Otherwise known as pruners or clippers, pruning shears are used for cutting back perennials, trimming and shaping plants, as well as pruning out damaged or dead foliage and small branches. They generally don’t cut through anything that’s more than 5” thick and are one of the most used gardening tools.
When you are shopping for the best pruning shears for your needs, sorting through the hundreds of models available on the market can prove an overwhelming task. This review guide seeks to give you valuable information that will make your search easier. We discuss the features you should consider during the search and review the 10 best pruning shears on the market.
Ideal for cutting stems and light branches
Fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp, even through heavy use
Drop forged body and handles.
Quality blade made of Premium Titanium steel with Ultra-fine Polishing Technology.
Quality blade made of high carbon SK-5 steel with chromium-plating technology.
The pulley design and spring loaded mechanism that easy cut branches in less efforts. As you squeeze pulley pruning shears, the pulley will scroll.
Fully heat-treated, forged steel alloy construction bladed designed for the professional gardener.
Cut efficiently without having to stop often to clean sap from the blade.
Pruning is fun with these beautiful, ergonomic and durable garden scissors.
SHARP BYPASS BLADE. Features carbon stainless steel chrome plated blades and aluminum handles. Makes razor sharp clean 3/4" cuts, without effort!
Drop forged body and handles.
Ergonomically designed non-slip handles are strong,lightweight,and comfortable.
Ideal tool for cutting flowers and trimming back plants
Fine point for detailed cutting
Anvil blade with a sap groove
A hardened bolt and nut to assure exact adjustment of both the cutting and anvil blades
Super grade stainless steel upper and lower blades for precision cutting
➥ Chromed zinc allow handles with comfortable rubber grip.
PX pruners have lightweight ergonomic design, natural wrist position, and ease of use because of high carbon steel blades
Left and right hand models available, 8 formats to fit every hand
Developed by Fiskars, these pruning shears are designed with durability and functionality in mind. They are made from hardened steel, making them extremely durable as compared to stainless steel. The blades are coated with UltraBlade coating for improved performance and longevity. This coating allows the edge to retain its sharpness five times longer than standard non-coated blades.
The excellent edge retention means that you don’t need to apply a lot of pressure when cutting through thick branches, hence minimal hand fatigue. The Softouch dual layer comfort handles offer a firm grip and allow for increased comfort over extended periods of time.
- Ambidextrous locking mechanism for ease of use
- Ability to cut through a 5/8 inch diameter
- Blades hardly need re-sharpening
- Replacement springs and blades are easily available
- Not ideal for use on dead branches
The Gonicc 8” GPPS-1003 are a solid pair of professional pruning shears that boast a robust yet lightweight design. They come with titanium steel blades with excellent edge retention and a sap groove that helps with channeling off sap. The ultra fine polishing technology goes a long way towards improving edge retention.
These pruning shears also come with ergonomically designed handles that are non-slip, lightweight and comfortable. What we love most about this model is size of the blades. It can easily cut through tough branches of up to 0.75” in diameter. Keep in mind that this figure varies depending on the plant species.
- Makes sharp and clean cuts
- Ergonomic handles that are comfortable and easy to grip
- Sap groove helps remove unwanted debris
- Spring doesn’t always work well
Gonicc is a company that goes above and beyond to provide long lasting gardening tools. Their GPPS-1001 Pruning Shears are among the top-rated and boast eight inch blades crafted from high carbon SK-5 steel. This ensures an additional layer of protection from corrosion. The chromium plating technology also provides added protection from rust and nicks.
These anvil pruning shears have an ergonomically designed handle that is comfortable and easy to use. The non-slip grip increases the level of comfort when working for extended periods of time. The locking mechanism of these shears is located on the inside of the handle, making it easy to reach.
- Sap channel does a good job of keeping the blade clean
- Safety lock mechanism is easy to reach
- Lightweight design and ergonomic handles
- Quality of springs is a little wanting
The Corona ClassicCut Forged Pruner is made to last with Forged Coronium steel alloy and heat treated Radial Arc. It is designed to make precise cuts on branches with a diameter of up to 1 inch. While more expensive than most models on this list, it is well worth the extra money. Its narrow profile design makes it easy to reach tight spaces. The shears have a sap groove that keeps the blades from sticking.
