Gardening is fun, and keeping your plants in shape requires care and maintenance. Maintaining your landscape can be difficult, and you need the best pruning shears to keep your greens alive and healthy. Pruning is used to deadhead and ensure the growth and health of your gardens.
Pruning sounds like an activity only reserved for professionals. However, as a beginner, you will find this activity fun and satisfying, especially when observing changes to your plants. While this may sound challenging for many, it can still be easier when you use the right tools.
Although pruning shears resemble household scissors, they are tougher and are made to cut dead branches, stems, and branches. Know the features of the best pruning shears and how to differentiate them from poor hand pruners. What are the best hand pruners you should consider buying in 2023?
Convenient tools make it less tedious. One of those tools you will need for pruning is the best pruning shears. Here is all you need to know about choosing the right pruning shears, the factors determining your choice, and a few best pruning shears today.
What Types of Pruning Shears Are There?
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So far, there are four pruning shears: the bypass pruners, slip cut, anvil pruners and the Anvil ratchet pruning shears.
1. Slip Cut Shears
These shears have blade cuts. They also have a counter blade that holds the branch you need to prune. If thin greens with woody stems characterize your garden, then this type of pruning shear is what you should go for.
2. Anvil Scissors
On the other hand, these shears have a cutting edge and anvil, which holds the branch to be cut. They are recommended for cutting dead wood or hard stocks.
3. Anvil Ratchet Pruning Shears
You would mistake these pruning shears for anvil scissors; however, it has a blade on one side while the other is flat. This is one of the appropriate pruning scissors for cutting through thicker branches.
4. Electric Pruning Shears
These pruners were the last to hit the market. While they are more expensive than their counterparts, they make pruning fast and easier. These pruners are available with or without handles bypass and anvil.
1. Best for Budget – Classic Cut Bypass Pruner
- MAXFORGEDTM STEEL: Corona's forging process compacts steel...
- DUAL ARC BYPASS BLADE efficiently cuts green or dry branches and...
- HAND-MATCHED HOOK AND BLADE: Slant-ground, narrow-profile hook...
- SELF-CLEANING SAP GROOVE removes debris for smooth, efficient...
- RESHARPENABLE BLADE for long-lasting performance and reliability
This is a great pruner for its durability and because it is pocket-friendly if you are on a budget. I highly recommend the Corona cut bypass pruner because it is almost half the price of yet another pruner that I recommend, the Felco-F-2 pruner.
These pruner blades are made of a forged steel alloy. Hence, I found it very easy to sharpen. It also comes with non-slip handles for both handles, thus does not slip while at work, and is comfortable while working. You can prune all day without getting tired. Its sharp steel blades cut easily through live stems and branches up to ¾ inches in diameter.
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The strong, sharp pruner blades come with a self-cleaning sap groove which is great for removing dirt and sap while cutting stems and branches. The wire cutter notch in the blade also helps cut through thin wires. Another plus is that the company sells spare parts for the pruner whenever you need one, so I do not have to render it useless once any of its parts are broken, as I can simply order the spare part online.
2. For Small Hands – Felco-F-6
- Ultra-durable - The premium pruning clippers are constructed of...
- Ergonomic design - The garden scissors have a revolving handle...
- Precise pruning - This bypass pruner offers a large cutting...
- High performance - Hardened steel blade and screw-mounted anvil...
- For medium hand - The Swiss-made plant cutter is optimal for...
I love this pruner because it is durable and very easy to use, as it comes with ultra-sharp blades. The fact that it is custom-made for small hands is yet another plus I realized. This pruner is light, weighing only 0.46 lbs. It is 8 inches in length.
Thanks to its small size, I could maneuver it through tough branches and stems easily. It has safe handles that fit your hands, and with its sharp blades, and easily cuts through branches.
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The pruner is made in Switzerland using 100% renewable energy. Though it can be repaired at home, the pruner is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Its steel blades are steep but can be sharpened with every use.
3. ARS HP-VS8XR 8-Inch Rotating Handle Hand Pruner
- Rotating handle to reduce stress on wrist and hand
- Unique latch lock enables single hand operation
- Superior blades are hard chrome plated for rust and sap...
- Non-slip coated, ergonomic handles for continued use
This is a Japanese-made hand pruner with a sizable following in the US. It is made of high-quality stainless steel metal; hence it is easy to clean and does not rust, It also does not gum up as much as Felco. On the other hand, the squeeze-lock feature guarantees less hand fatigue when pruning for long hours.
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Also, it is easy to repair as its replacement parts are readily available from its US agents, or you can order them online.
On the other hand, the squeeze-lock feature guarantees less hand fatigue when pruning for long hours. Also, it is easy to repair as its replacement parts are readily available from its US agents, or you can order them online.
I found its rotating handle minimizes stress on your wrist and hand when working. On the other hand, its unique latch lock is handy for single-hand operation, while the non-slip, ergonomic handles let you use it for a long time.
4. Burgon & Ball, Flower & Fruit Snips
- Easy to spot fluorescent color
- Robust alloy handles with contoured cushion grip
- Hardened Tempered Stainless Steel, lasting sharpness & Rust...
- Finely pointed blade for precision stem selection
- Wipe with an oiled cloth and shapen periodically
You can trust the Burgon & Ball garden gardening tools, for the company has existed long enough, since 1730, and stood the test of times. They produce high-quality and durable pruning shears and other gardening tools you might be interested in.
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If you have thin to medium stems you want to prune, then the Burgon & Ball, Flower & Fruit Snips would do a good job. I use this shear to remove dead or alive branches and harvest fruits. I like this pruner because of the following pros.
5. Burgon & Ball, Houseplant Pruner
- Orchids add instant sophistication to any décor, and these...
