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Anne Marie Van Nest

Professional Gardening Expert

Best Garden Hand Pruners & Best Anvil Hand Pruners

It’s the same as asking if Ford is better than DaimlerChrysler or General Motors. Are Bypass prunes better than anvil or ratchet types? All of them will cut off a dead rose bloom. But not all of them will do it the same way. Anvil type pruners have one sharp blade and one fixed, non-cutting surface- the “anvil”. The sharp blade swings against the plant stem and with pressure cuts the stem. When anvil pruners get dull they tend to crush the stem instead of cutting it. Ratchet pruners use a gear type mechanism to multiply hand strength to make the pruning job easier. Often ratchet pruners are also anvil types. Bypass pruners cut like scissor with one sharpened blade passing another duller one. The bypass cutting action, using a properly adjusted and sharpened pruner will give a very clean cut. Many gardeners prefer the clean cut of a bypass pruner.

And what is a secateur? It’s a French word dating back to 1881, derived from the Latin word secare meaning “to cut”. The British have adopted secateur as a term for hand pruners.

So when choosing a great pair of secateurs (or pruners as well) additional considerations should include…

* Comfort, size and weight in your hand
* Pruner adaptation to provide extra cutting power?
* Ease of dismantling for cleaning, sharpening and replacement parts
* How long it holds its edge and stays tightened? Will the pruners make a clean cut without twisting and tearing?
* Sap and rust resistance and the convenience of a wire cutting notch
* Durability of handle coverings, springs, shock absorbing bumpers, and other parts
* Strength of blade material to resist nicks from accidentally pruning wire or stones
* Is it pocket or holster sized?
* How easy is the locking mechanism to use? Can it be used one handed? Is it durability and secure? There’s nothing more frustrating than a pruner that won’t stay locked!
* Can you find your pruners in the garden after you put them down?
* Is it slim design for reaching tight areas? Perhaps two sizes of pruner are needed
* Ergonomically designed to keep the hand in a comfortable neutral position to ease strain on wrists, arms and hands?
* Left and right handed models (or ones that can be used by both)

Know the size of your pruning job. Check the pruner branch diameter rating. Maybe loppers are a better choice instead of causing arm, wrist and pruner strain by cutting a branch too large for the pruner.

For the best garden hand pruners, you'll need to know whether you need the best anvil hand pruners, bypass hand pruners or ratchet pruners. We help you find the best bypass hand pruners, or ratchet and anvil pruners that meets your needs.

Best Garden Hand Pruners by Anne Marie Van Nest

The Best You Can Get

  • Felco Pruners (Models 7, 10 and 12)

    Anne says: This pruner is the ultimate hand pruning machine. The hand cradles the pruner and instantly it starts to move. An ergonomic design eases strain on overworked wrists and the nifty rotating handle swivels takes a little getting use to but with each pruning cut, fewer blisters and hand fatigue.

    You’ll find parts readily available for the infrequent replacement including springs that get launched into space and new red coating when the anvil blade handle gets damaged when used as a hammer.

    Available in left (F10) or right (F7) handed versions and for smaller hands (F12).

    • Rotating handle = maximum comfort
    • Easily disassembles
    • Well balanced and ergonomically designed
    • Durable and exceptional quality
  • Felco Pruners (Models 8 and 9)

    Anne says: Ergonomically designed so that the pruner cuts at the most comfortable wrist position with an angled pruning head and more contoured handles. Well balanced for a comfortable feel. Well designed for quality pruning cuts and good usability.

    Handy wire cutting notch in the back of the blade. Easy to dismantle for cleaning, sharpening and parts replacement. All parts available for replacement.

    Available in left (F9) or right (F8) handed versions. This is the same as model 7 and 10 but without the rotating handle.

    • Ergonomic design meets the original design
    • It’s all about the angles
    • Replaceable parts
    • Hardened steel blade
  • Bahco Pruners - PXR Series

    Anne says: Available in two rolling handle sizes, three spring strengths and three cutting head sizes as well as left and right handed models for the perfect fit. How much more choice does anyone need?

    Rotating handles help to avoid blisters from repetitive pruning.

    Angled cutting head, ergonomically designed with vertical and lateral inclinations to reduce stress on the hand, wrist, and arm.

    All parts available for replacement.

