain a clean-cut over the years, and the ability to get a replacement part for absolutely any of the shear’s parts.
Besides its impressive durability, the Felco has several other key features. Rubber shock absorbers will save your wrist from pain for long jobs. A sap groove keeps the pruners from becoming sticky and losing efficiency, and a wire-cutting notch gives you the ability to cut wires without dulling your blade. The Felco also comes with safety features such as a closing lock and an easy blade change system.
If you want a single pair of shears that will last through years of gardening, you can’t go wrong with a Felco pruner. These shears represent the top of the line in the world of pruners.
2. Gonicc 8″ Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1003)
Gonicc’s professional bypass pruning shears can cut stems up to ¾ inches in thickness. The titanium blades and lightweight easily gripped handle make these shears a quality choice.
Not only are the blades on the Gonicc made of strong titanium but they also make use of Gonicc’s Ultra-Fine Polishing Technology. This both helps keep the blades sharp and prevents rust build-up. The handles are wrapped with PVC providing a soft and sure grip.
These shears can handle all of your light pruning and some of your heavy-duty with its ¾ inch capability. Durable and comfortable Gonicc’s Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears are a great choice for any gardener.
3. Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner with 1 Inch Cutting Capacity
Corona’s bypass shears offer the capacity for cutting flower stems and tree branches of up to 1 inch. Featuring a sap groove, wire-cutting notch, and a blade crafted from forged steel these pruners are made to be a lasting addition to your gardening set.
Padded handles ensure a no-slip grip, but these shears will likely work best for people with large hands. Weighing around 0.85 pounds, these shears also come in as a bit heftier than the 0.53 of the Felco and 0.4 of the Gonicc. While these shears offer excellent quality, their size might make them less comfortable for gardeners with smaller hands.
4. Gardena 8855 Anvil Pruning Shears
Gardena offers us the first pair of anvil pruners on our list. The anvil design makes these trimmers perfect for those who primarily need to cut branches and other dry materials.
Gardena has full confidence in the quality of these shears, providing a 25-year warranty. These pruning shears have a one-handed safety lock and a soft grip on the upper handle for consumer comfort and ease of mind.
With the anvil rather than bypass blade design, Gardena’s trimmers provide a pruning option more suited to a particular task. If you find yourself with large amounts of twigs and branches to cut, the Gardena Anvil Pruning Shears give you plenty of force to snap those twigs in two. Anvil shears are also ideal for a gardener with lots of branches to cut as their efficiency is not compromised as greatly by dulling as are bypass shears. However, if you need to cut a lot of small stems and live plants, these shears might be more than your plants can handle.
5. Wevove 3 Pack Garden Pruning Shears Stainless Steel Blades Handheld Pruners Set
This set of pruning shears provides extra versatility with 3 different shears. Featuring all bypass blades for clean cuts, this 3 pack comes with straight, serrated, and curved blade trimmers.
With 3 different shears, this set can tackle a wide variety of things. Harvesting herbs, trimming flowers, or cutting stems, this set has got you covered and with the different options, you can pick the best shear for the job. While this set does cover an array of lighter work, it lacks a truly heavy-duty option. If you are planning on cutting branches and twigs this might not be the set for you, but if your pruning involves delicate and accurate work these Wevove pruning shears will give you the variety you need!
6. Gonicc 8″ Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1002)
The second set of Gonicc pruning shears to appear on our list is a testament to the brand’s quality. While this set maintains the Ultra-Fine Polishing Technology of the previous Gonicc shears, it swaps the titanium blades for SK-5 steel.
The handle maintains its strong and lightweight design, but without the extra padding of the titanium shears. This set of Gonicc pruners offer high quality with only a few less fancy features. If you don’t need titanium blades and a softer grip, but you still want a durable and reliable product this trimmer is for you.
7. Fiskars 91095935J Steel Pruning Shears Bypass Pruner
Fiskar offers a simple and effective design with these pruning scissors. A steel blade, sap groove, and non-slip grips provide everything you need for a successful pruning job.
This curved blade bypass pruner is an all-around pruner for general gardening work. A low friction coating helps the blade glide through stems and branches with ease.
The cutting diameter on these shears is 5/8 of an inch, a bit smaller than some of our other options. These are great middle of the road shears. They might not be best for heavy-duty work or incredibly delicate work but are perfectly reliable for the majority of less specialized jobs.
