Pruning Shears

Best Pruning Shears

Anyone who’s been gardening for a considerable amount of time would know that there are a lot of ways to spice up the overall aesthetic of our gardens. I, myself, have found that there are more tools than I initially thought that has proven to be quite useful when it comes to customizing the way my backyard looks to my liking and personally, the most versatile and indispensable tool I currently possess is my pruning shears.


Read our Best Pruning Shears Review to find out.

If you’re having trouble choosing a particular brand, no worries. I’ve tried and tested a couple of brands to save you time and money, and to help you choose which one might be the most palatable to you and the most suitable for your needs.

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears (91095935J)


Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears (91095935J)

Pros

  • Has an easy-open lock which is perfect for people who want to be extra careful, especially when working in a hazardous environment with kids and pets.
  • Smoothly glides through the wood because of its coating, which provides low friction cutting.
  • Stainless steel material.
  • Good value.

Cons

  • The maximum cutting capacity is only 5/8 inches and is made only for cutting stems and light branches.
  • Return spring may be a bit small for some. 
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Felco F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner, F 2


Felco F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner, F 2

Pros

  • Has both a rubber cushion and shock absorber for better grip and comfort.
  • Anvil pruners that are made of high-quality hardened steel, but nevertheless have a lightweight feel when used.
  • Strong blades; has a hardened bolt for easier adjustment.
  • Has a wire-cutting notch.
  • Comfortable, good blade, and spring action. 
  • Swiss design.
  • Comes in several varieties to suit different hand sizes, and is perfect even for smaller hands. 

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey.
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Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner with 1 Inch Cutting Capacity, 1", Red


Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner with 1 Inch Cutting Capacity, 1, Red

Pros

  • Cuts stems and branches that are up to 1 inch thick in diameter.
  • Provides efficient cutting with a sap groove.
  • Heat-treated; perfect for re-sharpening without compromising steel hardness.
  • Has a wire-cutting notch that may be closed when not in use for additional safety.
  • Provides close and clean cuts.
  • Has a replaceable blade to guarantee longevity.

Cons

  • Needs to be lubricated after each use, which may be a problem for those who are looking to purchase pruners that don’t need as much maintenance.
  • A replaceable blade somewhat sacrifices strength and functionality to an extent.
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Mockins Professional Heavy Duty Garden BYPASS Pruning Shears


Mockins Professional Heavy Duty Garden BYPASS Pruning Shears

Pros

  • Has a safety lock to prevent any accidents when not in use.
  • Stainless steel blades to ensure clean cuts. These blades are made with high-quality material, and you can actually feel it.
  • Rubber handles that are ergonomic and comfortable.
  • Low price point so you get more than what you pay for.

Cons

  • Blades are not replaceable, which might be an important factor to consider for some.
  • Comes in only one size, may not be suitable for those with smaller hands.
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Gonicc 8" Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears(GPPS-1014)


Gonicc 8 Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears(GPPS-1014)

Pros

  • Highly resistant to corrosion, as it is made with titanium coated, heavy-duty blades. 
  • Easy to clean and maintain due to non-stick blade coating.
  • Rotates in both directions, therefore making cutting feel more natural and comfortable, and is perfect for right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous users.
  • Has a cushion and shock absorber to soften the impact when cutting.
  • Perfect for smaller stems and branches.

Cons

  • Screws and nuts feel somewhat loose, which adversely affects and diminishes comfortability.
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What Are Pruning Shears?

Pruning Shears

Simply put, pruning shears are the tools you’d lie to get a hold of if you’d like to do more than just mere cutting. Some hate it, most love it, but for me, it’s just an acquired taste. The reason for its infamy at times is because a handful of people might see it as nothing but a means to get branches and trunks out of the way, but pruning is so much more than that. It’s an art.

This is not to be confused with hacking, wherein people just cut pieces of wood as they please. While it may be true that pruning involves some cutting, its versatility makes it a useful tool for garden safety, styling, and a lot more.

What Pruning Shears Are For

I used to take this tool for granted when I first used it. Thinking it was only good for getting rid of unwanted branches and stems, I barely made use of it until I realized that it was actually quite useful for the landscaping I was constantly working on. The precision that garden shears provide you with makes it the perfect all-around tool. It helps you get rid of elements that may hinder plant growth, and this selective removal gives you so much more control than you could imagine. Instead of cutting an entire area off, you could just get rid of a small piece of branch, root, or bud, depending on the situation. For planters who love to do a lot of transplanting, this could also help increase harvest yield in the long run.

If your aim is to improve the overall aesthetic of your garden and beautify it all together, you can maximize the use of your shears in a lot of different ways. Here are my recommendations:


  • They are great for cutting trimmings into smaller sizes. One proven benefit of doing this is sustainability. with smaller sized trimmings, it’s easier to dispose of organic matter to follow a more environment-friendly approach to gardening. Not only that, but it makes disposing of your trimmings a lot easier, too.
  • Useful for vermiculture. With smaller trimmings, you could also easily feed worms to obtain healthier plant growth by getting richer soil. Worms for vermicast mostly consume leaves and trimmings, so using pruners for these trimmings is an efficient way to feed these worms.
  • Perfect for bonsai lovers. If you’re into
  • If you’d like to get into arboriculture, this may be the tool for you.
  • Pruners aren’t just for gardeners but could be quite useful for farmers as well.
  • Japanese flower arrangement must-have.

