There is a huge variety of garden tools out there used for pruning or cutting branches, and a lot of them are incredibly effective. However, when you want precision in your work you don’t reach for a pruning saw or a chainsaw, or even gardening shears or loppers. In those cases, when you need to take care of a precise branch on your raspberry bush or carefully cut your roses, you reach for some pruning shears. They might not have the power and speed some other tools do, but when it comes to being precise, they are the tool of choice. In this article, we’ll go over exactly how useful they can be and why you should get a pair to maintain your garden better.
Why Buying Pruning Shears?
Pruning shears, like most other tools, can vary in size, the type of mechanism used, additional features and so on. However, most work on the same principle, similar to a pair of scissors.
There are a few different prominent types of pruning shears. The first are bypass shears, and they are the most scissor-like. They cut with a sharp blade that slides past an unsharpened “hook” of sorts. They offer a clean cut and supreme precision while cutting, so they are the most suitable for plants you don’t want to damage. Anvil pruners are another prominent type, and they use a sharpened blade and a fixed “anvil” surface. The branch that you’re cutting is squeezed between the two with enough pressure to cut it. They offer a bit more cutting power for harder branches, but they will crush softer ones if the blade is not razor-sharp. Last, but not the least, there are the ratchet type pruners, using a mechanism like a car jack, multiplying your hand strength which makes cutting easier. They’re usually good for weaker people, those of age or with hand problems – for people who have no such problems they might be more of a hindrance. They can use either a bypass or an anvil mechanism for cutting, though.
What most pruning shears offer over other pieces of equipment though, is the precision cutting. You can carefully take care of your plants without hurting them and without accidentally cutting off something you didn’t mean to. That’s also why they’re used for gardening tasks that require incredibly precise cuts – bonsai comes to mind, for example. You can use them to trim plants or shape them, get rid of dead, diseased or damaged parts, cut back perennials, and so on. They are incredibly versatile tools that can perform tasks which no other tool can, and for that, it’s worth having a pair.
While pruning shears might be rather simple, there’s still an enormous amount of variance between different models. That’s why some pruning shears are great, while others end up being rather useless. Of course, it’s difficult to recognize the bad ones until you buy them and try them, but by then it’s too late. So, we’re here to help you make sure you notice it before you put down the cash. In this article, we have gathered some of the best pruning shears out there, compared and contrasted them, offered our thoughts on what makes them great or not-so-great, and added in some user reviews as well. With all of that info, it should be far easier to pick out a great pair of pruning shears for yourself. So, let’s see the products we picked out!
Meet the Best Pruning Shears
The Good: These pruners have a great cutting capacity as well as a sharp, durable blade and sturdy construction.
The Bad: The asking price is rather steep, and it is not suited for any heavy-duty work due to the low carrying capacity.
The Bottom Line: This is a great pair of pruning shears for the price that cuts well and is worth buying despite the downsides they have.
The Good: This is a decent pair of pruners that have a huge cutting capacity and are comfortable to use.
The Bad: The blade dulls rather quickly, and the locking mechanism is easy to trigger by accident.
The Bottom Line: It’s a decent pair of pruning shears with unmatched cutting capacity, but it has some significant flaws that might make it a hard sell.
The Good: Highly durable pruning shears that cut amazingly straight out of the box.
The Bad: They get dull fast, and the locking mechanism can go off when it’s not supposed to.
The Bottom Line: Even though this is a decent product that has some great upsides, its flaws are impossible to overlook, making it difficult to recommend.
For further, detailed info, keep reading, as this is just a short summation of our thoughts and opinions.
All of the Factors Considered
Pruning shears are simple tools at their core, but you have to remember that they have been around for ages, and there have been multiple improvements to the basic design. Companies are always trying to out-do each other and create something unique that will sell, which results in an incredible variety of products, so it’s difficult to pick a good one. That’s why we’re here to help you by listing all of the most important aspects to consider when buying pruning shears.
