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Pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

12 of the best pruning saws to buy in 2022

For larger pruning jobs browse our pick of the best pruning saws. From folding and fixed saws to curved and straight blades these saws will help you prune with ease.

Secateurs and loppers are handy pruning tools but for thicker branches a pruning saw is the tool for the job. The last resort before you need a chainsaw, a pruning saw has a toothed blade capable of cutting branches 5cm thick and above and many different shapes and sizes are available, from compact folding saws that fit in the pocket to long, straight, fixed blades that need a holster to keep them safe. All have a high carbon steel blade, and many have been designed to cut a particular type or thickness of wood. As a rule of thumb, the longer the blade the thicker the wood it can cut, but strength of blade, sharpness of teeth and how long they stay sharp, as well as grip and comfort will all affect how easily and well a saw will cut.

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We reviewed a range of the most popular pruning saws, putting them through their paces on woody branches and stems to bring you a list of the best pruning saws.
Each saw has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to ease of handling, cutting ability, maintenance and value for money. Each pruning saw below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.

As a rule of thumb, the longer the blade the thicker the wood it can cut.

If you’re pruning smaller branches, take a look at our review of the best secateurs and the best loppers and for help clearing up see our test of the best wheelbarrows.


How to choose a pruning saw

Before you buy think about the following:

  • Blade strength. Pruning saw blades are typically high carbon steel, which has either been quench or impulse hardened to increase strength and help teeth stay sharp. Although all types of blade will cut well at first, impulse hardened blades and teeth will stay sharper for longer, so if you have a lot of pruning to do look for saws strengthened this way. Carbon steel rusts unless it has a protective coating or chrome plating so check for this too before you buy.
  • Handle. Pruning saws are designed to be used with one hand, so many have an ergonomically shaped handle for comfort and all should have a non-slip grip, usually rubber or TRP plastic, to give optimum control of the saw. Some have a hand guard to protect the fingers. Look for a saw with a hooked shape to the end of the handle, which will help prevent the hand from slipping off the saw as you’re cutting.
  • What you’re cutting. The size of branches you’re cutting, as well as their position can dictate the size of saw you need and the shape of its blade. Check blade length and cutting width are suitable for the job and bear in mind that a straight blade is designed for making comfortable cuts between your shoulders and waist, while a curved blade is best for cuts above head height or below your waist. However, if you only want to buy one saw, choose the blade right for the majority of cuts you’ll make or opt for a saw with a straight blade. This will offer the most comfortable and safe cutting position, whatever you’re cutting.
  • Is it safe? Compact folding blades are great for tucking safely in the pocket but ensure the push button safety lock is easily reachable by the thumb and that it locks the blade in place. If it doesn’t lock closed check the blade stays securely in the handle and that it can be tightened if it becomes loose. Some saws also lock halfway down as an extra precaution. Fixed blades should have a carry holster or a blade cover to keep sharp teeth out of the way when not in use. After use a hanging hole on the end of the handle is handy for storing your saw safely away.
  • Will it last? Some saws have replacement blades and other parts available, which will help extend their life. However these can sometimes cost almost as much as a new saw so check prices before you buy. There are speciality files to sharpen saw teeth but as these are often angled this can be tricky and is best done by a professional. Some also brands offer a repair service for a small fee.

How to use a pruning saw safely 

Saws are extremely sharp so always wear sturdy gloves. If pruning above head height wear safety glasses and avoid standing on ladders to prune as you need to be stable and positioned comfortably to cut safely. Always choose the right blade for the job – a curved blade is best when cutting above your head.


Best pruning saws at a glance

Best Buy: ARS CAM24 PRO pruning saw
Best Buy: ARS PM-21 folding pruning saw
Best Buy: Felco 640 pruning saw
Best Buy: Stihl PR16 Handycut folding saw
Best Buy: Amazon Brand Eono 7″ folding hand saw
Darlac Sabre tooth folding saw
Wilkinson Sword Turbo folding saw
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Large folding pruning saw
Burgon and Ball RHS-endorsed folding saw
Corona Max RazorTOOTH 35.5cm pruning saw
Niwaki GR210 folding saw
Felco 621 pruning saw
B & Q Magnusson 330mm pruning saw

Browse our pick of the best pruning saws below.


