Scissors are one of the most important gardening tools. With good pruning shears at hand, maintenance work is twice as much fun. Depending on how they work, there are different types of pruning shears available on the market. The most expensive model is not automatically the best. In the following, the most common types of pruning shears for one-handed operation and pruning shears for two-handed operation are presented with prices, including some purchase recommendations for better orientation in the extensive range.

Secateurs for one-hand operation

The type of operation is a useful criterion for finding an entry into the multifaceted selection of garden shears. Basically, a distinction is made between anvil pruning shears and bypass pruning shears. Anvil shears cut through the wood by pressing the cutting surface against a flat surface of plastic or soft metal. On the one hand, they offer better power transmission, but have the disadvantage that the wood to be cut could be crushed and injured. A bypass scissors cuts more precisely, but needs moreeffort. It is preferably used for cutting sensitive plants such as roses, sticks and green wood. Other distinguishing features depend on whether the secateurs are suitable for large or small hands, for right- or left-handers and for special tasks such as pruning vines and branches.

Right-handed anvil secateurs

Gardena Comfort Ratchet Scissors Smart Cut

  • smooth-running
  • solid processing
  • non-stick coated upper knife
  • Ratchet function for thicker branches
  • Price: 38 to 40 euros

Wolf Garden RS 22

  • handy, light scissors
  • suitable for many garden jobs
  • very easy to use when new
  • used scissors require more effort
  • Price: from 18 euros

Felco 31

  • particularly suitable for large hands
  • Blade made of high quality hardened steel
  • Cutting diameter up to 25 mm
  • Adjustable brass anvil
  • Price: from 41 euros

lion 5107

  • ideal for small hands
  • weighs only 175g
  • cuts branches up to 16 mm
  • Price: from 24 euros

Anvil pruning shears for left-handers

Wolf-Garten Anvil Premium Plus

  • coated blades
  • joint-gentle 30° angle
  • Replaceable anvil
  • Safety thumb rest
  • Price: from 38 euros

Fiskars Elegance

  • cuts branches up to 20 mm
  • Stainless steel blade
  • antihaftbeschichtet
  • ergonomic handle with finger loop
  • Price: around 25 euros

Felco scissors #7

  • fatigue-free cutting thanks to the revolving handle
  • inclined cutting head
  • with integrated wire cutter
  • Micrometer adjustment of the cutting head
  • only 290 g weight
  • Price: from 49 euros

Fiskars Amboss 196 g

  • especially for left-handers
  • non-stick coated blade
  • for knots up to 20 mm
  • Price: from 25 euros

The test winner among the Amboss pruning shears at Stiftung Warentest was the Gardena Comfort Smart Cut, and not just because of the clever ratchet function. As is known from this test institute, the secateurs were put through their paces. In this class, for example, the scissors had to cope with a continuous load of 6,000 cuts through a 1 cm thick beech branch. With the other anvil secateurs that were tested, it was particularly negative that the branches were often squeezed more than cut. Therefore, when choosing secateurs of this type of construction, the quality of the upper blade plays an important role. Cheaper scissors should only be bought if they are only intended to cut thin branches and flowers.

Bypass pruning shears for right-handers

Master angular force scissors

  • good cut
  • little effort
  • Weight only 235 grams
  • somewhat poor instruction manual
  • Price: around 25 euros

Felco 2

  • also suitable for professionals
  • cuts precisely even under continuous load
  • Hardened steel blade and counter blade
  • Buffer shock absorbers are easy on the wrist
  • Price: from 45 euros

Gardena Comfort Secateurs

  • inclined cutting head
  • Non-stick coated blades
  • maximum cutting capacity 20 mm
  • One-hand safety lock
  • Price: from 18 euros

Fiskars bypass scissors Quantum

  • Aluminum handles with cork surface
  • suitable for right- and left-handers
  • Blade tension can be adjusted
  • cuts up to a maximum of 30 mm
  • Price: around 50 euros

Bypass pruning shears for left-handers

Felco 10

  • Swiss top quality
  • protects tendons and joints
  • also suitable for continuous use
  • serrated nut for readjustment of the blades
  • 290g light
  • Price: from 49 euros

Felco 9 master class

  • ergonomically shaped
  • especially for left-handers
  • suitable for orchards and gardens
  • high Swiss quality
  • Price: from 38 euros

Darlac DP 631

  • slim handles
  • extra for left-handers
  • Parts interchangeable
  • Price: from 21 euros

When choosing the right pruning shears, it is important to note whether they were designed for left-handed or right-handed people. Various manufacturers have developed anvil and bypass secateurs that can be used with either the right or left hand.

Pruning shears for two-hand operation

When it comes to pruning shears or pruning shears, there is no distinction between models for right-handers and left-handers, because they are generally operated with both hands using two long lever arms. When it comes to pruning shears, the main thing is the power transmission, because they should also cut through thick branches up to 8 cm. Models that have additional telescopic arms should be advantageous, so that a ladder can be dispensed with when working. As with garden shears, pruning shears are also differentiated into anvil and bypass shears.

