Top 8 Best Secateurs – Tried & Tested with Reviews

Top 8 Best Secateurs – Tried & Tested with Reviews

Top 8 Best Secateurs – Tried & Tested with Reviews

Our Top Recommended Garden Secateurs Buyers Guide For Choosing The Right Type

Updated February 4th 2018 - We have recently reviewed a further 2 pairs of secateurs. The original 'Felco Model 2' we first reviewed over 4 years ago but have used personally for over 15 years are still by far the best pair of secateurs we have ever used. However we now have a new runner up which are the Wolf Garten RR5000 Professional Secateurs which are a very close second for 2018.

Secateurs are one garden tool that every gardener needs, up there with the trusted garden spade and fork. I would go as far as saying they are probably the most important garden tool you will ever buy. Every garden will have plants that need pruning and cutting back in autumn, whether it be pruning back your hydrangeas or simply cutting back some overgrown shrubs.

There are many secateurs on the market so first we will look at, what makes a good pair secateurs and what to consider when buying a new pair. Prices can range from a few pounds to over £50.00 but we believe that a pair of good secateurs are a good investment and can last a life time if looked after correctly.

After over 10 hours of cutting and testing over 15 pairs of secateurs over the last 4 years, we think that the Felco Model 2 Secateurs are the best secateurs for most gardeners and a must for any professional gardener. I have personally used these secateurs for over 15 years and still have the original pair but the blades have been replaced a few times over the years. 

felco model 2 secateurs review

OUR BEST PICK

Felco Model 2 Secateurs

Felco secateurs are regarded as the 'finest in the world' by many professional gardeners who have has the same pair for over 20 years.

Under testing, they cut cleanly through anything we tested them on, this included lots of thick rose stems, tree branches, as well as more fragile soft foliage. They all ways produced a clean straight cut and thicker branches only needed slight force to cut through. 

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    Replacements parts & blades widely available.
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    hight quality blades can be resharpened many times.
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    Lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

What to consider before purchasing a good pair of secateurs

At first glance you would probably say that they all look the same and do the same thing. Whilst they all do prune, some do have nice little features to make your life a little easier.

  • The thing you pay the most for is the blade. Some blades are made from quality hardened stainless steel and will last a life time, staying razor sharp even after lots of pruning. They can also be sharpened using a tungsten carbide blade or ceramic stone when needed.
  • There are two types of secateurs. Bypass secateurs work like scissors and a great for getting a clean neat cut, especially on more fragile stems, whilst anvil secateurs have one blade which brushes through the stem are often good for cutting through thick, more solid stems.
  • Consider the catches that hold the handles together when not in use. Some get in the way when pruning and slip open which can be frustrating.
  • Some use a ratchet system to cut, these can take slightly longer to cut through branches but can make cutting through thick or hard wood type stems easier. They are also good for gardeners who may have arthritis or weak hands and have difficulty using normal secateurs
  • The size, some are simply designed to cut through a larger diametre stem so have larger handles and blades.
  • Finally a good design seen on some models is rotating handles which rotate when you close the pruners, this can help to stop blisters and sores.
spear and jackson razorsharp professional secateurs review

ALSO GREAT
HALF THE PRICE OF FELCO

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Secateurs

These Spear & Jackson secateurs are much cheaper than our 'Best Pick' Felco model. Not quite the same standard, but they still impressive and produced straight clean cuts on all types of stems.

They have all the great features of the Felco model and also have a two cutting widths setting, this means you can set it to prune smaller branches or larger branches.

They offer the best value for money and come with an impressive 10 year guarantee. Spare blades and springs are also widely available. These are perfect for amateur gardeners.

Wolf Garten Professional Secateurs Review

Wolf-Garten RR5000 Professional Secateurs

Our New Favourite Secateurs For 2018

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    Light weight thanks to the aluminium construction
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    Perfect for cutting new growth with a maximum diameter of 25mm.
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    No spring to loose like that found on most models.
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    None stick blade
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    Replaceable parts available for all parts including blades.

Secateur Reviews

Our Top 5 Recommended Garden Secateurs

BEST PICK FOR A 4th YEAR RUNNING

Felco Model 2 Secateurs

felco model 2 secateurs review

Felco secateurs are regarded as the the 'finest in the world'. They really are the cream of the crop when it comes to secateurs. They may look like cheaper pruners, but that is because many cheap brands have copied the design but none have come close to the quality.

