Whether you’re a master gardener or just tending to a single raised garden bed in your backyard, the best hand pruner will make or break your enjoyment in the garden. They’re such a multi-use tool. You can prune, you can trim, you can even cut down small saplings with some of them. A good hand pruner is a must-have.
But which is the right one? How do you know what you’re looking for?
I’m glad you asked! We’ve done the work of searching and finding the best hand pruner out there right now, so read on to find out more.
What Are Hand Pruners?
Before we dive into the best hand pruner available, we need to get on the same page of exactly what a hand pruner is.
Simply put, a hand pruner acts like a pair of scissors in your garden. They’re designed in a way that they automatically open back up after applying pressure, making them much more comfortable and convenient to use in your garden than a regular pair of scissors.
They can be used for pruning plants in order to make them healthier, trim up landscaping to make it more pleasing to the eye, for cutting flowers off a plant to use as decorations, or any other time you’d need scissors in your garden.
The 6 Best Hand Pruners for 2022
Best Hand Pruner Overall
FELCO F2 Professional Pruning Shears
The FELCO F2 Professional Pruning Shears are some of the best hand pruner your money can buy. While they’re on the pricer side, they have a lifetime guarantee. All of the parts can be replaced as their wear out, but the entire tool should outlast you!
These bypass hand pruners are considered the best hand pruner by many professional gardeners and also come with a leather belt holster. They’ve got a non-slip grip, ergonomic handles and a coiled metal spring mechanism.
Because they’re bypass hand pruners and make a clean cut on green branches instead of smashing ad damaging, these are one of the best hand pruners for pruning rose bushes. If you’re not sure where to start when pruning your rose bushes, check out The Complete Guide to Pruning Roses in 5 Easy Steps.
Best Hand Pruner for Small Hands
Corona BP 7100D Forged DualCUT Bypass Hand Pruner
The Corona Bypass Hand Pruner is the best hand pruner for small hands because it’s so lightweight and will easily fit into smaller hands.
It’s designed to easily cut through both dry and green branches up to one inch thick. The handles are not ergonomically designed, but they are contoured to fit in your hands and there are even rubber blocks on the inside of the handles that act as shock absorbers when you’re cutting tougher material.
The blades are able to be sharpened to keep your cuts precise and a sharpener can be purchased separately.
- They are lightweight and easy to manage for smaller hands.
- Shock absorbers make using them on thicker branches more comfortable and protect fingers from getting smashed between the handles.
- Some of the locks appear to be faulty and don’t lock the hand pruners closed consistently.
Best Hand Pruner for a Budget
Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears
If you’re a beginner gardener, hoping to get things started on a tight budget or just without investing a lot in case you don’t enjoy it, the Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears are the best hand pruner for you!
For less than $15 you can get started in gardening, and you don’t have to sacrifice quality for a lower price.
This hand pruner is best fit for lighter gardening tasks, as it only cuts branches up to 5/8″ in diameter. It’s a great choice for harvesting herbs, trimming flowers for an arrangement, or pruning your tomato plants.
- The price for the quality is nearly impossible to beat.
- These completely steel hand pruners come with a lifetime warranty.
- Only work for lighter duty jobs due to smaller size.
- The locking mechanism has been known to get stuck.
Best Hand Pruner for Trees
Hoss Pruning Shears
Trimming young trees is important, not only for their health, but to encourage the type of growth you want to see in them. Hoss Pruning Shears are the best hand pruners for the job.
The sharp, heavy-duty blades can easily cut through branches up to one inch in diameter. There’s a thick wire coil spring mechanism that absorbs shock on extra tough cuts.
A feature that sets it apart as the best hand pruner for trees is its sap groove. It’s specifically designed to catch sap from the trees you’re trimming and contains it in one place, away from the blades so that they don’t get stuck or jammed.
If trimming a tree sounds intimidating, check out our posts on How to Prune Trees.
- They’re uniquely designed to trim trees.
- These can be used by both righties and lefties.
- May be harder to use for smaller or weaker hands.
Best Hand Pruner for Arthritic Hands
Garden Guru 2 in 1 Ratchet Pruning Shears for Weak Hands
Weak hands doesn’t have to mean you have to stop gardening! Garden Guru’s 2 in 1 Ratchet Pruning Shears for Weak Hands are the best hand pruner if arthritis or other ailments have threatened to keep you from doing what you love.
The ratchet mechanism in this hand pruner means that you can squeeze, the mechanism will catch and hold the branch between the blades, you can release without the pruner releasing, and apply pressure with a squeeze again, pushing the blade further through the branch being cut. It means each squeeze you give this pruner is really 4x stronger than it would be with a normal pair.
If you’re doing easy trims, you can also turn off the ratchet mode and use it as a single squeeze hand pruner, as well.
- The 2-in-1 aspect of the tool makes it unique and useful in many different pruning situations.