The tool is heat treated, ensuring that it maintains its shape season after season. Both the hook and blade of these pruning shears are hand matched to ensure precision. We love the wire cutting notch which closes when the shears aren’t in use for added safety.
- Sharp and clean cuts for precise work
- Has a narrow profile that can fit in tight spaces
- Cuts through 1” branches with ease
- Easy to maintain and replace worn-out parts
- Not the best for people with weak or arthritic hands
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.
- Wire spring mechanism with shock absorption
- Carbon stainless steel blades
- Good for people with arthritis
- Not for cutting stronger branches
The Pexio Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears feature a drop forged body. They come with ergonomically designed handles that have a non-slip cover for comfortable grip. The shears are lightweight and durably constructed. The quality blades are made from premium titanium steel retrofitted with ultra-fine polishing technology, while the rest of the components are made from drop forged aluminum.
Another thing we appreciate about the Pexio Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears is the sap groove design, which helps keep the shears from sticking. The spring action makes your work easier while the integrated wire cutting notch provides added safety.
- Safety lock to lock the blades when not in use
- Durable construction with titanium steel and drop forged aluminum
- Ergonomic handle for comfortable grip
- Doesn’t do well on tough cuts
The dram 18026 is a very compact tool with blades made from stainless steel. It is lightweight and an excellent option for cutting flowers and multiple household chores. The handle is ergonomically designed for optimal comfort and minimal hand fatigue.
It is equipped with a blade lock that allows for safe storage as well as a sap resistant coating to prevent debris pickup when working. Also notable is that this tool is available in multiple colors to suit different style options. Additionally, replacement parts for this model are easily available.
- Compact size is perfect for small hands
- Available in multiple colors
- Perfect shears for deadheading
- Precision snipping action
- Springs have a tendency to fall off
The Felco F-2 us a manual hand pruner designed with an anvil blade and a sap groove. It features a hardened bolt and nut that ensures exact adjustment of the anvil and cutting blades. The handles are ergonomically designed with rubber cushioning for added comfort and minimal fatigue. The shock absorption system is a welcome addition.
This pruner is easily adjustable and ideal for light duty tasks. The strong blades are made from hardened stainless steel and feature a wire cutting notch. The sap groove helps prevent sticking when trimming sappy trees while the micrometric adjustment system allows for clean and precise cuts.
- Comfortable and lightweight handle made from forged aluminum
- Backed by limited lifetime warranty
- High quality blades made from hardened steel
- Shock absorption system for minimal hand fatigue
- Quality declines with time
The Gardenite Ultra-Snip 6.7” Pruning Shears feature high-grade stainless steel blades for precision cutting. They are designed for deadheading and pruning flowers and small plants. The handles are made from chromed zinc, which allows for longevity and a comfortable grip. They do a great job of reducing hand strain.
The handles are 6.7” long, and fit more comfortably in your hand. The shears are equipped with an ultra smooth chromed carbon steel spring, which is designed to gently open the blades during use. They are backed by 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
- Chromed zinc handles with rubber grip
- Stainless steel blades make precision cuts
- Long handles that fit comfortably in your hand
- Chromed carbon steel spring opens the blades to reduce hand fatigue
- Edge retention could be better
The Bahco Ergo Bypass Pruner PX-M2 features high quality carbon steel blades with excellent edge retention. The Ergo handles are designed to provide maximum comfort and reduce hand fatigue. They are quite comfortable to hold, partially due to the rubber coating that keeps your hand in place.
This bypass pruner is capable of cutting through branches up to 0.75” thick and makes very precise, clean cuts. The spring mechanism and bumper provide great cushioning when cutting through tough branches. The coil springs help minimize hand fatigue by gently opening the blades.
- Adjustable blade assembly
- Excellent bumper and spring mechanism
- Sturdy construction with carbon steel blades
- Locking mechanism is a little tough to use
Factors to Consider When Buying Pruning Shears:
One of the most important factors when choosing pruning shears is comfort. Your pruning shears should fit in your hand comfortably. Additionally, the weight, handle, grip and head should work together and give you plenty of power while minimizing the strain on your hands. They should require minimal pressure to close, and make your pruning experience more enjoyable. Look for a model with angled blades, slightly curved shape and soft grip handles.
