Best secateurs: 8 top buys for your autumn gardening jobs

Don't know where to start with choosing the best secateurs? We've rounded up the best designs to help you get on top of seasonal pruning

Best secateurs
(Image credit: Future)

The best secateurs are an essential if you want to keep your garden looking its finest. And this time of year is in fact the perfect time to get pruning everything back ready for it to be looking glorious again come spring.  So whether you’re looking for a tool to tame your houseplants or need something up to the job of pruning the hedges we’ve selected the best secateurs to help you get some jobs ticked off your autumn gardening checklist. 

In our round up you will find a wide range of the best secateurs, and details of everything from the weight of the secateurs to their cutting capacity, so you can ensure you pick the right tool for the job. And if you're left handed, don't worry as we've got you covered too. 

Need something more heavy duty to tackle those bigger garden trimming tasks? You'll want the best hedge trimmer, so head over to our guide to find your perfect pick. 

The best secateurs for every gardening task

FISKARS POWERGEAR X BYPASS GARDEN SHEARS WITH ROLL HANDLE

(Image credit: Fiskars)

1. Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears with Roll Handle

Best for reducing hand strain: a great all rounder

Specifications
Best for: Wood stems
Type: Bypass
Weight: 240g
Cutting capacity: 20mm
Reasons to buy
+Rotating handle distributes the force to reduce strain on the hand+Replacement blades and springs are available+Exerts three times the force you put in
Reasons to avoid
-Best suited for small or medium sized hands-Slightly smaller cutting capacity

It is the rolling handle that makes these Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears stand out from the crowd. With it's roll-handle design, these secateurs distribute the cutting force across all fingers rather than straining first three – perfect if you have a lot of pruning to accomplish or are prone to sore hands. Though small in size and light in weight (under 250g), the roll-design also amplifies your cutting effort, providing three times more force than you put in meaning no performance ability is lost – ideal for those woody stems and roses.

Felco No.2 secateurs

(Image credit: Felco)

2. Felco No. 2

Best long-lasting design: efficient and a good all-rounder for professionals and hobbyists alike

Specifications
Best for: Wood stems
Type: Anvil
Weight: 240g
Capacity: 25mm
Reasons to buy
+Wire cutting notch is a useful addition+Great for large hands+Extremely hard wearing and will last a lifetime if cared for properly
Reasons to avoid
-High price tag

There is a reason why the iconic postbox-red secateurs are found in so many gardens up and down the country. Though there are now nearly 14 different varieties of Felco standard secateurs, the original No. 2 design is still the most popular due to their efficiency and power. 

With a powerful and responsive spring and finely sharpened blades, cutting through woody stems is a breeze. Promising only the best, each Felco secateur undergoes more than 100 quality control processes before leaving the manufacturer and each secateur has a lifetime guarantee with all parts being replaceable. You can also purchase Felco's diamond sharpening stone to keep the blades in top condition.

BURGON & BALL LEFT-HANDED BYPASS SECATEURS

(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

3. Burgon & Ball Left-handed Bypass Secateurs - RHS Endorsed

Best for left-handers: make sure you've got optimum cutting comfort

Specifications
Best for: Soft stems
Type: Anvil
Weight: 220g
Cutting capacity: 25mm
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for left-handed gardeners+RHS endorsed+Lightweight+10 year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for right-handed gardeners-Sometimes struggles with tougher wood

As with scissors, the majority of secateurs are designed for right-handed people, making it more difficult for left-handed people to find their perfect match. However, Burgon & Ball’s Left-handed Bypass Secateurs make it easy and affordable for left-handed gardeners to have maximum comfort while pruning their hedges. Featuring a high carbon steel blade for lasting sharpness and a rubber coated handle for comfort, they are certain to get you on your way to a neater garden.

FLORABRITE YELLOW BYPASS SECATEURS

(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

4. FloraBrite Yellow Bypass Secateurs

Best brightly coloured secateurs: perfect for people who always lose their tools

Specifications
Best for: People who loose their tools
Type: Bypass
Cutting capacity : 2.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Bright colour means they’re easy to spot+Glows under torchlight+RHS endorsed+10 year guarantee+Suits medium to large hands
Reasons to avoid
-Sometimes struggles with tougher wood

You won’t be able to miss the fluorescent yellow glow of the FloraBrite secateurs amongst the grass, soil or shrubs and that’s the point! Designed to be easy to find amongst the garden debris, they are perfect for the gardener who is always loosing their tools. Plus they reflect under torchlight, making them a breeze to find day or night. 

Available in yellow or pink, they are not just secateurs with novelty colour, but feature a high carbon steel blade for precise cutting and a rubber cushion to prevent jarring over repeated use. The FloraBrite range also features matching trowels, forks and gloves to complete the set.

SOPHIE CONRAN PRECISION SECATEURS

(Image credit: Sophie Conran)

5. Sophie Conran Precision secateurs

Best for houseplants and floristry: keep indoor plants in order with these compact secateurs

Specifications
Best for: Floristry and houseplants
Type: Scissors
Reasons to buy
+5-year guarantee+Extremely sharp and precise+Perfect for cut flowers+Ideal for gifting
Reasons to avoid
-Not suited to wood pruning or more rigorous gardening

If you are growing flowers for cutting, or are a fan of flower arranging, then you'll know it's all about precision. The sharp yet thin, scissor-like blades on the Sophie Conran Precision secateurs mean it is easy to isolate individual stems and remove with a clean cut that will help your cut flowers last  longer. 