- Ratchet actions make it perfect for weak hands.
- Blades need to be sharpened regularly.
Best Electric Hand Pruner
Gardtech Electric Pruning Shears
If convenience is key or your hands are too weak for even a ratchet hand pruner, the Gardtech Electric Pruning Shears is the best hand pruner for you.
These pruners are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and will cut through a branch up to 7/8″ in diameter. This tool weighs in at right under two pounds and the battery can last up to 6 hours on a single charge.
The pruner comes with a battery and charging station. It’s the best hand pruner for anyone who puts off gardening chores because they lead to sore hands or wrists. Let the tool do the work for you!
- The tool does the hard work for you with the press of a button.
- Battery will last long enough for most trips out to garden.
- Heavier and bulkier than classic hand pruners.
Different Types of Hand Pruners
Not all hand pruners are created equally. There are three main types, each having qualities that make them unique.
Bypass hand pruners are known for being extremely sharp and great for cutting soft branches. These tools are best utilized when you’re pruning because they keep plants healthy. Where other pruners can smash and crunch while cutting, bypass pruners leave a clean cut. These are a great tool to use when pruning or cutting flowers for decorating or arranging.
While bypass hand pruners are like scissors, two sharp blades that cut something put between them, anvil hand pruners are more like a knife and a hard surface, like a cutting board. These pruners are best suited for cutting away dead branches or more heavy-duty work, but not great for pruning as they tend to smash whatever they’re cutting.
Ratchet hand pruners are like a mix of bypass and anvil options. They have on very sharp blade, like the bypass, and a solid side opposite the blade, like an anvil. What sets these apart from the other two options is a mechanism on the inside that makes cutting much easier by ratcheting the blade through the branch in segments. If you know you’re going to be doing a ton of pruning, this is a good option for you to save your hands.
How to Choose the Best Hand Pruners
As mentioned, there are many types of hand pruners available to buy, so it’s important to know different aspects of them to consider before you make a purchase. Here are some of the factors to take into consideration.
Did you know that hand pruners actually come in different sizes? If you choose the wrong size, typically one that opens to be wider than your hand, it can tire your hand out and leave you sore at the end of day outside tending to your yard and garden.
To avoid ordering a hand pruner, only to find out it’s too use comfortably, you can measure your hand to see if the pruner you have your eye on is a good fit or not. Simply use a measuring tape and measure how wide your palm is right at the base of your fingers and then how long your hand is from the tip of your middle finger to where your wrist starts.
Ease of use
If your hands are weaker, you’re older, or you suffer from arthritis, the right hand pruner will be your best gardening friend. Look for a ratchet pruner or maybe an electric one. Just because your hands may not be as strong as they used to be doesn’t mean you can’t get out and work in your garden.
Ergonomic hand pruners will allow you to be comfortable for longer while using them. The way the handles are shaped makes it easy to put the pruner straight against whatever you’re cutting, keeping your wrist in line with the rest of your arm.
There are even designs out there that have rotating handles, that will move with your hand while you’re cutting, that make it that much more comfortable to use.
The biggest factor to consider in safety is to have the right-sized hand pruners and a holster to carry them in. Many accidents that happen, happen when someone is using a pair of pruners that are too big for their hands or while transporting the pruners around.
Many blades are made of stainless steel. They’ve usually got a coating on them that keeps sap and dirt off of them, but they dull quickly, meaning you need to sharpen them regularly to keep them safe and useful.
Carbon steel blades are tougher than plain stainless steel, but they also stain and corrode easily compared to stainless steel.
Chrome plated blades are the best of both worlds. Hand Pruners made with this metal resist dirt and stains as well as stay sharper for longer.
Most new hand pruners will have some sort of spring mechanism that will work with your grip tightening and loosening, doing a lot of the hard work and making it easier on your hands. The mechanisms are either out of coiled metal or a wire spring.
They may be visible or hidden, but you definitely want to make sure the hand pruners you purchase include one.
Hand pruners come with either straight handles or ergonomic handles. Each have their own benefits.
Straight handles are easier to get into tricky places because you can control them in a bunch of different ways, while ergonomic handles require your hands to be in a specific spot in order to fit the handles well.
However, ergonomic handles are going to be more comfortable for longer chores because they’re shaped to fit your hand, making it less straining.
Locking mechanisms are important in the best hand pruners. They keep the blades put away when not in use, ensuring the user’s safety.
However, they become problematic if they lock when you don’t want them to. When looking at different pruner options, pay close attention to any reviews or comments made about the locking mechanism.
Wrapping up the Best Hand Pruners for 2022
Picking the best hand pruner for you doesn’t have to be scary! Hopefully by now you have an idea of what kind of tool you need and have some great options to buy to get you started.
To find out more about other gardening and weeding tools, check out our Pruning Page to find everything you need to know about when, why, where, and how to prune in your garden!