Which are the Best Secateurs?

In This Article

Secateurs are small garden pruning shears intended for use with one hand. Discover which are the best secateurs for you and you will have a vital garden tool you are likely to use almost every day.

The word secateurs is from the french – see video below for pronunciation guide.

In this post we are going to take a look at:

  • The difference between garden pruners and secateurs
  • Anvil versus Bypass Cut Models – and why you should care
  • What to Look for in Secateurs
  • Which are the best Secateurs

Which are the Best Secateurs – Garden Shredder Review’s Verdict

We know that many people do not want to read the full review – all you want to see is which Secateurs made it to the top of the list. For you, our pick of the best secateurs is:

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FELCO Model 8

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)

They might be more expensive than the other secateurs in this review, but they will last you a lifetime.

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
2,768 Reviews
FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
  • Forged Aluminium ergonomic alloy handles
  • Manually adjustable centre-nut for aligning play between angled steel cutting and screw mounted anvil blades
  • Wire cutting notch
  • Cushion and shock absorber to protect the hand and wrist

What’s the Difference Between Pruner’s and Secateurs?

Garden pruners cover any tool used to prune your garden plants. That can include anything from hand pruners (Secateurs) to tree loppers to telescopic pruners. By using the name Secateur we are being specific about the sort of pruner to which we are referring.

What are Anvil Secateurs and Bypass Secateurs?

Over the years we have come to the conclusion that most garden equipment manufacturers are content to supply Anvil and Bypass Cutter models with little or no explanation on the differences between them.

It is actually fairly important to know the difference in purpose for each type of cutting mechanism. Take a look at our post on Anvil Vs ByPass Secateurs and Loppers – Why you Should Care for full details.

The short answer is that Anvil cutters are designed for cutting tough, dry and often dead wood. This takes much more force than cutting younger, green shoots so Anvil secateurs are built to be tough. As a single blade has to cut through the whole shoot or branch there is a degree of crushing inherent in the cutting action. While OK for old, dry wood, crushing can damage younger shoots.

Bypass cutters work much more like scissors. As the cut from both sides they provide a cleaner cut with less crushing. This is better for living branches and young shoots.

Over the years we have come to the conclusion that Anvil cutters are better on loppers – we are normally cutting pretty big, woody branches with them. Bypass cutters are better for secateurs. After all, secateurs are designed to by used with one hand. We are unlikely to want to cut too many tough, wood branches with our secateurs.

What to Look For in Secateurs

Secateurs are fairly simple tools. Here are a few things you should look for when selecting your secateurs.

  • Anvil vs Bypass
  • Cutting mechanism – direct or ratchet
  • Maximum cut diameter – it is a measure of the manufacturers confidence in the tool. If you are cutting anything much bigger than 1cm in diameter you should probably be pulling out your loppers
  • Left or right hand use – some secateurs have moulded grips to make them more comfortable to use. If so, you need to be sure to buy the correct hand for your usage
  • Locking mechanism – you are going to be carrying secateurs in your pocket. They are designed to be locked in the closed position for safety.

Direct or Ratchet Cutting Mechanisms

Most secateurs have the blades directly attached to the handles. All the force applied to the blades comes from how strongly you can squeeze the handles.

We are not all equally strong so we cannot all cut the same thickness of materials. Manufacturers provide ratchet and gear mechanisms to allow us to cut with less force through the handles. As you squeeze the handles the blades close on the branch to be cut. You squeeze until the ratchet clicks. At this point you release the blades and they reset to allow you to take another squeeze on the handles.

When using ratchet secateurs you will have to reset the handles a few times. This makes them slower to use.

Most secateurs with a ratchet cut mechanism are anvil cut models.

Which are the Best Secateurs – The Candidates

Anvil Secateurs

WOLF-Garten RS4000 Anvil Secateurs

WOLF-Garten RS4000 Anvil Secateur

Wolf Garten is a very well known German Manufacturer of Garden Tools. While maybe best known for their multichange range of tools, Wolf Garten also produce Garden Shredders and pruning tools.

FeatureWolf Garten RS4000Comments
Cutter typeAnvil 
Cutter mechanismSimple – direct 
Max cut size25mm
Dimensions(cm)29×3.8×2.8 
Weight (g)259 
LockingTop mounted slide 
Additional FeaturesInternal return spring
10 year guarantee
Remember to keep your receipt in a safe place

These secateurs are easy and comfortable to use. They cut easily though we have not tried cutting anything up to 25mm in diameter.