So what makes them different? Firstly the handles are made from forged aluminium alloy which means there are very strong and lightweight. They also have removable cutting blades which can be changed easily and they incorporate a sap groove in the blade ensuring the blades do not get stuck together which most other secateurs do not have. The blade also has a wire cutting notch to avoid damaging the blade.

felco No 2 secateurs

Finally it has a manually adjustable centre nut made from harden steel for aligning play between the blades. There is a soft rubber sleeve over the handle which acts as a shock absorber and makes pruning that little bit more enjoyable.

They come with a lifetime warranty which backs up the quality, they are a good all-rounder for most pruning jobs in the garden.

OUR THOUGHTS

Felco secateurs are without doubt the best secateurs money can buy, and the Felco Model 2 is without doubt the most popular secateurs used by professional gardeners and the trade.

The quality just can't be beaten, and no other brand even comes close, you really have to feel the quality to appreciate it. 

The cutting performance is excellent and it all ways gives a nice clean, straight cut. The blades are made to last and can handle being sharpened dozens of times. Spare parts that are worn out are widely available and the parts are very easy to change and replace if needed. This is one of the main advantages they have other other models, as many do not have changeable parts.

If your a gardening by trade or wanting to invest in the 'best secateurs',  then these Felco model 2 are what your looking for. They also come with a lifetime guarantee, that no other company comes close to.

The only negative point regarding these, near perfect model 2 secateurs, is that they can be a little more difficult for gardeners with small hands to use. If this is a concern to you, then we would recommend the near identical model 6, just sliughtly further down our guide, these are designed to resolve this issue some gardeners face.

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Newly tested model - 4th February 2018

A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO THE FELCO MODEL 2 FOR GARDENERS WITH SMALL HANDS

Felco Model 6 Secateurs

Felco Model 6 Secatuers are best suited for people with smaller hands

These Felco Model 6 secateurs are nearly identical to our 'Best Pick' the model 2, the handles are made from the same forged aluminium steel which makes them very strong, light weight and nearly unbreakable,

They have the same hardened steel blade which can be changed if needed and it produces a very precise clean cut on all the different types of stems we tested them on.

OUR THOUGHTS

People with small hands, may find using our 'Best Pick', the model 2, slightly difficult to use, with this in mind we have now updated our best pick to include the Felco model 6, as they have proven to be a better choice.

With the Felco model 6, you get he same great quality, excellent cutting performance, and of course, they also come with a life time guarantee.

Compared to the Model 2, the handles are slightly smaller, their also slightly lighter and have a slightly smaller cutting diameter, but still wide enough to cut anything we tried them on.

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  Wolf-Garten RR5000 Professional Bypass Secateurs Review

Our New Favourite Secateurs For 2018

Wolf Garten Professional Secateurs Review

Wolf Garten Professional Secateurs Review

We came across these Wolf Garten RR5000 Professional Secateurs at a local garden centre and they immediately caught my eye so I decided to feature them on here as they are probably the second best pair on our review, a very close second to Felco Model 2 and probably better designed then the Spear & Jackson Heavy Duty Razorshap Secateurs.

They are light weight which is the first thing you will notice and theres no cheap plastic pieces that look like they will break off easily the first time you drop them.

We particular like the locking switch which is easy to use and not going to slip and the fact that is has no spring between the handles is genius. This means no loss springs to worry about or replace.

Finally they have a good cutting capacity of 25mm and can cut in tight areas where some other models might struggle, specially anvil models.

Pros

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    Light weight thanks to the aluminium construction
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    Perfect for cutting new growth with a maximum diameter of 25mm.
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    No spring to loose like that found on most models.
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    None stick blade
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    Replaceable parts available for all parts including blades.

Final Conclusion

We really like these secateurs and think they are a great alternative to the Felco Model 2 and probably a better choice than the spear & Jackson model we had previously recommended for anyone looking for a more affordable pair.

Overall these are a great pair we would highly recommend and new to our list for 2018

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ANOTHER GOOD ALTERNATIVE TO FELCO

Spear & Jackson Heavy Duty Razorsharp Secatuers

spear and jackson razorsharp professional secateurs review

Another quality pair of secateurs. These are very similar (nearly identical) to the Felco pruners above. They are a good alternative for someone not wanting to spend quite as much as the Felco models cost.

They have a couple of different features including two cutting widths which means you can alter them for cutting thin branches or thicker branches and the blade is made from high carbon steel which is also replaceable. There are designed for professional constant use with the trade in mind and will easily handle any garden use by the average person.

spear and jackson razorsharp professional secateurs1

Like the felco model they feature the sap groove and have rubber handles which are forged from lightweight aluminium making them very strong and lightweight.

