7 best secateurs: top buys to help you keep your garden tidy

We've chosen the best secateurs to help you tackle all of your gardening jobs both indoors and out, whatever your budget

Included in this guide:

Best secateurs
(Image credit: Future)

Every gardener should have a set of the best secateurs. From trimming your houseplants to cutting back an overgrown plot, a hand-held pruner is a must-have in every gardening kit.

With the vast amount of pruners available, the tendency to be drawn in by a familiar brand or a stylish handle is strong, but it's important to know that not all secateurs are made equal. That's why doing a bit of research to find the very best secateurs for your needs is all the more essential.

Thankfully, we've done all the legwork for you by creating a list of the seven best secateurs on the market, all with unique qualities that are bound to suit you to a T.

Simply scroll down to discover our pick of the best secateurs - to make it easier for you, we've listed detailed information on each one, as well as a neat tally of the pros and cons. We've even included a list of the best deals for each set on the net right now.

If, however, you're looking for something a little more heavy duty to tackle those bigger garden cutting jobs, check out our handy round-up of the best hedge trimmers

Best secateurs - our pick of the top pruners available

The best secateurs : Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears with Roll Handle

(Image credit: Fiskars)

1. Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears

The best all-rounder set of secateurs

Specifications
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 to buy+Exerts three times the force you put in
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly smaller cutting capacity

Want maximum performance for minimum effort? These unassuming pruners feature a clever rolling handle that distributes the cutting force across all five of your fingers, rather than just straining first three - perfect if you have a lot of pruning to accomplish or are prone to straining.

Though small in size and light in weight, the rolling design also amplifies your cutting effort to provide three times more force than you put in – ideal for those woody stems and roses.

And after many years of use, when sharpening no longer does the trick and the blade becomes too blunt, it's easily replaced using an Allen key and Phillips head screwdriver to disassemble and replace the blade.

The best secateurs : Gardena Garden Secateurs

(Image credit: Gardena)

2. Gardena Garden Secateurs

The best secateurs for small hands

Specifications
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

While these secateurs are available in a wide range of sizes, it's the small or small-medium models that prove a perfect fit for people with equally small grips.

Best suited to cutting fresh stems and young shoots - so they may not be able to get through thicker, woody branches - they're ideal for giving the garden a quick tidy. 

Lightweight, comfortable to use and guaranteed for up to 25 years, the non-stick coated precision blades and outstanding cutting geometry result in crisp clean cuts that are still gentle on the plant. 

The best secateurs : Burgon & Ball Left-handed Bypass Secateurs

(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

3. Burgon & Ball Left-handed Bypass Secateurs

The best secateurs if you are left handed

Specifications
Type: Anvil
Weight: 220g
Cutting capacity: 25mm
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for left-handed gardeners+Lightweight+10-year guarantee+Endorsed by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society)
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for right-handed gardeners-Can struggle with tougher wood

Just like a pair of scissors, most secateurs are designed for right-handed people, making it increasingly difficult for the left-handed population to find their perfect match. 

However, these Left-handed Bypass Secateurs make it easy for sinistral gardeners to have maximum comfort while pruning their plants and hedges. 

Featuring a high carbon steel blade for lasting sharpness and a bright orange coloured, rubber-coated handle for comfort, these secateurs are guaranteed to help you help you on your way to a neater garden.

The best secateurs : FloraBrite Yellow Bypass Secateurs

(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

4. FloraBrite Yellow Bypass Secateurs

The impossible to lose secateurs

Specifications
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
Reasons to avoid
-Tends to struggle with tougher wood

If you tend to misplace your pruners regularly, these FloraBrite yellow secateurs are for you. Named after their vivid coloured handles, they're super easy to spot when left hidden in the grass, soil or shrubs.

Don't let the novelty colour put you off though - these secateurs boast a high carbon steel blade for precise cutting and a rubber cushion to prevent jarring with over repeated use. 

Also available in a neon pink shade, they're part of a wider range of garden tools that include matching trowels, forks and gloves. They're designed to be seen at all times, whether hidden in garden debris, or by torchlight, as their handles are conveniently reflective, too. 

The best secateurs : Sophie Conran Precision secateurs

(Image credit: Sophie Conran)

5. Sophie Conran Precision secateurs

The best secateurs for houseplants

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

Perfect for houseplant proud owners, the sharp, yet thin blades on the super stylish Sophie Conran-designed secateurs make it easy to isolate individual stems and remove with a clean cut.

They're the ideal secateurs to keep indoors for tending to your houseplants - where having a colourful handle isn't so much of a concern. What's more, their long, scissor-like blades are perfectly designed to let you take exact cuttings for propagation, without damaging the rest of the plant. 

Made from stainless steel, they won’t rust, while the brass lock ensures they remain safe when not in use. They also make a great gift for florists and houseplant lovers, since they come in a super-stylish presentation box.

The best secateurs : Kent & Stowe 2 in 1 Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

(Image credit: Kent & Stowe)

6. Kent & Stowe 2 in 1 Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

The best secateurs for those with a weak grip

Specifications
Type: Ratchet Anvil
Weight: 350g
Cutting capacity: 18mm-22mm
Reasons to buy
+Features both anvil and ratchet functions+Extremely comfortable to use and ergonomic+An excellent all-rounder
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly heavier than other secateurs

People with weaker grips or those that suffer from arthritis can find pruning to be a painful and tricky task. 

