8 Best Pruning Shears in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
For a gardener, pruning is a must. By selectively cutting branches from trees, bushes, and plants, we can protect them from diseases and stimulate growth. And the best tool for that is pruning shears. They come in different shapes and sizes and do an excellent job of removing dead leaves and stems and breathing new life into your plants. The good news is that there’s no shortage of pruning shears on the market.
That means low prices and excellent warranty deals. On the downside, finding the right one for your garden can be quite a challenge. But don’t worry because we have the best picks for this year right here! We have selected eight fan-favored and best-selling secateurs for this list. They’re all different yet offer a bang for the buck. Learn more in our in-depth reviews!
A Quick Look at Our Winner in 2023
|Best Overall||gonicc 8.5" Professional Pruning Shears||
|Best Value||Fiskars Gardening Tools: Bypass Pruning Shears||
|Premium Choice||Dragro Cordless Electric Pruning Shears||
|MEPEREZ Garden Clippers, German Pruners, Ratchet Pruning Shears||
|Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner||
The 8 Best Pruning Shears
1. gonicc 8.5″ Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears — Best Overall
|Blade Material:||Titanium, high-carbon steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||0.75 inches|
What’s the main issue with most pruning shears? That’s right: the blades dull and lose their efficiency over time. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem with the gonicc Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears because the high-carbon steel SK5 blade is titanium-coated. On top of that, it’s practically immune to corrosion and won’t rust when exposed to sap or rainwater.
The handle also deserves our attention. First, it’s very soft yet provides a strong grip. Second, it can rotate in both directions, keeping hand fatigue to a minimum, no matter which hand you’re holding it with. There is one minor con, though: you’ll have a hard time using this tool if you’ve got thick gloves on. But since the handle absorbs most of the impact, you might not even need them, and that’s what makes gonicc the best overall pruning shears for your garden.
- Titanium-coated SK5 blade
- Highly resistant to corrosion
- Bi-directional soft grip handle
- Shock/impact absorption
- Hard to use with gloves on
2. Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears — Best Value
|Blade Material:||Alloy steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||0.65 inches|
Gardening gear isn’t exactly cheap, but you will be able to afford these shears even if you’re on a very limited budget. The affordable price tag doesn’t mean this is a low-quality tool. On the contrary: the Fiskars bypass pruning shears feature a non-stick coating that makes cutting leaves/stems/branches an easy and enjoyable task. You can use this tool to prune a wide range of garden plants, cut flowering stems, and take care of an herb garden.
And, thanks to the ergonomic design and miniature size, it’s ideal for bonsai trees. On the downside, the cutting capacity isn’t very impressive: you won’t be able to cut anything thicker than 0.65 inches. Fiskars are still the best pruning shears for the money, though, thanks to the sharp, low-friction blade, self-cleaning groove, and reliable lock. Besides, the company backs its product with a lifetime warranty.
- Highly affordable
- Low-friction, non-stick design
- Premium-quality sap groove
- Perfect for bonsai trees
- Modest cutting capacity
3. Dragro Cordless Electric Pruning Shears — Premium Choice
|Blade Material:||High-carbon steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||1.6 inches|
Are you ready to invest extra in a premium-quality product and switch from manually operated to electric pruning shears? Then pay extra attention to Dragro. This is a professional tool and costs accordingly; the steep price is its most significant disadvantage. But the list of pros makes up for that. Dragro doesn’t put any strain on the gardener’s hands—everything is done by the 24V battery. Next, the cutting capacity is 1.6 inches, which is well above the average.
The package also deserves our praise. It includes a set of top-notch batteries, two replacement blades, and a power adapter. Lubricating oil and some tools are a part of the deal as well, along with a stylish portable box. The Dragro electric pruning shears are mostly recommended for professional trimmers that do this for a living. So, if you want the best quality and performance, this will be a great purchase.
