The Best Secateurs for Easy Garden Pruning in 2023 Reviewed

By   | Last Updated :   March 20, 2023 | Filed In :   Product Recommendations & Advice

A basic yet essential tool in any garden is a quality set of secateurs. There are many to choose from. They are certainly my most often used garden tool and I have been through many over the years. After this experience, and with some additional research, I have established the leading options. 

Selecting the wrong pruning secateurs will be frustrating and the results will not be what you need. We simplify the process by explaining how to choose the pair that is perfect for your needs. We will also detail 8 of the best choices and answer a few questions you might have. 

Before we get into the details, we rate the Professional Bypass Secateurs – SK5 Japanese Secateurs as the best pruning shears for the average gardener.

Our TOP Picks 

Lasso Brag

The Best Secateurs for Easy Garden Pruning

  1. Professional Bypass Secateurs – SK5 Japanese Secateurs
  2. Gonicc 8″ Professional Secateurs
  3. WISCOLS Secateurs
  4. TONMA Secateurs
  5. Kimura 8” Pro Garden Secateurs
  6. Niwaki Mainichi Secateurs
  7. BLACK + DECKER 8.5″ Bypass Pruner Secateur
  8. The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Anvil Style Shears

Professional Bypass Secateurs – SK5 Japanese

Best Overall Secateurs 
Kingswood Green Professional Bypass Secateurs
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Key Features:

One of the many things the Japanese are famous for is strong and extremely sharp blades. Given their history and experience, it should be no surprise that our first and top-rated product is the SK5 Japanese Bypass Secateurs. 

The carbon steel blades are sharp and durable. They can handle hard work and are light and easy to use. 

They are built with a quality metal alloy for strength and will last you many years. The grip is ergonomically designed and the secateurs are comfortable to use. The grip is non-slip silicone so they can be used in wet conditions. 

Despite the quality and performance they are well-priced and offer exceptional value for money. They come in an attractive and eco-friendly box so make a fantastic gift for your gardening friends. The aftersales service and backup are also notable on these Japanese secateurs. 

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Gonicc 8″ Professional Secateurs Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears 

Best Lightweight Shears
Gonicc 8" Professional Secateurs
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Key Features:

The titanium build of the secateurs blades will ensure durability as well as accuracy and performance. Gonicc used Ultra-fine Polishing Technology for a super-sharp blade. 

The handles and body are drop forged so also tough. The handles are ergonomically designed so are comfortable to use and will not tire you out. They have a non-slip coating. 

An interesting feature is a sap groove. This helps the sap flow off as you work to prevent the shears from clogging up. The blade will arrive with a coating of anti-rust oil.

Depending on the tree you are cutting, these pruners can cut branches with a diameter of 1.9cm.

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WISCOLS Secateurs 

Best Secateurs for Arthritic Hands
WISCOLS Secateurs
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Key Features 

You really can’t go wrong with these quality shears. They tick all the right boxes. WISCOLS secateurs are especially suited to those with arthritic hands. This is due to the comfortable design, easy action, and padded non-slip grips. Other options for those that suffer from arthritis are electric secateurs or powered secateurs.

They are also one of the more affordable options on the market and are a top-selling option. 

These secateurs work with minimal effort allowing you to prune for longer without experiencing fatigue. They also feature a sap groove so that means less time cleaning them as you work. The blade has a low-friction coating which also adds to the ease of use.

The WISCOLS Secateurs are well-made from quality materials and should give you many years of service. It has a handy and easy-to-use lock mechanism. 

The blade is 8cm and can handle branches up to ¾ inches. They are versatile and can handle heavy work as well as softer plants or precision work such as bonsai or topiaries. 

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TONMA Secateurs 

Best for Accurate Cutting
TONMA Secateurs [Made in Japan] 8 Inch Pruning Shears
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Key Features:

While a utility product you cannot help but be impressed with the sleek stylish design. The most important factor is how well they function and these do not disappoint. They have plenty of power and sharp SK5 steel blades. You can expect a clean accurate cut

They are heavy-duty secateurs and will cut branches up to 1 inch with ease. The safety lock is of good quality and works effectively. 

The grip is designed to be comfortable but lacks an anti-slip coating. 