Most models come with some kind of a locking mechanism that helps protect you from accidental cuts and the blades when not in use. Some of these mechanisms work better than others. Keep an eye out for something that doesn’t get in the way when working, and is easy to open and close. The last thing you need is your pruning shears constantly locking up when you are trying to work.
Length of blade
The length of the blade is directly correlated with the functionality of your pruning shears. For instance 4” pruning shears will work great if you are mostly cutting houseplants and flowers. You will want to go with a longer blade if you are trimming outdoor shrubbery.
There is a spring between the two handles of pruning shears that pushes the blades/handles apart when the user relaxes their grip. This effectively reduces hand fatigue. The two main types of springs found in pruning shears are wire and coiled metal springs.
While both do a great job, we recommend looking for one that is attached to the handles. This reduces the risk of getting pulling off by branches or accidentally popping off. Some models incorporate a spring-like system into the head to completely eradicate any chances of the spring popping off or getting caught.
High quality blades
Pruning shear blades are generally made from steel and often coated with a non-sticky substance to increase resistance to sticky materials. Blades made from hardened or carbon steel last longer and don’t require frequent sharpening.
Poor quality blades don’t have good edge retention and will most likely make pruning a tedious task. Still on the issue of blade quality, look at how closely the blades pass when you open and close them closer is better. Good pruning shears allow you to adjust the tightness of the cutting mechanism, ensuring that the blades are held against each other.
Pruning shears for small hands
Regular sized pruning shears can prove difficult to use if you have small hands. The good news is that the market offers small handed shears for people with small hands. They are more comfortable and a better option if you don’t want to struggle with larger ones.
Some weight as little as 7 ounces and while they aren’t designed for heavy-duty jobs, they quite durable and can handle small foliage, potted plants, flowers, and small saplings.
Left-handed pruning shears
You should look for pruning shears that are either left-handed or ambidextrous if you are left-handed. If you use pruning shears designed for right-hand users, you will be very frustrated because you will be using your awkward hand. You will not strain as much or experience any discomfort if you use a left-handed pruner.
Types of pruning shears:
They only have one blade that closes to a flat surface, hence a similar action to a knife on a chopping board. Because they are bulkier than bypass pruners, using them to get into tight spaces can be tricky. Their blade has a tendency to crush stems when cutting. This makes them more suitable for dead wood.
These work more or less like regular scissors as they have two blades passing each other to make a cut. The upper blade is usually convex and the other concave or straight.
They are really a type of anvil pruners and incorporate a clever extra mechanism that makes tough cuts easier. They latch as you squeeze them, allowing you to release and squeeze again. They perform cuts in easy steps and are particularly suitable for thicker stems.
Best Pruning Shear Brands
If you are a novice gardener who doesn’t do a lot of pruning, Dramm, Corona or Fiskars pruners will suffice. They offer longevity at affordable prices and are easy to clean. For those who do a lot of pruning work, ARS, Felco and Bahco are excellent options. Despite being more expensive, they last forever, are readily available and easy to clean.
ARS pruners are popular choice for professionals and avid gardeners. They incorporate great innovations and often have chrome-plated blades to improve sap and corrosion resistance. Their ergonomic design ensures added comfort and functionality.
The pruners offered by Corona are a nice middle ground between the cheap models and more expensive varieties. You can take them apart and the replacement parts are readily available. Latching them closed is easy and you don’t have to worry about the spring popping off.
Despite discontinuing their cutting tools line, Dramm pruners can still be found online. They are a great choice for light-duty gardening tasks and come in a variety of colors. Their stainless steel blades are resistant to rust and the latch keeps the blades locked. Dramm pruning shears have a 0.25” cutting capacity, making them ideal for handling thin branches, deadheading and cutting flowers.
This is brand choice for those who do a lot of gardening and understandably so. Their pruners are ergonomically designed, durably constructed and available in many sizes to fit any hand.
From sap grooves to keep blades clean to adjustable blade tension, Fiskars pruning shears offer everything you want and more. They offer up to 1” cutting capacity and are available in ambidextrous designs to cater to all users.