Best hand saw: 6 brilliant buys for pruning shrubs and trees

Looking for the best hand saw to keep trees and shrubs in shape and healthy? They’re right here

Best hand saw
(Image credit: Future)

Having the best hand saw for your garden will enable you to prune both trees and shrubs. It will help you tackle overgrowth, and remove diseased or dead branches, without unnecessary effort for a great-looking garden that’s not harder to keep up with than it should be.

The best hand saw will do the jobs that are beyond secateurs and loppers but before you need power tools for the work, so it’s an essential part of a garden toolkit for many of us. To help you pick, our selection includes tools to meet different pruning and cutting requirements, and includes both manual and electric models.

Just scroll down for the top hand saws, and if you're after something for bigger gardening jobs, check out our best hedge trimmer guide for more top buys to keep your plot looking lovely.

The best hand saw 2020

Flora Guard hand saw

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Flora Guard Folding Hand Saw

Best all-round hand saw: comfortable to hold and with a high strength blade, this saw will help you keep the garden neat

Specifications
Best for: Small and bigger branch trimming
Materials: High carbon steel blade
Dimensions: H2.03 x W7.39 x D26.92cm
Reasons to buy
+Triple cut blades+Non-slip grip+Foldable
Reasons to avoid
-Not for the thickest branches

Keep shrubs in shape and trim a range of tree branches with this nifty folding design, which has a 19.56cm blade.

Sharp blade

The triple blades of this design and anti-rust finish will keep cutting easy and effective.

Good grip

The ergonomic handle will ensure long pruning sessions don’t cause discomfort. It’s a non-slip design to make work safer. 

Lock in

The blade locks into position to avoid collapse while you’re cutting as well as when it’s folded away.

Wilkinson hand saw for pruning

(Image credit: Robert Dyas)

2. Wilkinson Sword Bow Saw

Best hand saw for tree pruning: strong but lightweight, this saw will deal with larger garden jobs

Specifications
Best for: Tree trimming and firewood
Materials: Steel blade
Dimensions: H2.5 x W21.5 x D62cm
Reasons to buy
+Blade guard for safe storage+Lightweight+Easy to clean blade
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll likely need a smaller hand saw, too

If you have tree branches to cut in your plot, the 60cm blade of this saw will help you work quickly and easily.

Good teeth

The teeth of this design are extra hardened for durability, and will make light work of  overgrown branches.

Less fatigue

The saw isn’t heavy thanks to the tubular steel of the design, which means you can keep on going even on bigger jobs – your muscles won’t tire as they would with a heavy design.

Safe storage

A plastic guard for the blade keeps it covered when you’re not using it so sharp edges aren’t exposed.

Draper hand saw from Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Draper Expert Soft Grip Pruning Saw

Best hand saw for keen gardeners: sized for bigger branches and easy to position, this curved saw is a top choice

Specifications
Best for: Tough jobs
Materials: Steel blade
Dimensions: H11.5 x W21.4 x D105.4cm
Reasons to buy
+Large and small teeth+Curved blade+Soft-grip handle
Reasons to avoid
-Too sizeable for smaller pruning jobs

Tackle big branches and some tree trunks with this value for money design.

Tight spots

You might struggle to get a bow saw into some spaces, and that’s where this saw comes into its own. It’ll fit, and it will cut sizeable diameters.

Speed up

The blade has large and small teeth. The reason? The small teeth will start the cut and the larger ones will cut wet wood fast. 

Easy work

For maximum comfort in use, the handle of this saw has an ergonomic design, and it’s soft grip. It weighs just 0.5kg so it won’t cause you fatigue in use either.  

Spear & Jackson Retractable Pruning Saw

(Image credit: Argos)

4. Spear & Jackson Retractable Pruning Saw

Best foldable hand saw: this smart saw will get through the pruning and store tidily away

Specifications
Best for: Space efficiency
Materials: Carbon steel blade
Dimensions: H3.5 x W5.5 X D24.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Locking blade+Precision ground teeth+10 year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for dead wood

Keep up with the pruning with this hand saw, which is designed for cutting living wood.

In trim

You’ll be able to deal with branches up to around 5cm in diameter with the 15cm blade of this design. The blade is made from carbon steel, and the teeth are hardened and tempered for strength.

Carry on

Clip this pruning saw to your belt so you don’t lose track of it as you move round your garden. Once you’re finished, the blade can be stored inside the handle.

Feather weight

At just 0.12kg this saw won’t cause muscle fatigue. It’ll feel comfortable when you’re using it, too.

Bosch Keo Electric Cordless Li-ion Garden Saw

(Image credit: B&Q)

5. Bosch Keo Electric Cordless Li-ion Garden Saw

Best electric hand saw: get a little help from this electric design, which is cordless for convenience

Specifications
Best for: Reducing effort
Materials: Metal and plastic
Dimensions: Not stated
Reasons to buy
+Electric+Cordless+Two year guarantee+Safety lock+Rust resistant
Reasons to avoid
-A costlier option

Like the idea of cutting branches without the effort? This cordless garden saw will make your life easier.

Size up

OK, you will have to splash out more than if you opt for a manual hand saw, but as it cuts branches up to 8cm in diameter, you might count this version as well worth the extra outlay.

Hold steady

The detachable A-Grip can be used to steady branches so you can make single-handed cuts.

Keep on

The battery takes three and half hours to fully charge. Once it’s there you’ll be able to make from 30 to 190 cuts per charge.

GRÜNTEK Barracuda Pruning Saw

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. GRÜNTEK Barracuda Pruning Saw

Best hand saw for comfortable use: a curved handle designed for secure grip and sharp teeth means cutting jobs aren’t a stuggle

Specifications
Best for: Efficient work
Materials: Carbon steel blade
Dimensions : H2.5 x W13 x D52cm
Reasons to buy
+Light+Ideal for left and right handers+Protective sleeve+Soft-touch handle
Reasons to avoid
-Won’t cut very large branches 

This green and yellow hand saw is designed to make cutting less of an effort, and has a 30cm blade.

Cut through

The blade of this saw is made with high carbon steel with seven teeth per inch. They have three cutting edges to make work speedier and promise to avoid clogging.

Handle comfort

With a curved handle and a soft-touch grip, the saw is easy to hold and it’s made to avoid slips while you’re working. 

On board

There’s a protective sleeve and a belt loop so you can carry this model safely and easily around the garden and up ladders.

How to choose the best hand saw

The best hand saw for your garden work will depend on what you need to prune, and if you have larger trees and shrubs to work on as well as branches with smaller diameters, you’ll likely need more than one to complete all your tasks.

Types of hand saw

For pruning trees and large shrubs, consider a bow saw. One of these will cut on both the push and the pull stroke, and the handle allows a choice of grip positions. You can also use it to cut fallen branches and firewood.

A pruning saw is ideal for smaller branches, and you can fit it into areas where a larger saw wouldn’t go.   

Straight or curved blade?

You can pick hand saws with straight or curved blades. A straight blade is easier to use when you’re sawing in an area that’s level with the top half of your body. For reaching upwards or downwards from here, a curved blade will suit better. 

Do you want a foldable hand saw?

Opt for a folding design for easy storage and carrying around the garden, but one of these won’t be the top choice for bigger branches.

Electric or manual?

You can keep up with a small garden and a light pruning schedule with a manual design, but if you have a large plot, or lots of shrubs and trees, an electric saw can help you manage the workload.

Handle design

Do look for an easy-grip and ergonomically designed handle for comfortable and safe working. 

Safety features

Hand saws are – of course – sharp, so you might want to buy a design with a locking mechanism and/or safety sheath for added protection.

More garden tools advice: