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10 Best Pruning Shears for Easier Gardening

Once you get your hands on one of these pruners, you'll never look back.

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Bypass Pruner Ecomm Garrettwade.comVIA MERCHANT

There are a lot of different gardening tools made for trimming, cutting and shaping outdoor shrubs and plants. One of the most important is a quality pair of pruning shears. Handheld pruning shears are basically heavy-duty scissors that can cut up to 1-inch branches. Unlike loppers, they’re small enough fit in your palm and hang off your belt so you can grip and cut as soon as you spot a runaway branch or stem.

What to Look for When Buying Pruning Shears

So how do you choose the best pruning shears? Consider these factors, which we used to select our top picks below:

Durability

When it comes to pruning tools, durability is key. You’ll want pruners that are long-lasting and easy to sharpen, because no matter how high-quality the pruners are; they’ll eventually dull and need to be sharpened. Many of our favorite pruning shears include a sharpener or feature a coordinating sharpener available for purchase.

User-Friendly Locks

Professional landscaper Zach Young likes to take a close look at the locking mechanism on his pruning shears. “Cheap pruners often have a lock that gets in the way of your fingers while you’re cutting,” he says. “There’s nothing more annoying than a pruner that locks up on you while you’re working.”

Bypass Blades

Of course, the most important part of pruning shears are the blades. Look for bypass pruners—which means the blades bypass each other, or overlap, as you cut. The scissor-like motion is especially effective on live, green stems, which are soft and spongy. Without the right blade, your pruners might simply squish these branches rather than getting a clean cut.

Size and Handle Comfort

It’s also important to take into account the size of pruners that best fit your hands. Some pruners work well, but are hard to operate unless you have large hands. Handle comfort is important because the repetitive cutting you do with pruning shears can cause hand cramps with the wrong tool.

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Corona Bp 3180d Forged Classic Bypass Pruner Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Overall Pruning Shears

Corona Classic Bypass Hand Pruner

A favorite of both professional landscapers and weekend gardeners is the Corona classic bypass hand pruner. The straight-forward, reliable design at a reasonable price (not to mention the lifetime warranty!) makes it our best overall pick for hand pruners. The durable, forged steel bypass blades can cut up to 1-inch branches, and the non-slip rubber handles provide a comfortable grip even you’re not wearing gardening gloves. After some wear and tear, easily sharpen the blades with the Corona sharpener tool and these pruners are as good as new.

Pros

  • Clean-cutting bypass blades
  • Non-slip handles
  • Blades can be resharpened
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Latch lock doesn’t interfere with cutting

Cons

  • Not comfortable for people with small hands; designed for medium and large hands

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2 / 10

Fiskars Softgrip Bypass Pruner Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Value Pruning Shears

Fiskars Alloy Steel Softgrip Bypass Hand Pruner

For less than $20, you can snag the Fiskars softgrip hand pruner. The sleek black and orange pruners cut up to 5/8-in. branches, perfect for small shrubs and other light yard maintenance like pruning roses. The blades aren’t as thick as more heavy-duty pruners, but they have a low-friction coating that helps them glide and prevents rust. Fiskars is a popular brand with reliably high reviewer ratings, but if these pruners ever break, they’re covered with a full lifetime warranty!

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Clean-cutting bypass blades
  • Low-friction and rust-resistant coating
  • Full lifetime warranty
  • Easy push button lock

Cons

  • Only cuts up to 5/8-inch branches
  • Some reviewers mention problems with the spring mechanism

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3 / 10

Bypass Pruner Ecomm Garrettwade.comvia merchant

Best Splurge Pruning Shears

Garrett Wade French Bypass Pruner

Even pruning shears can be chic! If you want something a little more luxurious in your gardening tool kit, check out this French-made bypass pruner from Garrett Wade. The 8-inch blades are made with durable forged steel for smooth cutting. The handles feature real leather grips and come with a leather holster, giving the tool old-world elegance you probably wouldn’t expect from ordinary pruning shears. You’ll pay a little more, but these pruners deliver on both style and function worthy of the price.

Pros

  • Forged steel blades
  • Real leather grips
  • Leather holster included
  • 90-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Quality materials mean a higher price
  • No warranty

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4 / 10

Felco Pruning Shears High Performance Swiss Made One Hand Garden Pruners Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Heavy-Duty Pruning Shears

Felco 7 Pruners

Swiss-made Felco is another brand of pruners professionals recommend as a long-lasting tool. The Felco 7 pruners are made for more demanding pruning jobs thanks to the revolving handle. It moves on its axis with your hand, reducing the force required to cut through larger branches so you get maximum cutting power with minimum hand cramps. You’ll also love the cushioned shock absorber handles in signature Felco red.