As anvil cuts are generally more powerful than standard bypass cuts, this makes these powerful Ratchet Anvil Secateurs the perfect pick for gardeners with impaired grips.

Just the thing for pruning the majority of plants, these secateurs are a delight to use regardless of ability. The minimum of effort is required to use them, since the super sharp blades will cut through branches of hard wood like butter.

Featuring the best of both worlds - a single cut anvil design for pruning smaller branches, together with a handy ratchet action (which allows you to make four short cuts), they're perfect for trimming back thicker branches. 

The set also comes with an oil sponge to keep the blades clean after use, prolonging their life.

The best secateurs : Felco No.2 secateurs

(Image credit: Felco)

7. Felco No. 2 secateurs

The best secateurs to last a lifetime

Specifications
Type: Anvil
Weight: 240g
Capacity: 25mm
Reasons to buy
+Great for large hands+Will last a lifetime if cared for properly+Wire cutting notch is a useful addition
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than most

Designed over 70 years ago, the original Felco No. 2 model is still the most popular in the brand's range due to its efficiency and power. 

Best suited to right-handed users with a medium to large grip, the strong and responsive spring and finely sharpened blades will cut through woody stems quickly and easily.

And the best bit? You buy these and you buy them for life. Each pair of Felco secateurs has a lifetime guarantee, with all parts being replaceable. You can also purchase the company's diamond sharpening stone to keep the blades in top condition.

What are the best secateurs?

To recap, we're of the opinion that the Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears are the best you can buy for comfort, performance and price reasons. 

If however, you're left-handed, we'd recommend buying the RHS-endorsed Burgon & Ball Left-handed Bypass Secateurs. Their precise design will eliminate any difficulty you would normally have with a standard right-handed set.

But if you're looking for some secateurs simply to trim your houseplants back or to snip the stems of a regular flower delivery, then you can't go wrong with the super-stylish Sophie Conran Precision secateurs.

Click to shop the Fiskars PowerGear X Bypass Garden Shears.
Click to shop the Burgon & Ball Left-handed Bypass Secateurs.
Click to shop the Sophie Conran Precision secateurs.

How to buy the best secateurs 

The best secateurs : Gardena secateurs cutting a rose

(Image credit: Gardena)

Cutting diameter 

Namely, the measurement of the thickest stem or branch the secateurs claim to cut - with the higher the number, the thicker the branch. Forcing a secateurs to cut a branch thicker than its been designed to tackle may lead irreparable damage.

Weight 

You need to find the balance between the secateurs being light enough to use all day without causing fatigue and heavy enough to cut through thick stems and wood. A design that weighs somewhere between 190 and 250 grams is ideal.

Handle coating 

Secateur handles are made from a whole host of different materials, from ergonomic plastic and memory foam, to tactile rubber and silicone. Metal designs that don't feature a coating tend to be cold to handle if used outdoors in inclement weather and the hard, unforgiving surface can become quite uncomfortable after prolonged use. 

A colourful handle is a bonus, too - secateurs are easily lost if left in flower beds or hedges, so if buying a set for use outdoors, avoid the more-muted designs and go for ones decorated in bolder shades to make them easy to find when hidden in the undergrowth.

Locks 

These usually come as standard and are essential to ensure safety when not in use. Some models have two safety locks, one to keep closed when stored away, the second limiting how far the blades can open to provide extra security.

Replaceable parts 

Usually available on the more expensive models, the ability to buy replacement parts drastically improves the life of your secateurs, which is better value for money in the long run. Replacing parts instead of sending a broken set to landfill is also a much more environmentally friendly option, too.

Types of secateurs - get to know what you need

The best secateurs : cutting a flower stem with Sophie Conran secateurs

(Image credit: Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball)

There are three main types of secateurs on the market - read on to discover the different types to ensure you buy the one best suited to your needs

Bypass secateurs 

The most common of secateurs, these have two sharpened blades that work together, much like a pair of scissors. Extremely versatile, they can easily get into awkward cutting places that the larger anvil secateurs can't reach.

Anvil secateurs

These pruners have a sharp blade that cuts onto a flat metal block, similar to that of a knife on a chopping board. This allows for precision and strength, making them the perfect choice for cutting tougher materials, like old wood and harder stems. 

Ratchet secateurs

Some bypass and anvil secateurs also have additional ratchet function, which allows you to make several small cuts at the same point. This is in addition to the single cutting action - perfect for thicker branches.

How do you clean and keep secateurs?

  • Never cut branches that are bigger than the recommended size for your secateur.
  • Always wipe with an oiled cloth after each use to keep clean and lubricated.
  • Sharpen with a small oil stone when required - this will make the secateurs easier to use and will prevent them from damaging the plant.
  • Store them in a dry location to prevent rust and degradation. Store them indoors - a tool box or in a garden shed are ideal spots.
  • Wherever possible, replace parts when required. 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.