When it comes down to keeping your bushes, shrubs, or trees in check, there’s no better tool for the gardener then the pruning shears. These small clippers are perfect at their jobs of fine tuning your plants and removing dead limbs, as well as getting rid of unwanted growth. Not everyone needs top of the line shears, but every gardener needs reliable cutting performance if they plan on taking care of their plants. Not all shears are the same, and some are more ideally suited for different gardening jobs. Before checking out the list of best pruning shears, here’s some pruning shears knowledge to brush up on before you pick the best shears for your garden.
Here is a list of The Best Pruning Shears
Pruning shears come in primarily two designs, bypass and anvil. Bypass and anvil refer to how shears use their mechanisms to make cuts. In a bypass model, the shears act much like scissors, pushing two sharpened blades together to make a cut on a branch or twig. The curved designed of the blades make it easier for the user to make cuts with less pressure.
In anvil shears, only one blade is sharpened. This blade pushes up against a flattened side, or anvil, to make the cut. The best way to make a comparison, is to think of anvil shears as a knife with one blunt side to push the branch into the sharpened blade.
When used correctly, bypass cutters will generally make cleaner cuts. This is important for pruning plants that you are trying to keep alive or when dealing with live shoots and limbs. Anvil shears, on the other hand, make less clean cuts but are generally better at cutting through thicker or dense materiel. So if you plan on dealing with a lot of dead material that you don’t care about absolute precision in all your cuts, anvil shears may be more your style.
Arguments can be made for both sides, and every gardener will probably have their preference as to which style rules the day. What to look for in a set of pruning shears will depend on the kind of job you plan on doing with those shears. However, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the shears on this list.
Garden Elite Alpha Six Pruning Shears – Top Pick
The Garden Elite Alpha Six pruning shears are built on SK5 Japanese steel blades that are coated with Teflon, which gives smooth cutting power on up to 1 inch diameter branches. These shears are made from the highest quality materials and feature superb design from the bevel of the high-carbon steel blades to the ergonomic forged aluminum handles, which are coated with non-slip rubber to prevent slippage while cutting.
The non-stick Teflon coating not only promotes clean cuts, but also keeps the action from gumming up and makes wiping them down after a day of cutting easier. Blades are also coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, to keep them rust and corrosion free for years regardless of whether they are stored inside or outside.
The Alpha Six’s have a sleek, all-metal looking design. The only issue may be losing them, as there are no bright colors to keep these shears from getting lost in the brush pile. Yet that is hardly a complaint, as the excellent cutting power along with the precision steel and bypass design make the Garden Elite Alpha Six very versatile and a great pair of shears for almost any job.
In addition to receiving the shears, the package also includes an extra blade and spring for replacement purposes. Also included with this is a free eBook that includes pruning tips for experts and beginners alike. Garden Elite is known for their amazing customer support, and each set of shears comes with a lifetime guarantee. The Alpha Six shears are 8.5 inches long and weigh just 9 ounces. These amazing shears are the real deal, and are arguably the best pruning shears on the market if you’re willing to lay down a few extra bucks.
- High-carbon, quality Japanese steel blades
- Up to 1 inch cuts
- Extra blade, spring, and video included
- Garden Elite Lifetime Warranty
- High cost
- Locking mechanism may be stiff or slightly misaligned
Basilica Botanica Pruning Shears
Basilica Botanica Pruning Shears are the heavy duty shears you’ve been looking for. If you’re tired of going through cheap shears made of plastics, then you might try these. The Basilica’s are a bypass, scissor designed, 100% metal-on-metal construction with a polished aluminum finish. The curved blades are made up of high-carbon steel, for dependable cuts year-round.
The handles are ergonomic, forged aluminum. They lack rubber grips of any kind, which may be a problem for gardeners who like wearing cloth gloves. This set of shears also provides an easy squeeze and is great for beginning and expert gardeners alike. With up to 1 inch diameter cutting power, these shears are perfect for almost any job. The only gripe is that they are a tad bulkier than other comparable shears, but that is only a small offense.
