Best Secateurs UK Reviews and Full Buying Guide

Thanks for taking your time to read our article on the best secateurs, that are currently available to buy in the United Kingdom. We think it is worth pointing out at the beginning of this article, that not every home owner will need to own a set of secateurs.

You only need these if you need to do a lot of pruning. Pruning is only required if you need to chop through tough stems, trim various shrubs or to remove dead heads from plants such as roses.

There is quite a wide range of secateurs on the market. The reason for that is that they are designed to tackle different pruning tasks. It is also worth noting that there are quite a lot of variations in the design, style and comfort of these tools.

One thing any gardener who has pruned will understand, is that there is noting worse than a dull, blunt set of secateurs, which are very frustrating to use.

In the remainder of this article, we will explain the different types of secateurs, what tasks they are used for. That should help you the reader, to find the best secateurs for your own specific needs.

If you don't have time to read this detailed article, you may simply want to know our recommendation. The best secateurs on the UK market right now are the GRÜNTEK Secateurs, Professional garden pruning shears. These sell really well and get very high buyer satisfaction ratings. They are bypass secateurs.


Different Types of Secateurs

There are two main types of secateurs which are:

  1. Bypass secateurs - passes two blades past each other and behave in a similar way to a pair of scissors. (These are the most popular choice)
  2. Anvil Secateurs - brings a blade straight down onto a blunter cutting surface

We also want to pint out that some secateurs (mainly the anvil type) make use of a ratchet mechanism. This ratchet helps gradually close the blades over the course of a couple of squeezes of the handles. This ratchet feature is particularly useful if you have small hands or don’t have the strength to squeeze them closed in one push. These are often referred to as ratchet secateurs.

We shall explain which pruning tasks  each type is used for just below.

Secateurs Pre Purchase Advice

Before spending a single penny of your hard earned cash, we would advise reading through the section below, as we have suggested the key features you should know about, and consider, before making your final purchase.

How much do secateurs cost?

These vary in price enormously. We have seen these available from as little as just £3. At the other end of the price pint, we have seen these as high as £80. There are a few reasons for these huge variations in price.

Firstly it will come down to the number of features such as ratchets, gears etc. Secondly it ultimately will come down to the quality of the cutting blades. After that the price will vary on the brand name, and the quality of the engineering that has gone into the manufacture of the product.

If you are someone who only needs to do a little pruning, or tends to lose things, then buy cheaper secateurs and just be aware that they will need to be replaced.

Which secateurs should you buy?

We would always recommend that you invest in a set of secateurs that will last you a lifetime. You will pay a little bit more initially, but get years of use from them. All high quality secateurs will have blades made from high carbon steel, and we would always recommend making sure that you buy those.

The better the quality and hardness of the steel, the longer the secateurs will last. Many gardeners prefer Japanese steel and many manufacturers use that as well.

The most popular type is the bypass type, and for most buyers they are what you should go for. Only buy anvil secateurs if you will be constantly dealing with thicker stems and branches.

What features should your secateurs have?

  • Hand comfort - We all have different sized hands, so make sure that the secateurs you purchase feel comfortable and well balanced in your hand. These do come in different sizes for that one reason
  • Grip - the grip is important and especially important if you are wearing gloves. Make sure that you can comfortably grip and squeeze the secateurs
  • Safety catch - this is a very important safety feature as it keeps them closed when not in use, and protects you from the sharp blade
  • Replacement blades and parts - this is often overlooked at the initial time of purchase. No matter how good your secateurs are, at some time the blade will need to be replaced. Good brands will always have replacement parts available in the UK.
  • Lost and found - It is quite easy to lose small hand held tools in a garden. In larger gardens this is actually a common problem. It is worth mentioning that bright coloured tools are easier to find. Many secateurs also come with a belt loop holster or a belt clip which can be very useful.
  • Left handed people - You will already know that most tools are designed for the majority of right handed people. Be careful when buying secateurs as these also fall into this problem. Some manufacturers do make secateurs for left handed people, whereas other manufacturers place the safety catch centrally so as the blades can be easily turned to be suitable for left handed people.

Top 5 Buyer Rated Bypass Secateurs

Just below we have shown our top 5 choices when it comes to buying "Bypass Secateurs." We base these choices on our detailed research. As part of that research, we check the many websites that sell these products. Buyers on those sites take the time to leave a buyer rating, and many also leave a review.

We collect those, analyse them and then summarise what those buyers have to say. That way, you can understand how real life buyers rated their secateurs after they had bought and used them.

Our Top Bypass Secateur Picks

Bypass secateurs are by far the most popular, and they have a cutting action exactly the same as a pair of scissors. There is a very sharp blade on one side, and this "passes" over a thicker blade to make a very precise cut. This type will allow you to cut twigs and branches that are similar in diameter to your little finger.

