The best secateurs to tidy up your garden

Get ready to prune your garden to perfection with our pick of the best garden secateurs.

The best garden secateurs - Modern Gardens

by Caitlin Casey |
Updated on

The best secateurs make precise and clean cuts, promoting plant health and growth. Whether you're new to gardening or have been green-fingered for years, secateurs are sure to have come up with a garden tool you'll need. These little clippers help to trim down any dead bushes and clean up your plants.

While garden scissors may handle some light pruning tasks, they are not typically designed for cutting thicker branches or woody stems like secateurs are. These handy cutters have a bypass or anvil cutting mechanism, allowing for clean cuts on thicker branches.

Best secateurs at a glance:

Best premium secateurs: gonicc 8" Professional Secateurs - View on Amazon
Best top-rated bypass secateurs: GRÜNTEK Bypass Secateurs - View on Amazon
Best top-rated anvil secateurs: Spear and Jackson 6758GS Razorsharp Geared Anvil Secateurs - View on Amazon

This precision pruning is crucial for maintaining the health of plants. It removes dead or damaged growth. By using secateurs, you prevent prevent tearing or crushing of plant tissue. Additionally, the ergonomic design of high-quality secateurs ensures comfortable use; although, if you have a hedge to maintain, we recommend using a power hedge trimmer before hand fatigue sets in.

We've hunted down the best garden secateurs on the market right now. Whether you have a large bushy garden or a small balcony with plants, secateurs are the perfect tool for any modern garden.

Best secateurs

Best premium secateurs

gonicc 8" Professional Secateurs

Rrp: $39.95

Price: $19.95

If you're taking your gardening seriously, you may want to invest in these professional, premium secateurs. Slightly more expensive, they're worth the price with a comfortable grip, sharp blade and non-slip handles. These can cut up to 3/4" branches and have a sap groove design to avoid any stickiness.

Customer review: “Used to cut thick brambles out of the garden, very sharp and cuts very thick stems easily. Cannot fault them in any way, a very high-quality garden tool!”

Pros

  • Ergonomic non-slip handles
  • Premium titanium sleep blade
  • Sap groove design

Cons

  • Suited to larger hands

Best top-rated bypass secateurs

modern-gardens-best-secateurs-best

Rrp: $15.98

Price: $14.87

These GRÜNTEK secateurs are our top pick for the best bypass secateurs you can get right now. Top-rated on Amazon, they're perfect for dead hanging and pruning with extra-sharp Teflon-coated blades. Great value for secateurs that are just over £10.

Customer review: "These look robust and very well made, are extremely sharp and I can’t believe they only cost £10.70 delivered. Unbelievable value compared to other brands I looked at. They cut well straight from the packet."

Pros

  • Sharp, SK5 Japanese steel
  • Great value secateurs
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Customers found these fiddly to use

Best top-rated anvil secateurs

modern-gardens-best-secateurs-best-anvil
Price: $11.70

If you're looking for a pair of anvil secateurs, then these babies are yours. Our top choice for anvil secateurs, these Spear & Jackson cutters, have been rated Gold in the Great British Growing Awards 2020. Another SK5 steel blade, these are ultra-sharp and non-stick. Great for all modern gardens.

Customer review: “I searched the internet to find the best pair to buy, I have the start of arthritis in my right hand and needed something that would help me cope with it... well after using them for a few weeks, I love them so much I bought a pair for my mother.”

Pros

  • PTFE-coated SK5 steel blade
  • Ambidextrous locking catch
  • Lightweight body

Cons

  • Not guaranteed a clean-cut edge

Best secateurs for durability

McGregor Bypass Secateurs means that they're strong enough to get through even the toughest branches. Non-stick and a carbon steel blade, this is sure to do the job for you. Whether you're left or right-handed, the soft grip handle is comfortable to use.

Customer review: "Bought one recently for myself and found it a such excellent value and good quality I treated my gardener to a pair. Trust this brand, as I bought a McGregor cordless lawn mower last year, which has proved invaluable."

Pros

  • Non-stick carbon steel blade
  • Lightweight and strong
  • Soft grip handle

Cons

  • Basic for an experienced gardener

Best micro secateurs

Micro-secateurs are made with smaller hands in mind to make it extra easy to prune your garden. Great for anyone looking for a lighter tool or has difficulty with dexterity in their hands. Its overall length is just 16cm.

Customer review: “Excellent, easy to use, comfy grip, sharp cutting.”

Pros

  • Carbon steel blade
  • Lightweight and comfy

Cons

  • Better suited for smaller hands

Best wooden-handled secateurs

Draper Bypass Secateurs with Ash Handles
Price: $29.81

Another trusted collection, these secateurs from tool specialists Draper are made with stainless steel. Highly resistant to rust, they also have impressive FSC-certified ash handles. They're precise, and they look good, too.

Customer review: “The wooden handles are built to last and feel very solid, one thing it does mean is that these secateurs are heavier than most others, so perhaps don't buy if you want a lighter pair. They are super sharp and can cut through quite thick branches. The latch to keep them closed is a little more fiddly than others but worth it in my opinion."

