Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: February 01, 2021
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If you are good at farming, you will know that sometimes you have to cut off certain parts of plants for better results. The right tool for this job is, of course, a pair of pruning shears, hence why you should always have them around you.
Despite the market being flooded with variations of the same, we were determined to help you find the best pruning shears to purchase. As a result, we ended up reviewing about 30 different pruning shear options. Out of these, the Felco F-10 Pruning Shears is seemingly one of the most impressive. The balanced weight, durability, and even design all serve to make it one of the best tools to buy. Nevertheless, it gets a run for its money from the other nine high-quality products in the list below as well.
Of course, the review aimed to bring you as much information as possible. Consequently, we spent a lot of time doing the research and finding information on all the products. It seems that manufacturer and vendor websites were quite helpful in providing data. Also, the grading criteria we used to rank the best pruning shears were similar across the board. Among the key specs, we looked at were blade length, cutting capacity, and weight. These are all factors that have a bearing on what the shears can do and how you can use them. In addition to these, the warranty and materials also played a role in determining the usability of the tool. Nevertheless, you get a table, in-depth product reviews, and lastly, a buying guide below as a result of our efforts.
As at the time of our review, this product costs above 70 dollars if purchased from Amazon. This positions it as one of the more expensive models on our list. Nevertheless, you may find the tool ticks all the right boxes for you.
Of course, among the key selling points is the construction of the shears. You get hardened steel, which is complemented by the forged aluminum handle. Also, if you have large hands, you should feel right at home with these shears.
Another key selling point for the tool is the shock absorber included in the design. This, of course, comes in handy to prevent injury to the user. As well it has the added benefit of being more comfortable to use as a result.
The manufacturer is also proud of the phthalate-free non-slip handle grips that make it easier to handle the tool. Another benefit of owning this pair of pruning shears is that most components are easily replaceable. As such, you might not need to worry about buying another tool even if the first one breaks.
Also, the lifetime warranty may be of immense benefit should damage or breakages occur.
The Tobisho 31163 Pruning Shears tool is even more expensive than the editor’s choice. Of course, this may serve as a deterrent to some, while other people won’t be as worried. Nevertheless, it is quite disappointing that a warranty is not to be expected with this purchase.
However, there are a few upsides that may strike your fancy with regards to the shears. The carbon steel construction, for instance, is quite hard to break even if you put tons of pressure and put it to task on hard branches and plants.
Also, it might be due to the Japanese roots, but the tool features incredible grip and design. This is, of course, complemented by the chunky catch at the bottom. Nevertheless, this tool doesn’t get left far behind the Felco F-2 Pruning Shears when it comes to blade length as there is only a 0.3” difference between the two.
Another well-designed tool is the Opinel Hand Pruning Shears. You have two variable color options to choose from with this purchase.
Of course, when it comes to the use of the tool and functionality, the ergonomically curved handle is one of the key benefits. As such, you should find it easy to use the tool. Also, the manufacturer couples that with a 3-position switch.
You can thus use the 3-position switch mentioned above to customize the settings of the tool. Consequently, you will be able to cut through plants of varying thicknesses with relative ease. However, there is a 3/4” cutting capacity limit to the size of plants you can cut.
Another benefit is the construction. Stainless steel is the main component which makes it quite durable. The beechwood also gives the shears a pleasing outlook as well. Also, if you have a high opinion of French-made products, this is the tool for you.
If you are looking for hedge pruning shears, this model is definitely one of the forerunners. Of course, once you buy the Gonicc Professional Hedge Shears, you should be able to keep your bushes looking neat and pristine.
The construction of the tool is as well noteworthy, considering one of the major components is high carbon steel. Also, in addition to that, you get parts made of aluminum alloy. Rubber handles are, of course, added to enhance comfort in use.
Considering the blade and handle length, you can tell that this tool is meant for two-handed use. As such, the fact that it features shock absorption as well is most welcome.
The tool will also offer extended reach due to the adjustable handles. Another thing to look forward to with the purchase is the adjustable pressure. Of course, you will have to deal with plants of different sizes, and this feature will help you deal accordingly with all of them.
What we liked:
Large blade size
Incorporated shock absorption
What could be better:
Most people seem satisfied with the features and construction, and hence there are no negatives to report
This pair of tree pruning shears is from the same manufacturer as the editor’s choice. Nevertheless, it is meant for cutting through dead and hardwood. As such, it caters to a specific niche that other products might not be able to service.
