Pruning shears are one of the essential garden tools for most yards. They are a very strong scissors that are commonly used to prune shrubs and small branches. Their small size allows access to small areas that larger sized shears like loppers cannot reach. Despite being a hand tool, the best pruning shears can cut up to 3/4 ” without much effort.
The two common types of pruning or hand shears are bypass and anvil. Bypass shears have two curved blades. At least one blade is sharp to allow for cutting. They work like a pair of typical scissors where one blade passes by the other to make a cut. Anvil shears have a sharp blade that closes on top of a straight surface (the anvil). Generally, bypass shears are designed to cut shrubs or trees that are alive, while anvil shears are better for dead plants.
Having used poor quality pruning shears through the years, I can tell you that it pays to invest in the best pruning shears you can reasonably afford. Quality shears will save you from the pain of dealing with blisters or other injuries. They will also make your work much easier so you can actually enjoy your gardening.
Gonicc Professional Premium Titanium
These 8″ pruning shears can cut up to an approximate 3/4″ diameter branch. The titanium blade is extremely sharp and will maintain its sharpness for countless cutting sessions. The padded handles ensure comfort and help deter blisters. You might pay a bit more for these pruning shears than your average pruner, but they will last. This is one of those products that you can tell is built with quality in mind just by looking at it.
Corona ClassicCut Forged Bypass
This hand pruner cuts up to 1″ in diameter. It features a built in sap groove to help redirect sap to maintain cutting efficiency. The blade is resharpenable and is made from forged steel alloy. The built-in lock ensures safety when the pruner is not in use.
Fiskars All Steel Bypass
When you buy a Fiskars product you know you are purchasing a quality tool at a very reasonable price. This pruning shear is designed to cut up to 5/8″, which is ideal for small tasks. The non-slip grips provide a nice level of comfort while also helping keep the user safe. The Fiskars pruning shears also contain a sap groove to help deter the blade from sticking. One of the convenient features of these pruning shears is the positioning of the safety lock. The lock is that orange circle in the center of the shears as pictured above. A simple flick of the thumb can unlock or lock the safety with little hassle.
Gonicc Professional SK-5
The high carbon steel blade keeps these anvil pruning shears sharp for many cuts. You can cut up to 3/4″ diameter size branches. These 8″ shears offer a single hand safety release/lock for easy operation. The handles are not a thick as some other brands which may be ideal for people with smaller hands. Gonicc offers 100% money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty, which speaks to the quality of this product.
Crenova Professional Premium Titanium Bypass
These 8″ shears will cut up to 3/4″ diameter branches. They have a sap groove to help prevent having to clean the blade during use. The SK-5 carbon steel blade is rust-proof and will provide smooth cutting after many uses. One of the nice features on these hand pruners is the padded sponge handles. They have just enough padding to allow comfortable cutting while not being too bulk to sacrifice grip for most people. The product comes with a lifetime warranty.
Premier Blades SK-5 Carbon Steel
As you probably already realized from the picture, these shears come with a cool holder (sheath) that can easily attach to a belt or other area for convenient access. A sheath does not come with most other pruning shears so you are truly getting a bonus if you choose to purchase this item. The SK-5 carbon steel blades ensure a strong cut for reasonably sized branches, limbs, and other greenery. The well designed padded handles will allow you to use these shears for a very long time without discomfort.
Oakridge Bypass Pruners
The real wood handles set these pruners a part from many other similar products. These shears are simply beautiful and come with a quality leather sheath for storage. This versatile bypass pruner features forged stainless steel for many hours of sharp cutting. You will feel like a professional gardener, if you aren’t already, if you own these shears.
Cate’s Garden Premium Bypass
This 8″ bypass hand pruner comes with a SK5 high carbon steel blade, which allows for cutting up to 3/4″. The product contains a sap groove and a 45 degree angle blade to make tight or difficult cuts. The shears lock from the bottom for safety.
Flora Guard Traditional Bypass
If you a looking for lower cost, but quality pruning shears, Flora Guard may be an option for you. The blade is made from a high quality SK-5 carbon steel, much like many other higher priced pruners. The economical handles provide comfort while preventing slipping. The cutting maximum is a solid 3/4″. The shears are manufactured to last without putting a dent in your wallet.
The Gardener’s Friend Anvil Style
If you enjoy gardening but have difficultly operating gardening tools due to hand weakness, these shears may be a great option for you. The leverage system allows for much easier cutting than your typical pruner. These shears were developed by a professional gardener with decades of experience. You know that you are getting a product made with the consumer in mind. You can tell just by the picture why these made our list for one of the best pruning shears for this year.
Florian Ratchet-Cut Anvil
At 7.5 ” long, these are one of the smallest pruning shears listed. However, these shears will have no problem cutting most garden or yard plants at or less than 3/4″ diameter. Yes, the handles are not padded like others on the list, but the quality blade puts minimal stress on your hands and the fiberglass construction allows for lightweight use.
Buying the Best Pruning Shears
While we provided a good list of some of the best pruning shears on the market, there are many quality shears out there beyond what is displayed above. There are also a lot of low quality shears that will not last through one gardening season and are frankly junk. Below we have listed some tips on finding a good pair of pruning shears.
- Comfort: Look for handles that provide ample padding that are made from a quality material. If the handles are not padded well, make sure you are buying a shear that is known to continuously cut smoothly.
- Quality Blade: You should not have to put up a struggle to cut something like a 1/2″ to 2/4″ branch. The blade should be made from a quality carbon steel that is known to maintain its sharpness.
- Sap Channel: You should look for pruning shears that have a sap channel. This will keep the blade free of sap and will help avoid interrupting your cutting.
- Money Back Guarantee and Warranty: A sign of a good pruning shear is often one where the company offers a 100% money back guarantee and/or an extremely long warranty. This often signals that the company stands behind the quality of their product.
- Locking Feature: Safety is always important when dealing with cutting tools. A quality pruner will come with a way to lock the shears when not in use. That being said, the locking feature should also not get in the way of your cutting. Locks that dangle or lock up unnecessarily when cutting can be a major nuisance. We personally like the button slide lock that is picture in the Fiskars and Flora shears above.
Good luck with your gardening! We hope you were able to find the best pruning shears for your needs.