Best Pruning Shears and Hand Pruners – The Ideal All-Round Pruning Experience in 2019

Like anything else in life, gardening comes with a fair share of tasks and upkeep.

However, one of the most challenging tasks is pruning away the dead, damaged, and unsightly parts of your plants and trees.

Pruning, especially the fruits trees is crucial for their longevity and increased fruit yield. Besides increased fruit yield, pruning is necessary to expose your trees to more evenly light, get rid of excess leaders and create a balanced tree that will bear weight well.

However, as it turns out, pruning is not a simple task, especially if you`re using the traditional or unconventional tools.

But you don't necessarily have to call a professional landscaper or arborist to help you with this simple task.

Best Hand Pruners to Buy in 2019

Undoubtedly, all the hand pruners in our best five shears make awesome pruner options.

However, if I were to choose one, I would go with Felco F-2.

I like this pruner because it's performance-oriented and comes with a dizzying number of features that will make you relish every moment of your gardening.

The anvil-style blade design, micrometric adjustments, and hardened steel all work to make this the F-2 a gardening workhorse.

Best Product - Our Top 3 Picks

Gardener

TOP RATED

PRICE: $$

Felco

EDITOR'S CHOICE

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Rated #1 by Our Experts

Bypass

BUDGET PICK

Bypass Pruning Shears

PRICE: $$

Top 5: Best Pruning Shears

Finding a quality pruning shear is not as popping into your local gardening store and picking the first pair you see. A quality pruning shear is what you need for this job.

The best hand pruner will allow you to make your pruning process more effective, and precise

You need to put your needs first, consider what you're looking for and consider a variety of factors.

However, we've made the selection process easier for you by rounding up the top 5 hand shears on the market.

1. Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruners  

Rumor has it there's a secret password to freely get inside every conservatory, arboretum and botanical garden in the US.

Though spoken in hushed tones, right here and now, you're going to read the password in print for the first time.

That password is Felco F-2.

Ok, there's no such thing, but if there were, I bet it would be the Felco-F2

Starting on our list of the best pruning shears 2019 is the Felco F-2. Like all the Felco products, this shear does not disappoint.

It's full of exciting features that will make you relish every moment of your gardening.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Classic piece
  • Durable
  • Strong blades
  • Lightweight
  • Check Badge
    Hardened steel
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    Rubber cushion and shock-absorption
Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruners

For a start, the F-2 features an anvil style blade that allows you to cut on the thick branches. With this design, one blade will bite on the stem from one direction, while the other blade swings to bite through the narrowed wood from the other direction.

A highlight of the anvil blades is the sap groove which will prevent the blade from sticking, especially when cutting the “sappy” wood. Besides convenience, users attest that the sap groove saves them a lot of time in removing sap and other debris after each cut, and make the cleaning process easier.

But there's more to that:

If you're a perfectionist, you will love the Felco's micrometric adjustment system that allows for optimal adjustment. The micrometric adjustments mean that you're always ensured of clean and precise cuts, which is essential, especially if you`re dealing with young and fragile plants.

TOP FEATURES

  • Cutting Abilities
  • Build Quality

When it comes to handling, the F-2 has taken ease of use and convenience to new heights.

For a start, this hand shear comes with an ergonomic design for the ultimate convenience.

Alongside the ergonomics, the handle of the F-2 is reinforced using a rubber cushion that will act as shock absorbers, thus softening the impact upon finishing cutting.

Finally, weighing a modest 8.5 ounces, the F-2 is extremely lightweight, and will not tire you even when used for an extended period.

The F-2 stands-out as a garden workhorse, capable of finely pruning your roses as well as taking one inch-limbs off your trees and plants.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Cuts up to 1-inch diameter
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic
  • Robust
  • Comfortable

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Only Ideal for large hands

2. The Gardener's Friend Pruning Shears

Traditionally, pruning shears have always required a certain amount of hand strength to operate them properly.