Something I always like to see is a lifetime warranty. That gives you faith that you will be looked after should anything go wrong. 

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Kimura 8” Pro Garden Secateurs

Best for Versatility
Kimura 8” Pro Bypass Garden Secateurs
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Key Features 

Another great Japanese set of secateurs is the Kimura 8” Pro Garden Secateurs, also with SK5 Steel blades. They can do fine work or cut branches up to 1 inch thick. 

As you would expect from the blady quality you get a sharp cut with minimal effort. They are heat treated to 60 HRC which toughens them up and they require less frequent sharpening than regular blades. 

The blades are also coated with PTFE for added protection and less friction as you cut. 

The handles are lightweight and comfortable. They have a PVC coating for extra comfort and this also prevents them from slipping. The build is aluminium and they are built to last and are rust resistant. 

The lock is easy to use and reliable. 

Kimura also offers a lifetime warranty for peace of mind. 

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Niwaki Mainichi Secateurs

Best Ladies’ Secateurs
Niwaki Mainichi Secateurs
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Key Features 

These are a popular option with good ratings and feedback. While they are not ideal for dead wood they will cut most of your plants and shrubs with ease. They are ideal for a diameter of 10mm. Many find them a great option as secateurs for roses. 

These elegant shears have vibrant yellow handles so they will be easy to find. The safety catch works well.

They sport quality SK5 carbon steel blades that are sharp and durable. While they are not heavy-duty secateurs they are perfect for most work around the garden and a good choice for the best secateurs for small hands. 

The few downsides are that the handles tend to get slippery when wet and they cost a bit more than the average secateurs. 

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BLACK + DECKER 8.5″ Bypass Pruner Secateur 

Best Budget Shears
BLACK + DECKER 8.5" BYPASS PRUNER SECATEUR
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Key Features:

This is a trusted brand that comes in at an amazingly decent price. Despite the budget price, they have a lifetime guarantee. They look good and work incredibly well. The titanium blades are strong and non-stick. They have a cutting capacity of 3/4 inches.

The grips are soft and easy on the hands. The body is cast aluminium construction which is rugged and durable. 

The warranty is only 2 years and they are a bit heavier than most other options. 

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The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Anvil Style Shears

Best for Larger Branches

Key features:

If you want to cut larger branches or simply do not have the strength to cut too many medium stems, these should make life easier. The ratchet design means a bit less effort is needed to get the power you need. 

These are well-rated and popular ratchet anvil shears and are affordable. Let the design and mechanics do the hard work so you can enjoy the experience without the strain. 

They have rugged manganese steel blades that can handle heavy-duty cutting up to 1 inch in diameter. The body is aluminium so is light and will not rust. 

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How to Buy the Best Secateurs 

When selecting the best professional secateurs for your needs, here are a few pointers. These will help you to make the best investment. 

Blade Material

This is critical. You want strength and durability. Quality materials such as Japanese SK5 Steel will last you well and remain sharp for longer than many other options. 

Grip

What you want is a comfortable grip and preferably one that is non-slip. Even if you use gloves, some grips can become slippery or uncomfortable after time. 

Size

This depends on the user and the type of work you want to do. Larger shears will generally have more cutting power but tend to be heavier and might not suit smaller hands. 

If you want to reach higher stems or branches you should look at long reach secateurs or telescopic secateurs. 

Weight

Naturally, as you prune or cut plants the weight of the secateurs will be a factor. While the stronger more powerful secateurs tend to be slightly heavier, many great ones are lightweight. 

Warranty

Some secateurs come with a lifetime guarantee which shows that the company has faith in the materials and the workmanship. You might pay a bit more but this will give you peace of mind in your investment. Some models, normally the budget options, come with a 1 or 2 year warranty. 

Frequently Asked Questions

In the process of evaluating the very best secateurs and the best pruning shears, certain questions came up quite often. Let’s take a look at some of the FAQs around the products:

Anvil vs Bypass Secateurs

There are several secateurs’ designs. Each one has unique features and advantages. Let’s take a closer look at what is available. This will guide you to invest in the one that is best suited to your needs. 

•Bypass Secateurs

These are the most common. Generally pointed, these are utility secateurs that work well for stems and branches around 10 to 15mm in thickness. 