12 of the best pruning saws

1

ARS CAM24 PRO pruning saw

RRP: £42.66
Our rating: 5 out of 5

ARS CAM 24 PRO pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
ARS CAM 24 PRO pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Very light and comfortable
  • Long strong blade
  • Cuts smoothly and efficiently
  • Handy holster for safety
  • Replacement parts available

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for Best fixed straight saw, this light comfortable pruning saw cuts even thick, dense wood with ease. The high carbon steel blade has a chrome plating for durability and impulse hardened teeth so they stay sharp for longer. It cuts on the pull stroke and the handle has a rubber grip and is hooked to stop the hand slipping even when applying pressure. Best for cutting wood that’s level with the user it comes with a handy holster. All parts are replaceable and it has a lifetime warranty.

Read the full ARS CAM 24 PRO review

Buy the ARS CAM 24 PRO from Tooled up, Amazon and sorbus-intl.co.uk


2

ARS PM-21 folding pruning saw

RRP: £34.84
Our rating: 5 out of 5

ARS PM21 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
ARS PM21 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Very light and comfortable
  • Cuts easily and cleanly
  • Replacement parts available
  • Choice of cutting angles

This light, simple saw was awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for Best folding saw. With a chrome plated carbon steel blade and impulse hardened teeth, which will stay sharp for longer, it’s made from aluminium and has a shaped, rubber grip handle that fits comfortably in the hand as you work. It’s light and comfortable and really easy to use, cutting effortlessly through even thick, dense wood. Every single part is replaceable and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Read the full ARS PM-21 folding saw review

Buy the ARS PM-21 folding pruning saw from Amazon and Tooled-Up


3

Felco 640 pruning saw

RRP: £59.99
Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Felco 640 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Felco 640 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Very light and comfortable
  • Cuts easily and cleanly
  • Replacement parts and repair service available
  • Choice of cutting angles

Cons

  • Expensive compared with others of similar quality

This high quality pruning saw won a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for Best fixed curved saw and is a joy to use. The high-carbon steel blade has a chrome plating to help prevent corrosion and impulse hardened teeth and it cuts cuts cleanly and precisely. The curved handle is hooked with a rubber grip and it feels comfortable and well balanced in the hand. With a holster and belt hook for easy carrying it also has a velcro strap, which wraps comfortably around the leg for added security. Capable of tackling even the toughest wood this saw is a great investment if you have lots of trees and shrubs to look after. It comes with a lifetime warranty and replacement parts and a repair service are available.

Read the full Felco 640 pruning saw review

Buy the Felco 640 pruning saw from Amazon and Felco


4

Stihl PR16 Handycut folding saw

RRP: £25.75
Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Stihl PR16 Handycut pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Stihl PR16 Handycut pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Comfortable and light
  • Compact and portable
  • Cuts smoothly and efficiently
  • Replacement blade available

Cons

  • Small cutting width
  • Safety catch stiff

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for Best compact saw, this light, comfortable pruning saw has a curved, chrome-plated Japanese steel blade with a cutting width of 65mm. It’s surprisingly sharp and strong with no clogging or sticking and it folds in and out of the handle with the help of a plastic button. The shaped handle has well placed rubber grips that cushion the hand well and our only complaint is the stiffness of the safety catch, although this does loosen up with time. The saw is compact and neat and ideal for sticking in a pocket when you go out into the garden and it comes with a two year warranty.