- Effortless performance
- Above-average cutting width
- LED display included
- Generous package
- A bit too expensive
4. MEPEREZ Garden Clippers, German Pruners, Ratchet Pruning Shears
|Blade Material:||High-carbon steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||0.8 inches|
For gardeners that prefer hand-operated pruners over electric devices yet still want to protect their hands, MEPEREZ might be right up their alley. These are ratchet pruners, not anvil or bypass ones. The handles put very little pressure on the hand muscles. The labor-saving mechanism makes it easier to cut thick branches by implementing the three-stage cutting technique. Even if you have weak hands, you’ll still be able to use these pruning shears.
They are lightweight and highly mobile. As for the blade, it’s protected by a Teflon coating for durability and longevity. The overall build quality is not that great, however. Most of the body is crafted from plastic, not metal. The safety lock isn’t perfect, either. It’s not always easy to use, especially for someone with little experience in pruning.
- Advanced ratchet mechanism
- Anti-wear Teflon coating
- Lightweight design
- Modest-at-best build quality
- Faulty safety lock button
5. Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner
|Blade Material:||Solid-forged alloy steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||1 inch|
For pruning and trimming, this gardening tool by Corona will be a worthy pick. The first thing that you’ll notice is that it arrives in an eco-friendly, recyclable bag. On the techy front, it has a decent cutting width (one inch), and the blade is manufactured from alloy steel using the company’s trademark forging process. As a result, it can handle lots of “abuse” and won’t chip under pressure. Now, it’s not the sharpest blade out there.
But you can always sharpen or even replace it. Another big pro: the Corona BP 3180D secateurs have a narrow-profile hook that ensures hassle-free, precise cuts both for leaves and branches. As for the handles, they do provide an excellent grip if you have large or medium-sized hands; sadly, they’re not well-suited for smaller hands.
- The blade can be sharpened/replaced
- Slant-ground hook for precise cuts
- Arrives in a recyclable package
- Not suitable for smaller hands
- Could be a bit sharper
6. GEROSSI Premium Bypass Pruning Shears for your Garden
|Blade Material:||Japanese carbon steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||0.75 inches|
Crafted from Japanese carbon steel, the GEROSSI Premium Bypass Pruning Shears are incredibly reliable. The blade, in turn, stays sharp for a very long time. And while it doesn’t have a market-leading capacity (0.75 inches), it’s still more than enough for most gardening chores. Besides, the ergonomic handles are very safe and comfortable and don’t slip even after a long cutting session.
The overall build quality is decent, too, yet the spring needs some work. It’s not very sturdy compared to what we see in pruning shears. Also, because of it, the handles don’t always jump back to the default open position. Oh, and you won’t find any covers for the blades in the package. But, the company backs the shears with a one-year 100% money-back guarantee.
- Impressive sharpness retention
- Ergonomic, non-slip handles
- 12-month 100% MBG
- Low-quality spring
- No cover for the blades
7. Mueller Heavy Duty Garden Shears, Hand Pruner, Bypass Shears
|Blade Material:||Titanium, steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||1.2 inches|
Some bypass shears excel at pruning; others are good for trimming. With the Mueller Heavy-Duty Garden Shears, you’ll be able to do both and take proper care of the garden. They are relatively lightweight and feature a titanium-coated blade. Unfortunately, while it does stay sharp for a while, the blade tends to chip when you use it to cut thick branches. That’s why we only recommend cutting average-size branches and stems with these pruners.
Also, the nut that’s holding it all together is a bit flimsy and might fall off if you apply too much force. Going back to the pros, the handles are very comfy and crafted from eco-friendly materials. Lastly, Mueller provides a lifetime warranty. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of it if something goes wrong with the pruning shears.
- Great for pruning and trimming
- Eco-friendly, non-toxic handles
- Only good for thin branches
- The nut tends to fall off
- Chips rather quickly
8. FELCO F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner
|Blade Material:||Hardened steel|
|Cutting Capacity:||1 inch|
Sometimes, you like a certain pair of hand shears, but you’re not 100% sure about the size or the design. That won’t be an issue with the FELCO Classic Manual Hand Pruner because it’s available in a wide range of different styles. On top of that, it takes very little effort to dismantle and put it back together. The handle design leaves a lot to be desired, though.