Anvil Loppers for two-handed operation

Fiskars Power Gear

  • ideal for dry and hard wood
  • Glass fiber plastic gear and anvil
  • very durable
  • cuts up to 38 mm thick
  • Price: around 40 euros

Wolf Garten Comfort RS-830 pruning shears

  • little effort thanks to long lever arms
  • 1.4 kg heavy and still handy
  • ergonomic handles for a good grip
  • replaceable wearing parts
  • rice: from 55 euros

Gardena Comfort 760 AL

  • long lever arms
  • Gear translation for little effort
  • non-stick coated fine grinding knife
  • for branches up to 4 cm in diameter
  • Interchangeable anvil and knife
  • Price: around 50 euros

Bypass loppers for two-handed operation

Gardena 8772-20 Comfort-Astschere 650 BT

  • Telescopic lever arms adjustable up to 90 cm
  • requires more effort
  • cuts branches up to 5 cm
  • Gear ratio missing
  • solid processing
  • Price: from 36 euros.

Fiskars Power Gear Bypass pruning shears with gear

  • a total of 54 cm long
  • hook-shaped blade grips the branch
  • the sharp top blade cuts effortlessly
  • Hardened precision steel blades
  • very solid and durable with a weight of only 614 g
  • Price: from 42 euros

Wolf Bypass-Astschere RR 900TT

  • new cutting head technology
  • up to 4-fold power transmission
  • cuts branches up to 50 mm in diameter
  • Non-stick coated blades
  • Ergonomic handles with soft inserts
  • Price: from 70 euros

C.K. Astschere

  • with shock absorber
  • completely forged
  • high quality premium quality
  • lacquered hardwood handles
  • cuts branches up to 30 mm
  • rice: from 70 euros

Although it is one of the smallest and lightest bypass pruning shears on the market, the Fiskars Power Gear pruning shears were able to convince the testers from Stiftung Warentest again and again. Thanks to the ingenious gear system, very little force is required to cut branches up to 4 cm in diameter. In order to pass the test, the pruning shears had to cleanly cut a 2 cm thick branch 6000 times, which Fiskar’s test winner in particular managed effortlessly. The cheaper pruning shears and pruning shears that took part in the test repeatedly broke the material. As tempting as it may seem to reach for cheap models, in the end they cause trouble and trouble, which at worst take the hobby gardener’s joy out of gardening.

These quality criteria make a good pruning shears

  • all five fingers fit on the handle;
  • the blades are non-stick coated;
  • Hardened steel blades last longer;
  • tailored to right- or left-handers;
  • solid locks for security;
  • not too hard;
  • Anvil shears must not crush;
  • wear parts with availability guarantee;
  • detailed instructions for use;
  • handles with buffers and shock absorbers;
  • no harmful substances in the handles.

Quality feature: Harmful substances under control

There is hardly a garden tool that the hobby gardener uses more often than garden shears or pruning shears. In order to be able to make an informed purchase decision, numerous factors must be considered. In addition to the technical requirements for garden shears, a certain amount of attention should also be paid to the chemical composition of the handles. Unfortunately, independent tests repeatedly show that the handles contain substances that are harmful to health, such as strong polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAH) or problematic plasticizers. Anyone who works with gloves when gardening does not have to worry about the possible health-endangering effects of these substances. But who wears gardening gloves every time if only a few perennials are shortened or roses are cut – especially in high summer temperatures? Therefore, it should be pointed out at this point that you should also take a look at this quality feature when making a purchase.

Cutting effortlessly with cordless secateurs

Gardening is always associated with physical exertion, which can be a challenge, especially during the spring and summer season. In order to keep the work around the tree and shrubbery within limits, the investment in a cordless pruner should also be considered. The following model scores with numerous and convincing advantages, but has its price:

Felco 801 G

  • is powered by a power pack
  • Geometry facilitates access to the branches
  • interchangeable cutting heads as required
  • cuts branches up to 30 mm
  • Stand-by mode for maximum security
  • individual adjustment of the cutting head
  • integrated grease pin eliminates disassembly
  • lightweight stamped aluminum body
  • Price: from 1,440 euros

If you only have to cut branches with a maximum thickness of 15 mm, you can get away with it much more cheaply:

Wolf-Garten Cordless Secateurs Power RR3000

  • runs with a change of battery
  • cuts up to 15 mm in diameter
  • up to 400 cuts with one battery charge
  • Cut protection and non-slip grip
  • Price: from 90 euros

Large hedges require special shears

For the care of a small hedge in the garden or on the grave in the cemetery, normal pruning shears are sufficient. Hobby gardeners who want to enclose their property or garden with a large hedge need special hedge trimmers. The manual scissors have the advantage that they work almost silently. However, the effort can be considerable until the entire hedge has been processed. The Berger hedge trimmer 4490 was able to convince users in numerous tests:

Berger hedge trimmer 4490

  • chrome straight cutting edges
  • branch cutter
  • joint-gentle damper
  • Cutting length 235 mm
  • Weight 1,020g
  • Price: 45 euros to 50 euros

The cordless hedge trimmers work with significantly less effort and are still not too loud. The following model was convincing in this category:

Bosch AHS 52

  • no cables
  • electronic anti-lock braking system
  • only 2.3 kg heavy
  • fast charging
  • Sword length 52 cm
  • Price: around 100 euros

Although hedge trimmers with significantly longer swords are available on the market, they are also noticeably heavier. This would noticeably reduce the advantage of saving power.

The extensive selection of secateurs and pruning shears may be confusing at first glance. However, if you keep in mind which tasks the scissors should fulfill in your own garden, you will come a whole lot closer to making the right purchase decision. Hobby gardeners who maintain a varied garden should opt for one-hand shears and pruning shears. Hobby gardeners who are physically less resilient should pay attention to the cordless secateurs.

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