Read the full Stihl PR16 Handycut pruning saw review

Buy the Stihl PR16 Handycut pruning saw from Amazon, Garden Machinery Direct and Stihl


5

Amazon Brand, Eono 7” folding hand saw

RRP: £14.49
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Amazon Eono 7 inch folding hand saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Amazon Eono 7 inch folding hand saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Small and easy to control
  • Safety features – locks and handle hook to stop your hand slipping when in use
  • Great value

Cons

  • Small cutting width
  • Replacement blades aren’t available

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Budget Buy, this small, folding hand saw is great value and ideal for gardeners with just a few trees and shrubs to maintain. The curved blade is made from hardened carbon steel and has a maximum cutting width of 65mm. Sharp, triple ground teeth means it cuts well and it also features an anti-rust coating for durability. If you’re safety conscious, it locks when it’s open, closed and in the half-way position, as well as having a hook on the handle to prevent the saw from slipping during use.

Read the full Amazon Brand Eono 7″ folding hand saw review

Buy the Amazon Brand, Eono 7″ folding hand saw from Amazon


6

Darlac Sabre Tooth folding saw

RRP: £17.99
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Darlac sabre tooth folding saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Darlac sabre tooth folding saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Makes good clean cuts
  • Locks open and closed
  • Replacement blade available

Cons

  • Blade catches on handle when closing

The straight blade on this folding saw is made from carbon steel with a rust resistant chrome coating and is strong, sturdy, and sharp with a 90mm cutting width. The soft rubber grip handle is comfortable and hooked to prevent your hand slipping and the blade folds in and out, locking in place both ways for safety. However, you do need to make sure you guide the blade into the handle when closing, otherwise it tends to catch on the handle and overtime, will scuff the rubber. Replacement blades are available at an additional cost and it comes with a lifetime warranty. This pruning saw is ideal if you only have a few trees and shrubs, and would prefer to replace the blade than buy a new pruning saw.

Buy the Darlac Sabre Tooth folding saw from Crocus and Amazon


7

Wilkinson Sword Turbo folding saw

RRP: £22.99
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Wilkinson Sword Turbo folding saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Wilkinson Sword Turbo folding saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Comfortable and light
  • Cuts cleanly

Cons

  • No replacement blade available
  • No rust resistant coating

This compact folding saw has a curved blade made from Japanese steel and triple ground teeth that cut cleanly on the pull stroke. The  comfortable handle has a soft rubber grip covering and it’s hooked to stop the hand slipping in use. A gripped, plastic safety catch on the top of the handle locks the blade both open and closed, however, the blade catches on the handle as it closes, scuffing the rubber so you do need to make sure you guide the blade into the handle when locking it in place. A handy size for slipping into your pocket the saw comes with a ten year warranty.

Buy the Wilkinson Sword Turbo folding saw from Amazon and The Range


8

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Large folding pruning saw

RRP: £30.49
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Spear and Jackson Razorsharp folding pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Spear and Jackson Razorsharp folding pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Feels sturdy
  • Good safety features
  • Cuts smoothly and cleanly

Cons

  • No replacement blade available
  • Unwieldy and large to carry

This is one of the largest pruning saws in the group we tested, measuring 60cm in length, but it feels sturdy to use. It’s comfortable, thanks to a soft grip handle that’s curved to prevent your hand from slipping in use. The safety button is easy to use, unlocking the blade to open or close it, and it also locks in the half-way position, which stops fingers from accidentally catching on the blade. The straight blade is made from SK5 carbon steel and chrome-plated for lasting sharpness, rust resistance, and durability. It also has precision ground teeth for a smooth, clean cut, which comfortably tackle branches up to 90mm wide. In the top price range of the group we tested, it comes with just a 10-year warranty compared to others which have a lifetime warranty. However, it’s a sturdy saw that cuts well, has good safety features and is ideal for cutting living, green wood.  