While pruning shears aren’t exactly expensive and aren’t heavy duty tools, you still want them to last for some time and be made of tough materials.
First and foremost, you want shears made of durable steel that won’t dull easily and that can be sharpened without crumbling. You also want the blades to be strong enough to cut some harder wood if the need ever arises, as well as for them to have a mechanism that can withstand some pressure.
There’s also the issue of sap, and you want a pair of shears that won’t gum up in contact with it and that are resistant to water damage and rust.
Overall, you should get a sturdy pair of shears that won’t fail you when you need them the most.
Getting pruning shears with a good-quality blade, regardless of the cutting mechanism that they use, is paramount. The blade should be durable, resistant to rust, easy to sharpen and hard to dull, resistant to getting gummed up with sap or getting stuck in wood and so on. Most manufacturers make blades with at least some of these qualities, but you should be careful not to pick pruners with a shoddy blade as the rest won’t matter if this part doesn’t work properly.
When it comes to pruning shears, the cutting capacity refers to the maximum thickness of the branches that they can cut. It’s simple enough.
You might think that just getting the shears with the largest cutting capacity you can find is the best course of action, but it might not be. You should consider what you need them for, as shears with a larger cutting capacity can be too large to fit in some places. They can also be too strong, so if you use them for cutting thinner branches, they might make messy cuts that will hurt your plants.
You should carefully consider what you need and then make your choice.
Comfort and Safety
You will most likely be using your pruning shears for an extended period, so it is important that they are adequately safe and comfortable to use.
Almost all pruning shears have a locking mechanism that allows you to lock them in the closed position, making sure someone won’t accidentally get cut while they’re not in use. However, this mechanism is not always well-made, and if it doesn’t work properly, you could have some problems, either with cutting the branches or cutting yourself. So be careful when buying, and test it out if possible.
Having a pair of pruning shears that are comfortable for you will also help avoid mishaps. You should get a pair with handles that fit nicely in your hand and won’t slip from it during use – again, test this if possible, before buying.
Now that you know what to value the most, let’s see how we ranked the three products we picked out:
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Pruning Shears
This product is made mostly from precision-ground, hardened steel that is difficult to break and stays sharp for a long time. Even after a lot of use, the blade barely lost its edge.
The blade has a low-friction coating making it resistant to getting stuck, while also keeping the blade from gumming up. It’s also resistant to rust and weather damage.
Large Cutting Capacity
The cutting capacity of these shears is 5/8 inches, which is decent and above average since most are below half an inch. However, this also makes it difficult for the blade to cut softer branches properly, so you should consider that.
Safe, but not that Comfortable
These shears are safe, as the locking mechanism works like a charm while the handles are resistant to slipping. However, they are plastic, and their design is not something you would call ergonomic, so they are uncomfortable to use for a longer period.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who need a pair of affordable pruning shears that are still of high quality, this is a real treat. These pruners are not only durable, but they are sharp and stay sharp for a long time, while also having a great cutting capacity. For this price, it’s honestly a complete steal.
What to Watch Out For
The worst part about these shears is the fact that they can be rather uncomfortable when used for long. The handles are the most poorly made part of it and, while they won’t slip out of your hand, you won’t like holding them either. Then there’s also the fact that the blade won’t work well on smaller, softer branches and it will just bend and mangle them. These are all things you should consider.
The best part of these pruning shears is how durable they are as well as how sharp the blade is. There’s a lot of praise you could lavish at how well they cut while being so cheap. However, while they can cut hard branches easily, softer twigs are something they can’t handle well. Add to that the fact that they are a bit uncomfortable, and you have a mixed bag. Still, for the price, you can’t argue with the quality of the materials and the cutting power.
Made of Quality Steel
These shears are mostly made from quality metal – the blade is made from carbon steel, while the handles are made of cast aluminum and are covered in rubber. It’s all rather durable – but not rust-resistant, so be careful where you leave them.
