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Best Overall: Corona BP 4214D FlexDIAL ComfortGEL Bypass Pruner
If your whole family wants to get in on the gardening game, these hand pruners are ultra-flexible to fit hands of all sizes. The anodized FlexDIAL can be adjusted to one of eight different positions. Number one is for the small hands and quick jobs while eight is for larger hands and more serious jobs. There are plenty of in-between positions too. To find the perfect fit for your hand, simply spin the wheel until the fit feels best, then note where the dial lands and adjust accordingly.
The handles are made of ComfortGEL, and the blades are sharp and coated with a non-stick material for pruning with ease. Overall, gardeners say these pruners are nimble, durable and comfortable.
Best Bypass: Garden Elite Razor Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears
Sharp is the name of the game when it comes to this pair of bypass pruning shears that’s perfect for roses and other small pruning needs. With a hard, sharp blade made of high-carbon Japanese SK-5 steel (the hardest steel on the market), razor-sharp cuts are a breeze. The blade is also coated with Teflon so it won’t rust, and sap and other debris won’t stick to it. It comes with an extra blade too, so it can be replaced as needed.
The aluminum handle is ergonomically designed and coated with non-slip rubber, so it’s comfortable to use while offering power and durability. The manufacturer is so confident you’ll be a fan of these pruners that they offer a lifetime warranty.
Best for Small Hands: Felco -6 Classic Pruner for Smaller Hands
If your hands are on the smaller side, this pair of bypass pruners is designed especially for you. They’re also great for children if you’re looking to introduce a child into the world of gardening. They measure 11" x 1.5" x 3.8", so they’re nimble enough for getting into small spaces too. Though they’re little, these pruners pack a mighty powerful punch when it comes to slicing through grape vines, shrubs and the limbs of young trees with ease.
The blade is made of hardened steel (read: sharp) and it has a 0.8-inch cutting capacity. It also comes with a “sap groove,” that collects the sap and other debris when you’re dealing with messy trees. These pruners are designed for years of use and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Best for People With Weak Hands: The Gardener's Friend Ratchet Pruning Shears
If your hands are weakened due to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or just age, this set of pruners is designed to make your pruning as pain-free and comfortable as possible. They use a ratchet mechanism that the manufacturer promises make cuts with a fraction of the effort of other pruners. From flowers to trees and shrubs, you can use them to trim stems and branches up to one inch thick.
The hardened carbon steel blade has a “channel coating” to keep it sharp and ready for the job. These pruners are also ergonomically designed with soft rubber hand grips to absorb pressure, and they can be adjusted for use by right-handed and left-handed gardeners alike.
Best for Hedges and Shrubs: Fiskars 10in. Hedge Shears
If you got hedges, you’re going to need to get your hands on a reliable pair of pruners to keep them looking neat. This pair from Fiskars gets high marks all around for making the job as easy, comfortable and enjoyable as possible. With an innovative blade design that promises two times the cutting power, they may just cut your work in half. Bonus: The blades are also designed to sharpen themselves while you’re using them.
They’re designed for comfort too with “GripEase” pads to improve your control while reducing hand fatigue. Gardeners say they handle nicely, are easy to use and do a great job cutting. If you don’t agree, they also come with a lifetime warranty.
Best for Fruit Trees: DCM Telescoping Cut and Hold Bypass Garden Pruner
Got fruit trees? Lucky you, but you also have some work to do to reap those delicious rewards and keep your trees looking good. These pruners are designed to do just that. They extend from 6.5' to 13' to make ladder-free trimming easy. While the scissor-action blades will cut smaller branches, there’s also a detachable saw blade designed for cutting thicker ones. These pruners are also equipped with a “hold” system that lets you harvest your fruit. Instead of branches just dropping to the ground after they’re cut, they're actually held until you release them into the fruit harvesting pocket.
They’re also lightweight (it weighs just 2.5 pounds), ergonomically designed and has a comfort grip to make your work easier and more enjoyable. Now for those fruit pies…
We bought two top-rated pruners that our reviewers tested for three hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these pruners, from size to ease of use. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Type The job at hand should be the biggest factor driving your choice of pruners. If you are looking to trim trees, then you want a pair made to reach branches, while if you just want to trim occasional plants, then you don’t need anything too large. Consider how often you’ll be using your pruners and the plants and trees in your yard to determine how specialized your pruners should be and if you will need more than one pair.
Size The type of job you’re tackling will certainly influence 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 are made specifically for those with small hands, and 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 with ergonomic grips to special handles built for comfort, there are various factors that will affect how easy they are to use. Some are made specifically for people with hands that have been weakened by arthritis, age, and other factors.