One strong advantage of this type is that they have a very sharp point, and that is very useful, especially when working with lots of congested stems in shrubs. The points are also very sharp for more intricate pruning.

#1

4.8/5

GRÜNTEK Secateurs Professional Garden Pruning Shears Falke

There are a lot of secateurs available on the UK market, but according to our research, these consistently got the highest ratings. These are professional Teflon coated bypass shears which are ideal for cutting fresh plant material and getting very precise cuts. The upper blade is Teflon coated, and the lower blade is made of of high-strength carbon steel and then chrome-plated. The handles are made from aluminium and have a PVC Coating that ensures a better grip. The shape of the secateurs has been designed so that strain is greatly reduced on the hands even after prolonged use.

#2

4.8/5

Okatsune 103 Bypass Secateurs

As you can see these are much more expensive. The reason for that is that the blades of this Japanese pruner (Sentei Basami) are uniquely forged from the finest IZUMO YASUGI steel, and have a very high Rockwell hardness. That makes the blades razor sharp. They come with a leather holster and belt loop. These are robust and also lightweight. It is worth noting that the blade has been ground in two angles, so it will also smoothly cut through wood, and will not unnecessarily damage the plant.

#3

4.6/5

gonicc 8" Professional Secateurs - Best Seller

These are the best selling bypass secateurs online and they have a drop forged body and handles. These are made from premium titanium steel and then highly polished. They also have non-slip handles and buyers say they are strong, lightweight, and very comfortable to use. They also have a sap groove design to help keep pruning shears from sticking by channeling off the sap. They can cut up to 3/4" diameter size tree branches.

#4

4.6/5

JEOutdoors ZEM Pruning Shears

These are pruning shears that are suitable for cutting stems and light branches up to 3/4″ diameter in size. The blades are made of high carbon alloy steel and have been treated with an antirust process. They also have a safety lock and spring loaded handles which are a unique imitation wood design. Buyers say that these are light and easy to use. These come with a replaceable spring. 

#5

4.5/5

GRÜNTEK Bypass Secateurs WOODPECKER

According to buyers these are comfortable bypass Secateurs that are 215 mm long. They have a Teflon coated 55 mm upper blade made from SK5 steel and have a non-stick coating. The lower blade is made from high-strength carbon steel that are chrome-plated. The handle is ergonomically shaped, which makes it ideal for professional and safe use. They have a recommended cutting diameter: up to 20 mm.

Top 5 Buyer Rated Anvil Secateurs

Just below we have shown our top 5 choices when it comes to buying "Anvil Secateurs." We base these choices on our detailed research. As part of that research, we check the many websites that sell these products. Buyers on those sites take the time to leave a buyer rating, and many also leave a review.

We collect those, analyse them and then summarise what those buyers have to say. That way, you can understand how real life buyers rated their secateurs after they had bought and used them.

Our Top Anvil Secateur Picks

Anvil secateurs have a double edged blade that pushes down on to a hardened base plate. These are a much better choice if you have larger woody type stems, where more pressure is needed to make the cut. The important things to remember here is to always cut at right angles to the stem, and always keep the blade as sharp as you can.

#1

4.7/5

Davaon Pro Switch 2 in 1 Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

The ratcheting mechanism increases the power by up to 5 times, so you don't have to do all the work - the pruners do it for you. That allows you to easily cut thick tree branches than regular secateurs. They also have a switch from ratchet to normal cutting for light pruning. They have heat treated and hardened SK5 carbon steel blades which are very strong, sharper and will last longer. They are also coated with non-stick Teflon that resists sap and other sticky materials. These have an aluminium body and the handles are comfortable and help reduce strain. They have a sliding lock and an oil sponge included to help keep clean and lubricated. These are perfect for anyone with carpal tunnel or arthritis. They are suitable for medium/large, right or left handed people.

#2

4.6/5

The Gardener's Friend Ratchet Anvil Style Shears

These are a great choice if you have a weak grip or hand pain from Arthritis or have other mobility problems but still love to garden. These use an effective ratchet mechanism that uses leverage to make cuts with a fraction of the effort of conventional pruners and secateurs. They are ideal for trimming flowers, shrubs and trees. They are suitable for cutting up to 1 inch thick branches. These are also a great choice for senior gardeners.

#3

3.5/5

Spear and Jackson 6758GS Razorsharp Geared Anvil Secateurs

These anvil action secateurs are ideal for use on thicker, dead or woody stems, and they have a geared action for easier cutting. They have a lightweight cast aluminium body, and the SK5 steel blade has been coated with PTFE for lasting sharpness, smooth cutting and resistance to rust. These can cut up to 15 mm thickness.

#4

3.5/5

Wilkinson Sword 1111168W Ratchet Anvil Pruner

These have a high strength nylon fibre construction and they make use of a 3 step ratchet mechanism, which goes a very long way to making cutting easier. These secateurs have a central catch which means that they can be used for left and right handed people. These have a 22mm cutting capacity.