8. KOTTO 4 Packs Pruner Shears Garden Cutter Clippers
This 4 pack set of shears from KOTTO offers a pruner for every situation. From the smallest straight blade for delicate jobs to the largest curved which is capable of cutting branches of up to ¾ of an inch in thickness.
All of the pairs in this kit are bypass pruning scissors. They also come with several key features such as soft grips, safety locks, and the largest pruner has a sap groove and wire-cutting function. This set also comes with a case for convenient and safe storage. Say good-bye to losing your pruners amongst all your larger tools and equipment! While the blades are designed to be rust-resistant the case ensures that you don’t need to leave your pruners to face the elements.
If you would rather have a different pruning shear for different jobs rather than a one size fits all, the KOTTO four-pack has got you covered.
9. GROWNEER 3 Packs Pruning Shears with Curved Blades, Titanium Coated Precision Blades
Unlike our previous multi-packs, the Growneer 3 packs pruning shear set comes with 3 of the same pruning scissors. With small curved blades for precision cutting and overall smaller size, these pruners come in as the ideal choice for someone who needs a good trimming tool.
The titanium blades resist rust and help maintain the pruner’s lightweight feel. These pruners are not ideal for someone who needs to cut twigs and branches, but for those who confine our gardening efforts to herbs, flowers, vegetables, and some fruit, these shears offer all the accuracy you need.
Perhaps not the choice for aspiring landscapers, the Growneer pruning shears are a great choice for anyone looking for a small tool to clean up their home garden. The multipack means that when one pair dulls you can switch to another, making this set ideal for those who want trimmers that do not require much in the way of maintenance.
10. Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruner Non-Stick Blades
Some of us could spend hours lovingly pruning and shaping our beloved flowers and other plants, but our gardening time can be cut short by hand cramps. Pruners are often bigger and require more hand pressure than household scissors which can make them harder to work for people with smaller hands and who are prone to arthritis. Luckily the Fiskars Micro-Tip pruning shears are designed with exactly this group in mind.
Fiskar’s shears have been awarded the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use SM Commendation for their ease and comfort of use. The spring action opens the pruners after each cut to help save your hands and a non-stick coating helps to avoid jams and ensure that you can continue cutting with ease. If you want to keep your garden in tip-top shape but suffer from hand pain these are the pruners for you.
11. Mr. Pen- Pruning Shears, Garden Shears 8″
The Growneer and Fiskar are a good option for those of us with lots of lightweight trimming keeping them busy, but what about those of us who need something a bit more heavy-duty? The Mr. Pen Pruning Shears offer a simple design for those of us who want to cut stems and branches up to ¾ of an inch.
A titanium blade and easily gripped handle make this a durable and comfortable pair of pruners. These pruning scissors may not come with a lot of fancy features, but for the average garden, they will get the job done well.
12. VANNECT Bypass Pruning Shears
These bypass pruning shears from Vannect have a cutting diameter of 5/8 of an inch. They are made of SK-5 steel and handles shaped to be easily gripped. However, they lack any additional gripping material on the handle.
These shears also come with a one-handed safety lock, so you can lock the blades safely immediately after use. For gardeners prone to some clumsy mistakes this safety feature could be for you.
13. N / A Pruning Shears, Black, 8.3 inch
Made of SK-5 steel and with a maximum cutting diameter of a full inch, the N/A trimmers are made to handle just about anything your garden can throw at you. Lightweight and with a safety lock and spring action, these pruning shears are easy to operate for anyone.
While these shears do have an impressive cutting diameter, they lack many of the features of some of the other models such as a sap groove, wire-cutting notch, and coated blade. The N/A presents a simple model of pruning shear. These shears undoubtedly perform well, but they are lacking in extra features.
14. WORKPRO 2-Piece Pruning Shears Set, Drop Forged 8″ Bypass Garden Shears and 8” Handing Pruner with Steel Straight Blade
This two-piece set from WORKPRO comes with a small straight blade pruner and a larger curved blade pruner. Both are bypass shears. With the inclusion of the straight blade shears for precision jobs and the larger shears for thicker stems, this set can tackle most of your pruning needs.
While the larger shears come with a safety lock, the straight blade only has an elastic band for safe storage rather than a locking mechanism. The large shears have a cutting diameter of 15mm which is a little less than 5/8 of an inch, giving them less cutting capacity than many of our other picks.
This set offers a well-rounded option, but with fewer features than other pruners. The use of simply a rubber band for safety on the smaller set could prove worrisome to those with children or simply those of us who are clumsier than others. WORKPRO offers a quality set of shears which while capable provide little in innovation.
