Choosing the perfect pair of pruning shears for your landscaping duties is important. There are many different types and styles to choose from, but the kind you’ll use in your yard is ultimately a matter of personal preference. What really matters with a pair of pruners is durability and cutting power. Using the best pruning shears for your yard can significantly cut down the amount of time you spend working in your yard in half. It can also save plenty of wear and tear on your hands and will keep your shrubs and other types of plants looking great, all year long.

If you’ve had trouble finding a pair of pruning shears that are designed to last and can provide the type of cutting power you need for different types of shrubs in your yard, then my pruning shears buyer’s guide can teach you what features to look for in a pair that can withstand heavy-duty use. I’ve also tested out several models on the market and have created a top-six list of must-have pruners that won’t let you down. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that I’ve created, which will show you each model’s stand out features and how it rated.

Pruning Shears Comparison Chart

ProductTypeBranch
Diameter
Non-Stick
Blade Coating
Rating
Felco F-2 068780 Hand Pruner
Anvil1 inNo
Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears
Bypass5/8 inYes
VIVOSUN Gardening Hand Pruner
Straight Blade1/2 inNo
Gonicc Professional Pruning Shears
Bypass3/4 in No
Gonicc Professional SK-5 Pruning Shears
Anvil3/4 inNo
Corona BP 3180D Forged Bypass Pruner
Bypass1 inNo

Felco F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner


Our Rating: (5/5)

These pruners feature the classic anvil blade design and come complete with a nut and bolt mechanism that allows you to adjust the cutting action. In terms of ergonomics, these pruners also feature rubber cushioning that provides excellent shock absorption, promoting longer use and user comfort. The strong blades come with a wire-cutting notch and a lightweight design. The blades themselves are made out of hardened, high-quality steel and are designed to cut both old and new growth. The handles are made out of premium aluminum, which minimizes the weight of the pruners, while the revolving handle does an excellent job of improving user comfort and allows for an ergonomic fit that allows them to feel more comfortable in your hand.

Pros

  • Covered by a lifetime warranty
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight
  • Blades are made out of aluminum

Cons

  • Blades must be sharpened frequently

Conclusion

The innovative handle design works to minimize shock and strain placed on the hand, which helps to reduce the risk of injury while softening the cutting impact the pruners place on the hands. The screw-mounted hardened steel and aluminum blades provide the type of precise, clean cuts that every gardener is looking for, which promotes plant health. Bottom line, these pruners are very user-friendly, designed to last, and highly adjustable. This model will come in handy for both old and new growth and will allow you to make short work of any dead or diseased foliage in your yard, for proper yard maintenance.

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These pruners are perfect for clipping light branches and stems. The pruner’s easy to open lock will protect the blades when stored or during transport. The blades themselves are made out of precision-ground, fully hardened steel that’s designed to hold an edge, even with heavy-duty use. The blades feature a nonstick low-friction coating which helps the blades to easily slice through wood and will prevent them from getting gummed up with debris and sap, while also making the blades resistant to rust. The blades have a max cutting capacity of 5/8 of an inch. These are bypass style pruners which provider a cleaner cut and have a reputation for their better than average durability.

Pros

  • Nonstick coating
  • Durable blades
  • Blades hold an edge longer
  • Ergonomic handles

Cons

  • Sliding lock mechanism tends to slide out of place

Conclusion

These pruners are covered by a limited lifetime warranty and feature an ergonomic design that allows you to use the pruners for longer, without hand fatigue, injury, or strain. The nonstick coating allows the blades to easily slice through tough stems and branches, while also preventing rust and corrosion. The traditional bypass shear design offers a tougher than average design that allows you to handle a wider range of plant life while ensuring the blades will not bend or break during use.

VIVOSUN Gardening Hand Pruner


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These pruners by Vivosun are designed to reduce hand strain, thanks to the micro tin snips, which are spring-loaded and designed to automatically open without effort. This design does an excellent job of reducing hand fatigue, making these pruners a great choice for people with past hand injuries or those suffering from arthritis. The ergonomic grip handles will also promote longer use, without discomfort or strain. The blades are described as ultra-sharp and are made out of precision-sharpened stainless steel. These pruners can be used to shape flowering plants, cut veggies, trim hedges and shrubs, and more. Thanks to the innovative design, you can get between small spaces between plants to make smaller, more precise cuts, without causing any damage to surrounding plant life. These shears come with a secure and safe sideways locking mechanism that will prevent the blades from accidentally opening during storage or transport.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • One-handed use
  • Stainless steel blade design
  • Low price

Cons

  • Lock will move out of position during transport

Conclusion

These ergonomic pruners will work for both right-handed and left-handed people, allow you to make smaller and more precise cuts that will prevent damage to surrounding plant life, and feature stainless steel blades that are designed to hold an edge longer, so you won’t have to sharpen them as frequently as some competing models.