WOLF-Garten RS4000 Anvil Secateur

Sale
WOLF-Garten RS4000 Anvil Secateurs, Red, 29x3.8x2.8 cm
120 Reviews
WOLF-Garten RS4000 Anvil Secateurs, Red, 29x3.8x2.8 cm
  • These gardening shears secateurs cut softly and effortlessly without jarring
  • Ergonomic two-component handle
  • Material: Steel, Plastic
  • 10 Year Guarantee

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advantage

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advantage

The Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Garden Cutting range includes our Pro, Advance, Advantage, Steel and Active variants. These encompass a wide range of loppers, secateurs, shears and more

Spear and Jackson
FeatureSpear and Jackson RazorsharpComments
Cutter typeAnvil 
Cutter mechanismSimple – direct 
Maximum cutting size15mm 
Dimensions(cm)20.5 x 6.8 x 1.5 
Weight (g)200 
LockingTop mounted slide 
Additional Features10 Year Guarantee 

These are very much entry level secateurs. Reviews are generally positive but a number of niggles like the looking slide sticking and problems with the return spring.

You can’t really go wrong with a 10year guarantee.

Sale
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advantage Anvil Secateurs
210 Reviews
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advantage Anvil Secateurs
  • Geared and ratchet mechanisms
  • Ergonomic design
  • Genuine Spear & Jackson product
  • Grow your own great British growing 2018 award winners

Fiskars PowerGear X Pruner PX93

Fiskars PowerGear X Pruner L Anvil PX93, PowerGear X system, Cutting diameter: 2.6 cm, High quality steel blades with non-stick coating, Length: 22.5 cm, Black/Orange, 1023629

FeatureFiskars PowerGear X Pruner PX93Comments
Cutter typeAnvil 
Cutter mechanismRack and pinion ratchet 
Maximum cutting size26mmCutting something over an inch in diameter with secateurs doesn’t feel sensible
Dimensions(cm)22.5 
Weight (g)200 
LockingTop mounted slide 
Additional FeaturesRotating handles – right hand use
Internal open spring
Note – these are for right handed users

We are getting to like the Fiskars range of pruning tools. We were highly impressed with their tree loppers and we are equally impressed with the range of features they pack into these secateurs.

Hidden inside the secateurs is a rack and pinion, ratchet system. Fiskars claim this trebles the force available at the blades. Remember, to get the extra force you are going to be moving the handles further. It does slow down the use of secateurs. Cutting up to 26mm seems excessive for hand held secateurs.

This model has rotating handles which are shaped for right hand use only.

Fiskars PowerGear X Pruner PX93

Sale
Fiskars PowerGear X Pruner L Anvil PX93, PowerGear X system, Cutting diameter: 2.6 cm, High quality steel blades with non-stick coating, Length: 22.5 cm, Black/Orange, 1023629
295 Reviews
Fiskars PowerGear X Pruner L Anvil PX93, PowerGear X system, Cutting diameter: 2.6 cm, High quality steel blades with non-stick coating, Length: 22.5 cm, Black/Orange, 1023629
  • Anvil pruner with rotating handle for dry and hard wood, For pruning branches up to 2.6 cm (2'') diameter, Suitable for cutting dry and hard growth, For right-handed users
  • Optimal force transmission thanks to unique patented gear technology, Ergonomic rotating handles for natural hand movement, Lightweight and durable handles made of weather-resistant fibreglass reinforced plastic
  • High quality manufacturing: light labour thanks to cutting performance 3 times higher than a pruning shear without system, Smooth and clean cut thanks to non-stick coating on the upper blade
  • Long life product, Stainless steel, Blade can be sharpened, Diamond file sold separately in the maintenance kit (available under reference number 1001640), Finnish design

Davaon Pro

Davaon Pro Anvil Secateurs - Less Effort - Strain Reducing Garden Pruner - Protects Fingers, Ergonomic Premium Comfort Quality, Razor Sharp Precise Cuts, Long Lasting Gardening Hand Pruning Tool

FeatureDavaon ProComments
Cutter typeAnvil 
Cutter mechanismDirect coupledDanoan claim that the swiveling handle increases cutting efficiency by 30%
Maximum cutting size20mm 
Dimensions(cm)22 x 5 x 9Length
Weight (g)331About 50% heavier than other anvil secateurs
LockingSide mounted swivel 
Additional FeaturesRotating handles – increasing operating efficiency
Adjustable range of movement of handles to allow for smaller hands Customer satisfaction Guarantee
 

Danoan seem to be taking a careful look at what makes gardening tools really useful. These secateurs have some useful features such as finger protection, rotating handles and adjustable range of movement on handles.

Just about the only downsides are:

  • the size – they are noticeably bigger than other secateurs
  • the weight – they are about 50% heavier than other leading secateurs in this class.