It doesn’t have anti-slip protection, and if you’re not careful, you might end up hurting yourself. Quality control can be an issue as well. Some buyers complain about getting the wrong product while others claim they have to wait for extra days before the pruner is delivered. The good news is that FELCO is a Swiss company, and the overall quality of this tool is well above average.
- Available in various styles and sizes
- Very easy to disassemble
- Poor handle design
- Lacks quality control
- Slow deliveries
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Pruning Shears
What Are Pruning Shears? How Do They Work?
Known as secateurs and hand pruners, pruning shears are the “big brother” to regular scissors. And they’re very easy to use. When you squeeze the handles, the blades “chew” into the stem/branch, meet in the middle, and make a cut; yes, just like a pair of scissors. Pruning shears are bigger and heavier, though. With the right pair, you’ll be able to cut 1.5-inch tree branches for hours without breaking a sweat or putting unnecessary pressure on your hands.
At the same time, compared to loppers1, pruning shears are much easier to work with and flexible, not to mention more affordable, and that’s why they’re so popular.
What’s the Best Use for Pruning Shears?
If you run a farm, arrange flowers, or grow fruits and vegetables, secateurs will quickly become your best new friends. No matter how good you are at watering, fertilizing, and pest control, you’ll still have to deal with destructive bugs and diseases. And sometimes, repotting or increasing/reducing sun exposure won’t be able to fix a plant. That’s when pruning shears come in. Essentially, they are a damage control tool.
Specifically designed for precision cuts, they do a great job of trimming rotten roots, diseased stems1, and yellow leaves. If you do this right, “strategic clipping” can save a plant’s life, stimulate healthy growth, and keep insects away. A quick note: depending on the cutting capacity/width, you will be able to trim not only thin leaves but woody stems/branches. Pruners are also perfect for arboriculture, farming, trimming organic matter for compost1, making bonsai trees, and stress relief.
Pruning Shears vs Scissors: What’s the Difference?
Shears are more durable and sturdier1 than scissors. They can take lots of abuse and serve for many years. On top of that, they’re easy on the hands and allow applying just the right amount of pressure on the blades. This is mostly thanks to the bigger handles. Another pro of pruning shears over garden scissors is that, generally, they’re sharper and can easily cut thicker and tougher stems and branches.
At the same time, scissors are much cheaper. Besides, you probably already have at least one pair in the house. Scissors are incredibly versatile and multi-functional. You can use them to cut not only plants but also paper, cardboard, and plastic, to name a few. So, yes, while shears and scissors look very similar, they’re NOT the same thing. Pruning shears are intended for “heavy-duty” garden work, while scissors are best-suited for tasks that require less brute force.
Finding the Right Shears for Your Garden: A Detailed Guide
Pruning shears differ in weight, size, and cutting capacity. For most gardening tasks, 0.6 inches of cutting width is a good place to start. Material quality matters as well, of course. For the blades, stainless and carbon steel are the best picks. They are highly resistant to corrosion, wear, and chipping. Carbon is more durable1 but also brittle. To make the blades immune to rust, manufacturers add titanium, Teflon, and other types of coating.
If you’re planning on using the pruning shears a lot, invest in premium blade material and coating. As for the handles, they should provide a strong grip yet be soft enough for the hands. Go for non-slip handles with an ergonomic design. This way, you’ll be able to work for long hours without putting unnecessary pressure on your hands1. We also recommend getting a pair of shears with self-cleaning sap grooves.
Different Types of Pruning Shears: Which Ones to Pick?
Secateurs come in four different designs1. We’re talking about anvil, bypass, ratchet, and straight-blade pruners. They’re all capable of making clean cuts, ensuring a strong grip, and protecting against diseases and pests in the garden. And here’s a look at the pros and cons of each option:
- Anvil pruners. These pruners only have one blade. The other side doesn’t do any cutting. Instead, it serves as a flat metallic board. The blade does all the heavy lifting. Cutting green plant material with anvil pruners is not recommended. On the bright side, they don’t jam up nearly as often as, say, bypass pruners. If you’re looking for a powerful gardening tool for cutting dead wood and stems, do go with anvil pruners.