Gonicc Professional Pruning Shears


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These Gonicc pro-quality pruning shears are made out of high-quality titanium steel, complete with ultra-fine polishing technology. The handles feature an ergonomic design with handles that feature a non-slip design. The shears themselves are comfortable to use and offer the type of lightweight design that allows you to cut for longer, without user fatigue or strain. These shears can handle branches and stems that are three-quarters of an inch in diameter and come complete with a sap groove that prevents the shears from becoming gunked up with debris or sap.

Pros

  • Blades are made out of titanium
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • ¾ cutting diameter
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Price

Conclusion

These ergonomic pruning shears can handle cutting branches and stems that are three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and come with an ergonomic handle design that promotes user comfort while minimizing discomfort. The sharp titanium blades can easily slice through both live and dead plant matter and provide clean fast cuts. The pruner’s lightweight design makes them easier to handle for a longer period of time, while the durable blades are designed to hold an edge for longer, making these pruners very low maintenance.

Gonicc Professional SK-5 Pruning Shears


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These shears are equipped with blades made out of high carbon steel with chromium plating technology. These blades are designed to stay sharper longer, compared to competing models. The spring-loaded pulley design allows you to easily slice through branches and stems, with minimal effort. As a user squeezes the handles the pulley scrolls, which provides more pressure per cut. This will minimize the force the user needs to use to apply to the handle per cut. The non-slip handles have an ergonomic design that makes them more comfortable to use for a longer period of time.

Pros

  • Carbon steel blades
  • Blades are made using ultra-fine polishing technology
  • Can handle stems and branches that are ¾ of an inch thick
  • Pulley design requires less force from user

Cons

  • Difficult to open and lock

Conclusion

These shears are perfect for users with arthritis, weak hands, or past hand injuries, thanks to the innovative pulley design that requires less force from the user. The carbon steel blades are built tough and designed to hold an edge longer, which makes them low-maintenance and more user-friendly. The ergonomic handle design will allow you to use the pruners to handle tasks of all sizes, easily, and in total comfort.

Corona BP 3180D Forged Classic Bypass Pruner


Our Rating: (4/5)

These pruning shears feature a one-inch cutting capacity and durable blades that are fully heat-treated and made out of steel alloy. The built-in sap groove is designed to prevent the blades from sticking due to sap buildup, so you won’t have to stop frequently to clean off the blades. These blades are easy to re-sharpen, so you won’t have to worry about damaging the blades during routine maintenance. The pruners feature a hook and blade design that has been hand-machined for precision.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Blades are fully heat-treated
  • Includes sap groove
  • Low price

Cons

  • Blades must be lubricated after each use

Conclusion

If you’re looking for blades that promote smooth, fast, clean cuts, then your search is over. These pruners feature a tough blade design with low maintenance needs and blades that are made out of forged steel for improved durability. The ergonomic handles and lightweight design will promote longer use and are perfect for users with arthritis or past hand injuries.

Pruning Shears Buyer’s Guide

Pruning shears, also known as pruners or hand pruners, are a type of heavy-duty scissors that are designed to specifically cut hard shrub branches and plant stems. They’re a great type of tool to keep on hand when you’re flower arranging, gardening, and working in the yard.

The main purpose of this type of tool is to remove damaged, diseased, and dead branches and stems from bushes and plants. It’s important to remove portions of the plant that have died off since a dead stem can harbor diseases and attract unwanted pests. Pruning shrubs and other plants can also help to boost its health, or it can prevent any undesired growth. In order to keep a garden looking its best and healthy, make sure you do your research and identify the type of plants and shrubs you have in your yard in order to determine how often they should be pruned and why. Depending on the type, pruning shears can help you to trim, prune, and shape your shrubs and bushes.

However, these tools come in a variety of styles and types that should be chosen based on the species of plants you have in your yard, to ensure the blade is powerful enough to cut through the plant life, easily, without causing further stem damage. It will also depend on whether you need pruners to remove dead or diseased branches and stems, or you need pruners to promote new growth.

To learn more about landscape care and basic yard maintenance, click here to read my guide on 10 low maintenance flowers for your garden.

Pruning Shears by Type

These shears are available in a few different types. The type of pruners you choose will be based on your gardening needs.

Bypass

These types of shears consist of a couple of sharpened blades that are designed to cut through soft green tree branches and plant stems. These very sharp shears will make nice clean cuts, which are crucial to the health of a plant since a ragged or messy cut can make the plant more susceptible to disease. However, these pruners should not be used to cut brittle, dead, dry branches, since these can bend the blades or jam them. If this occurs, you will most likely need to replace the pruners, if you’re unable to bend them back into shape.