Buy the Spear and Jackson Razorsharp folding pruning saw from Amazon and Toolstop


9

Corona Max RazorTOOTH 35.5cm pruning saw

RRP: £34.99
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Corona Max Razor TOOTH pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Corona Max Razor TOOTH pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Cuts smoothly and efficiently
  • Wide cutting width

Cons

  • No blade guard or holster
  • No replacement blade available

A fixed pruning saw with a long, curved SK5 carbon steel blade that has chrome plating and impulse hardened teeth, this saw cuts even thick, dense wood cleanly and smoothly. The shaped, ergonomic handle has rubber grips for the fingers and thumb, is curved to prevent the hand slipping when cutting and it feels comfortable and light in use.  Although the saw comes in a cardboard case it unfortunately doesn’t have a holster or cover for the blade, which could be an issue when carrying it and in storage. Ideal for medium and larger branches, this saw is available in a variety of sizes and come with a lifetime warranty.

Buy the Corona Max RazorTOOTH 35.5cm pruning saw from Amazon and Burgon and Ball


10

Niwaki GR210 folding saw

RRP: £39.00
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Niwaki GR210 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Niwaki GR210 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Light and well balanced
  • Choice of cutting angle
  • Replacement blade available

Cons

  • Handle uncomfortable
  • Blade needed tightening for safety

Packaged in a neat cardboard box and cotton bag this simple pruning saw has a straight, narrow blade made from SK4 carbon steel.  It has been impulse hardened to ensure the teeth stay sharp for longer and a maximum cutting width of 70mm. It cuts well, tackling dense wood smoothly and the saw feels light and well balanced in use. The handle has a chunky, ribbed rubber grip, which testers found became a bit uncomfortable after time and a safety button on the top allows the blade to fold in and out of the handle. When the blade is open it locks in place but not when it’s closed and in our test the blade was quite loose when closed inside the handle and prone to fall out easily, which felt quite dangerous. Fortunately this was rectified by tightening the large screw on the handle. It’s a great looking piece of kit that’s easy to use plus, replacement blades and a leather holster are available. It comes with a two year warranty.

Buy the Niwaki GR210 folding saw from Crocus and Niwaki


11

Felco 621 pruning saw

RRP: £54.99
Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Felco 621 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Felco 621 pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Light and well balanced
  • Cuts well
  • Replacement parts available

Cons

  • Handle not as comfortable as some

This well balanced saw has a fixed, straight blade made from high carbon steel with a chrome plating to prevent corrosion and a cutting width of 80mm. The teeth have been impulse hardened to help them stay sharp for longer and it cuts smoothly and easily. The hooked handle helps the hand stay in place when cutting and also has a rubber grip to prevent slipping but compared to others in the test it felt less comfortable in use. It comes with a holster and belt hook for safe carrying, replacement parts and a repair service are available and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Buy the Felco 621 pruning saw from Amazon and Felco


12

B & Q Magnusson 330mm pruning saw

RRP: £15.00
Our rating: 4 out of 5

B & Q Magnusson pruning saw review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
B & Q Magnusson pruning saw review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros

  • Light and comfortable
  • Hand protection
  • Cuts smoothly on most wood

Cons

  • Slip-on blade guard only
  • Takes up room in storage

With a fixed straight blade made from SK5 carbon steel this super safe saw has a rubber grip handle with a hand guard that protects the fingers. It cuts smoothly and feels light and comfortable to use but the blade guard is just a simple slip on cover in transparent plastic that could be easily lost. However, it’s great value and has a handy hanging hook so you can store this rather large saw safely out of the way.

Buy the Magnusson 330mm pruning saw from B & Q


How we tested pruning saws

We tested a range of folding and fixed saws with both curved and straight blades, putting them through their paces on the types of woody branches and stems that need pruning throughout the year. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:

  • Handling. Looked at comfort, weight, balance and grip, including features like a hooked handle, how well the saw  folds and safety features.
  • Cutting. Focused on blade shape and material, cutting width and efficiency, and smoothness and precision of cut.
  • Maintenance. Assessed strength and sharpness of blade, any hardening and protective features and whether replacements parts or a repair service were available.
  • Value for Money. Considered all of the above plus any special features, RRP and warranty.

For more information on our testing process see How we Review

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This review was last updated in January 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.