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Best Pruning Shears: How To Choose Your Hand Pruners

Also called garden pruning shears or garden shears, pruning shears are a must-have in every gardener’s tool kit. It’s a gardening tool that lets you cut, prune, and trim plants of all varieties. Some types have long handles that let you prune in higher places without using a ladder.

If you don’t have one or if you’re shopping around for a hand pruner, here are some of the things to look for:

5 Features to Look For in a Pruning Shear

Blade Style

8 pruning shears

Hand pruners come in three basic styles. These are: anvil, ratchet, and bypass.

Anvil: The anvil-style pruner features a single cutting blade that closes down on a flat edge called an anvil. This pruner cuts like a knife on a cutting board. It’s best used for cutting deadwood. Because anvil blade is bulky, pruners of this style tend to be heavier and harder to close.

Ratchet: This blade works like an anvil blade, but the difference is a mechanism that boosts the cutting action. Ratchet blade is designed for those with small or weak hands because the mechanism minimizes strain and fatigue. It can cut green wood as well as bigger, tougher stems. Choose this style if you do a lot of pruning in the garden.

Bypass: The most popular blade style because it’s versatile and makes clean cuts. Two curved blades close together as they cut through gummy, sappy, thick, or thin branches and stems. Choose this blade if you do a lot of pruning in the garden, and you want to make quick, clean cuts without damaging live wood.

Durability

The most important thing to look for when choosing hand pruners is the quality of the tool. Flimsy, cheap hand pruners may save you a few bucks now, but if it breaks after a few uses, you’ll end up paying twice for it. Go for the most durable pruners you can afford. They may be expensive, but these garden tools will last you for years.

When shopping around, check for hand pruners marketed as “heavy duty pruning shears” or “professional” pruners. Take a closer look at the overall quality of the product. Be sure that it’s made with high-tempered steel because it is the most durable. Plus points if the hand pruner has replaceable parts to extend its life.

Cutting Performance

Low-quality pruners are prone to nicking, warping, and breaking because the materials are not durable. Also, the blades dull quickly, so they require frequent sharpening; otherwise, you’ll end up damaging your precious perennials!

When shopping around for hand pruners, look for those forged in carbon steel because the material is hardwearing, weatherproof, and corrosion-resistant. The material is less prone to nicking, and warping + the blades stay razor-sharp! High-quality pruners like the ECOgardener hand pruner need only a simple sharpening to bring it back to peak performance. Just a wipe of oiled cloth is all it needs after use.

Pruning Shears Design

8 pruning shears

Pruning can cause muscle strain and fatigue, particularly in the fingers, hands, arms, and shoulders. That’s why it’s essential to check the design of the hand pruner, especially if you do a lot of pruning.

When checking out hand pruners, look for those with ergonomic handles. If you can, get a feel of the product by holding it with your hands. Is the hand pruner easy to hold? Does it fit the size of your hand? How is the heft, is it heavy or lightweight? What about the grip? Can you hold the pruner firmly, or are you having trouble getting a firm grip?

Choose a pruner that’s lightweight yet durable, grip-friendly, and efficient. The pruner should optimize the cutting for a comfortable pruning experience. Safety features are always a plus, especially when you’re operating sharp tools. Look for gardening pruners with a safety lock to prevent injuries.

Price

While the cost shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when buying garden pruners, it’s something to consider when figuring out the quality of the tool itself. Though the most expensive pruners aren’t necessarily the most durable, you’ll get exactly what you paid for most times.

A well-priced hand pruner is what you need. The cost should be relative to the quality of the tool. No need to get the hand pruner with all the bells and whistles if you’re only planning to use it once in a while. Generally, get the best hand pruner than you can afford.

How to Pick a Garden Pruner?

garden pruning shears

There are thousands of hand pruner brands out there; which one is the right for you? Gardeners have their favorite blade style but the bypass style hand pruner is the most popular. That’s because the blades give the closest and cleanest cuts. The blades are easier to control too, because they work like a regular pair of scissors.

That said, different gardeners have different preferences. The decision boils down to one thing: your needs. You don’t need the most expensive pruners when you’re only pruning occasionally -- you need one that delivers the kind of cutting performance needed to get the job done.

Highly Recommended Pruning Shears

ecogardener 8 pruning shears

Choose a hand pruner that feels good on your hand, one that’s made to last, comfortable to use, and easy to maintain. Here are our recommendations:

ECOgardener 8’ pruning shears: Our 8” pruning shear is forged from carbon steel, so it’s virtually life-proof and corrosion-resistant. This handy bypass pruning shears is compact in size but can take on live wood and deadwood with ease!

ECOgardener pruning shears: This classic bypass pruning shear suits beginners and seasoned gardeners alike. Use it to make clean, quick cuts -- you’ll love how the razor-sharp blades make close cuts without harming your plants. Easy to use with a secure grip, no pruning job is too big for this garden pruner.

Buy ECOgardener Pruning Shears Today!

Shopping around for pruning shears? If you’re unsure what features to check out while shopping around, turn to the tips above. Remember -- quality, durability, design, and performance are just some of the many important things to look for when deciding what gardening tool to get. If you are planning to do a lot of pruning, invest in a high-quality pruner that will last you years like ECOgardener pruning shears.