Best Secateurs Buyers Guide

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, CleverHab may collect a share of sales or be compensated through the links on this page, but we think it’s a fair trade for the long hours of research that we put in.

Best Secateurs Buyers Guide

If you like your garden, you must like plants. If you like your plants, you need to like pruning. Or, at least be willing to prune! No pruning and you’ll end up with a back garden or front yard that resembles a rainforest. If you want to prune quickly and effectively, you’ll need a good pair of secateurs.

Whether you’re a keen weekend gardener or an experienced horticulturalists, it’s one size fits all when it comes to pruning and that ‘size’ is a pair of secateurs, often referred to as pruning shears. The best secateurs will be concise and gentle enough to snip at delicate plants and flowers, cutting away dead stems to encourage growth, yet strong and durable enough to slice effortlessly through tree branches and dense shrubs and bushes.

Best Pick – Secateurs

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In a nutshell, secateurs are basically scissors for trees! Granted, it sounds a simple concept, however wait until you start your secateur shopping – from anvil to bypass mechanisms, and ratchets to blade sharpening, there’s a fair bit of jargon to get your head around.

Only got 5 minutes

What makes a good pair of secateurs?

A good pair of secateurs should very quickly prove their worth.  Providing you opt for a pair with good-quality steel blades, and sturdy, reliable mechanics, you should find that neatening up your garden greenery can actually be quite enjoyable. No matter the size of your outdoor area – whether it be rolling lawns, a stone-paved patio or just a window box or balcony, secateurs are an essential tool in keeping your plants neat, tidy and healthy.

The best secateurs will offer a cutting experience which feels even, precise, clean and smooth. To ensure you get the best pair of shears for your money, keep the following five features in mind:

  • Well-made/good quality materials
  • Sharp, steel blades
  • Robust design
  • Well-balanced
  • Comfortable to use


The first decision you’ll need to make when it comes to narrowing down the search for your perfect secateurs is whether you opt for  a “bypass” or “anvil” mechanism.


Bypass secateurs, also referred to as crosscut secateurs, are similar in appearance to standard scissors – they consist of  two blades which smoothly glide past each other. They’re best suited for pruning delicate, living plants and saplings although, providing the cutting action is carried out correctly, they can be used on fully-grown shrubs, bushes and twigs/fine branches.


Anvil secateurs are, shall we say, a little more aggressive! Anvil secateurs use a “crushing” action to cut through dense garden foliage. As a result, they should only be used on very thick branches and for diseased or dead wood. The level of pressure exerted from the blades to the metal base tends to result in anvil secateurs being unsuitable for delicate pruning or subtle tidying. 

Pros & Cons

MechanismProsConsBest for
BypassEasy to manoeuvre   Good for precision pruning   Suitable for live plants and delicate stemsNot always strong enough to cut through thick stems,   Not suitable for tree cuttingGeneral gardening cutting and tidying
AnvilBest for heavy-duty cutting e.g. cutting through thick stems, solid and/or dead wood.Not suitable for live plants due to the ‘crush and press’ action   Can be difficult to manoeuvreDemanding cutting and tidying jobs – cutting back dead wood, or for pruning dense bushes, shrubs, or small trees

In general, bypass secateurs tend to be the best best when it comes to choosing a mechanism – primarily because they’re capable of achieving a cleaner cut and can be used on live stems without the worry of bruising the plant tissue.

Best Budget – Secatuers

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases


Quality steel is not only durable, it eliminates the need for a ratchet. A ratchet is an additional spring which is fitted to secateurs in order to make cutting easier. A ratchet results in the cutting process being carried out in stages – the secateur blade is closed several times with repeated closing of the handles, and this can be particularly useful for those of us with limited upper body strength or particularly small hands!

Factors to consider before buying secateurs


Depending on the size of your hands, some secateurs will simply be more comfortable to use than others. It’s important to consider the size as how smoothly the contraption can be manoeuvred one-handed will impact the efficiency of the cut.


Take note of the recommended maximum cutting diameter. Secateurs usually have a recommended cutting diameter, so you’ll need to think about what exactly you intend on using them to cut. Attempting to cut stems or branches which exceed the recommended cutting diameter is not advised as, more than likely, you’ll need to use both hands, which is potentially dangerous when using secateurs designed for one-handed use.


The best secateurs will be made from good-quality, durable, lightweight materials such as aluminium and hard-wearing plastics. Secateurs should be built to last and be durable enough to be used outdoors and for some fairly heavy-duty cutting tasks, however they still need to be light and comfortable to use. 

Desirable features

  • An ergonomic handle protects the wrist and hand from muscle strain
  • A safety catch prevents secateurs from unintentionally opening or closing
  • If you’re left-handed look for secateurs that are ambidextrous since you’re likely to find right-handed secateurs difficult to use.
  • Ensure that the bolt that holds the blades together is easily accessible – you’ll need it to adjust the tightness of the blades as and when you feel them becoming loose.
  • Wrist loops or belt clips gives you somewhere to keep the secateurs safe and accessible when not in use
  • Secateurs which are brightly coloured are easier to find should you drop or misplace them

Best of the Rest

JEOutdoors Pruning Shears, Professional High Carbon Alloy Steel Sharp Blade Bypass Hand Pruner, Tree Trimmer, Garden Shears - JO0001
  • Pruning Shears fit for cutting stems and light branches up to 3/4″ diameter size
  • Quality sharp blade made of high carbon alloy steel with antirust processing
  • Safety Lock – easy open/close lock for convenient security system
  • The spring loaded handles with unique imitation wood design hard PC to give superior comfort
  • Package includes: pruning shears, replaceable spring. customer service from JEOutdoors

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Spear & Jackson 6758GS Razorsharp Geared Anvil Secateurs
  • Geared action for easier cutting
  • SK5 steel blade for lasting sharpness
  • Lightweight cast aluminium body
  • PTFE coated blade for smooth cutting and resistance to rust
  • Comfortable grip and ambidextrous locking catch

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Spear & Jackson 6358RS Razorsharp Ratchet Anvil Secateurs, Silver
  • Ratchet action allows for easy pruning in four short simple steps
  • Suited to dead or thicker woody stems, easily copes with material of 20 mm diameter
  • High quality carbon steel blade, PTFE coated for smoother cutting and resistance to rust
  • Lightweight cast aluminium body with a metal locking catch, loop handle and non slip grip for safer use
  • Grow Your Own 2022 Great British Growing Award Winners

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ‘power lever’ secateurs?

Power lever secateurs have central gears, making them easier to use. They don’t have a ratchet so the cutting action is one smooth, clean motion, rather than staggered. Whilst power lever secateurs are easier to use than anvil or bypass models, they aren’t particularly strong and are only suitable for light gardening work.

How do you clean secateurs?

Use soapy water and a damp cloth to clean the blades after every use to remove any sap residue, and dry thoroughly. If you’ve been cutting back diseased foliage, disinfect the blades thoroughly to avoid contamination. Secateurs should have a smooth cutting action in order to cut cleanly and to keep your fingers intact so, from time-to-time, oiling the blades and central mechanism is also necessary.

About Chris Sharples 68 Articles
I love a good gadget! Whether it's something that makes my home smart, saves me time or just looks great. I blog about gadgets and technology in and around the home. Follow me on my journey to avoid the pitfalls and find the best.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.