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8 Best Pruning Tools for Your Garden and Yard

Pruning is important for keeping gardens and landscapes looking their best. But to do it right, you need good pruning tools. Here are some favorites.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Pruning ToolsGail Shotlander/Getty Images

What Makes a Good Pruning Tool?

Durable materials that hold up in outdoor use and are not compromised by dirt or moisture.

• Quality engineering that withstands hard use and occasional mishaps like accidentally dropping the tool.

Good ergonomics so it feels comfortable in your hand, even after repeated use.

• Proper care. Keep tools sharp, clean and rust-free (unlike the ones above) for efficiency and long life.

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Bypass Pruners

Fiskars steel bypass pruners come at a bargain price, less than $13, but are backed by a lifetime warranty. The hardened, precision-ground steel blade has a special coating to reduce friction for easier cuts and resist rust for longevity.

These bypass pruners, which are best for cutting green, living stems, make a clean, sharp cut for quick healing and tackle stems up to 5/8-in. in diameter. Non-slip handles make these pruners easy to use in wet weather.

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Anvil Pruners

Fiskars power-lever anvil pruners are a good modestly-priced option for cutting dry, dead stems up to 5/8-in. in diameter. These pruners, which also come with a lifetime warranty, feature an all-steel body for durability and power-lever technology to maximize leverage and make cutting easier. Non-slip grips make use more comfortable even in wet conditions.

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Ratchet Pruners

Corona hand ratchet pruners can tackle stems up to 3/4-in. in diameter, thanks to a ratchet action that allows you to make a larger cut in several small passes. It features a non-stick coated blade for smooth cutting and a molded grip to fit comfortably in the hand. These ratchet pruners come with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s a great tool for pruning bushes.

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Needle-Nose Pruners

Dramm hydroponic clippers feature three-inch-long titanium-coated blades, perfect for reaching deeper into a plant’s canopy and doing precision pruning on tender new growth, harvesting herbs or deadheading flowers. Lightweight yet durable, the clippers come with a locking mechanism for safety and a sleeve to protect the blades. Indoors, these can be used in place of garden scissors.

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Corona compound-action bypass loppers are 32 inches long, offering ample leverage for removing woody stems up to 1-1/2-in. thick. These loppers feature 24-inch fiberglass handles and extra-long, non-slip foam grips for comfort. The high-carbon steel bypass blades have a non-stick coating as well.

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Heavy-Duty Loppers

Centurion pro series monster loppers can cut up to two-inch-diameter stems with their guillotine-stye cutting jaw — stems that would normally require a saw to prune. The powerful double-gear drive makes cutting back plants 50 percent easier, and the non-stick coating on the rust-resistant blades keep them from gumming up.

You can use these large loppers for extended periods, thanks to the lightweight aluminum alloy handles and the cushioned non-slip grips.

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Hedge Shears

Fiskars 23-inch PowerGear hedge shears come with a lifetime warranty as well as a commendation from the Arthritis Foundation for ease of use.

Great for trimming hedges and tender shoots on other plants, the shears feature a PowerGear mechanism that enhances the cutting force to make cutting easier. The shears are lightweight to save fatigue after extended use and come with sharp blades with a low-friction, rust-resistant coating.

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Pole Pruner

Fiskars extendable tree pruner reaches seven to 12 feet, making it ideal for pruning high branches without a ladder. The rope-free design is easy to use because it offers two-handed control.

This pole pruner, which comes with a lifetime warranty, has chain-driven gearing for maximum cutting power and a hardened steel blade that cuts up to one inch diameter branches.

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Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.