Find out about Thrive
Thrive logo

Secateurs

Secateurs are sometimes called hand pruners or pruning shears. When choosing secateurs, there are a number of things to keep in mind:

  • Quality manufacturers produce secateurs in a range of sizes – it’s important to choose a model that is the right size for your hand. Using a pair of secateurs that are too big will cause strain.
  • It is important that you can operate the safety catch easily, so check the position of the catch and see how easy it is for you to move it. This is particularly important if you have reduced strength or flexibility in your hand and if you are left handed.
  • Left handed secateurs are available but you might find that standard secateurs which have the safety catch on top, rather than on the side, are just as good as you will be able to operate the catch with your thumb.
  • Variable size secateurs are a good option if a number of people use one pair of secateurs – these can be adjusted as needed to comfortably fit any user's hand and the top safety catch makes them suitable for use left or right handed.

There are also two types of blade:

Anvil & Bypass secateurs  
Bypass (left) & anvil (right) secateurs

Bypass secateurs 

Have two blades and work like a pair of scissors with the blades passing each other to make the cut. They are suitable for cutting delicate stems as the action is less likely to cause bruising to the stem.

Anvil secateurs 

Have one blade which closes on to a flat surface. They are better for cutting hard woody stems as the blade is less likely to stick to the stem as it cuts.


Pruning can also be made easier by choosing:

Ratchet action secateurs

Ratchet action secateurs

These secateurs require less force to use because the ratchet mechanism allows you to make a cut by squeezing and releasing the handles a number of times until you are through the stem. Each time you squeeze and release the handle, the mechanism clicks and holds the blades in place so you make gradual progress rather than having to cut in one go. Available only with anvil blades.

Power lever and geared secateurs

Power lever and geared secateurs

These models also feature a mechanical action that makes cutting through stems easier. They can be easier to use than ratchet secateurs, as you don’t have to get used to the ratchet mechanism, and they are available with anvil or bypass blades.

cut and grip secateurs

Cut and hold secateurs

These secateurs hold on to the stem that you have cut so it doesn’t fall to the ground. This means you don’t have to bend and pick up the cuttings.



Cut and hold secateurs

Cut and hold secateurs

These top quality steel secateurs with anvil blades have plastic handles and a mechanism that holds on to the stem that has been cut off.

Find out more about cut and hold secateurs

Wolf Garten comfort secateurs

Comfort secateurs

This range is particularly good as it offers both anvil and bypass blades in three different sizes of secateur, so you can choose a model to exactly suit your hand.

Find out more about comfort secateurs

Battery powered pruners

Battery powered pruners

Although the handle of these pruners holds a battery and a motor, they are still reasonably light and very easy to use. Great for deadheading and if you use one hand or have a weak grip.

Find out more about battery powered pruners

Heavy duty plastic ratchet secateurs

Heavy duty plastic ratchet secateurs

This tool is sturdily made, which makes it slightly larger and heavier but still lightweight compared to most secateurs. The blade is non-stick, can be easily sharpened with a diamond whetstone and will cut stems up to 20mm.

Find out more about heavy duty plastic ratchet secateurs

Heavy duty metal ratchet secateurs with finger loop

Heavy duty metal ratchet secateurs with finger loop

This tool is sturdily made, which makes it slightly larger and heavier but still lightweight compared to most secateurs. The blade is non-stick, can be easily sharpened with a diamond whetstone and will cut stems up to 20mm.

Find out more about heavy duty metal ratchet secateurs with finger loop

Left-handed secateurs

Left-handed secateurs

These are good quality bypass secateurs have a safety catch on the right side for left handed users. The cushioned grips are comfortable and non-slip.

Find out more about left-handed secateurs

Lightweight plastic ratchet secateurs

Lightweight plastic ratchet secateurs

This type of tool has been produced for many years and is very good value for money. It is sold by many different companies but the quality may vary, so choose a well-known brand if you can.

Find out more about lightweight plastic ratchet secateurs

Lightweight plastic power lever secateurs

This small high-tech and good quality tool offers a simple alternative to a ratchet secateur. It is easier to use and is more robust, but gives a similar mechanical advantage on smaller stems.

Find out more about lightweight plastic power lever secateurs

Medium size plastic power gear secateurs

Medium size plastic power gear secateurs

This tool is an alternative to a ratchet secateur. It is easier to use and more robust, but gives a similar mechanical advantage.

Find out more about medium size plastic power gear secateurs

Rotating handle secateurs

Rotating handle secateurs

The rotating handle on this top quality secateur is designed to reduce strain if you have a lot of cutting to do. They are primarily designed for use by full time professional gardeners.

Find out more about rotating handle secateurs

Secateurs with finger loop

Secateurs with finger loop

If you have problems gripping hand tools then these sturdy little secateurs may be the answer. They are made from strong plastic and have a soft grip on the top handle and a finger loop on the bottom.

Find out more about secateurs with finger loop

Variable size secateurs

Variable size secateurs

Variable size secateurs are adjustable to suit different hand sizes. They are a good option if a number of people use one pair of secateurs –as they can be adjusted as needed to comfortably fit any user’s hand and the top safety catch makes them suitable for use left or right handed.

Find out more about variable size secateurs