Sharp Blade, Dulls Quickly
The blade is made from high carbon steel that is ultra-polished, and it is quite sharp, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. The problem is that the blade dulls quickly and it can’t be easily sharpened to the way it was when you bought it.
Extremely Wide Cut
The cutting capacity of these pruning shears is 3/4-inch. That is extremely high, more than most other pruners and because of that, it can handle branches that most other products cannot.
Ergonomically Designed, Possibly Unsafe
The handles are rather comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time, as the rubber covering is nicely made. However, the trigger for locking them makes them possibly unsafe, as it is placed in a bad spot, meaning you will accidentally trigger it a lot while cutting.
Who Should Buy This Product
People who need a pair of decent pruning shears that are easy and comfortable to use, or those who need pruners with a huge cutting capacity, will find these to their liking. They can cut huge branches that most other pruners cannot, and they can do it rather efficiently, without a lot of effort by the user.
What to Watch Out For
For starters, they are not resistant to rust so be careful where you leave them. Then there’s also the issue of the locking mechanism – it is placed in such a way that you are sure to trigger it by accident while working with these shears. So don’t be surprised if they suddenly lock on you. Besides that, the blade also dulls easily, and you will have to sharpen it often.
In essence, this is not such a bad pair of pruning shears, and in some areas, they even excel immensely, especially when it comes to the cutting capacity. However, there are some major flaws that can’t be overlooked, like the badly placed locking switch or the fact that the blade dulls quickly. They are still usable, but not as great as they might seem at first.
Incredibly Durable Design
These pruning shears are mostly made out of SK-5 high carbon steel that is rather durable and resistant to rust. It won’t bend or break easily.
Sharp Blade, doesn’t Stay Sharp for Long
While this blade is incredibly sharp at first, it dulls quickly, and it needs to be sharpened too often. It is resistant to rust and gumming up, but that comes second.
Unexceptional Cutting Capacity
The cutting capacity of this product is 0.48 inches, which is just around the average for a pair of pruning shears. Not great but not bad either.
Comfortable for most, not that Safe
The handle is rather comfortable and adjustable with rubber cushioning. However, while the maker claims it is for small and large hand use, people with larger hands might have issues using this. The locking mechanism is also faulty, and it can lock by accident, making it somewhat unsafe.
Who Should Buy This Product
People who are looking for a decent pair of pruning shears that are highly durable should take a look at this product. It works fine in most regards, and it is made from some high-quality materials that are sure to last for a long time without any breaking or bending.
What to Watch Out For
There are plenty of issues with this product. For starters, they can barely be used by people with larger hands, despite the manufacturer claiming otherwise. Then there’s the issue of the locking mechanism not working properly as well as the blade dulling quite quickly.
Not an amazing pair of pruning shears but they can do the job and are highly durable while being incredibly sharp out of the box. The sharpness doesn’t last, though, and they need to be sharpened a lot. The locking mechanism is also prone to going off at inopportune times. Overall, not a bad product but its flaws are difficult to overlook.
The Best Pick – Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears
With so many different pruning shears out there picking just one pair to put on a pedestal above all the others is an impossible task. Different people will find different pruning shears to be good, so it’s all a matter of opinion in the end. However, picking the best pruning shears out of these three is much easier, and we think we are up to the task. In our opinion, the best pair of pruning shears here is the Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears.. The reason is simple – they have no significant downsides, unlike the other products presented here. Sure, they have their flaws, but they are not substantial and can easily be overlooked in favor of the sheer quality they offer for their low price. That’s what makes them our best pick for this roundup.
Now you know what’s our best pick and why – but that doesn’t mean those will be the best pruning shears for you. Consider everything you learned here and pick out a product that you think is the best – whether it be one of these three, or even something completely different. We are just glad that we were able to be of some help to you. If we were, share this article with other people who might get something out of it. For now, this is it, and we hope you’ll find a nice pair of shears for yourself! Have a good day!