Due to the high-quality construction and metal parts, cleaning is also a cinch. Dependability is one of the great features of their all-metal construction. The blades are sharpened and ready to cut straight out of the box. These shears also come with a money-back guarantee, if for some reason you are not completely satisfied.
While the Basilica’s are a little bit on the pricier side, they are by no means astronomically expensive. Add that to the metal-on-metal construction and the lifetime guarantee and the Basilica’s become a hard offer to beat for anyone who spends quite a bit of time pruning their gardens.
- Heavy duty, metal-on-metal construction
- Sharp out of the box
- Lifetime Guarantee
- A bit bulkier than other shears
- Lack of rubber coating on handles may cause slippage
Gonicc Anvil Pruning Shears (GPPS-1001)
The Gonicc Professional Anvil Pruning Shears are a sleek set of shears with a cutting maintained by a pulley mechanism for reliable cuts every time. With this advanced pulley mechanism, SK5 steel blades, and anvil design, the Gonicc Anvil Pruners offer higher cutting power with less effort.
These shears build their reputation on using less pressure to make the same cuts, thanks to the reliable and heavy duty design. Like similar shears on the market, the Gonicc Anvil Shears feature aluminum handles, which makes them both lightweight and durable. SK5 High Carbon Steel blades means they will stay sharper for longer. The safety lock can also be manipulated easily with one hand, making them ideal for gardeners with small or weak hands.
Given that these shears are of anvil design, it’s important to note that very brittle limbs could explode leaving a very rough cut and fragile stems could come out a bit smashed. However, this anvil designs lends itself well to clearing out dead material and getting rid of dense wood that may be otherwise hard to cut with a set of bypass shears. Pair that with Gonicc’s Lifetime Warranty, and these great pruning shears become a must-have addition to the gardener’s toolbox.
- Anvil design plus pulley mechanism makes for easier cutting of large or dense branches
- Comfortable rubber and light-weight aluminum handles
- Gonicc Lifetime Warranty
- Not the strongest spring
- Anvil design not ideal for precision cutting
Fiskars All Steel Bypass Pruning Shears
These bypass shears by Fiskars are all-steel construction with blades coated in a rust resistant coating that not only prevents corrosion but allows the blades to glide more smoothly through branches, stems, or whatever piece of the plant needs a snip. The Fiskars shears are nice to look at, with slim-line and close-together handles coated in non-slip rubber grips to keep them firmly in hand.
A touch of yellow on the grips and hinge not only makes them look great, but allows them to be easily found if they somehow end up in the grass or leaf pile. The Fiskars are rated to cut branches up to a 5/8 inch diameter, and with the bypass design, these are well suited for live growth and clean cuts the first time through.
The Fiskars All Steel Bypass Pruning Shears come in at just under 11 inches long and weigh 10.4 ounces, which make them a bit heavier than competitors, thanks to their all-steel design. The blades are beveled, which allows a high amount of torsion in each cut, preventing undo strain on the user. The Fiskars design makes it a great multi-purpose shearer, whether it needs to take out long-dead material from trees or bushes or fine-tune smaller plants and flowers, the Fiskars pruning shears more-than capable.
The Fiskars come equipped with an easy-lock mechanism to protect the blade during transport and storage. The all-steel design also gives these durability, making them trustworthy cut after cut. Fiskars touts their low-friction coating which prevents the blades from getting hung up in sap or dense wood and allows the blades to smoothly clip through most any type of substances.
Fiskars offers a lifetime warranty, so you never have to worry about getting your money’s worth out of these shears. These shears are made in China, if that means anything to you. With the low price and heavy-duty construction, the Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears are one of the best quality deals on the market.
- All-steel design make them durable
- Low price
- Fiskars low-friction blade coating
- A bit heavier than others on the market
- Blade coating may peel off
Vivosun Hand Pruners
If you’re looking for light leaf work or vegetable garden tuning, then the Vivosun Hand Pruner’s might be up your alley. These micro tip bypass trimmers are built for precision. The spring loaded Comfort Grip handles also make this an ideal tool for sufferers of arthritis or any other hand and wrist maladies. If you happen to be a Bonsai tree enthusiast, then these may also be the perfect shears for you.
