Looking for the best hand pruners can be very difficult given the wide array of brands and models available. For starters though, consider what you intend to use them for — light or heavy trimming?
Next up, consider performance, quality of parts, ergonomics, durability, and of course, cost. Hand pruners can go from less than $10 to almost $100.
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I happened on my sister some time ago and she was trimming her herbs with her kids' school scissors. (The horror!) I immediately gave her an extra pair of hand clippers and she's been a happy bunny ever since. (I also taught her how to take care of them.)
Hand pruners just make gardening that much more fun. You get accuracy and precision, and snip-snip-snipping away with really sharp blades is just oh-so-satisfying. There's too many choices out there so to make your buying decision easier here are our top 5 recommendations.
THE FIVE BEST HAND PRUNERS
#5 Hydrofarm HGPP400C Curved Blade Pruner
If you are doing light pruning and trimming, or doing indoor gardening, these handy clippers are a good choice.
These are Amazon's Choice for hydroform scissors.
- Surgical stainless steel blade so they don't rust
- The slight curve of the blades makes for more precise trimming
- Blades keep sharp; I haven't had to sharpen my own Hydrofarm pruners yet
- Great value for price
- Comes with plastic sheath and a belt loop
- Not made for heavy pruning; they will break if you try to use it on thick branches or even items that are NOT twigs or plant stems
- The spring is the weakness of this product; fortunately, you can buy replacement springs but it would've been a nice idea if you got one extra with your first purchase
- If you use these for more than 6 hours, you are liable to feel hand pain
#4 The Gardener's Friend Pruners
These hand pruners are the bomb. And by that, I mean they're really AMAZING. They're more expensive than the Hydrofarm pruners but if you are clipping thicker branches or stems, have weak hands, or doing outdoor gardening, then these are the best hand pruners to get.
- Highly recommended for hands weakened by age or diseases like carpal tunnel or arthritis; ergonomic
- Hardened carbon steel blade
- Super easy to snip and trim thin foliage like flower blossoms
- Similarly easy to cut thru thicker branches (as thick as 1-inch) with the pruner's ratchet action; watch the video below to see for yourself
- The ratcheting mechanism is metal hence the excellent performance and durability
- Good for left-handed gardeners also
- Has a snap-on and snap-off oiler pad
- These pruners are really stiff upon first use; longer use will make them looser and more comfortable to use
- Opening these pruners is not intuitive for some users; you need to grip the handles as you slide the button because just sliding won't open these shears no matter how much force you apply
Watch the Gardener's Friend in action in this five-minute video. If you want to know how ratchet pruners work, you will also learn it from this demo.
#3 Gardenite Ultra Snip 6.7 Inch Pruners
Gardenite isn't a big brand name unlike some of our picks on here but they've come out with really popular hand pruners. These Ultra Snips are a favorite pick for light trimming and pruning.
Amazon's Choice for plant snippers.
- Excellent performance as a little plant clipper; blades are pointed and sharp and overall have a good balance in one's hands
- Recommended for indoor gardening and thin branches and stems like iris and lilies; also great for bonsai because of the small size and precision-cutting
- Stainless steel blades
- Unlike the Gardener's Friend, they are very easy to open and close
- These are recommended for gardeners with really small hands
- After months of use, still work very well and the blades have not dulled (though this depends on your own use and care)
- Should come up with a holster as these are so pointed and sharp you'll poke a hole thru your clothing if you try to put them in your pockets
- The lock mechanism works so well that you have to be careful when you open these pruners so that they don't jump in your hand and accidentally poke something
#2 Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruning Snip
Apart from Felco, Fiskars is a common name you will hear for pruning shears and with good reason. These are an amazing pair of shears for a crazy low price.
- Does its intended use well and that is a light and small trimmer for thin and light stems, flowers, herbs, and other tender plants; good for indoor gardening also
- Good for gardeners with small hands
- The small size of these pruners and their blades make for good detail work
- The shears come with the rubber sleeve so you don't poke your clothing or yourself with the pointed blades (but never put on the rubber cap while the blades are dirty, of course, especially with diseased plants)
- This two-pack deal is better value for money than getting just the one
- Are obviously not as durable as the more expensive pruners on our list; the spring can be weak
- Not for anything thick or woody like rose stems or hydrangeas
- Some buyers find them smaller than expected
#1 Felco F-8 Classic Pruner
Felco is a huge brand name for horticulturists and they have a lot of awesome quality gardening tools. These pruners are no different. This is a light pruner that can cut through stems, branches and wires up to a 1-inch diameter.
All things considered, this is our pick for the best hand pruners.
Amazon's Choice for Felco pruning shears.
- F-8s are Swiss-made so you know you are getting quality with your purchase
- Hardened Swiss carbon steel blades
- Excellent performance for light pruning, trimming, and deadheading
- Balanced and feel great in your hands and cut smoothly and cleanly
- Very durable
- Super high satisfaction rating from users of the Felco hand pruners
- Not recommended for left-handed gardeners; for that, check out the Felco F-2s
- More expensive than other pruners on this list
- Not meant for heavy pruning; get a different brand and model for that like the Gardener's Friend
Honestly speaking, we like all the Felco models. Gardeners have different needs and different hand sizes so it's a matter of finding the right model for you. I'm sharing this video review even if it's for the F-2 because a lot of the things that Laura says in this video are applicable to most Felco shears.