Davoan Pro Anvil Secateur

Davaon Pro Anvil Secateurs - Less Effort - Strain Reducing Garden Pruner - Protects Fingers, Ergonomic Premium Comfort Quality, Razor Sharp Precise Cuts, Long Lasting Gardening Hand Pruning Tool
297 Reviews
Davaon Pro Anvil Secateurs - Less Effort - Strain Reducing Garden Pruner - Protects Fingers, Ergonomic Premium Comfort Quality, Razor Sharp Precise Cuts, Long Lasting Gardening Hand Pruning Tool
  • ✔ EASY CUTTING – Sharp Heat Treated & Hardened SK5 Carbon Steel Top Blade Slices 20mm Easily (Up to 25mm). This Anvil Garden Secateur Is Great For Thick, Dead & Woody Branches. Durable Metal Lower Non Cutting Blade Grips Branch For Accurate Trimming. Ideal for Tree, Hedges, Plants
  • ✔ 30% LESS EFFORT – Latest Auto Rotating Lower Handle Rotates With Your Natural Hand Squeeze To Reduce Pressure on Fingers, Increase Comfort Whilst Decreasing Effort by 30% for Less Hand Ache / Fatigue & Blisters During Longer Use. Ideal For Those with Carpel Tunnel, Arthritis And Other Weak Hand Conditions
  • ✔ FINGER PROTECTION – Finger Shield Design On The Lower Handle Provides Improved Protection For Your Fingers From Rose Thorn Or Rough Branches Scratches. It Can Be Used To Keep Branches Out of The Way While Cutting for Added Pruning Secateurs Confidence
  • ✔ ERGONOMIC COMFORT & PREMIUM QUALITY – These Heavy Duty Secateurs Have An Ergonomic Soft Grip Top Handle For A Better Comfort Fit, Aluminium Structure for Lighter Weight Strength, Rust Resistance, Secure Safety Lock, Shock Absorbing Spring and Grip Size Adjustment for Men & Women Giving Best All Round Quality Gardening Secateurs Benefits

ByPass Secateurs

FELCO Model 8

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)

No review of secateurs would be complete without including something from Felco. Felco have around 20 different secateurs in their range – including models specifically for left and right handed people.

We have chosen to look at a mid-range model – the Felco Model 8

FeatureFelco Model 8Comments
Cutter typeBypass 
Cutter mechanismDirect coupled 
Maximum cutting size25mm 
Dimensions(cm)21Length
Weight (g)245Heavier than many competitors
LockingSide mounted swivel 
Additional FeaturesHandle opening adjustment – make it more comfortable for smaller hands
Blades are mounted on dowel pins for easy replacement Lifetime guarantee on manufacturing defects
We may be cynical, but we don’t think a lifetime guarantee on manufacturing defects is much use.

Felco are recognised as the top makers of secateurs. Most models are fairly basic in design but they are now including some of the innovations common from other manufacturers.

What Felco secateurs do is cleanly and effectively prune your plants. You only have to read the reviews – Felco do the job.

We just can’t get over the price. They are going to cost you 2-3 times other makes.

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
2,768 Reviews
FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
  • Forged Aluminium ergonomic alloy handles
  • Manually adjustable centre-nut for aligning play between angled steel cutting and screw mounted anvil blades
  • Wire cutting notch
  • Cushion and shock absorber to protect the hand and wrist

WOLF-Garten RR5000

Wolf Garten RR5000 Bypass Secateurs

FeatureWolf Garten RR5000Comments
Cutter typeBypass 
Cutter mechanismDirect coupled 
Maximum cutting size25mm 
Dimensions(cm)20 x 10 x 5Length
Weight (g)298Heavier than many competitors
LockingSide mounted slide 
Additional Features10 year guarantee 

There’s not a lot more to be said about these Wolf Garten Secateurs. Like the anvil model, these bypass secateurs are very highly rated.

The RR5000 model is considered the professional model. It cuts up to 25mm – we have said many times that this is overkill for one-handed pruning tools.

Like the Felco above, we like the Wolf Garten, but it does seem expensive.

Sale
WOLF-Garten RR5000 Professional Bypass Aluminium Secateurs, Red, 31.5x4.7x2.8 cm
139 Reviews
WOLF-Garten RR5000 Professional Bypass Aluminium Secateurs, Red, 31.5x4.7x2.8 cm
  • 2.5 cm cutting diameter
  • Suitable for left and right handed use
  • Ideal for delicate and precise pruning
  • Coated blades for non stick pruning and easy cleaning

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Professional

Wolf Garten RR5000 Bypass Secateurs

FeatureSpear & Jackson Razorsharp ProfessionalComments
Cutter typeBypass 
Cutter mechanismDirect coupled 
Maximum cutting sizen/k 
Dimensions(cm)22x6x3.5Length
Weight (g)227Light
LockingSide mounted flip/swivel Some reports of this jamming or failing to work as the secateurs get a little older
Additional FeaturesRange of movement adjuster
10 year guarantee
 

Like all the secateurs in this review – these do a great job. There are a few too many reports of poor quality and early failure. Most of these relate to the locking mechamism which either fails or jams.