    • Custom sized for the best fit
    • Coated rotating handle
    • Angled to be an extension of the arm
    • Interchangeable spring strengths
  • Bahco Pruners - PX Series

    Anne says: It’s all about choice! Custom sized with three handle lengths, three spring strengths and three cutting head sizes as well as left and right handed models for the perfect fit. Includes three durable and super strong springs for a personalized tension setting. Replaceable parts available for everything.

    Comfortable handles with clean lines to reduce hand stress. Easy to use and convenient snap-shut thumb lock.

    This is the same as the Bahco PXR but with a fixed handle.

    • Custom sized for the best hand fit
    • Ergonomically designed
    • Very durable construction
    • Exceptional comfort and durability
  • Fiskars Wilkinson Sword Pruners

    Anne says: The PowerGear® mechanism increases the cutting potential of this pruner and with little human effort; near super hero strength is achieved.

    Reinforced fiberglass composite body and handles are strong, yet light weight.

    Non-stick blade makes pruning easier.

    The rolling lower handle mimics the hands closing motion to reduce hand fatigue.

    Innovation and modern technology to the rescue! Tools like this PowerGear pruner are allowing more people to enjoy working in their garden longer.

    • PowerGear® mechanism for easier cutting
    • Rolling handle reduces fatigue
    • Large or small models to fit hand sizes
    • Soft upper handle grip for comfort

You will be happy with any of these

  • Felco Pruners (Model 2)

    Anne says: The original Felco design and still a favorite of horticulturists around the world. It’s the pruner (secateur even) that many a horticulturist has held in their hands as they learned the trade and now refuse to give up their “old friend” for anything (me included). This pruner has been the standard for over 40 years. Often imitated but never duplicated.

    Easy to deconstruct and reassemble after cleaning and sharpening. Although rarely needed, all parts are available for replacement.

    • The Original
    • Heavy duty, quality product
    • Rubber shock absorbers
    • The standard for over 40 years
  • Fiskars Pruner - Professional Bypass Pruner (9124)

    Anne says: Ergonomically-designed, angled cutting head to reduce wrist fatigue during big pruning jobs.

    Replaceable hardened steel blade.

    Composite handles for greater strength, lighter weight and increased durability.


    • Ergonomically designed angled cutting head
    • Comfortable handles
    • Adjustable blade tension for precision pruning
    • Right or left hand use
  • Corona Pruner - Professional 1” Bypass Pruner (BP6250)

    Anne says: Lightweight forged aluminum handles with a pruner friendly non-slip coating.

    Shock absorbing bumper to reduce pruning fatigue.

    Replaceable steel blade includes a handy wire-cutting notch.

    Longer 11” length for better hard-to-reach access.

    • Lightweight
    • Longer 11” length
    • Traditional pruner style
    • Handy, easy to use thumb lock
  • Corona Pruner - Bypass Pruner 1” (BP 3180)

    Anne says: A heavy duty pruner with an old-fashioned, no-frills design. It gets the job done without any fuss. Perfect for the no-nonsense type of gardener. Nothing flashy about this pruner but it certainly gets the job done.

    Replacement blades available.

    Easy to use thumb lock simply latches to close. Nothing complicated about it. Non-slip rubber coating on handles also helps to locate these pruners when they get set down in the garden.

    • Forged for strength
    • Simple yet very effective design
    • Wire cutting notch
    • Heavy duty
  • Corona Pruner - Professional ErgoArc Bypass Pruner (6590)

    Anne says: A sleek, curved design looks great and is ergonomically designed to ease the strain on overworked wrists and arms. This pruner combines durability, comfort, and beauty together in one package. Replaceable carbon steel blades available.

    Located on the top of the bypass blade is a handy, built in, sharpened notch (don’t worry it won’t harm people or plants) that is perfect for opening bags of soil or fertilizer. Usually, I struggle messily with my car key to do this.

    The large handle loop makes storage easy on a vertical wall for fast response to pruning assignments.

    • Innovative ergonomic design
    • Angled cutting head
    • Handy bag opener on the bypass blade
    • Large handle loop for vertical storage

Related Articles

When you want the best garden hand pruners, consider several factors, from size and weight to pruner adaptation to provide extra cutting power. Choose from the best anvil pruners, best bypass hand pruners and best ratchet pruners that offer different ways of cutting to fit your needs. Always the best price, these garden hand pruners will help you create the perfect rose bush.