#5

3.5/5

Spear and Jackson Razorsharp Ratchet Twist Anvil Secateur

These anvil secateurs have a ratchet action that helps prune in four short steps. These secateurs have high carbon steel blades that are PTFE coated. These have a lightweight cast aluminium body and a metal locking catch.

Top 5 Ratchet Secateurs

#1

4.5/5

Davaon Pro Switch 2 in 1 Ratchet Secateurs

The ratcheting mechanism increases the power by up to 5 times, so you don't have to do all the work - the pruners do it for you. That allows you to easily cut thick tree branches than regular secateurs. They also have a switch from ratchet to normal cutting for light pruning. They have heat treated and hardened SK5 carbon steel blades which are very strong, sharper and will last longer. They are also coated with non-stick Teflon that resists sap and other sticky materials. These have an aluminium body and the handles are comfortable and help reduce strain. They have a sliding lock and an oil sponge included to help keep clean and lubricated. These are perfect for anyone with carpal tunnel or arthritis. They are suitable for medium/large, right or left handed people.

#2

4.5/5

Jardin De France Secateur Pruner 10x Easier Cut

These secateurs are the perfect tool for those with arthritis, rheumatism, painful wrists and hands. They can cut up to 20 mm diameter. These are ratchet action secateurs, works like scissors and they come with a 1-year warranty. They have a Teflon coated carbon steel blade that protects against rust and corrosion, you can also the sharpen blade or get a replacement blade.

#3

4.6/5

The Gardener's Friend Ratchet Anvil Style Shears

These are a great choice if you have a weak grip or hand pain from Arthritis or have other mobility problems but still love to garden. These use an effective ratchet mechanism that uses leverage to make cuts with a fraction of the effort of conventional pruners and secateurs. They are ideal for trimming flowers, shrubs and trees. They are suitable for cutting up to 1 inch thick branches. These are also a great choice for senior gardeners.

#4

4.5/5

Spear and Jackson Razorsharp Ratchet Anvil Secateurs

The ratchet action means easy pruning in four short steps. These secateurs have high carbon steel blades and are also PTFE coated. They have a lightweight cast aluminium body with a metal locking catch.

#5

4.5/5

EasyKut GT452CAC Ratchet Secateurs

These are a good quality pair of ratchet secateurs with a non-stick coated blade that help reduce friction. They come with a ratchet action, safety lock and have a large knuckle guard. These have a cutting capacity up to 20mm.

Top 3 Secateur Sets

If you are unsure as to which secateurs you need, or if you know that you may need both types of secateurs, then buying a set of both may solve that problem. Quite a few manufacturers produce sets that include these different types of secateurs.

#1

4.7/5

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Secateurs Set

These were developed in conjunction with Kew's horticultural team, resulting in an officially licensed tool which is used and recommended by Kew gardens. This set contains bypass secateurs that use a scissor like cutting action best suited to living stems.  There is also anvil secateurs that are ideal for use on thicker/dead material. Both secateurs have a choice of two cutting widths with the smaller setting ideal for those with smaller hands. They have high carbon steel blades for strength and lasting sharpness The blades are also PTFE coated. They come with a 10 years guarantee.

#2

4.7/5

Davaon Pro Geared Secateurs Set in Box

You get both bypass and anvil secateurs that make this set ideal for using on live or dead and dried out woody stems, branches, plants and hedges. The bypass has a garden scissor like action and for using on live stems. The anvil secateurs grip the branches for accurate cutting and perfect for woody stems and branches. Both pruners have heat treated and hardened SK5 carbon steel blades. They also have an ergonomic soft grip on top of the fibre glass handles that are light ant will never rust. They also have a thumb safety lock.

#3

4.5/5

Spear and Jackson Traditional Bypass and Anvil Secateurs Set

The Spear and Jackson traditional secateurs set is ideal for both serious and amateur gardeners alike. They contain traditional style bypass and anvil secateurs to take care of the majority of light pruning tasks in your garden or allotment. The bypass secateurs use a scissor like cutting action for use on living or green stems and anvil style secateurs which are ideal for use on thicker or dead woody material. They have drop forged blades that provide strength and durability and can be resharpened to further extend the life of the tools. They have  non-slip grips.

Secateurs Full Buying Guide

We always like to include a full buying guide as it helps our readers find all the buying information in one single place. We have covered quite a lot of information already, but in this section we simply go into more detail.

Just below we have included a very good video from the BBC Gardener's World, which we think is worth a quick watch.

Secateurs are a hand held tool, that is used for cutting away untidy shoots, dead heading flowers, harvesting edible crops and having the ability to precisely prune trees, shrubs and climbers.

