The 11 Best Pruners of 2022

Our top choice is the Fiskars 391041-1001 PowerGear2 Pruner

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The Spruce / Amelia Manley

Every gardener knows that hand pruners, or secateurs, are the one tool that is used almost every day. Pruning plants keeps them healthy by removing dead or dying branches, so nutrients can go to the parts of the plant, helping them grow. Pruning plants also gives them better curbside appeal.

We researched the best pruners for many types of needs such as trimming rose bushes, flowers and even trees. Our top overall pick is the Fiskars 391041-1001 PowerGear2 Pruner; we believe it has the best combination of sharp blades for the cleanest cuts; best size, so you can access just where and how you need to cut; and are easy on your hand.

To help you find the right pruners for you and for the tasks you need to accomplish in the garden, here are the best pruners on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Fiskar PowerGear 2 Pruner

4.5
Fiskars PowerGear2 Pruner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • One-handed operation

  • Fits smaller hands well

  • Blades lock closed for storage

  • Lifetime guarantee

What We Don't Lke
  • Not made for left-handers

Who else recommends it? MSN and Popular Mechanics all picked the Fiskar PowerGear 2 Pruner.

What do buyers say? 88% of 1,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Sharp enough to snip away the most tender stem but heavy-duty enough to handle branches up to 3/4 inch thick, the Fiskars PowerGear 2 Pruner is a must-have tool. Use them for all kinds of tasks, whether to remove wayward branches, or snip stems while gathering a fresh bouquet for the table.

We love the smooth operation of the blades. A modified gear-and-cam mechanism allows cutting through branches easily without having to apply excessive hand pressure. And the bypass-style hardened steel blades have a low-friction coating that allows sap to roll off, reducing gumming and providing rust resistance.

The contoured handles, which rotate, are designed to reduce hand fatigue. The handles are comfortable and should fit the shape and natural motion of most hands, And, the cutting action makes the pruners easy to use for those with small hands and less hand strength. However, we've noted that lefties can't take advantage of this feature because the handles rotate only one way.

We do like that after you clean the blades before you use them, you can lock the blades so they can remain free of gunk. Fiskars backs up this product with a lifetime guarantee.

Price at time of publish: $27

Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: 3/4 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Best for Light Duty: FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear

4.8
FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy access in hard-to-reach areas

  • Fits most hands comfortably

  • Anti-stickiness coating

What We Don't Like
  • Stiff locking mechanism

Despite their higher price point than other brands, Swiss-made Felco pruners are frequently the top pick of horticulturists, thanks to their durability and variety of designs. We like this anvil model because they're easy to hold and use, and their slim design gives you easier access to hard-to-reach areas. The forged-aluminum alloy handles are made to fit comfortably in small to medium-sized hands and have a rubber cushioned shock-absorbing coating.

A sap groove forged into the hardened steel blades is designed to prevent sap from building up during use and causing the blades to stick. When you are ready to store them, you can lock the blades to keep them gunk-free. (Though we have noted that the mechanism can seem stiff, at least at first.) All parts of the Felco F2 pruners are replaceable and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Price at time of publish: $59

Type: Anvil | Maximum Cut Capacity: 1 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Yes

FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear

The Spruce / Sarah Vanbuskirk 

Best Ratchet: The Gardener's Friend Ratchet Pruning Shears

The Gardener's Friend Pruners, Ratchet Pruning Shears

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Ratchet reduces raw strength need

  • Soft rubber handgrips

  • Suitable for right- and left-handers

  • Included detachable cleaning sponge

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of inconsistent product quality

The ergonomic design of these three-stage ratchet pruners makes them comfortable for use by all but the largest hands and the leverage given by the three-step ratchet mechanism helps complete cuts with less effort than a typical pruner. Each cut consists of three parts or stages: You depress and release at each stage until the cut is made.

Made from lightweight aluminum, the handgrip is coated with soft rubber to prevent slippage and is suitable for both left and right-handed users. The carbon steel blade is coated to prevent stickiness from sap. And to clean them, you can use the included detachable sponge. These pruners also come with a spare blade; you can purchase a replacement when both have become dull.