Now, here's the problem. Most of these shears are just too difficult to use, especially for those with compromised hand strength, mobility and function.

However, The Gardeners Friend Pruners are an exception to this rule thanks to their dedicated design.

The Gardeners pruners were designed with comfort and usability in mind, meaning if you suffer from debilitating hand mobility problems such as chronic pain, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, or arthritis, you can still enjoy gardening.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Triple ratchet system
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    Soft rubber hand grip
  • Ambidextrous
  • Looped handle
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    Finger guide
The Gardener's Friend Pruning Shears

So, you're wondering how the arthritis individuals will find delight in this shear?

Well, the Gardening shear uses a triple ratchet system that uses leverage to provide easy cutting. For instance, when you squeeze the shear, it latches allowing you to release and squeeze again, thus allowing you to perform cuts in easy steps rather than at a single go.

The ratchet system is particularly perfect for those with less strength on their wrists such as seniors, or for cutting extremely thick stem that your regular shear cannot handle.

Besides the ratchet design, users love the fact that these secateurs come with a hardened carbon steel blade that is extremely pragmatic, and durable. The carbon blade is super effective at snipping and trimming thin foliage like the flower blossoms.

TOP FEATURES

  • Cutting Abilities
  • Design

Thanks to the prominent curvature of the blade, you can now cut all types of plant matter. Therefore, whether you're looking to cut the tender flowers, the young buds, the sturdy leaves, or the one-inch branches, these hand shears provide the perfect tool for a wide array on the outdoor gardening chores.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Easy to use
  • Tailored for individuals with hand mobility
  • Replaceable blade
  • Rubberized handle

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Stiff upon first use
  • Opening the shears is not intuitive

3. Bypass Pruning Shears

If you`re looking for the most versatile pruner type, you need to choose Bypass shear.

And when it comes to Best Bypass Pruners, you can never go wrong with the Cate's Garden Bypass Pruning Shears.

For years, Cate's Garden has been manufacturing state of the art gardening equipment that is durable, convenient and affordable.

The Cate's Garden Bypass Shear is no different. This shear has excelled in the gardening domain and will provide a pleasurable gardening experience.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Lightweight
  • Check Badge
    SK5 Carbon Steel grade
  • 45 degrees’ angle for ergonomic handling
  • Padded handles
  • Check Badge
    Sap groove
Bypass Pruning Shears

Of all the shears we've reviewed, the Bypass shear often the utmost perfection. Aptly named the Bypass shear, this shear acts like a pair of scissors. With this pruner, the two blades pass each other allowing you to make a clean and neat cut on the branches, provided the blades stay sharp.

The bypass blades not only offer clean-cut, but will also allow you to painlessly prune your veggies, roses, small shrubs, and flowers with utmost precision.

When it comes to the blade performance, you will be amazed by the strength of the forged carbon steel blades for heavy duty durability. The carbon steel is further reinforced with a hard chrome plating for rust resistance as well as the ultimate strength.

TOP FEATURES

  • Cutting Abilities
  • Build Quality

The Bypass is ergonomically designed and comes with 45 degree angled blades that will allow you to prune the awkward angles, and difficult to reach places without the need of painful twisting of your wrist.

The quality sculpted build of the handles, which feature an anti-slip thermoplastic (TPS) padding will allow you to use the pruner without the fear of the “slipping off” as it happens with the cheaper models. Besides restricting slipping, TPS is also handy in absorbing the shock for a continued comfort over an extended period.

Sporting an easy lever snap forged aluminum lock, the Bypass won't loosen for accidental locking or unlocking.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Bypass blades for a neat and precise cut
  • 3/4-inch cutting capacity
  • No need of constant sharpening
  • Extremely ergonomic
  • Easy to operate

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • For optimal operation, the blades must always remain sharp

4. ARS HP-VS8Z Signature Heavy Duty Hand Pruner

4th on our list of the best hand pruners is the ARS HP-VS8Z.