- Orchids can be encouraged to re-bloom with a little judicious...
- The scissor action blades with precision pointed tips are superb...
- If you’re just a little bit in love with your orchids, these...
This pruner from Burgon & Balls is a must-have for anyone who cares for larger plants like palm, fiddle-leaf, or rubber trees. It cuts through larger and woody stems effortlessly.
You can also use it to prune small branches on trees and shrubs. This is a must-have hand pruner for both indoor and outdoor plants.
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I love its versatility; it is guaranteed to provide the best pruning experience. It is easy to clean, and the stainless steel blades are designed to isolate leaves and stems and give you precise pruning.
6. Best Battery - Sun Joe Cordless Rechargeable Power Pruner
- [POWERFUL]: 3.6-Volt, 2000 mash cordless rechargeable power...
- [VERSATILE]: Easily trim green wood, branches, twigs, and stems...
- [BATTERY LIFE]: Up to 750 cuts per charge
- [RAPID CHARGE]: Charge in approximately 65 minutes
- [WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!]: Your new power pruner is backed by...
The Sun Joe Cordless Rechargeable Pruner is easily recommended for light pruning and removes branches of up to ½ inches in thickness. I have tested it on various branch thicknesses and noticed it prunes branches of ¼ inch with minimal effort and guarantees clean precise cuts.
An electric pruner may not be as powerful as a manual hand pruner but it can be an excellent option for individuals with limited hand strength.
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It is lightweight, weighing less than 3 pounds. The cordless tool can provide maximum access, and you do not have to worry about the snagging and tangling of the electrical cord. To cut a branch, squeeze a trigger found on the ergonomic handle.
7. Barebones Living Pruner
- VINTAGE-INSPIRED | Japanese Design
- DURABLE | Steel Construction
- MULTI-PURPOSE | Staple for Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
- CANVAS SHEATH | 900D Polyester Sheath with Metal Belt Clip
- REINFORCED | Heavy-duty Rivets and Copper-finished Snap Closure
Barebones is a Utah-based company focusing on philanthropy and sustainability. As a B Corp-certified company, it is focused on maintaining the utmost social and environmental performance in manufacturing gardening tools, including pruning shears.
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The company’s tools are high quality and best suited for any landscaping job. Their hand pruners do not look like any other in this list and are majorly inspired by old-world Japanese design. The shear's copper-plated accent makes them feel much fancier. We tested the Barebones Living Pruner, and I must say, you need it to be a part of your gardening tools. We liked it because of the following.
What to Look for When Selecting the Best Shears for Pruning
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When selecting the best shears for pruning, you should consider the following features:
1. The Type of Blade
Choose a blade material depending on what you will use the shears for. For instance, bypass blades will offer clean cuts. These blades cut past each other.
Anvil won't give you clean cuts since the blades meet whenever you cut. The Anvil blade also somehow crushes the plant matter. Still, the size and shape of the blades also matter quite a lot.
A long and heavier blade will see you prune a larger area, whereas if you have delicate plants, a thin and sharp-tipped blade.
2. The Handles
When talking of handles, we mean comfortability on your hands. When your shears are comfortable on your hands, you can stand up to a long day of pruning without suffering hand fatigue. Therefore, when searching for one, look for shears with easy-to-grip handles that do not cause blisters or cramps on your hand or even slip if wet.
Some handles are meant for one hand rather than the other. For instance, you will find many pruning shears and scissors meant for right-handers, while only a few units are meant for left-handers. Find two-handed shears, such as loppers or hedge trimmers which can be used for both left and right-handers.
3. Lock Mechanism
Good shears should have a lock mechanism that shuts spring loaded shear when it is not used. You should buy one that has a reliable lock to prevent accidents when not in use. The lock also must be reliable so as not to cause the blades to accidentally spring open inside the bag or seize up while pruning.
Common lock styles include squeeze locks, dial, and latch. Choose a reliable lock depending on your preference, but it should incorporate reliable engineering.
4. Durability and Maintenance
Unlike other tools that will always be clean, shears are not. Given their work, shears will often get wet, sometimes blunt, and dirty, and a worker will still throw them where they belong once they are done using them in a gardening bag.
After the blades have cut through tough and thick branches until they are covered in sap, they will still be thrown back into their bag without even cleaning.
Even without proper caring, a good pair of pruning shears can last for years. However, regular maintenance will see them serve you for decades. Sharpen the blades, replace worn-out parts occasionally, and do minor repairs.
Therefore, ensure that the hand pruners you purchase are made using durable materials that are easy to repair, and swap new parts with the worn-out part.
Like any product in the market that comes at different prices depending on a few features, pruning shears are no exception. They are priced based on type, quality, and brand. It is possible to find some that sell for as little as $10 while others are priced at $60 and above.
If you are operating on a low budget, you should still be able to shop around and find pocket-friendly shears for pruning that are high-quality and can do the job.
It is important to note, however, that those that are highly priced are mostly of better quality and have better warranties. Those are easy to repair and are made using sturdy materials. Hence, it makes sense to part with a higher amount for a durable hand pruner.
Maintenance of Pruning Shears
As with any tool that requires maintenance to last long, pruning shears are no exception. It is only through regular maintenance that they can serve you better and for long hours. Without maintenance, they will do the job for a very short time.
Depending on how much it costs, it's vital to keep them in their best condition using the following effortless ways.
- Always clean the pruner after every use using a dishwasher. The dishwasher also disinfects your pruner
- Use a scissor sharpener to sharpen the blades. You can as well use sandpaper
- Lubricate moving parts with a special lubricant for hand pruners.
- Store them in their cover and place them in a clean and dry place
Garden shears are some of the most used gardening tools. The best pruning shears are not hard to come by. However, you must understand the features to focus on that fit your gardening needs.