Price at time of publish: $40

Type: Ratchet | Maximum Cut Capacity: 1 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Best Heavy Duty: ARS HP-VS8Z Signature Heavy Duty Pruner

ARS HP-VS8Z Signature Heavy Duty Pruner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Fit smaller hands nicely

  • Single-hand operation

  • Chrome plated for sap resistance

  • 25-year limited warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Locking can be difficult

ARS is a familiar name in gardening tools, and their heavy-duty pruner lives up to its name in durability and sharpness. Comfortable to use, even for smaller hands, and easy to lock and unlock with one hand, the clippers work well on green and woody stems up to 1 inch. 

The chrome-plated blades offer protection against rust and sap and are offset to maximize hand strength. Replacement blades are available, and the ARS website has step-by-step illustrations of how to replace blades on all of their models.

The Japanese manufacturer notes that the only authentic version of this product—covered by the 25-year product-wide limited warranty—arrives with English packaging and with red handles. Any product arriving with blue handles is not a genuine ARS pruner.

Price at time of publish: $30

Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: 1 inch | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Best for Less Hand Stress: gonicc 8" Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

Gonicc 8" Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Comfortable cutting action

  • Sharp titanium blades

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Spring can break after heavy use

If repetitive motions make your hands stiff after a long day in the garden, the gonicc bypass pruners may reduce the aches. Their cushioned handles and smooth opening motion make even the most repetitive gardening tasks easier to deal with. The frame is made from lightweight aluminum, and the handles are covered with a cushion of PVC foam material for a comfortable and non-slip grip.

The easy-on-the-hands action in no way subtracts from their effectiveness. These bypass pruners feature exceptionally sharp titanium blades that cut branches up to 3/4 inches in diameter. The scissor-like motion is smooth and leaves a clean cut. As with many other products we recommend, this one includes a sap groove in the anvil blade that's designed to channel off sap. This can help keep pruning shears from sticking.

The pruners have a lifetime warranty.

Price at time of publish: $28

Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: 3/4 inch | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Best for Small Hands: Corona BP 4214D FlexDIAL ComfortGEL Bypass Pruner

5
Corona Clipper BP 4214D Flex Dial Bypass Pruner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Eight grip settings

  • Different cut settings

  • Use on a variety of plants

What We Don't Like
  • Lock can engage after each cut

If you have gardeners of different hand sizes who share tools, then the Corona Flex Dial Bypass Pruning Shears are a perfect choice. The adjustable grip allows you to custom fit this tool for small hands—as narrow as 3.25 inches—to large hands, over 8 inches in width. Thumb movement on a dial located between the blades lets you lock in one of eight settings. The grip is coated with a gel for comfort and a non-slip feel.

The dial not only adjusts the grip size but also changes the cutting power level of the coated non-stick blades. Lower settings are best for small, fast cuts of new plant growth. Higher settings work best when cutting through large, woody branches. The carbon steel blades easily clip a variety of plants with a single hand. Those include thin and flexible vines, citrus tree branches, and woody branches.

On the downside, we have noted that the locking mechanism, intended to keep the blades from getting gunked up during storage, can engage after every cut. Also, we've noted a tendency for the blades to rust prematurely.

Price at time of publish: $30

Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: 3/4 inch | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Corona BP 4214D FlexDIAL ComfortGEL Bypass Pruner
The Spruce / Danielle Directo-Meston

Best Battery: Sun Joe Cordless Rechargeable Power Pruner

 Sun Joe Rapid Cutting Cordless Rechargeable Power Pruner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • No cord allows portability

  • Weighs less than 3 pounds

  • Dual lights to see better

What We Don't Like
  • Unrealistic battery life claimed

For light pruning with ease, the Sun Joe Cordless Rechargeable Pruner does a good job at removing branches up to 1/2 inch thick—we recommend 1/4 inch as a width with minimal effort—with clean, precise cuts. While not as powerful as manual pruners, this cordless model works well for those with limited hand strength. We also like that the lightweight (under 3 pounds) tool's cordless capability provides maximum access without having to worry about electrical cord tangles and snags.

Cuts are made by squeezing a trigger on the ergonomic handle, and the manufacturer claims a cut rate of a half-inch branch in half a second. A safety switch helps prevent accidental cuts. An extra plus is the dual LED lights to help pinpoint the stem that needs to be removed.

The manufacturer claims the battery can last up to 750 cuts when fully charged, but we believe 350 is a more reliable number.

