Pruning shears may not seem like a big deal, but anyone serious about gardening knows the right tool makes all the difference when you’re making cut after cut!
Whether you’re a professional horticulturist or an amateur green thumb, every gardener needs a good pair of shears. From the hobbyist trimming back begonias on the front lawn to the landscape designer sculpting hedges and boxwoods on a big estate, all gardeners are basically looking for the same thing: a sharp, comfortable, durable pair of shears that can accomplish the task at hand and hold up well over time.
Before we dive into the best hand pruners, let’s take a brief detour to highlight the two major hand pruner categories: Bypass and Anvil.
WHAT’S A BYPASS PRUNER?
In a nutshell, bypass pruners function like scissors. Named for the top blade that bypasses the other, bypass pruners are the most popular option for general pruning needs. Generally, this is because they excel at providing clean, smooth cuts to delicate plants in a garden and avoid causing damage in the process. Generally, they are used for living, green plants.
WHAT’S AN ANVIL PRUNER?
Anvil pruners on the other hand, function more like a knife on a chopping board than scissors. They are particularly effective for cutting through tough trees or branches, but they tend to squash or crunch more delicate plants. Generally, these are used for dead, brown plants.To help you prune with comfort and ease, here’s a list of some of the best hand pruners for you. We’ve picked our favorite bypass and anvil models.
The majority of pruning shears are constructed of steel, but there are two varieties used.
Carbon steel blades are extremely tough and can easily cut through a wide variety of materials. These must be kept clean and oiled regularly to prevent rust, but can last for years. Carbon steel is also quite easy to sharpen as needed.
Stainless or other lower grades of steel blade are also relatively common, but often, these are coated with a non-stick material. This nonstick coating can help prevent sap buildup on the sharp blades. However, the lower grades of steel are at risk of developing dings and nicks in the blade surface over time.
There are two basic cutting mechanisms for pruning shears: springback or ratcheted.
Springback pruners, bypass pruners or snips mostly, are those which have a heavy spring that will open the jaws of the shears once your hand grip eases. Both are used for light to medium-weight pruning duties on softer green wood.
Ratchet pruners are usually those with an anvil-style blade. A ratchet system just behind the blade’s pivot point helps to provide extra pressure to cut through heavier, denser materials.
Handle shapes can be vastly different. Some of the handles angle outward, creating a slight V shape when closed. Others form a straight line when closed, and have a slim profile.
Ergonomic grips are found on both bypass or anvil-style blades. The lower handle has indentations for your fingers, making them unlikely to slide out of your hand.
Unlike loppers, most pruning shears have a safety lock. This simple mechanism will keep the jaws closed when they’re not in use.
For any of the springback styles, these are essential. Otherwise, your blades remain wide open and are a potential danger in your toolbox.
Look for a safety lock which is rigid and will hold up to multiple openings and closings without breaking. Alternately, get a sheath that will keep your blades closed when your pruning shears aren’t in use.
if you had to choose just one type of garden shear, nothing is more essential than a good “bypass” pruner. Bypass garden pruners are probably the most popular.
Your Garden Assistant- YAMATIC Heavy Duty Garden Pruning Shear