15. HyleJhJy 8″ Bypass Pruning Shears
The HyleJhJy pruning scissors offer the standard ¾ inch cutting diameter and are made of SK-5 steel. They use an automatic opening system rather than a latch. Simply squeeze the handle tighter when the blades are closed to initiate the spring and cause the pruners to move into an open position.
Like the other pruners at this point on the list, the HyleJhJy is capable but lacks the extra features such as a sap groove and wire notch. It does, however, have a PVC area of the handle for a comfortable grip. In addition, the HyleJhJy comes in as unique in offering a variety of color options for those of us who get pleasure from being able to coordinate our gardening tools.
Pruning Shear Buyer’s Guide
Narrowing it down to the 15 best pruning shears is certainly less overwhelming than the abundant number of shears on the market. Still few of us require 15 different pruning shears, so how do I know which pair of trimmers is right for me and my needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a pruner.
Anvil Pruners: These pruners have a single sharp blade that comes down onto a flat surface (the anvil). They cut using a crushing action and are best for dry material such as twigs because this crushing action can harm green (flexible) plants.
Bypass Pruners: These pruners look more like a normal pair of scissors, featuring two sharp blades that bypass each other to cut. These sever plants cleanly with little damage to the stem.
Cutting Diameter: This refers to how thick of a branch the pruners can cut. Manual pruning shears can manage only branches up to an inch of thickness, but some of the shears on our list have a lower cutting diameter such as ¾ of an inch.
Anvil or Bypass?
For the majority of gardeners, bypass pruners are the best way to go. They do less damage to the plants because of their cutting action and offer more precision. However, to ensure that bypass shears remain effective, their sharpness needs to be maintained, which requires more upkeep and can make them more dangerous to handle.
If you find yourself doing a lot of trimming of wood or other dry materials, an anvil pruner could prove better. They snap-through hard dry twigs and continue to work well even after the blade becomes dull.
While the difference between the cutting diameters of most pruners is not great, these differences can result in pruners suited to vastly different tasks. Rose bushes and small trees need a pruner capable of slicing through thick hard stems.
If you have these types of plants, you will want a larger pruner with a tough curved blade. If, however, your pruning work involves light delicate plants such as herbs a micro pruner with a straight blade would give you more precision.
Pruning plants is quite different from cutting up paper with house scissors and much more trying on the hands. For people with smaller hands or liable to hand pain the design of the grip and handle of a pruner can have a major effect on your experience.
Consider pruners with softer grips and textured design if you use your pruner long enough to cause hand fatigue. You may also want to look for overall smaller pruners if you have small hands. While this might not be a concern for every gardener, it can make an enormous difference to some.
Although all pruners are manual tools and designed for some wear and tear, some of them are made to last and some simply are not. Pruners like the Felcos are meant to be your lifetime pruners with replaceable parts and long-term warranties.
Nevertheless, a lifetime pruner may not be the best route for everyone. Anything designed to last a lifetime is going to require maintenance such as cleaning and sharpening. If you can’t see yourself performing the necessary upkeep, you may be better off with a pruner set that offers more blades, lowering the amount of wear on any particular one.
Price is another consideration when it comes to durability. Cheaper pruners will likely need to be replaced eventually, but more expensive models will want some extra work.
Are you someone who wants the latest in innovations and all the extra qualities your pruner can manage? Will you be satisfied with the most basic pair of shears, or do you really want that sap groove, safety lock, and other little features? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions but being honest with yourself before buying will ensure that you purchase a set of pruners you can enjoy in the long term.
As you can see there is more to pruning shears than you likely imagined before setting out to buy a pair. Nevertheless, picking the best pruners simply comes down to both what you need and what you want.
If you need to cut thick stems you will require a larger pruner with more cutting capacity. Need to trim some delicate herbs? You will want a smaller more precise pair. If you have small hands or suffer from hand pain, you will need a pruner designed to be easy on small hands and to decrease hand fatigue.
Besides your needs, your wants are the other large part of selecting a pruner. Do you want a sap groove? Do you think you may have use for a wire-cutting notch? Do you want a pruner that will need to be cleaned and sharpened, or would you rather just get a cheaper option and replace it eventually? Any tool of yours should adhere to your preferences.
Once you know what you need and want, nothing is stopping you from getting the best pruner for your garden!