The Vivosun Hand Pruners have a slim design and are brightly colored orange to keep them from getting lost in the soil or under the branches. The squeeze has a smooth action and a satisfying snip sound when opening and closing. The blades come sharp and ready to use straight out of the box. The Vivosun’s also have a smooth, easy to operate locking mechanism for storage and travel.
This is a great tool for the vegetable or flower garden. The spring loaded blades make it easy on the hand and prevents strain for those meticulous trimming sessions. The thin blades also makes it easy to get in between tough to reach areas, giving you the precision to cut only the stem or branch of your choosing without harming other delicate areas of your plant. These ambidextrous shears come with a sideways locking mechanism that not only keeps the blades protected when not in use but also prevents accidental cuts.
The blades are made from stainless steel and include a titanium coating for high precision cuts and to prevent corrosion and rust. If it’s ultra-precision you’re looking for, then these are the best shears for your garden.
- High precision cutting potential, thanks to micro-tip, bypass blades
- Smooth squeezing action
- Lightweight and ergonomic
- Blades not sturdy enough to handle large diameter limbs
- Handles made primarily of plastic
Gonicc Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1002)
The Gonicc Bypass shears are forged metal both on the body and the handles, with high carbon steel blades. The red rubber grips not only make these shears easy to spot, but give them a slip-less, plyer-like feel. Teflon coated blades allow the bypass blades a smoothness in addition to their robust cutting power.
The bypass design also gives these shears the ability to make clean cuts on both live and dead material. Even thicker branches and stems can be tackled by The Gonicc Bypass Shears, as they are rated to cut up to ¾” diameter thickness. Blades are highly polished and coated with Teflon for high-quality cuts that pass smoothly through bark and stems, while keeping the blade rust and corrosion free.
These shears are outfitted with a sap groove, which prevents the blades from sticking when cutting into sap-producing branches. The shears are equipped with an easy to manipulate thumb safety. The aluminum handles make these shears incredibly light compared to other shears, but may be less durable than all-steel construction.
These shears have an overall length of 10.6 inches and weigh only 5.6 ounces, a rather light weight for such heavy duty shears. While lightness can be a plus in gardening tools, it’s important to keep in mind the impact on durability when manufactures use lightweight construction materials. However, with Gonicc’s high-quality materials and construction, these shears are a hard to beat combo of lightweight precision.
- Aluminum handles make these shears light and nimble.
- Teflon coated blades offer smooth cuts
- Sap well prevents sticky blades
- Light, aluminum handles may present durability issues
- Some found handles uncomfortable and blades a bit dull
Remember to never cut larger diameter branches than what your shears are rated to sever. Doing this can not only damage the action and blades of your shears, but can also lead to hand injuries due to strain and slippage which may cause you to cut something you didn’t intend to, including yourself.
No matter what shears end up being best for you, it’s always important to clean your shears after use. Most shears are fairly easy to care for, and can be cleaned with plain old water. However, your gardening tools should never be put away wet, as this will almost assuredly lead to rust and corrosion, no matter how good the coating is on the stainless steel blades.
Wiping down shears with orange oil or other natural cleaning solvents is also a great way to prevent the spread of disease between plants. Doing this decreases the risk of potentially spreading a deadly plant disease throughout your whole garden.
Be sure to read the instructions that come with your shears to make sure you are following the manufacturer’s guidelines. This is even more a point of emphasis if it is winter time or if you do not plan on coming back to your shears for a long time.
Minor squeaks and gritty actions can be remedied with a little bit of WD40 or similar kind of machine oil. When it comes to oiling your shears, less is more. A small drop on a work cloth will suffice for almost every situation.
Your shears should be stored in a place that is dry and cool, away from excessive moisture and humidity, so that when spring rolls back around your clippers are in the perfect working condition as when you put them away. No matter which pair of shears is best for your garden, taking care of your shears today means that you will always come back to the best pair of shears tomorrow.