The ARS is for the hardcore gardeners and is considered a professional hand pruner.

Like the best hand pruners on our list, the ARS features sharp and quality blades. Uniquely, however, the ARS blades can be replaced and resharpened.

What we like about this pruner is that the blade design is already offset for you to have a natural hand force. Plus, the blades are chrome-plated for a rust-free experience.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • “Squeeze-Open and Lock System”
  • Check Badge
    Superior and long-lasting sharpness from ABS
  • Replaceable blades
  • Rust Free
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    Ergonomic design
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    Off-set blades for maximum comfort
ARS HP-VS8Z Signature Heavy Duty Hand Pruner

Sporting Marquenched, high carbon steel, the ARS blades are hard and durable. More importantly, marquenching of the blades is crucial at keeping your shears sharp for longer. The blade offers an increased impact resistance which will keep the blades sharp and durable.

A major highlight of this pruner is the squeeze-open and Lock system which offers the convenience of operating the tool and allows you to use the pruner single-handedly. Here, you're required to squeeze your thumb on the upper handle to unlock the shear. To lock it, you need to move your thumb.

TOP FEATURES

  • Cutting Abilities
  • Build Quality

If you're observant, you'll notice that the shear comes with a spring located between the handles. The cushioning spring is crucial for getting the handles smashed together. When you squeeze the cushioning spring, the handles move slowly and conveniently without making any noise.

Undoubtedly, the ARS is a hard-core hand shear that will address all your pruning needs.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to disassemble
  • Ideal for heavy-duty tasks
  • Rust free

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Requires constant sharpening

5. ClassicPRO Titanium Pruning Shears

Made for the professional and home use, the ClasscPro is the ideal choice for the toughest gardening challenges.

The striking design of this hand pruning tool is assured to make you fall in love with it.

Strong and powerful, this shear is equally sturdy and has employed sharp titanium blades to tackle any task.

So whether you`re looking for a tool to tackle tree branches, shrubs, hedges and orchards, is strong enough, yet tender, and precise on the delicate rose stems, ornamentals and flowers.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Titanium blades
  • Check Badge
    Remarkable design
  • Inbuilt sap grooves
  • Aluminum handles
ClassicPRO Titanium Pruning Shears

Like the Cate's Garden Bypass shear we reviewed above, the ClassicPro Titanium is also a classic bypass shear that delivers great performance and makes your toughest gardening task easier.

Sporting titanium blade construction, this shear is extremely sturdy and durable. Sturdiness aside, the titanium coating also accentuate on the sharpness and helps in lowering the friction, thus adding years to the prunes life.

The ClassicPro has time and again been quoted as the best pruning shear, thanks to its impeccable design that is made while keeping in mind the level of comfort while using it.

For instance, this shear is ergonomically engineered with an anti-slip red cushioned handle grip that is accentuated with shock absorbing pads. With such a construction, you can always be guaranteed a comfortable and pleasuring pruning experience.

What's more? The shock-absorbing padding on this aluminum handle on this tool makes it apt for the intensive users as well as those with hand mobility issues.

TOP FEATURES

  • Cutting Abilities
  • Design

Designed from high-quality Japanese Grade stainless steel hardened blades, the ClassicPro blades are more durable than the traditional blades.

Again, like the Felco-2 we reviewed earlier, this hand pruner also comes with a micrometric adjustable system that will allow you to make manual adjustments of the cutting blades depending on the task at hand.

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WHAT WE LIKED

  • Built for hard use
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Ideal for senior
  • Ideal for those with hand mobility issues

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Not Ideal for people with small hands

How to Buy the Best Hand Pruners & Pruning Shears?

Though we're all gardeners, everyone has varying needs, meaning that no shear is one-size fits all.

Therefore, when choosing the best gardening pruner, you need to consider varying factors to get a pruner that works best for you.