OUR THOUGHTS

At around £25.00 its hard to see why these would not be your first choice, however they just don't quite make the cut when compared to Felco secateurs both on quality and performance. 

That being said, not everybody wants to spend over £40 on a good pair of secateurs and these Spear & Jackson heavy duty secateurs are the next best thing.

They are made to a high standard and are very well made, specially when compared to the hundreds of cheap models you regularly see for sale.

A great alternative for professional and home gardeners alike who don't want to invest in the more expensive Felco secateurs just yet.

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Newly Tested Model - 01 November 2017

BEST RATCHET SECATUERS

Best choice for anyone with arthritis or weak hands

Gardenite Power Drive Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

Power Drive Anvil Secateurs review

These 'Power Drive Ratchet Anvil Pruning shears', are designed to make cutting thicker branches much easier for those of us who struggle pruning branches, such as gardeners who have carpal tunnel or arthritis, or simply have smaller or weak hands.

These anvil secateurs have a well designed ratchet system which aides the user when cutting through thick branches. As you start cutting through a branch, they latch so they do not release the pressure, you can then release the handle and squeeze the handle again, you complete this process around 3 times, until you have cut right through the branch. 

Best secateurs for gardeners with  arthritis or weak hands

The ratchet system increases yours hands power by up to 5 times, so that the pruners do the cutting, not you. All this equals effortless cutting.

The heat treated carbon steel blades are very strong and are coated in non-stick Teflon which helps stop the blades from sticking as it resist sap.

OUR THOUGHTS

These are without doubt the best ratchet secateurs we have ever had the chance to review, we have tried quite a few ratchet secateurs in previous years and we can confirm we have never come across a better pair of secateurs with the ratchet feature.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel, arthritis or have the distinctive disadvantage of having smaller or weak hands, then these are the best choice for you.

The ratchet system makes pruning branches much easier and they make pruning branches possible for gardeners who thought they would no longer be able to prune branches, who had previously struggled with regular secateurs.

They are very strong and seem very well constructed, under testing they cut through hard thick branches cleanly, but did slightly crush softer foliage such a fresh new growth, overall they produce nice, straight clean cuts.

The only disadvantage, when compared to bypass secateurs, is they do not cut through branches as quick. This seems to be the price you pay for having the ratchet system, which i'm sure is well worth it for those suffer from carpal tunnel, arthritis or have small hands.

One other point I would like to mention, on Amazon.co.uk these pruners had lots of extensive reviews, mostly 5 stars. We didn't often see this when doing our research, many users have commented on how much of a difference it made to them when they have weak hands or arthritis. (you can also read the reviews here)

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BEST BUDGET SECATEURS

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Anvil Secateurs

spear and jackson anvil secatuers

Another quality and well made pair of secateurs. Constructed from strong, cast aluminium metal makes them lightweight. Featuring a geared ratchet system makes them easy to use and a good choice for someone who has arthritis or weak hands.

spear and jackson anvil secatuers closd

It has a PTFE coated SK5 steel blade which is very sharp and they are built to last. They produce a clean straight cut, it is also rust resistant which is an added advantage as most pruning is done in winter when the conditions are damp.

They come with a 10 year guarantee.

OUR THOUGHTS

Another great pair of secateurs by Spear & Jackson and at under £20, they offer great value for money and they come with an impressive 10 year guarantee.

We specially like the ratchet system which makes cutting thicker, harder branches much easier, there very light weight and are very strong, thanks to their aluminium metal construction.

They are also ideal if have arthritis or weak hands, the way the ratchet handle works means that you cut in 2 or 3 stages. This means you don't need to apply consistent pressure to cut through a branch, you can cut part way, loosen your hand then cut again, you can do this until you have cut right through the branch. They are slightly slower to cut with, but the added benefit is a big advantage, specially to people who though they may not be able to cut branches anymore.

If your'e on a budget and looking for a good pair of secateurs for light use around the garden, these will be perfect. If you have more intensive pruning to do or larger branches to prune, consider spending the extra £10 and investing in the Spear & Jackson heavy duty model instead.

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ALSO GREAT

Fiskars Large PowerGear Bypass Pruner

fiskars powergear pruners

Fiskars are known for their high quality garden tools. They have pulled all the stops out with these secateurs. Designed with comfort in mind, they have incorporated some great features not seen in other secateurs.

