Best Secateurs – Anvil or Bypass? 2022 Buyers Guide

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, ToolsReview 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.

When your garden gets to the point of needing a tidy up, there is really no other tool to consider than secateurs. Secateurs, or pruning shears, are basically a big pair of scissors! The only real difference with secateurs is that they are going to be stronger and more durable so will allow you to cut through a wide range of stems, branches and shrubs when working in your garden.

Best Pick – Secateurs

Sale
Spear & Jackson 6758GS Razorsharp Geared Anvil Secateurs
7,263 Reviews
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 2022-11-23 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The best secateurs will be light enough to be used on simple neatening up jobs around the garden, whilst strong enough to allow for the cutting back of more substantial branches if your bushes have grown a little out of control. As secateurs require no power and are simple hand-held tools, they will be the perfect go to option for dead-heading, harvesting fruit and vegetables, pruning and other garden maintenance.

In A Hurry?

Power up your pruning skills with a strong, sharp pair of secateurs – a gardening essential no green-fingered enthusiast should be without! There are lots of different types of secateurs so here is all you need to consider…

Types

The two main types of mechanism used in secateurs are anvil and crosscut (also known as bypass).

Crosscut/bypassAnvil
Best for pruning live stems
Suitable for use on delicate, living plants and saplings
A well-made, sharp pair of crosscut secateurs should also be suitable for tidying fully-grown shrubs and, in some cases, tree branches
Makes sharp, precise cuts
Sliding blades work in a scissor-like action
Not always suitable for people who are left-handed as most are designed to be used with a right-handed action
Best for heavy-duty tidying work including e.g. removing dead wood or tidying up thick tree branches or thick-stemmed plants
‘Cut and crush’ action – when pressure is applied, the top blade bites down onto the base plate
Not suitable for pruning live stems due to the pressure exerted when the blade comes into contact with the lower plate; live plant tissue is likely to be damaged
If used on soft stems, blades need to be kept sharp to ensure a clean, precise cut

Secateurs which use the crosscut mechanism (also known as the bypass mechanism) tend to be the most popular choice as they offer a clean, sharp cut and can be used on live stems without the worry of bruising the plant tissue. However, if you have an overgrown garden that is in need of a serious tidy up then anvil secateurs can work just as well.

How to Choose the Best Secateurs

The main choice when it comes to choosing secateurs is deciding between the anvil or crosscut/bypass actions, but once you have decided that, there are loads of other features to consider too.

Ratchet Secateurs

Once you have chosen between bypass or anvil secateurs, you need to decide whether you are wanting to invest in a pair of ratchet secateurs. Both bypass and anvil options can come with a ratchet mechanism. This is basically an advanced mechanism of springs which work with you when cutting. A ratchet mechanism will help to reduce fatigue when you are working and makes it much easier to cut through branches in stages rather than in one go.

Although they are specifically designed for tougher cuts and people who may lack a little strength (or suffer with joint problems) they are actually going to benefit anyone thanks to the fact that you can repeatedly squeeze and release the handles to cut through the branches.

Blade

The most important part of pruning shears is the blade. You need to make sure that the blade is strong and also sharp. Particularly for bypass secateurs – the sharper the blade the less damage that will be done to the branches which is important for the continued growth and to keep the plant healthy. You will also find that a sharper blade will reduce the amount of force that you need to put into the cut so you can work for longer without becoming fatigued. Good quality, sharp steel is going to make your life easier and reduce the chance of fungal diseases and other damage to the branches when you cut.

Ideally, we would also recommend looking out for models where the blade can be replaced – particularly if you plan on using your secateurs regularly. Almost all secateurs come with blades that can be sharpened, but at some point they are going to need a full replacement and it is much cheaper to replace the blades than the whole tool.

The sharper the blade, the stronger the cut.

Handle

Probably the biggest differences that you will find with garden secateurs is the handle. The handle can really make or break whether the tool is going to be easy to use or uncomfortable after a couple of minutes!