The two blades work much like scissors, only with a bit more power and punch. When kept sharp they give a neat clean cut. They are better for green growth but can be used on slightly larger branches. 

•Anvil secateurs

As the name suggests, these are a bit more heavy-duty. Thicker and harder branches are no match for these tough shears. They are effective on dead wood, harder wood as well as thicker wood. 

They generally have a single sharp blade. 

•Ratchet Secateurs

Here you get the best of the above. They are easy to use and make use of ratchets to increase cutting power. This makes them ideal for tough stems and branches. Once you get used to the cut, release, and repeat action, they are a pleasure to operate, even on tough branches. 

What is the Difference Between Pruners and Secateurs?

They are essentially the same thing. In the UK, we tend to say secateurs while in the US and other areas, most people refer to them as pruners. While there are various designs the terms secateurs and pruners can be used interchangeably. 

How to Look After Secateurs

The main thing you want to do is keep them clean and sharp. More on those topics are below. Correct storage in a clean dry area is also important. 

How to Clean Secateurs

If you want your secateurs to perform well and last you many years you must keep them clean at all times. This is an easy process. 

You can use dishwashing liquid in warm water. Soak them for a few minutes and then scrub them with a brush or scouring pad. If they are really dirty, you can use steel wool but do not be too rough. 

Use an abrasive pad or cloth to scour the blades if necessary. Again, do not be too aggressive. Rinse them off and open them up. Dry them thoroughly. Ensure that they are dry before you close and store them. 

You can use a small amount of oil, vegetable oil, or purpose-designed tool oil to prevent rust and damage. Wipe off any excess oil. 

Do I Need to Disinfect my Secateurs? 

Viruses and fungi can be transferred to other plants if the secateurs have been used on infected plants. Simply disinfect with a household bleach such as sodium hypochlorite, a 2% solution is all that is needed. Again, ensure they are completely dry before you store them. 

Do you get left handed secateurs? 

You certainly do but you might have to do a bit of homework to find them. Many of the leading brands offer left handed options but they are a bit harder to find. Many lefties adapt to using them right handed. 

How to Sharpen Secateurs

The importance of using sharp secateurs can not be overstated. Even the very best secateurs will perform poorly when blunt. The process is the same as any cutting blade but the design does make it a bit more of a challenge. Some can be dismantled making the process easier. 

The secateurs must be clean before you start to sharpen them. See above. 

A sharpening stone is the most popular method. There are wet stones, oil stones, and diamond honing stones. 

You need to rub the blade on the stone. Most only have a sharp edge on one side. If not, you want to turn regularly to sharpen all sides. Getting the angle correct is important. 

You want to achieve the same bevel on both sides of the blade. This video will give you some insight into the entire process. 

What Secateurs do Professionals Use?

Budget is not a major concern for the professionals. Many get sponsored and are given endorsements, so their choice is not always the best. Most will go for the best quality they can get, tough, sharp, and effective. Their choice will vary and will also depend on the type of work they need to do. Most gardening pros will have a range of quality secateurs. 

What Secateurs Does Monty Don Use? 

As the host of Gardeners World, a prolific and successful author on all things gardening, and the man we know from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Monty Don clearly knows a thing or two about the best secateurs. His choice is the Niwaki Tobisho secateurs. 

Conclusion

Finding the ideal secateurs for your needs could be a challenge but we have given you the most important things to look out for when making your decision. We also give you an honest lowdown of some of the very best options available. 

There are few things more frustrating in the garden than poor secateurs or those that fall apart after a few months. Depending on your needs, you cannot go wrong with any of the above options. 

Look for blade quality, durability, a good grip, and comfort. Power is also important if you want to cut larger branches. 

If you have any questions or experience with these or other secateurs, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. 

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    By Charl Jooste

    Charl is a full-time writer with a range of passions and expertise in lawn mowers and other garden power tools. After many years in the corporate rat race, he decided to follow these passions. When not writing, Charl can be found in his garden, tending to or propagating plants, keeping the lawn near perfect, and enjoying the outdoors with his dogs. He is also fascinated by emerging technology and tries to squeeze in a round of golf as often as possible.

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