Anvil

These pruning shears feature a single sharpened blade and a stationary base that’s referred to as the anvil. These shears are designed to cut small branches and stems. Instead of relying on cutting action, this type of pruner is designed to crush, so it’s a great choice for trimming dead dry branches, or diseased branches, which tend to break off easily.

Ratchet

Man pruning tree

This tool features a design that’s based on the anvil pruner’s design. However, this tool has a catch and hold ratchet mechanism. This mechanism allows the user to exert less pressure on the handles, but despite the lack of pressure, these pruners are able to cut larger branches. The handles are squeezed half of the way in order to engage the ratchet mechanism. The blade pressure is held on the partially cut branch as the user releases the handles to open them wider, allowing the user to get a new grip to squeeze an additional time. Just like the anvil style pruners, this type is best-suited for dead dry branches, not new green branches.

Battery-Powered Pruners

The power pruning shears are available as bypass or anvil and are designed to minimize hand and wrist fatigue, which is often associated with using basic shears. Like other types of powered cutting tools, this type works via a rechargeable battery. In order to power these pruners, all you have to do is lightly squeeze the handles and allow the pruners to finish the job. Many models can handle cutting through branches that are around three-quarters to one-inch in diameter.

Blade Material

The blades of pruning shears are made out of different types of metals and can come equipped with special coatings that are designed to improve blade durability.

Stainless Steel

Blades that are made out of stainless steel are designed to resist tarnishing, corrosion, and rust. Shears with blades that are made out of this material will do a great job of cutting green branches and stems. These blades have a reputation for being difficult to sharpen when they become dull. Blades made out of this type of material can also quickly become misshapen if you cut branches larger than what the manufacturer recommends.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is much harder than stainless steel. However, it’s also prone to rust if the user fails to clean them and hand dry them after use. Models with this type of blade are a great choice for cutting through dead, thicker branches.

Coatings

Some blades will come with special coatings that are designed to increase the longevity of the blades. Blades with coatings often come with a higher price tag, but some can help to increase the blade’s durability or can promote blade sharpness, reducing how often the blades will need to be sharpened.

Titanium

Blades that have a thick coating of titanium will be much less likely to rust. Titanium is corrosion and rust-resistant, which is why many models of carbon blades will come with a titanium coating in order to boost its resistance to rust.

Non-Stick

Teflon is another type of coating that you’ll commonly find on blades that are made out of carbon steel. This coating will prevent sap and gunk buildup, which will allow you to use the pruners for longer before they need to be cleaned off. Nonstick coating can be found on a variety of pruning shear types.

Other Important Features

Below is a list of other features that you’ll want to look for when you’re shopping for shears.

Spring Loaded

Unlike your everyday pair of household shears which are closed and opened by hand after a cut, these shears come with a spring that forces the blades apart when cutting, so all the user needs to do is squeeze the handle to make an additional cut. When you’re online looking for a new pair of pruning shears, make sure you look for a spring that’s securely attached. Weak, low-quality springs will easily break off, so you will be left with pruners that work just like traditional shears.

Locking Mechanism

Most models of pruning shears will have a locking mechanism that’s designed to hold the blades together when they’re stored or not in use. this is a great way to protect the sharpened blade’s edge, but it’s also an important safety feature. The biggest issue with the lock is that the shears may accidentally become locked during use. A high-quality pair of shears will come with a locking mechanism that’s located somewhere near the blades, which can help to prevent the blades from accidentally locking in place.

Ergonomic Handles

Manual pruning shear use involves a lot of repetitive hand movements. This can quickly lead to hand and wrist fatigue. A pair of good pruners will come with easy-grip ergonomic handles that are designed to offset user fatigue and will promote longer use, allowing you to easily get the job done in total comfort.

Price

Like most gardening tools, the price will vary based on blade type, and other materials used. Many of the leading models are available at an affordable price, ranging from twenty to sixty dollars. If you’re looking for shears with an ergonomic design and blade coating, you can expect to pay more, however, these shears often come with an extended warranty and have a reputation for lasting longer compared to lower-priced models. If you’re looking for a pair of pro-quality pruners that are designed to withstand heavy-duty use, then the higher price tag will often be worth it, in order to avoid the hassle of replacing pruners that have blades that can easily bend and break with overuse.

Final Thoughts

The best pruning shears will feature an ergonomic design, blades that are designed to handle your most important pruning tasks, and ones that will not easily bend, break or rust. An ergonomic design is also a must considering these shears can quickly cause user fatigue, not to mention hand and wrist pain and discomfort. I’m confident that you can easily find the perfect pair of shears that can meet your yard maintenance needs in my top six list, since each of these models scored high in many areas, including ergonomics, durability, and cutting power. Remember, pruning shears are an essential tool and one that you’ll find yourself relying on when it comes to promoting plant growth and keeping your shrubs looking beautiful and well-maintained.