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Professional Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur
363 Reviews
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Professional Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur
  • Professional level bypass secateurs
  • High carbon steel blade with cutting notch and sap groove
  • Ergonomic forged aluminium handles
  • Two cutting widths

Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass

Fiskars Powergear L

It would be unthinkable not to include the Fiskars Powergear Bypass secateurs in this review. As we have said, we really like Fiskar’s products.

FeatureFiskars PowerGear X BypassComments
Cutter typeBypass 
Cutter mechanismGear and pinionFiskars patented rear, pinion and ratchet system
Maximum cutting size20mm 
Dimensions(cm)21x8x4.3This seems quite chunky.  There is an overall feeling of a fairly big unit
Weight (g)272 
LockingSide mounted – turn to lock 
Additional FeaturesRoll handle for comfort and ergonomics Replaceable blades 

The Powergear L secateurs are Fiskar’s professional offering. You can also get the Fiskars P92 for a bit less money. We have chosen to look at the pro offering as it is a better comparison to the other shredders in this review.

One of the things we like about the Fiskars is that they offer maintenance packs such as replacement blades and blade sharpening kits. They may be a bit expensive but it does show a commitment to customer service.

Overall customer usage experience is excellent. There are a few complaints about these secateurs breaking in use. We think this is likely to be when trying to engage the powergear system to cut larger branches. We are not sure why Fiskars are using Powergear on bypass cutters.

Fiskars Powergear L

Sale
Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears with Roll Handle for fresh branches and twigs, Non-stick coated, High-quality steel blades, Length: 22 cm, Black/Orange, PowerGear X, PX94, 1023628
1,226 Reviews
Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears with Roll Handle for fresh branches and twigs, Non-stick coated, High-quality steel blades, Length: 22 cm, Black/Orange, PowerGear X, PX94, 1023628
  • Pruning shears with rotating handle for green and soft wood, For branches, twigs, roses and ornamental plants up to 2.6 cm in diameter, For right-handed users, For medium/large sized hands
  • Easy to use thanks to EaseCut technology, Ergonomic handles for natural hand movement, Lightweight, and weatherproof design thanks to fiberglass reinforced plastic Fibre Comp
  • High-quality workmanship: work effortlessly thanks to cutting performance 3 times higher than pruner without anti-shock handle, Smooth and clean cutting thanks to the non-stick coating on the upper blade
  • Long life product, High-quality steel blades, Easy sharpening and replacement of the cutting blade, Diamond file sold separately in maintenance kit, Finnish design

Davoan Pro

Davoan Pro

FeatureDavoan ProComments
Cutter typeBypass 
Cutter mechanismDirect 
Maximum cutting sizen/k 
Dimensions(cm)21.5x9x54Like the Fiskars, this seems quite chunky.  There is an overall feeling of a fairly big unit
Weight (g)331Heavy
LockingSide mounted – turn to lock 
Additional FeaturesRoll handle for comfort and ergonomics Adjustable cut width Finger protection 

Davoan is a make we are only just getting to know and like. In fact, we made the Davaon Pro Ratchet Telescopic Anvil Lopper our pick of the tree loppers.

There is not much wrong with their secateurs either. For my tastes, the Davoan Pros are just a bit too big and heavy for everyday use.

Which is the Best Secateur – Conclusion

From out earlier comments, you are not going to be surprised that our choice of best Secateur for 2020 will be a bypass model.

Given that the aim of bypass cutters is to provide the neatest, cleanest, most plant friendly cut, you are probably not going to be too surprised that we are not going to be looking at a powergear model or ones with a very wide cut.

With all that taken into account:

The Garden Shredder Review Secateur of the year 2020 is:

FELCO Model 8

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)

They might be more expensive than the other secateurs in this review, but they will last you a lifetime.

FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
2,768 Reviews
FELCO Model 8 Secateurs (Large)
  • Forged Aluminium ergonomic alloy handles
  • Manually adjustable centre-nut for aligning play between angled steel cutting and screw mounted anvil blades
  • Wire cutting notch
  • Cushion and shock absorber to protect the hand and wrist

Last update on 2020-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API