Look out for ergonomic designed handles that are moulded to the shape of your hand as this will increase comfort when you are working and help to reduce fatigue. It is also worth looking at the materials that the handle is made from. Plastic sleeves covering the metal handle are probably going to be the most durable but handles with rubber/silicone are going to be much more comfortable to work with and reduce the chance of callouses when working for extended periods of time.

TOP TIP: Look out for models that come with a rotating lower handle if you struggle with fatigue when working or have wrist/hand problems. The lower handle will rotate as you put pressure to close them, which helps to reduce fatigue when you are working.

Best Budget – Secateurs

JEOutdoors Pruning Shears, Professional High Carbon Alloy Steel Sharp Blade Bypass Hand Pruner, Tree Trimmer, Garden Shears - JO0001
9,898 Reviews
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 2022-11-23 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The Best Secateurs Have…

If you are planning on working with your secateurs for extended periods of time and you have a lot of garden to work on, then you are going to need the best secateurs that you can find. Here are some of the additional features we would recommed.

  • Build Material – Secateurs that are made from plastic and aluminium will be lightweight when working, whereas models made from steel will be heavier but more durable.
  • Bright coloured – You may think that colour doesn’t matter but it is going to make your secateurs more visible when you are working so there is less chance of them going missing.
  • Safety Features – Some pruning shears/secateurs come with a safety catch to ensure that the blades are kept together when not in use. Some can also be operated with one hand which helps with precision when cutting.
  • Spare parts – If you are looking for real value for money then look out for tools that come with spare blades, blade sharpeners and even cases to keep them well maintained.
  • Wire cutting – The best secateurs will come with a cut out in one of the blades. This can be used to cut wire easily, which is great for if you are using your secateurs on a vegetable patch or allotment!
  • Size – Make sure to consider the size of the tool. Some are designed for people with smaller hands whereas others are made to be larger. A tool that fits your hands better is going to be much easier to use!

Maintenance

  • Sharpen your secateurs as soon as you suspect the blades are becoming blunt (blunt blades can damage live stems by not cutting cleanly).
  • After use, wipe over the blades to remove sap deposits which can clog and jam the blades.
  • Clean your secateurs regularly with soapy water, make sure they’re properly dry, and give the mechanism a spray with lubricant before putting them away.
  • If you’ve been cutting back diseased foliage, disinfect the blades thoroughly to avoid contaminating healthy plants.
  • A build-up of sticky sap and general garden muck can affect the quality of the cut you can achieve with your secateurs and cause the blades to jam. To keep secateurs working effectively and to help keep them in tip-top condition, you should clean the blades of your secateurs after every few uses with wire wool or a wire brush, followed by a wipe with an oily rag.

This really handy video provides more information on how to sharpen your secateurs blades.

Best of the Rest

Greenco Ratchet Secateurs Gardening, Heavy Duty Ergonomic Garden Hand Pruners, Life Time Warranty, Carbon Stainless Steel Non Stick Coated Sharp Blade Pruning Shears, Red
130 Reviews
Greenco Ratchet Secateurs Gardening, Heavy Duty Ergonomic Garden Hand Pruners, Life Time Warranty, Carbon Stainless Steel Non Stick Coated Sharp Blade Pruning Shears, Red
  • PROFESSIONAL SECATEURS. Ratchening mechanism garden shears; maximizes leverage for increased pruning power; 46% less effort; maximum cutting capacity of 1 inch diamater
  • HARDENED STAINLESS STEEL BODY. With state of the art steel upper blade 2.5mm SK5 high carbon steel non-stick coated blade will stay sharper for longer
  • ERGONIMIC DESIGN. With high comfortable locking mechanism; easy grip handles; fits for gardeners with weak hands, hand fatigue, carpal tunnel or arthritis; also for left handed gardeners
  • HYBRID TECHNOLOGY. Ratcheting and bypass mechanism pruner combined (Details section)
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY. 100% money back gardener satisfaction guarantee; We are here for you 24/10