Pros

  • Durable steel blades
  • Cuts thick branches with ease
  • Includes a sap groove to keep blades clean
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Unique revolving operation might feel awkward at first
  • Not comfortable for small hands

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Pruning Shears Ecomm Grove.covia merchant

Best Lightweight Pruning Shears

Modern Sprout Pruning Shears

Who knew dependable pruning shears could be so stylish? The Modern Sprout pruning shears have a unique modern shape with pretty gray-blue rounded handles. They’re small and lightweight; perfect to stow in your pocket, then whip out as needed to snip flowers and tend to small plants. The needle nose tip on the carbon steel blades means you can access tight spaces where your shrubs need trimming with accuracy. They’re smart for indoor plants too!

Pros

  • Easy to carry; lightweight
  • Chic modern design
  • Pointed blades for accuracy

Cons

  • Only cuts small branches
  • Narrow handles might be hard for large hands to grip

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The Gardener's Friend Pruners Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Pruning Shears for Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis

The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Pruning Shears

The Gardener’s Friend pruning shears are designed specifically for gardeners who suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. The secret to these easy-to-use pruners is in the ratchet mechanism, which uses leverage to make cuts that are gentle on your hands. Open the pruners wide to make a large cut and then squeeze the handles; release and squeeze again to continue cutting through the branch. It usually takes about three “squeezes” to get through a large branch (up to 3/4 inch), with much less hand pressure than traditional pruner cutting action. These pruners are one of our favorite adaptive gardening tools.

Pros

  • Ratchet system requires less hand pressure
  • Comfortable handle for arthritic hands
  • Carbon steel blades

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the push button lock is difficult to operate
  • Can only cut up to 3/4-inch branches

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Best Electric Pruning Shears

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Cordless Pruner

For faster pruning, consider this electric pruner, which operates with the pull of a trigger. This little power tool helps you snip and cut piles of branches at double the speed as a hand pruner. It features steel precision blades for clean cuts, a soft grip handle for comfort and can cut up to 3/4-inch branches.

Pros

  • Faster and more powerful than hand pruners
  • Long-lasting battery cuts up to 800 times on a single charge
  • Lightweight and cordless
  • Charger included

Cons

  • Bulkier size makes it difficult to reach tight spaces
  • No lifetime warranty (2-year battery warranty included)

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8 / 10

Felco Pruning Shears High Performance Swiss Made One Hand Garden Pruner Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Pruning Shears for Small Hands

Felco 160S Pruning Shears

Measure your hand from the tip of your fingers to the base of your palm. If the measurement is less than 6 7/8 inches (17.5 cm.) your hand is considered “small” according to Felco, and you might need more compact pruning shears. The Felco 160S pruning shears are smaller and ergonomically designed so those with smaller hands can operate them comfortably. The cushioned, shock absorber handles soften the cutting impact. But don’t let their small size fool you! The hardened steel blades ensure reliably powerful and precise cuts.

Pros

  • Compact design for small hands
  • Lightweight
  • Includes a sap groove to keep blades clean
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not capable of heavy-duty cutting
  • Priced higher than comparable pruners

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Fiskars Gardening Tools Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Left-Handed Pruning Shears

Fiskars Ambidextrous Bypass Pruner

Calling all lefties! Thanks to its ambidextrous design, the Fiskars 5.5-inch bypass pruner works for both right and left-handed gardeners. The cushioned comfort grip handles provide secure, slip-free use. And the steel, low-friction blades are always sharp and ready for action.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous design
  • Enclosed spring
  • Full lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Plastic lock instead of metal
  • Coating on blade might flake off with use

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Gonicc Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Comfort-Handle Pruning Shears

Gonicc Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

If your hands hurt from gripping hard handles, you’ll like the Gonicc titanium bypass pruning shears. The handles are made from high quality aluminum, but are wrapped in a thick cushioned layer of PVC foam. One five-star reviewer says, “These garden shears are well-made, sharp and easy on the hands. I love the soft covered handles. It makes them super comfortable and easy to grip.”

Pros

  • Soft, ergonomically designed non-slip handles
  • Premium titanium steel blades
  • Includes a sap groove to keep blades clean
  • Blades are coated with rust prevention oil

Cons

  • Only cuts up to 3/4-inch branches
  • No warranty

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Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.