However, the ergonomic design is something that both this tool and its predecessor have in common. As such, if you have sufficiently large hands, you should be able to make due while still being relatively comfortable.
The construction also seems to be the same for both options. Forged aluminum features on the handles while on the blade, you have hardened steel.
Also, if you tend to pay attention to even the most minute details, you will note a .02” difference in the cutting capacity. However, with that difference being so small, it doesn’t form much of a basis to pick out one tool over the other.
However, the intended use should provide enough guidelines as to which model you should buy. Having a lifetime warranty for this product helps improve its standing as well.
The Gardena 8903 Anvil Pruning Shears work similarly to the Felco F-31 Pruning Shears by crushing branches between a blade and a hard surface. Also, Germany has an excellent reputation for producing high-quality tools, and hence you should have high hopes for the longevity of this tool.
Among the highlights, you find that fiberglass and stainless steel are the main components of the tool. You as well get non-slip coating, so the shears don’t fall out of your hands as you work.
Also, as with the Felco F-31, you are better off using this tool on dead wood for optimum results. The 25-year warranty is as well attractive for many potential buyers.
What we liked:
Self-locking feature for easier storage
What could be better:
This is yet another tool that hasn’t received many negative reviews
Should this situation change we will be sure to update you on the same
If you are looking to eliminate pain and discomfort from the pruning process, these are the garden pruning shears for you. This is an anvil style piece of equipment that you can take to work on your shrubs and trees and still get the best results. Rubber is, of course, one of the major construction components given the manufacturer’s decision to make the tool more comfortable to use.
You also have the 3-stage ratchet mechanism, which should be a significant bonus for most users. This is the component that makes it easier for users to make cuts on the various shrubs they use this device on.
Carbon steel is also another significant component, and thus you can understand the presence of the lifetime warranty.
What we liked:
Requires minimal effort to cut
What could be better:
Some users have had various complaints on the locking mechanism
The tool might also require users to have relatively large hands
Another pair of vine pruning shears comes in the form of the Zenport Q22 Horticulture Pruner. One of the things the manufacturer is particularly proud of is the inclusion of fiber-glass reinforced handles. These should ensure that the tool doesn’t break at the handles, no matter the size of the task at hand.
Also, high-carbon steel is used to make the blades. This should provide you with sufficient durability. Where this is not enough, you should note that these components are as well easily replaceable.
Another thing that makes this tool easy to use is the one-hand locking mechanism. Nevertheless, you will still need sufficiently large hands to operate this tool comfortably. The lifetime warranty is also another reason for you to buy the device.
What we liked:
Easily available spare parts
Easy to use
What could be better:
Other than the fact that you need large hands to use this tool the consensus on is generally positive
The Berger Tools #1104 Pruning Shear is another german product to feature on the list. It is thus no surprise that the engineering is superior to most other options out there.
With the angled cutting head, for instance, you should find it quite easy to cut the plants and branches you have in mind. You also get an oil groove. As such, maintaining this tool will be more or less a piece of cake. All you have to do is occasionally put a little oil in this groove, and you’ll get optimum performance.
Also, the chromium-plated counter blade is one aspect you can depend on for the longevity of your tool. Additionally, the lifetime warranty is added as a bonus.
What we liked:
Oil groove for easy maintenance
Works best with smaller hands
What could be better:
People with large hands may find the tool uncomfortable to use
If you are looking for something to cut through smaller plant stems, then the NISHIGAKI N-165 Pistol Pruning Shears is the tool for you. As you can see, the blade size is quite small, but as reported by most users, quite useful.
It also features 15.9 inches in length, and that gives you extra reach even between other plants. Another benefit is the two-stage adjustment stopper. This should make it easier to cut through anything you set your sights on.
Another feature to consider is that it uses cutlery steel in the making of the blade. By most people’s standards, this is not the most durable piece of equipment. However, considering the size of plants that the tool is meant to cut, it is unlikely that the device will get damaged.
Also, if you prefer products with warranties and guarantees, you are out of luck with this one.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Not the most durable
Things to Consider
You, of course, want the best pruning shears you can get your hands on. To ensure that you bring this to fruition, we have put together the buying guide below, so you know what to look for.
Types of pruning shears
There are as well a few different types of pruning shears, all with their unique uses. As such, educating yourself on the types to expect will ensure you get the right tool for the job you have in mind. Also, we have endeavored to explain to you the different types of pruning shears available below.