Let's look at some of these factors;

Type

There`re three types of pruning shears, with each type designed for a slightly different use. Ideally, the best type is the bypass design, but not always.

Bypass Pruner

The bypass pruners are like a pair of scissors which pass each other with the material to be cut in between them.

The benefit of the bypass pruners is the result to clean and neat cuts, provided the blades are sharp.

Anvil Pruners

The anvil pruners are slightly different from the bypass in that a single blade lowers down and pushes against a flat surface.

Though not as versatile as the bypass blades, they are more accommodating and can work even when slightly blunt.

They are ideal for thick branches.

Ratchet Pruners

The ratchet pruners use a special mechanism to cut through branches even when the user has hand mobility issues.

They require the use of multiple actions to perform a single cut.  The ratchet shears are mainly used by those with arthritis or other muscular/strength issues.

Size

With respect to pruners, size refers to the size your garden shear can cut.

The shears sizes range considerably from anywhere from ½ inches to 1.5 inches.

If you're using your shears for small soft plants, then it's okay to use any size. However, if you're looking to prune the woody shrubs, twigs, or large plants, choose a shear with ¾ inches s the least size.

Alternatively, if you`re not good with estimating, you can check on the manufacturer's recommendations to see which size the shears can deal with easily.

Weight

When pruning, you want to work comfortably, without getting bogged by the weight of your pruner, especially if you tend to prune for long hours each day.

Therefore, when choosing your ideal pruner choose a pruner with a weight which you`re comfortable with.

Remember that even for short-term use, a heavy pruner will put a strain in your hands just by holding them so choose your pruner wisely.

The material of the Blade

The material of the blade plays an essential role in the performance of the pruner.

There're dozens of options to choose from with regards to the material of the blade.

However, the metal-based blades such as aluminum or steel should be a good bargain for your pruning needs.

In most cases, the metal-based blades are durable, sturdy and effective.

Besides the blade material, also look out for those with a coating that improves on the performance of the blade.

For instance, one of the most popular coatings is chrome or titanium, which help in preventing rusts as well as improving the overall aesthetics of the blade.

Ergonomics

Good ergonomics will ensure that you have a hassle-free and comfortable pruning experience.

Proper ergonomics will also ensure that you`re able to prune the hard to reach spots without necessarily having to twist your wrists painfully.

Ergonomics range from padding of the handles, gear and a joint mechanism for less strain to angled blades.

Ease of Disassembling and Availability of Materials

As time passes, you will need to maintain and sharpen your pruners.

Therefore, it`s essential that when choosing a pruner, look for one that is easy to disassemble with the least effort.

Also, ensure that you find a pruner that you can replace individual parts easily, and whose manufacturers produce these parts for.

Pruning Shears FAQs

What should I do if my pruning shears are going dull?
A majority of the shears have blades that can be resharpened, meaning you don`t have to throw them away or replace them when they go dull. Instead, you can sharpen the blades using a hand file, or get a professional do the job or you.

Can pruning shear cut through thick stems and branches?

Most of the pruning shears are designed to cut through relatively thin plants and stems. In any case, as we mentioned above, pruners can only tackle anything that is within their size, which is mostly 1-inch in size.

What is the good way to store pruning shears?
Once you`re done with your shears, wipe them and ensure they`re completely dry before stowing them.

Store them somewhere safe and dry. And for safety reasons, keep them away from kids, and always store them with the blades closed and locked.

Conclusion

Having a quality pruner will ensure that you perform your pruning more efficient and fast.

Now that you have a list of the top 5 pruners in the market, your pruning task has become a lot easier.

Choose a pruner that you feel will address your gardening needs to your satisfaction.

Qaiser
 

Qaiser, a 30-year-old gardener, co-founded Treillage with an aim to help educate the masses in green living. He heads the team responsible for testing and reviewing every gardening product that is featured on Treillage.

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