Best electric secateurs for smoother snipping with in-house expert advice

Power your way through pruning tasks with a semi-automated tool.

Best electric secateurs

by Amy-Mae Turner |
Updated on

With improvements in battery technology seeing cells getting smaller, traditional hand tools are increasingly being given the electric treatment and offered as cordless power tools. One essential garden tool that's available in such a design is the best electric secateur. Used for cutting smaller branches, trimming shrubs and hedges, pruning, dead-heading, and harvesting, traditional secateurs are a tool all gardeners reach for often.

Modern Gardens' resident expert and contributor Geoff Hodge explains exactly what electric secateurs are. "Powered pruners often look like, and operate very much like, a large pair of bypass secateurs, which cleanly cut through wood. The majority of these battery-powered hand-held pruners are trigger-operated with a comfortable one-finger trigger action." This means they offer ease-of-use convenience. And while they're not a must-have for every gardener, Geoff shares who might find electric secateurs particularly useful. "While standard manual secateurs, pruners, and saws will do an excellent job, those gardeners with lots of trees and shrubs will find powered tools a godsend, as will gardeners with mobility or other health issues."

Best electric secateurs at a glance:

Best overall electric secateurs

Bosch Home and Garden EasyPrune Cordless Secateurs

Best electric secateurs budget bundle

Zerotop Professional Electric Pruning Shears

Best electric secateurs for safety

Ryobi RY18SCA-0 18V ONE+ Cordless Secateurs

Best rechargeable electric secateurs

Vonhaus Cordless Gardening Secateurs

Some electric secateurs have a built-in battery so they are directly rechargeable via a USB cable, others are supplied as a 'bare tool', without a detachable battery, so you have to purchase a charger and a battery separately. These kinds of standalone batteries can be used with similar-sized tools from across the manufacturer's range. There's not a lot between the different electric secateurs we're featuring, so you may find yourself gravitating towards a brand you know and trust, or toward a manufacturer you already own a shared battery from that's compatible with the secateurs.

Best electric secateurs for your gardening needs

Best overall electric secateurs

Bosch electric secateurs Bosch/Amazon

Of all the electric secateurs we're featuring, these most resemble traditional versions with a handle that you squeeze together to make the cut, rather than use a trigger. This makes these attractive to anyone wary of making the transition to a full-on power tool.

What these secateurs offer is Bosch's Power Assisted technology that jumps in to close the handles and provide extra power when needed, making cutting branches of up to 25mm a lot easier than applying pressure by hand. These have stainless steel blades that work using an effective bypass action.

These cordless secateurs charge up via the supplied micro-USB cable and can offer you up to 450 cuts per full charge of the 3.6 volt integrated battery.

Pros

  • Convenient integrated battery that you charge via USB
  • Familiar traditional garden secateurs design and operation

Cons

  • Reviewers with smaller hands say they are tricky to use

Best electric secateurs budget bundle

Zerotop electric secateurs Zerotop/Amazon

If you're looking for a complete electric secateurs bundle, then Zerotop has you covered. A more affordable option than buying big brand bare tools and batteries separately, this set gives you the pruner, a charger, two lithium batteries, a handy storage box to keep them all in, and even throws in a pair of gardening gloves.

The blades of these secateurs are made from sharp and durable SK5 high carbon steel and work in a bypass action to enable cuts on branches of up to 30mm in diameter. The batteries need charging for six hours before use, so do plan for that, but when charged can keep going for up to 10 hours.

For safety reasons these secateurs require a double press to operate to avoid accidental activation, then pressing and holding the trigger for five seconds closes the blades for safe storage.

Pros

  • A great value bundle that includes a carry case and gardening gloves
  • Ability to cut branches of up to 30mm in diameter

Cons

  • Lithium batteries take six hours for a full charge

Best electric secateurs for safety

Ryobi electric secateurs Ryobi/Amazon
Price: $203.99

These Ryobi electric secateurs are part of the manufacturer's 18V ONE+ system in which one battery works with over 100 tools across DIY, garden, automotive and even crafting. this is sold as a bare tool which makes it a money-saving option for anyone that already owns a ONE+ battery.

These boast extra-sharp Japanese SK5 bypass blades that can tackle garden growth of up to 25mm. You operate these with a trigger action, great for reducing hand fatigue. From a fully charged battery, you can expect to be able to make around 1,500 cuts.

We've rated these Ryobi secateurs as great for safety as they deactivate after just four seconds of not being used. This timing is robust, although some reviewers comment it can be a bit annoying to keep unlocking them.

Pros

  • Robust safety functionality that turns the blades off
  • Capable of making 1,500 cuts from a single battery charge

Cons

  • One of the heavier options at 1.1 kilograms

Best rechargeable electric secateurs

VonHaus electric secateurs VonHaus/Amazon

These VonHaus electric secateurs are another option with an integrated battery, so once charged, you have everything you need to get pruning right out of the box. The battery takes around three hours to charge and is then good for up to 800 cuts.

These offer one-handed trigger operation with a two-stage safety button to avoid accidental activation. The bypass blades are made of steel and can cut anything with a diameter of up to 25mm.

With a heft of 920 grams, these aren't the most lightweight secateurs we're featuring, but the ergonomically-shaped handle and what reviewers describe as a well-balanced design means they are comfortable to use for the average pruning task.