Pros

  • Stainless steel
  • FSC-certified wood handle
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Customers disappointed by the finish

Best powered secateurs

Bosch Easyprune
Price: £73.23 (was £89.99)

Whether you’re pruning climbers, trimming hedges, snipping garden wire or cutting back shrubs and twigs, these Bosch EasyPrune cordless secateurs will give you the extra power you need for tougher branches up to 25mm.

Customer review: "These secateurs are brilliant - they are quite large to incorporate the battery and motor so people with smaller hands might struggle… but once you get used to the way they work, they help a lot in cutting through items like a knife through butter. My hands aren't very strong, so It's really satisfying to cut through branches that are beyond my usual limit."

Pros

  • Perfect for gifting
  • Cordless with a long-lasting battery
  • Charged by micro-USB cable

Cons

  • The first charge is long

Best secateurs gift set

If you're looking for a great present for your loved one, these Sophie Allport secateurs will be as well-designed as your garden. Made from ash wood and stainless steel with a canvas bee-patterned pouch for safekeeping and bee detail on the blade, these secateurs are efficient, stylish, and effective. A perfect idea for someone who loves their garden. They're pocket-size at just 10 x 22 x 3cm.

Customer review: "Always wonderful value and wonderful products."

Pros

  • Stainless steel blades with top lock
  • Tan gold canvas pouch
  • Perfect for gifting

Cons

  • For smaller hands

Verdict: Which is the best secateurs?

If you're serious about tackling some branches, we recommend the Gonicc 8" Professional, which is durable, strong, easy to use and ergonomic. Not only is the blade coated with Antirust oil to prevent corrosion, but you won't have any issues with sap - due to the useful sap groove. This is a premium, drop-forged design. We love it.

FAQs

What are secateurs?

Secateurs are a staple tool for every and any gardener - from beginner to expert. Also known as hand pruners, they are essentially sharp scissors that you use on plants.

The reason why they're so effective in gardens is that they're strong enough to cut through thicker branches, but also work well on smaller plants and flowers.

They have a curved shape to them, designed with plant branches in mind to cut most effectively. You can see the photo above to see the classic curved blade.

You can also get loppers and shears for your garden, which differ in size and shape.

Types of secateurs to buy: anvil and bypass

There are two types of secateurs you can buy on the market: anvil and bypass.

Bypass works with cutting action, the same way as using a pair of scissors. It does what it says on the tin because the blades literally 'bypass' each other to make the cut. We recommend these for all-around use and if you're looking for a pair of secateurs to last. Garden Answers writer Geoff Hodges adds: "These are best for pruning live, green growth."

Anvil secateurs work with a crushing action, where the two blades meet each other, which are "lower, broader, blunt" according to Geoff. Therefore, these are better for sturdy branches, stems that are thicker, deadwood and thick bushes.

What to look for when shopping for the best secateurs?

With the help of Garden Answers contributor Geoff Hodges, we have got a definitive list:

Blade Coating - Blades coated with non-stick PT FE are more rust-resistant, therefore making cutting smoother.

Sap Groove - This is a blade that directs sap away from the edge to prevent gumming up.

Cushion Stops - These rubber stops reduce jarring and excess force from causing musculoskeletal problems.

Blade Catch - This holds the blades shut when not in use, to make sure they're safe when transporting and storing. Make sure it isn’t too loose, which would interfere with pruning.

Non-Slip Handle Grips - These prevent the handles from slipping from your hands.

Contoured Handles - Choosing an ergonomic handle will help with grip, movement and cut.

Spring - Make sure to find a strong spring that stays put whilst pruning.

Secateurs vs. shears: what's the difference?

One of the biggest questions when buying secateurs is the difference between garden shears and secateurs. Are both of them necessary to effectively trim down a garden?

The answer really depends on the size of your garden, what you're looking to do and what your budget is. We would recommend investing in both shears and secateurs to ensure you have the right tools for every job.

The biggest difference between the two is that secateurs are smaller, used for trimming plants and branches, and held in just one hand. Shears are commonly used for larger jobs, used with two hands, and are better if you have hedges, larger plants, and need to cut up bigger amounts of garden waste.

The tell-tale signs to remember? Secateurs are smaller and curved in shape, and shears are large and have long blades to cut more at once. They are really just more precise.

How do I sharpen secateurs?

Geoff Hodges comments on the importance of sharp blades when pruning: "Keep them sharp – just like your best carving knife in the kitchen. Using a blade sharpener before every pruning session makes pruning quicker, easier and keeps plants healthier."

They can be sharpened with a whetstone, diamond tool or sharpening steel.

We recommend this Darlac sharpener.

Darlac, Diamond Sharpeners
Price: $16.03

We recommend this video from the Garden Ninja, Lee Burkhill, for a step-by-step:

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Caitlin Casey is a Senior Writer for Modern Gardens, heat, Closer, and Grazia. She covers shopping, women’s lifestyle, popular culture as well as all things trending.

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