Price at time of publish: $56

Type: Rechargeable Power Pruner | Maximum Cut Capacity:: 1/2 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Safety Switch

Best Long-handled: Corona Compound Action Bypass Lopper

Corona FL 3460 Compound Action Bypass Lopper

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Handles extend to 33 inches

  • 12-inch non-slip grips

  • 10-year limited warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Handgrips can require readjusting

When a single hand isn't strong enough to cut thick, woody branches from large shrubs and trees, resort to a lopper. As opposed to a pruner, loppers employ two hands and long handles for more power. So you can stand firmly on the ground and still take care of many pruning tasks without a ladder. This product's fiberglass handles can extend from 21 to 33 inches.

These Corona bypass loppers are sturdy but lightweight enough (1.5 pounds) to maneuver easily, and the high-carbon-steel blades can cut through branches up to 1.5 inches thick. The blades can be resharpened or replaced for years of sharp cuts.

The handles feature 12-inch non-slip foam grips. But we have noted that they can tend to slide, requiring continuous readjustment.

The manufacturer offers a 10-year limited warranty.

Price at time of publish: $36

Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: 1 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Not listed

Best Left-handed: Felco 10 Bypass Pruner

Felco Pruning Shears (F 10)

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Optimal grip for left-handers

  • Same features as their other products

What We Don't Like
  • Price seems exorbitant

Many products for the garden and elsewhere are designed with an inherent right-hander bias and can be awkward for left-handers to use. Fortunately, some companies, such as Felco, offer quality left-handed tools. This bypass pruner is the left-handed version of the Felco 7. The Felco 10 bypass pruner makes precise cuts up to 1 inch in diameter. With an adjustment key, the pruner requires 30 percent less effort than other pruners. A revolving handle is oriented to left-handed operation.

Of course, this product is also appropriate for righties, particularly those with large hands. Both lefties and righties also should appreciate the product's light weight, at just over half a pound. What we don't appreciate is the price point, which is almost 30 percent higher than their right-handed models.

Price at time of publish: $91

Blade Length: Not listed | Maximum Cut Capacity: 1 inch thick | Locking Mechanism: Not listed

Best Bypass: Felco F-6 Classic Pruner for Smaller Hands

Felco F-6 Pruning Shears

Felco

What We Like
  • Designed for small hands

  • Excellent for small cutting areas

  • Minimizes wrist strain

  • All components are replaceable

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of rusting

This compact product, intended for use on small shrubs and vines, gets widespread acclaim for its combination of robust cutting power, precision, efficiency, and comfort. We like the narrow anvil blade, which eases snipping those small sub-branches, and how you can adjust the heads for a cleaner cut, making the wound quicker to seal. The manufacturer claims the distinctive rotating handle and rubber shock absorbers should reduce strain on the wrist. 

But we note that the little things make this pruner stand out. For instance, the hardened-steel blades have built-in sap grooves, which should help prevent them from sticking. A wire cutting notch can prevent excessive blade blunting. And the cushioned red grips make these essential garden implements easy to find. Plus, the blades and other components are replaceable, so your purchase never wears out.

Price at time of publish: $55

Blade Length: 8 inches | Type: Bypass | Maximum Cut Capacity: .8 inch | Locking Mechanism: Not listed


Best for Trees: Fiskars 394731-1002 Chain Drive Extendable Tree Pruner and Pole Saw

Fiskars 394731-1002 Chain Drive Extendable Tree Pruner and Pole Saw

Amazon

What We Like
  • Extendable, locking pole

  • Removable saw blade

  • Lifetime warranty on pole 

What We Don't Like
  • Some reports of pole lock failing

While you can purchase a tree pruner (also known as a pole saw) in longer lengths, we believe this model, with an oval-shaped fiberglass pole that extends 7 to 16 feet, is tall enough for most people to handle with confidence. A double lock with an internal spring button ensures the pole stays at your desired length. 

The two-blade system (pruner and two-edged saw) and chain drive should be able to snip branches to 1.25 inches thick. (The manufacturer claims its trademarked technology gives you more power to cut, although we don’t understand how you could measure this.) And you can remove the saw, by undoing a thumbscrew, if you just want to snip thin branches. 

The manufacturer ensures this product with a full lifetime warranty on the pole, although the blades and rope will degrade over time.

Price at time of publish: $90

Blade length: 15 inches | Maximum cut capacity: 1.25 inches | Locking Mechanism: Yes

Final Verdict

The best overall pruners are the Fiskar PowerGear 2 Pruner. The pruners are sturdy, sharp, and feature a modified gear-and-cam mechanism that allows the user to cut through branches up to 3/4 inch with ease. If you are left-handed and an avid gardener, spend a bit more for the Felco 10 Bypass Pruner for an excellent pair of comfortable pruners.

