What We Like
Exceptional quality craftsmanship
Sap groove to prevent sticking
Bright red handle
What We Don't Like
Designed for larger hands
Oregon may be known for its gray, rainy winters, but come spring and summer, my garden experiences an explosion of green. Shrubs spill out of beds, blackberry brambles invade, hedges swell, too many flowers weigh down their stems, and branches droop as they reach too far for the sun. Then just like that, it’s time to cut it all back.
That’s where awesome gardening tools like the FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear come in. In the late 1940s, FELCO founder Felix Flisch designed the lightweight, precise pruner to replace the bulky, awkward versions then used in the Swiss vineyards near his fledging factory. Since then, it’s become an icon in the industry. But was it up to the challenge of taming my teeming, blossoming backyard? Read on to find out.
Performance: Garden ace
Pruning my plants is not just a matter of keeping them happy and healthy, or even simply about personal aesthetics or landscape design. It’s also about beating back the encroaching flora before it takes over the entire exterior and makes a move on the house—or possibly my family. Between the huge laurel hedges that encircle the outdoor space and the shrubs that balloon out over our steps and walkways, I had a lot of options (and hours of gardening work) when trying out the FELCO pruner.
My experience with this pruner has been fantastic. It cuts like a champ through anything up to nearly an inch in diameter.
The regular, run-of-the-mill shears I’d used in the past were uncomfortable after prolonged use and often had trouble cutting tougher stems, so my standards were not high. The FELCO model exceeded any expectations with flying colors. All in all, my experience with this pruner has been fantastic. It cuts like a champ through anything up to nearly an inch in diameter.
I found it to be very comfortable to hold, even with lots of repeated use. I had several other adults in my extended family try it out, and they all loved it as well; the common refrain is that it feels good in the hand and also cuts beautifully.
Design: The gold standard
There’s a reason FELCO hasn’t changed the design of this Swiss-made anvil pruner for 50 years: They’re the standard-bearer in the category and a favorite of avid home gardeners and professional landscapers alike.
The hardened steel blades are exceptionally well-made and super sharp. A hardened nut and bolt allow for exact, micrometric adjustment of both the cutting and anvil blades. There’s also a clever groove that allows users to cut small wires without damaging the edge of the blades.
The forged aluminum metal handles have a sophisticated shock absorption system and a non-slip, candy red coating, which makes for a secure, ergonomic grip. I found that both features softened the impact on hands and wrists when cutting through tough, large branches.
If you have more petite hands, you’ll want to go with the FELCO 6 model instead.
Note that the FELCO 2 (which measures 8.5 inches in total length) is designed specifically for larger hands, while the FELCO 6 (which is 7.7 inches long) is intended for smaller hands. I have medium-sized hands, so the model I reviewed worked just fine for me. It felt very sturdy and natural in my grip. However, if you have more petite hands, you’ll want to go with the FELCO 6 model instead.
Watch out for knockoffs of this product, as there are plenty of counterfeits out there seeking to pass themselves off as the real thing. The real ones will say “FELCO Swiss Made” on the packaging.
Ease of Cleaning: Simple
This pruner easily wipes clean; a “sap groove” prevents the blade from sticking by removing plant secretions and debris with each cut, a feature that translates into simpler cleanup.
The brand recommends cleaning after each use to prevent rusting and help maintain the luster of the blades and handles. To avoid corrosion or to unjam the tool, the company also advises oiling after cleaning.
The pruner can be easily taken apart when needed for deeper cleaning after prolonged use or if debris, sap, or dirt gets between pieces. Visit the website for information on dismantling the pruner (and ordering spare parts) as needed.
In terms of maintenance, it’s also advisable to sharpen the blades regularly in order to maintain the best cutting ability.
Price: Worth every penny
Though the FELCO 2 retails for around $60 dollars, it’s possible to shop around and score a deal. Other garden shears run the gamut from $15 all the way up to $40 or more, but don’t be fooled into thinking the FELCO is overpriced. This pruner justifies its added cost with impeccable craftsmanship and precision.
All the parts of this pruner can be replaced, and it has a one-year warranty but will very likely last much, much longer. The handles come with a lifetime guarantee. It is a durable, superior product compared with the majority of its competitors and is worth the extra investment.
This pruner justifies its added cost with impeccable craftsmanship and precision.
FELCO 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear vs. Gonicc 8” Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears
There are tons of different options on the market—one of them being the Gonicc 8” Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1002). The Gonicc pruning shears look very similar to the FELCO model, right down to the bright red handle and the adjustable blades. However, the product costs significantly less, at around $16.
The Gonicc model does offer a sharp blade and better quality than most lower-end pruning shears. For those that don’t want to invest an extra $40 or so, the cheaper option may be reasonable. Just be warned that your shears will likely not be as long-lasting, tough, comfortable, or precise. Having tried the FELCO model, I wouldn’t want to go back to a lesser alternative, but in a pinch, they’d do.
- Product Name 2 One-Hand Pruning Shear
- Product Brand FELCO
- MPN F-2
- Price $60.40
- Weight 0.53 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8.5 x 2.25 x 0.75 in.
- Material Type Hardened steel, aluminum
- Warranty Limited lifetime