Types of Pruning Shears

Based on Blade Type

Depending on what you’re looking for and what you plan to do with your shears, you can choose between two blade types that provide their own advantages and disadvantages:

Carbon Steel

These are quite malleable, but can be somewhat brittle. Tougher than stainless steel and more flexible because of its manganese and carbon content. This is sharpened to a finer edge, and is easier to sharpen; also less prone to chipping and has a lighter metal, so this is perfect for people with sensitive wrists. Carbon steel shears are, however, prone to rusting, and must be treated accordingly.

Stainless Steel

Higher corrosion resistance because of their chromium component, and can withstand humidity better than carbon steel shears. This is, however, not to say that they are completely rust-proof. They also stay sharper depending on the angle of the cutting edge, but stainless steel shears are harder to sharpen because of the material used, and this may be more prone to chipping. Take note, however, that these are weightier than carbon steel shears, and are therefore easier to control.

Based on Design

There are also different ways that pruning shears cut, and here are the different types of shears based on their design:

Bypass Pruning Shears

These are the kind that most people prefer; they have an edged blade on one side that slices and slides against the other as you cut, so these are quite similar to scissors in that manner. Bypass shears are used for more intricate and finer cutting and are recommended for those who want to use their shears to get a cleaner cut and leave the rest of the plant unaffected. If you would like to use your shears on smaller plants with softer tissue, this may be the tool for you.

Anvil Pruning Shears

Anvil pruners are mostly used for cutting up dead parts or dead wood in plants that are intended to be removed. It basically has one blade on one side, while the other acts as a board, so when you cut with it the blade pushes through the material on the board. This in particular is best for heavy-duty work, and perfect for removing unwanted plant elements.

Parrot-break Pruning Shears

Unlike the other two types of pruners, parrot-break shears have two concave blades. The stem is trapped in between these blades for a clean cut. Parrot-break pruners are mostly used for flowers due to their size.

I have personally discovered that bypass pruners provide the most flexibility in terms of use, and are great at making accurate, clean cuts. While anvil pruners are also quite useful, they are more likely to end up crushing stems if not properly sharpened.


That said, the reason why you should carefully choose what kind of pruners you’d like to use is to avoid killing your plants, while at the same time going for the more economical choice.

Choosing Your Pruning Shears

Before actually putting your pruners to good use, take note that pruning shears are used to cut stems or branches that are less than an inch in diameter. Attempting to use your shears on those that are more than an inch thick would run the risk of deteriorating blade quality, which might prove to be quite the burden in the long run.

It might also be worth remembering that different shears are used for different purposes. If you plan on getting into tighter spots, go for bypass shears. If a blunt cut is what you would like to go for, parrot-break pruners are the better choice. For heavy-duty work that involves more crushing than cutting, go with anvil pruning shears. For this reason, most planters and gardeners go for bypass shears, especially when tending to flower gardens.

Because pruning shears are being sold at different prices, some people might think that the more expensive the pruner is, the better; however, I’ve debunked this theory by comparing the longevity of both the most inexpensive and the most expensive pair that I own. It goes without saying that regardless of the price point, pruning shears last for quite some time with proper maintenance and care. One factor you should consider, however, instead of paying attention to a certain pruner’s price, is its grip and overall feel. If there are any rowdy animals in the house, or if you have young children to take care of, be sure to choose a pair that can easily be locked, or one with a catch so that these could be closed whenever they are kept on the shelf, or not used.

Conclusion

In the end, which one should you go for? It all depends on your needs and your own set of criteria, really. I personally have taken a liking to bypass shears in general, and would definitely prefer these over anvil shears; however, if your purpose is to crush stems and are looking to use your pruners for dead stems, then the Felco Classic Manual Hand Pruner is definitely the pair for you.

As for bypass shears, I use different brands for different purposes. For beginners who don’t have much use for their pruners, the Gonicc Rotating Bypass Pruning Shears are perfect because of its unique rotating feature that not a lot of pruners on the market offer. If I want something to be done quickly and if I plan on working only on my flower garden, I use the Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears. I did, however, start out with the Mockins Professional Bypass Pruning Shears because of its price point, and have not had an ounce of regret ever since. It’s also worth mentioning that despite the need to lubricate every now and then, the Corona BP Forged Classic Bypass Pruner is nevertheless my top choice for thicker branches, as it’s quite heavy-duty despite being a pair of bypass pruning shears.

Some people may find it intimidating and quite scary to start using pruning shears at first, but once you get the hang of it, it makes your gardening experience exponentially better. The evolutionary system provided by pruning shears is unmatched, and if you’re still torn between investing in one or not, you may start out by choosing something that gives you the most flexibility and take it from there. 

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