Last update on 2022-11-23 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

MAXPOWER Garden Secateurs 200mm/8, Bypass Secateurs Pruning Scissors Shears Bypass Hand Pruner Gardening Clippers with 20mm Cutting Diameter
91 Reviews
MAXPOWER Garden Secateurs 200mm/8, Bypass Secateurs Pruning Scissors Shears Bypass Hand Pruner Gardening Clippers with 20mm Cutting Diameter
  • 🔨【Specification of Pruning Shears】- Ideal use for light branches of trees, rose bush, shrubs and hedges. cut plants and branches up to 20mm diameter - Length is 200mm - Weight is 254 g.
  • 🔨 【Sharp Blade】- Sharp blades of this Pruning Shears Tree Trimmers make you cut the branches and flowers clean, precise and easy effortlessly.
  • 🔨 【Application】- This Hand Pruners Garden Secateurs can be used for garden pruning or fruit tree care.
  • 🔨 【Easy to Cut】- Perfect power transmission through a secure spring mechanism with less force, which makes it easier for persons with smaller or weaker hands.
  • 🔨【Non-Slip Handle Design】- Ergonomic arch-shaped design Pruners. non-slip for a comfortable grip and fast cutting.💗

Last update on 2022-11-23 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Jardin De France Secateur Pruner 10x Easier Cut - Sharp Heavy Duty Pruning Scissors Gardening Tool secateurs for weak hands
524 Reviews
Jardin De France Secateur Pruner 10x Easier Cut - Sharp Heavy Duty Pruning Scissors Gardening Tool secateurs for weak hands
  • We plant a tree for every item purchased
  • Perfect tool for those with arthritis, rheumatism, painful wrists and hands
  • Perfect for cutting up to 20 mm diameter. Ratchet action secateurs, works like scissors
  • Free & Fast Delivery. One year warranty. The only pruner you will need
  • Teflon coated carbon steel blade protects against rust and corrosion, you can also the sharpen blade or get a replacement blade.

Last update on 2022-11-23 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Alternative Options

It may be that you are thinking secateurs aren’t for you. If that is the case then don’t worry as there are loads of other options. If you are looking for a more precise tool to work on more delicate, intricate pruning then maybe some topiary shears are for you? Or possibly you are leaning the other way in thinking that secateurs aren’t going to be big and powerful enough to do the job? Well in that case maybe some tree loppers or a pruning saw is your better option.

Check out these articles so you can be sure you are making the right choice!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do secateurs come in different sizes?
Secateurs are available in different sizes. It’s important to consider the size as how smoothly the contraption can be manoeuvred one-handed will impact the efficiency of the cut. If you’ve got big hands, don’t just assume you’ll need the largest pair you can find as the length of the handles is just as important as the size of the blades. It’s definitely worth taking a minute to read the product description to see if/which different sizes are available.

How do I cut with secateurs?
Cutting with secateurs is all about consistency – avoid twisting the blades; hold them straight and apply even pressure. For tough cuts, try to cut diagonally rather than vertically. Only cut materials for which secateurs were intended – garden foliage and in some cases, wood.
Try not to cut wire, metal, stone, plastic or any other hard material as this can damage the edges of the blade.

What guarantee will I get with secateurs?

Guarantees for secateurs tend to range from as little as 12 months, all the way up to lifetime guarantees. The average that we found were between 3 and 5 years for reasonable quality products.

About Mike Jones 193 Articles
I have been a keen DIY enthusiast for over 15 years, I’m constantly tinkering in my garage, taking things apart and building things. Along the way, I seem to have acquired a bit of a tool collection, as you do. The issue I found was that the information online when it comes to finding out what you need to know when buying new tools was somewhat limited. I didn’t necessarily need to know which tool to buy, but more what was important when making that buying decision. Also, a bit like a child in a sweet shop when I see new tools and things I can do with them I find it hard to resist. I started this blog back in 2017 to try and put together some buying guides, not really reviews but more what you may want to know before going and deciding on a new tool. I’m also a keen gardener and if there is a tool or gadget that helps me in the garden I’m going to let you know. I hope these musings and buyers guides are of use to you in some way. All the best, Mike.

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.