The first piece of advice is if you are a new gardener but in it for the long haul then invest in a quality brand and try before you buy. If you are left-handed then choose a pair that caters for your needs and locks the blades easily.
If you have arthritis or weak wrists look out for modern lightweight materials and ergonomic design. But there are also some innovative, cutting mechanisms such as rotating handles that reduce the stress on the wrists when cutting for long periods, or the extremely useful ratchet cutting systems that reduce the pressure needed to cut thicker stems.
This Fab Five selection includes simple, straightforward pruners, suitable for active, able gardeners.
Darlac DP744 Super Classic Ratchet Pruner:
For a powerful, staged, easy cut these pruners from
Darlac are pretty amazing. You can tackle stems up to 25mm (1 inch) thick easily thanks to the clean anvil cut and the ratchet mechanism that bites through the stem in stages. You cut down into the stem, release slightly to move the ratchet on a notch, cut down again and repeat until the stem is cut cleanly in two. Perfect if you have reduced grip, weak wrists or loads to prune. Price around £15 and you can buy replacement blades and the anvil.
Bypass Secateurs from Wolf-Garten:
This is a neat pair of quality
Wolf-Garten Bypass RR2500 secateurs, ideal for all those little pruning jobs around the garden. Fitted with a comfort grip and a one handed locking device, which means you can use them left or right handed, thye will cut stems up to about 2cm thick. This is the smaller/ladies model and costs around £20, there’s a larger model, the RR 4000 for bigger hands that cost around £25 each.
Precision pruners from Bahco:
Here is a pair of secateurs that is so easy to use and so unassuming I often forget about them. That’s says a lot though, because they are reliable steady pruners always ready for action. I’ve had my
Bahco Ergo Secateurs PX L2 ten years or so and they remain sharp and in perfect working order. They are ergonomically designed to offer stress free pruning. The orange handles make them easy to find if you put them down in the garden and the curved handles fit the hand easily. There are three sizes available, price around £45. The Ergo version is designed to ease the strain of frequent pruning and the blades stay razor sharp.
PowerGear Pruners from Fiskars:
When pruning takes its toll on your hands or wrists employ some innovative technology. These
Fiskars Large PowerGear Bypass Pruners use a unique gear cutting mechanism and have a rotating handle that moves with your fingers as you prune. Made from really lightweight, but very strong fiberglass reinforced polyamide, they offer a soft grip and a powerful cut with less effort. There are several models and sizes available, all with the Fiskars pedigree. Price around £25.
Japanese, Samurai Steel secateurs from Niwaki:
I started using these beautiful Japanese pruners a few months ago. You may have deduced that my garden tool kit is rich in a variety of secateurs and at the moment it is these that I reach for first. There are no gadgets or high tech modern materials, but these boast fabulous engineering and top quality, hand-forged Blue steel (it’s the very best steel that’s actually used for Samurai swords). Meet the Tobisho A-Type Secateurs from
Niwaki they are not cheap, but as I keep saying, you get what you pay for. Priced around £99, they are outstanding for precision pruning, ideal for taking cuttings and much more. Perfectly balanced, extremely sharp with a strong, easy to use safety clip, they are left or right handed and the must-have accessory for the serious, savvy gardener.