For such a small hand tool, there are certainly a lot of things to consider. We will cover all of that below, but we wanted to emphasise one very important consideration at the start of this guide.

We know from our research, that for older gardeners buying secateurs can be problematic. As we age we do start to lose strength in our grip.

If you don't have a lot of strength in your hands, have a weak grip or are in your later years of life, then having a ratchet mechanism will make a huge difference. This ratchet mechanism will allow you to have several pushes through tougher branches and get the job done.

Geared Secateurs

You can buy secateurs without a ratchet, and these are fine if you have plenty of strength in your hands and arms. If you purchase secateurs with a ratchet, then it will make the pruning task a great deal easier. However, if you want to make life really easy, then you can purchase what are called geared secateurs.

These use a number of gears, and those gears hugely increase the cutting capacity. They will be more expensive as more engineering goes into the manufacture of these. That said, it does make pruning a great deal easier.

Different Types of Secateurs

If you have watched the video above, or looked around any garden centre or tool store, you will be fully aware that there are a wide range of these available. It can get very confusing as to know which ones to buy.

Why are You Buying Secateurs?

Our advice here is to keep in mind the main reason that you are buying them in the first place. Pruning is all about keeping your garden tidy, and encouraging the growth and harvesting of new plants and shrubs. The majority of gardeners will only need to do light pruning. If that is the case, then bypass secateurs will always be your best option.

If you are cutting dry stalks, or thicker branches on a regular basis, then anvil secateurs will be a better choice.

If in doubt, buying a set will give you both sets, and a set is really not that much more expensive than buying them individually.

Secateurs Blades and Blade Care

The quality of any pair of secateurs is of course the quality of the blade, and also how the blade is cared for. We have mentioned that all good secateurs use high carbon steel blades, and that is always going to be our recommendation.

If those have been coated with PFTE or some type of protector, then it does a couple of things. It stops them from sticking to wet sap, and it also helps protect the blade from rusting.

Keeping your blades sharp is also important. If you can spend 5 minutes a few times a year, using something like a knife sharpener to keep the blades sharp, that would be a very good investment of your time.

Always clean your secateurs after every use. It really doesn't take very long to wipe down your secateurs and quickly dry them off. If you are keeping them in a shed or garage outside, the temperature will be cold in the winter. Wet secateurs and cold air is the main cause of rust.

If the secateurs are clean and dry, you avoid that problem. We would also recommend oiling the spring and ratchet. We recommend spraying those with something like WD40, and then wiping them dry. It is better if you have some oil to oil the springs and ratchets as that keeps them working smoothly, and also protects them.

Handles and Grips

When buying secateurs, the handle and grips are often overlooked. Many gardeners when pruning will wear gardening gloves to help protect their hands. At the end of the day no-one wants a rose thorn through their finger. When using your secateurs you want the gloves to be able to properly hold the secateurs.

Most secateurs will have finger grips and will be covered by some type of soft grip material.

Bypass pruners tend to have two shaped handles, whereas anvil shaped secateurs will have a scissor type handle on the bottom, that allows you to get all of your fingers underneath to support the fixed blade.

Ideally the grips should be non-slip. We would recommend avoiding any type of plastic handles as these tend to break over time. Rubber coated handles are much better. No matter what the handle type is, the important thing is to keep them clean as well. A little squirt of WD40 will do the job nicely.

Secateurs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As part of our research we check the many reviews left online by buyers. When doing that, we always make notes of the most frequently asked questions, that buyers have. Sadly, all too often, buyers discover issues after they have made their purchase. By including that here, it can really help a lot to avoid common buying mistakes.

Which Secateurs should I use for thicker branches?

Anvil secateurs are always the best option for thicker branches. Be careful though that you don't use them on very thick branches as this will damage the blades, and also strain any mechanism. If in doubt use a larger lopper which is designed for heavy duty cutting.

What is the difference between pruners and secateurs

Bypass secateurs are often referred to as pruners. They have this scissor like action that does the cutting and it is like a very quick snip. This is the ideal action for thinner cutting. The anvil secateurs have an action similar to a knife, One blade is fixed, and the other blade then acts like a knife pushing down on the fixed blade. Bypass secateurs are often called pruning shears or pruning scissors.

How do you unlock secateurs?

This will depend on the brand of secateurs that you own. Some secateurs have a small clip at the bottom of the handle which needs to be opened. The majority of them use a safety catch. To release this, you squeeze the two handles together, and then turn the thumb lock, which is usually located in the centre of the secateurs.

What are the different types of secateurs?

There are two types, bypass and anvil. The rule of thumb is that bypass secateurs are better for light pruning and plants. Anvil secateurs are better for thicker branches and heavier pruning. You can purchase both types with a ratchet mechanism which is ideal for smaller or weaker hands. If your hand suffer from arthritis or are just very weak, then you can also buy geared secateurs.