Pros

  • These come complete with a blade cover for safer storage
  • Indicator light to monitor the charging status of the integrated battery

Cons

  • The bypass blades are not SK5 high carbon steel

Best electric secateurs with an ergonomic handle

DeWalt electric secateurs DeWalt/Amazon
Price: $49.99

If the reason you're looking for a pair of electric secateurs is because you want to avoid hand strain, you need to look for a tool with an ergonomic handle. These DeWalt secateurs offer just that with a specially-shaped handle that has rubberised ridges to make for a non-slip grip.

The blades are crafted from Japanese SK5 high carbon steel and DeWalt bundles in a spare blade, as well as the tools you need to replace the existing blade.

While these cut to the standard diameter of up to 25mm branches, it does it incredibly effectively thanks to the powerful 26,000RPM brushless motor. These go into sleep mode after 60 seconds of inactivity and completely power off after 15 minutes.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle with a double-sided, rubberised, non-slip grip
  • Boasts a powerful 26,000RPM brushless motor for great performance

Cons

  • Battery design creates a large "heel"

Best electric secateurs with adjustable blades

WORX electric secateurs WORX/Amazon

If you've bought into the Worx PowerShare battery system, these cordless pruning shears should appeal as they are sold as a bare tool. If you want to begin your PowerShare journey, these secateurs are also available sold with the charger and a single battery.

Powered by a brushless motor, these secateurs offer something unique to this list - the ability to adjust the cutting width of the titanium-coated, SK5 carbon steel blades. By holding the trigger for two seconds you can change the cutting width between 25mm to 15mm to suit the task at hand.

Elsewhere, you get up to 2,800 cuts per charge, a soft-grip handle, and a double switch activation system for safety - all in a relatively lightweight package.

Pros

  • The ability to change the cutting width to two different settings
  • One battery charge can cover you for 2,800 cuts

Cons

  • WORX do not supply these with a spare blade

Best electric secateurs for battery life

Kebtek electric secateurs Kebtek/Amazon
Price: $129.99

If running out of charge halfway through a job is a particular bugbear for you, consider this high-end option from Kebtek. After a three-hour charge, these can carry on working for up to eight hours, offering an impressive 3,000 cuts.

These have a brushless motor and those all-important Japanese SK5 carbon steel blades that can cut through materials measuring up to 25mm in width.

Weighing at at 880 grams, these are a manageable option and the design of the battery means these have less of a 'heel' than alternatives making them more manoeuvrable in tight spaces.

Pros

  • Manoeuvrable design weighing in at 880 grams
  • Long battery capacity giving you up to 3,000 cuts

Cons

  • The handle isn't particularly ergonomically shaped

How we chose the best electric secateurs

All of these electric secateurs have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the cutting power, battery life, and ergonomics in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching electric secateurs to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Quick buyer's guide for electric secateurs

Through our best-of list and from browsing online, you'll come across certain terms that are great to know and understand, especially as most will affect your buying decisions. We've broken down some common electric secateurs' vocab below:

• Electric secateurs' cutting capacity simply refers to the diameter of the branch the blades are capable of cutting. Most of the secateurs we're featuring offer a cutting capacity of 25mm, but you can get tools that can tackle up to 30mm.

• Without getting too technical, if your electric tool has a brushless motor this means they are more energy-efficient than brushed and can extend battery power by up to 50 per cent. This is because the brushless design means no energy is lost to friction.

• Traditional secateurs offer two different types of blades - bypass and anvil. Bypass works with a cutting action, the same as scissors, with the blades literally bypassing each other. Anvil secateurs work with a crushing action where the blades meet each other.

• Blade quality is an important consideration with secateurs as you're using them for relatively heavy-duty jobs. SK5 carbon steel is a phrase to look out for - it's Japanese carbon steel that is known for its high toughness and hardness thanks to a complex quenching and tempering process.

• Many of the electric secateurs we're featuring are sold as a 'bare tool'. This means without a battery or charger, so bear that in mind when you're looking at the price. The separate batteries you buy can be used across the manufacturer's tool range, so in strimmers, leaf blowers, drills, etc.

What other tools can help with garden cutting tasks?

Garden scissors - Garden scissors, also known as 'snips', are small-scale tools that are ideal for more precision work, such as deadheading, harvesting smaller fruit, and cutting flowers.

Garden shears - Shears have long blades for efficient cuts and long handles for ergonomic, two-handed operation. These tools are ideal for larger surface areas, and used for trimming across the top of, and along the sides of, bushes, shrubs, and hedges.

Long-handled loppers - Loppers allow you to cut and prune branches in hard-to-reach areas. These are typically used to trim trees and taller bushes, but they can also increase your reach on ground-level growth that isn't easily accessible.

Hedge trimmers - Hedge trimmers are power tools, powered by either petrol, corded electric, or batteries. They offer one large, deeply serrated blade to make quick, efficient, and nimble cuts to all kinds of garden growth.

Garden multi-tools - Multi-tools are another power tool option offering handy multi-tasking capabilities. Depending on the model you could expect a multi-tool to have interchangeable heads offering a small chainsaw, a pruning pole saw, a grass strimmer, a hedge trimmer, and a brush cutter.

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Amy-Mae Turner is a Commerce Content Writer for Modern Gardens, Yours, Take A Break Pets, and A Modern Kitchen. When she's not pottering in the garden or mucking around in the kitchen, she can be found having doggy cuddles with her two beloved cockapoochis.

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