What to Look For in Pruners

Type

Finding the right pruner for the job is easy if you understand how to use the three types of pruners: anvil, bypass, and ratchet.

Anvil pruners use only one sharpened blade that produces a crushing action to remove branches as it strikes a groove on the stationary base. They are best for dead branches but can crush soft green stems.

Bypass pruners make cuts with two sharpened blades. They are perfect for green branches and stems because they make clean cuts that help prevent disease from invading the plant.

Ratchet pruners are similar to anvil pruners but have a mechanism that allows you to exert less pressure on the handles while cutting larger branches. As you squeeze the handles about halfway, the ratchet mechanism engages, releasing the handles to open wider so you can squeeze again to finish the cut. Ratchet pruners are best for removing larger dead branches from woody shrubs.

Size

The type of job you’re tackling certainly influences the size of pruners you want to pick, but so should the size of your hands and how much weight you’re able to handle comfortably. Some pruners are made specifically for those with small hands. They come in a variety of materials, some of which are heavier than others. 

Ease of use

Pruning can be a tough job, but the right pair of pruners can make the job easier. From those products with ergonomic grips to special handles built for comfort, various factors affect how easy the products are to use. Some are made specifically for people with hands that have been weakened by arthritis, age, and other factors. 

Ergonomic design

Foam, gel, or easy-grip handles can help prevent hand fatigue. Choose a grip that is suitable for the size of your hands.

Safety features

The best pruners have locking mechanisms that keep the blades closed when not in use. While this feature is essential for safety, it can be frustrating if it engages while using the pruners. Choose a pruner with the lock near the blades rather than the grip to prevent accidental engagement.

Blade material

The best blades are rust- and corrosion-resistant and coated to help sap slide away, preventing the blades from sticking. Stainless steel blades do not rust but are difficult to sharpen and can break or bend on hard branches. Carbon-steel blades are tough and strong and can be sharpened but are prone to rust unless coated. Look for carbon-steel blades that are coated with titanium (they are gold in color) that provide strength and rust resistance.

Spring mechanism

The spring mechanism in pruners forces the blades apart after each cut. Look for a securely attached, heavy-duty spring that can withstand years of use.

FAQ
  • How do you know it's time to use a pruner on your plants?

    Pruning is done for aesthetics and to control plants from growing where you don't want them to, but it's also a way to help fruit and flowers grow. When a plant displays less-than-healthy branches, it can't supply enough nutrients to help healthy growth. Pruning unhealthy, dying or dead branches, with clean, sharp cuts, allows the plant to send nutrients where they do the most good.


    Different plants should be pruned at different times. Since pruning fruit trees and berry plants could harm them when they are producing fruit, the best time to prune those plants is during winter dormancy. For spring-blooming trees and shrubs, wait until their old flowers have fallen, generally in late spring, and before new buds come in. You may need to continuously prune other plants so they can remain vigorous.

  • Are all pruner blades replaceable?

    Pruner blades, as all blades, become dull with use. Professional gardeners sharpen their pruners every 6 to 8 weeks. For the home gardener, once or twice a year should keep blades sharp. Sharpening blades is best done with a diamond file. But since this is a complex procedure, you may want to opt for a product with blades that can easily be replaced. Many manufacturers sell replacement blades either on their own web sites or through brick-and-mortar stores or online. Before purchasing, check out whether these are available. And if you anticipate doing a lot of pruning, you may even want to purchase additional blades when you buy your pruner.

  • What other pruner parts can be replaced?

    Besides blades and anvils, you can replace pruner springs, ferrules, pulleys, and many other parts. Generally, higher-end products have more replaceable parts than budget products. You can purchase replacement parts directly from the manufacturer or from third-party retailers. Consult your product's user guide to see which parts can be replaced and for instructions.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Mary Marlowe Leverette researched and wrote this roundup. She is a Master Gardener and has extensive personal and professional experience testing, reviewing, and writing about home and garden products. You can find more of her work on The Spruce.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 10 Best Fiskars Pruners July 2022. MSN. https://www.msn.com/en-ca/lifestyle/rf-buying-guides/best-fiskars-pruners-reviews

  2. The Best Pruning Shears for Your Hand-Cutting Garden Needs. Popular Mechanics. https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/reviews/g3199/best-pruning-shears-garden/

  3. How to Clean and Sharpen Your PrunersUniversity of New Hampshire Extension

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