Best Garden Secateurs
When pruning, thining and paring plants in your garden, a good sharp pair of secateurs is a basic essential. But which secateurs are the best? This page should help you choose which secateurs to buy.
Types of secateurs
There are two types of secateurs on the market and these can be defined as anvil secateurs and bypass secateurs.
Bypass secateurs have two blades, much like a pair of scissors.
Anvil secateurs have a blade that falls down onto a flat surface, like a knife onto a chopping block.
Anvil vs Bypass secateurs
You find them both in all garden centres, so which do you choose? Repeated testing in gardening magazines and TV gardening shows have come up with results that favour bypass bladed pruners for delicate stems or prize plants, while anvil secateurs may have a slight advantage for hard woody stems where getting maximum force is the issue. The opinion here at gardenspace is strongly in favour of bypass secateurs for everyday use, but a special pair of Felco bypass secateurs for delicate pruning.
Companies such as Felco, Wilkinson's Sword, Wolf and Draper all sell good pruning secateurs. The good news is that a recent test revealed that a buget pair of secateurs is likely to perform just as well as an expensive luxury model. The key factor is that you can sharpen or replace the blades when they get worn or damaged.
A new feature on some secateurs is a ratchet device to help you increase the cutting force you are able to exert. These are great if you have lots of thick bushes to prune but we suspect the ratchet will eventually prove to be the weak part of the tool. If you have thick wood to cut, use a saw or ling handled pruning tool instead.
When thinking about where to buy tools, online is always good for gardening discounts. Brands such as Felco Secateurs are often available at substantial discounts
Mrs B (our top gardener) swears by the Felco brand and has three different styles of secateur to choose from. Felco are the ones with the red handles.
The main reason that secateurs get replaced is that they get lost, so consider spending a little on a belt pouch or similar to hold your secateurs when not in use.
At the end of a day of use, clean and dry the blades. A very light application of oil helps to ensure a longer life too.