On the list above, you find two main types of shears, and they all fit in the hand shear category. This means that the tools are hand-operated. With the anvil type hand shears, you find that they feature one blade and an anvil-shaped metal on the other side. As such, branches that are put in this grip end up being crushed on one side while being cut on the other.
The anvil pruners are more suited to woody and dry applications. On the other hand, you have bypass pruners that have two blades. As such, they slice into the plant on both sides.
Lopping shears may still be hand-operated. However, they have one defining quality, which is that they have long handles. The usual range is between 24-30 inches. As such, they are often used to cut tree branches.
Pole pruners have even longer handles than their lopping counterparts. As is mentioned in the name pole pruners are mounted on the ends of poles that reach up to 12 feet long. As such, they have more extended reach than most of their counterparts.
The Gonicc Professional Hedge Shears is an example of such shears, and you can often tell by the design of the handles. As is depicted in the name, their job is usually to trim hedges, and people use them to keep their shrubs well-shaped.
Features to consider when purchasing pruning shears
Of course, you need to be aware of the features available in pruning shears. Also, which of these are most useful, and how do they affect your pruning efforts? You can rest easy since we go into each of them and offer explanations that you should find sufficient in the section below.
The size of the blade will likely affect the tasks that you take on with the pair of shears that you own. Often you will find that longer and larger blades can generally take on more work and larger branches.
The cutting capacities mentioned above are indicative of the maximum size a pair of shears can cut.
As such, you find examples such as The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Pruning Shears. With its one-inch cutting capacity, it means that it is capable of handling branches with a one-inch diameter or lower. Also, this is one of the bigger cutting capacity limits featured on this list hence making it more versatile.
A few of the options above will feature an adjustable center screw. This is, of course, a huge benefit since it means you can adjust the tension of the device to suit your cutting needs. However, not all devices have this feature.
Also, you don’t want the tool opening up and closing while not in use. If it does this while it is in your pocket or when you don’t expect it to, the results could be disastrous. As such, the addition of a locking mechanism is a bonus. Once you use it, you are at least sure that the blades won’t be exposed without your say so.
You as well need to look at how the overall tool is designed. This should give you an idea of how efficient the device is at carrying out its mandate. You should also endeavor to make sure it feels good in your hands.
The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Pruning Shears components are made of carbon steel and rubber. Given the reputation that carbon steel has, you will know just by looking at the features that this tool is meant to last you a few years.
In addition to that, the rubber components mainly feature on the handle. The result is more comfort as you take on your shearing responsibilities since you don’t have to hold the hard metal pieces.
You can apply the same judging criteria to the materials used to make other products. Each material also needs to come with a few benefits as well.
The Berger Tools #1104 Pruning Shear comes with a lifetime warranty, which is a lot more than you can say for some of the competition. This feature will serve as a source of recourse should the quality of the device not be as indicated.
You as well have other options such as the Gardena 8903 Anvil Pruning Shears with a 25-year warranty, which is still sufficiently broad coverage. Nevertheless, you should always try to get an extended warranty if you get the chance.
Where you find a tool with extra features such as the revolving handle of the Felco F-31 Pruning Shears, do not be afraid to add it to your product grading criteria. After all, you stand to gain more from your purchase, the more features it has.
You may have noticed that bypass and anvil are the two major types of pruning shears that feature above. They are, of course, different in construction and purpose.
The anvil style shears have one sharp blade. As such, whatever branch you are pruning will be stuck between the blade and a blunt end with the singular blade doing most of the cutting. However, due to the design, this tool is much more suited to woody and dry branches.
On the other hand, bypass shears are exactly like scissors. They have two sharp blades that cut into the plant from two sides. Of course, both blades will have to pass by each other to complete the cutting process hence the name.
Of course, one of our favorite products is the Felco F-10 Pruning Shears. Of course, the benefits of owning this product are numerous and include a lifetime warranty and phthalate-free non-slip handles. There are as well a few more benefits that make it quite a worthy addition to your toolkit.
The Tobisho 31163 Pruning Shears are also a good choice for some of you. The carbon steel, bypass design, and chunky catch may be just what you are looking for. If so, you won’t mind the relatively high price tag.
Of course, another tool that gets close to the top spot is the Opinel Hand Pruning Shears. Aesthetics for the manufacturer are a priority in addition to functionality. As such, you can likely see why it is a popular choice.
Nevertheless, given that there are seven more products to choose from, do not be in a hurry to pick. Go through each of them slowly. You, of course, are more likely to make a better purchase choice this way.