?The first thing to mention that makes a difference is the adjustable rotating handle movement, it fits perfectly in your hand and really does make a difference when using them. The other brilliant feature which makes using them easier is what Fiskars call “PowerGear™”, this feature aides you when cutting branches making it that little bit easier, even on thicker branches.

spear and jackson anvil secatuers closd

The steel blades are very durable and will last because they are made from CrMov (Chromium, molybdenum and vanadium). Not quite sure what this actually is, but you can tell and feel the quality. As with a lot of secateurs they have a PTFE coated bottom blade which is non-stick, again making cutting easier. The only downside is although they seem to be strong, the handles are made from plastic and could break under too much pressure, saying that, they are still good quality and appear to be very strong.

OUR THOUGHTS

If your looking for secateurs that are very comfortable in your hand then these Fiskars PowerGear secateurs could be worth considering, they feature a rotating handle which helps make pruning that much easier.

These are a very good pair secateurs, but my only concern is that the handles are made from plastic which could be a problem if using too much force. However I read no reports of any gardeners complaining of such as problem, so they should be a good choice.

A great, modern pair of secateurs, which are very comfortable to use thanks to their rotating handle.

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FOR THOSE WHO PREFER A MORE TRADITIONAL PRUNER

Draper 210mm Bypass Secateurs With Wood Handles

draper wood secateurs with a traditional look

These are a more traditional pair of secateurs with redwood handles that are built to last and feature a very sharp, stainless steel blade that cannot be changed but will give many years of use.

They are designed to fit comfortably in your hand and the bypass blade design will cut through branches effortlessly.

OUR THOUGHTS

If you are looking for a more traditional look and feel then these are for you. One point to consider is they open quite wide, if you have small hands you may have difficulty using them. However they are a very high quality, robust set of pruners. 

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FINAL CONCLUSION


After many hours of research and testing, there's just no beating the Felco Model 2 secateurs, their superior quality and clean straight cutting performance, as well as how they feel in your hand, makes them better, than any other model we have looked at. They really are the last pair of secateurs you should ever need to buy, and with a life time warranty, they certainly offer value, as well as quality when taking everything in consideration.

Now, the deal breaker for some, will probably be the price, their 2 to 4 times more expensive than some of the other models we have looked at. With this in mind, as well as the fact that some people might find a pair with small handles better to use, I have put together a quick round up below.

Felco Model 2 (BEST PICK) - These are our 'Best Pick', these are the best choice for most gardeners, specially professional gardeners or anyone looking for the best pair of secateurs available. The only downside is that if you have small hands, you may find them a little more difficult to use. If you do have smaller hands, then we would highly recommend the Felco Model 6 instead (see below)

Felco Model 6 (IDEAL FOR PEOPLE WITH SMALL HANDS) - These were only added to our guide recently, as some of our readers has voiced there concerms about how the Model 2 were a little to big for them to use comfortably as they had smaller hands. With this is mind, we set out to find a pair, which were the best for people with small hands. Being that Felco were the all ready the best, we discovered they did a 'Model 6' pair, after some testing and comparison, it became very clear that they were nearly identical to the model 2, but had smaller handles. When tested, it became clear they were much better for people with small hands, than the model 2.

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp (ALSO GREAT) - If the price of Felco secateurs is a little more than you wanted to pay, then these are probably the next best choice. They performed well and are made to last, they include a 20 year guarantee and spare blades are also widely available, which is a big plus. They offer great value for money and we felt, only the Felco secateurs were a better choice.

Power Drive Ratchet Anvil Pruners (BEST CHOICE FOR PEOPLE WITH CARPAL TUNNEL, ARTHRITIS OR HAVE SMALL HANDS) These are our top choice for gardeners who usually struggle using standard secateurs. The Ratchet system makes light work of pruning and makes what is usually a impossible job for some people now possible. Quality was excellent and they made good straight cuts on most branches. 

Spear & Jackson Geared Anvil (BEST BUDGET PAIR) - These were the cheapest pair of secateurs we would recommend, you can get cheaper models, but we do feel that you would not want to budget any less, if you want a quality pair that will last more than one gardening season. We really like the ratchet action and feel this is a big advantage over the other secateurs we have looked at, specially if you have weak hands or suffer from arthritis. The blade is PTFE coated to make the blade rust resistant, however from experience we find that the coating rubs off when you sharpen the blade so this offered no real advantage. Overall they offer great value, they take a little longer to cut through branches but were great on thick stems, however on more soft fragile foliage, it did crust stems, rather then producing a clean cut. Don't forget they also comes with 10 years guarantee.

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