It’s long, precise blades also make it ideal for keeping on top of houseplants, letting you take exact cuttings for propagation without damaging the rest of the plant. Made from stainless steel, they won’t rust and will stay looking elegant, while the brass lock ensures they remain safe when not in use. The perfect gift for florists and houseplant lovers, it comes in a mint green presentation box.

KENT & STOWE 2 IN 1 RATCHET ANVIL SECATEURS

(Image credit: Kent & Stowe)

6. Kent & Stowe 2 in 1 Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

The best two-in-one secateur: works well on small and thick branches

Specifications
Best for: Soft stems
Type: Ratchet Anvil
Weight: 350g
Cutting capacity: 18mm-22mm
Reasons to buy
+Has both anvil and ratchet functions+Extremely comfortable to handle and ergonomic+An excellent all-rounder
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly heavier

Though it is designed for gardeners who may suffer from arthritis or who have a slightly weaker grip, the Kent & Stowe 2 in 1 Ratchet Anvil Secateurs is a delight to use regardless of ability. It features both a ratchet action, which allows you to make four short cuts – perfect for pruning thicker branches – and a single cut anvil design for efficiency in pruning smaller branches. It also features an oil sponge to keep the blades clean.

Gardena secateurs

(Image credit: Gardena)

7. GARDENA Garden Secateurs

The best secateurs for smaller hands: lightweight and easy to handle

Specifications
Best for: Small hands
Type: Anvil or bypass
Weight: 190g
Cutting capacity: 18mm-25mm
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of size options, including small +Lightweight+Ergonomically shaped handles for comfort
Reasons to avoid
-Struggles to get a clean cut on thicker branches

If you are struggling to find the best secateurs to fit your small hands then these Gardena ones are perfect. They come in all sizes, but pick the small or the small-medium and they should be a great fit. They are really lightweight too so again ideal for small hands. The non-stick-coated precision blades and outstanding cutting geometry result in clean cuts but are still gentle on the plant. Although they might not be able to get through super thick branches they are ideal for giving the garden a neaten up. 

Davaon secatuers

(Image credit: Davaon)

8. Davaon Pro Bypass Secateurs

The best secateurs for comfort and easy use: rotating style means there's less strain on your wrists

Specifications
Best for: Easy of use
Type: Bypass
Weight: 335g
Cutting capacity: 18mm-20mm
Reasons to buy
+Rotating handle+Finger protection gaurd+Really sharp blades
Reasons to avoid
-No so great for smaller hands

If you are after the best secateurs for ultimate comfort, these are the ones for you. They rotate as you work, so no more achy wrists after an afternoon of culling your summer flowers and this also makes it easier to squeeze with minimal effort. The handle is soft to avoid blisters, plus there is a finger guard so you can get right into hedges without your fingers getting scratched. 

The blades are really strong and super sharp, they will cut through tough branches no problem and are really precise too, leaving a super clean cut. A great price too for such high quality secateurs. 

How to buy the best secateurs 

Cutting diameter - this is the measurement of the thickest branch the secateurs claim to cut, the higher the number, the thicker the branch.

Weight - there is a balance between the secateurs being light enough to use all day without causing fatigue and heavy enough to cut through thick stems and wood - look for something between 190 and 250 grams.

Handle coating - there is a whole host of different materials used for handles from ergonomic plastic and memory foam to tactile rubber or silicone. Some, usually metal designs, don’t feature a coating and can be cold to handle if used in the autumn and winter, they also may become uncomfortable after prolonged use.

Locks - essential for secateurs to ensure safety and one usually comes as standard, however some models have two safety locks, with the second limiting how far the blades can open and providing extra security.

Replaceable parts - though secateurs with these are usually the more expensive models it does drastically improve the life of your secateur making it better value for money in the long haul. Replacing parts is also a much more environmentally friendly option.

What are the different type of secateurs?

Bypass secateurs – have two sharpened blades that work together like a pair of scissors. Extremely versatile, they can easily get into small, awkward cutting places that anvil secateurs cannot. 

Anvil secateurs – have a sharp blade that cuts onto a flat metal block, similar to a knife and chopping board. This allows for precision and strength, making it ideal for cutting old wood and harder stems. 

Ratchet secateurs – some secateurs also have a ratchet function which enables you to make several small cuts at the same point.

How to keep your secateurs in top shape

  • Wipe with an oiled cloth after each use to keep clean and lubricated.
  • Don’t cut branches that are bigger than the recommended size for your secateur.
  • Sharpen with a small oil stone when necessary, it will make the secateurs easier to use and will prevent them from damaging the plant.
  • Store in a dry location to prevent rust and degradation. Storing indoors, in a tool box or in a garden shed are ideal places.
  • If available, replace parts when necessary, this not only keeps your secateurs working but also extends their life and your value for money.
  • Some companies like Felco offer servicing for your secateurs to keep them in best working condition – make the most of it and your secateurs will last decades.

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