- Bypass pruners. Small shrubs, flowers, and herbs—that’s what bypass pruners are mostly used for. In many ways, they are much like scissors. One of the blades is sharp, while the other one is dull. This allows for precision cutting without damaging the branch. Keep your bypass pruners clean and free of sap. Otherwise, they’ll get dull in the blink of an eye.
- Ratchet pruners. Got some tough-to-handle branches and stems to work on? Then opt for ratchet pruners. They aren’t afraid of thick wood and have ergonomic, low-pressure handles. With this tool, you don’t have to cut in one go: it allows for trimming in stages. That’s great news for older gardeners and folks with smaller hands.
- Straight-blade pruners. This tool is often called “garden scissors” and is manufactured with fine work in mind. We’re talking about small cuts, deadheading1, and trimming in tight spots. Straight-blade pruners have lots in common with scissors and floral pruners, but their blades are sharper and sturdier. Do you like to cut flowers from the garden for a vase? These pruning shears will be the best pick!
How to Use Pruning Shears Properly
If you’re a seasoned gardener, we bet you already know how to handle a pair of pruning shears. Still, here’s a quick guide on how to use secateurs the right way:
- First, make sure both the blades and the handles are nice and clean. Disinfecting the shears should be a big part of your maintenance routine
- Don’t forget to sharpen and oil the blades once in a while to get precise cuts instead of damaging the plant, shrub, or tree
- Take the safety off to unlock the tool. Just squeeze the handles, reach the lock with your thumb, and move it to the side
- Most gardeners hold the pruning shears with their fingertips. However, that puts pressure on the fingers1 and can lead to wrist strain
- To avoid that, grab the instrument with the base of your hand to involve the bigger, stronger muscles in the action
- The handles should be easy to grip and fit the size and shape of your hands perfectly. This way, you won’t get hand fatigue
- To achieve precise cuts, make sure the blade is aiming directly at the to-be-cut spot and that you’re holding the shears firmly
- Next, open the pruners all the way and move them toward the stem/branch until the deepest part of the blade(s) touches it
- Now that the blades are “hugging” the wood from both sides, cut it in a quick, swift manner
- Remember: the deepest part of the blade is the sharpest and strongest one. So, put it to good use!
- When cutting/pruning live wood, go for 45° cuts just above the buds to protect the plant from diseases.
Summing up the reviews, the Gonicc pruning shears are the best overall pick. They feature titanium-coated blades and a bi-directional handle and put minimal pressure on your hands. With Fiskars, you’ll get the best value. These low-priced, non-stick pruning shears easily slide through wood and make cutting leaves, stems, and branches a walk in the park. Lastly, if you’re dealing with thick, hard-to-cut trees and plants, go with our premium choice—the Dragro tool.
These electric pruning shears boast an impressive cutting width, pressure-free performance, and a generous package.
Featured Image Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay
- 1 A Quick Look at Our Winner in 2023
- 2 The 8 Best Pruning Shears
- 2.1 1. gonicc 8.5″ Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears — Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears — Best Value
- 2.3 3. Dragro Cordless Electric Pruning Shears — Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. MEPEREZ Garden Clippers, German Pruners, Ratchet Pruning Shears
- 2.5 5. Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner
- 2.6 6. GEROSSI Premium Bypass Pruning Shears for your Garden
- 2.7 7. Mueller Heavy Duty Garden Shears, Hand Pruner, Bypass Shears
- 2.8 8. FELCO F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Pruning Shears
- 3.1 What Are Pruning Shears? How Do They Work?
- 3.2 What’s the Best Use for Pruning Shears?
- 3.3 Pruning Shears vs Scissors: What’s the Difference?
- 3.4 Finding the Right Shears for Your Garden: A Detailed Guide
- 3.5 Different Types of Pruning Shears: Which Ones to Pick?
- 3.6 How to Use Pruning Shears Properly
- 4 Conclusion