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10 best secateurs

19 best secateurs: bypass, anvil and rachet

Looking for new secateurs? Browse our pick of the very best, from budget to premium models.

Secateurs are an indispensable garden tool essential for tidying around the garden. While tools like hedge trimmers and other cordless garden toolsare ideal for taking on heavy duty tasks, secateurs are a simple, hand-held tool used for keeping on top of pruning, dead-heading, cutting back perennials and harvesting fruit, veg and flowers. 

In our practical video, we take you through the most important points to consider when buying secateurs. 

We look at the types of secateurs available and consider key features of different models, including ease of handling, safety functions and blade specification. We also offer advice on how to use secateurs, as well as clean and sharpen them.

Below, we explain the different types of secateurs in further detail before recommending a list of tried and tested secateurs models. 

Plus, with Black Friday offers already underway, we’ve rounded up some of the best Black Friday garden tools deals available now.

We’ve trialled and reviewed hundreds of garden tools to identify the best ones for value, comfort and quality. Browse our list of the 10 best secateurs – with detailed lists of pros and cons, ease of cutting, weight and price. We’ve included bypass, anvil and ratchet types. All secateurs listed in this article received a rating of at least three and a half out of five stars, so you can be sure of good quality and performance.
We rated our top performing pairs Best Buy status. These models were:
  • Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A
  • Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass
  • Niwaki GR Pro
  • Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs
  • Darlac Compound Action Pruner
  • Draper Deluxe Anvil Secateurs
  • Felco Model 32 Pruning Shears
  • Fiskars PowerGear X Pruners
  • Gardena Comfort Anvil Secateurs
  • Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs
  • Corona Ratchet Cut Comfort Gel Anvil Secateurs
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What’s the difference between anvil, ratchet and bypass secateurs?

We’ve included bypass, anvil and ratchet types in our recommendations. Below, we explain the difference between these types and what you might use them for.

Bypass Secateurs: This type of secateurs has two blades which cut like a pair of scissors with a sharpened blade crossing over a thicker metal platform. They are pointed to help them get in amongst stems and branches and they are ideal for cutting stems between 10 and 15mm thick. They are suitable for greener growth and should cut cleanly so it’s important to keep them sharp. Read our guide on how to sharpen secateurs.

Anvil Secateurs: Anvil secateurs have one blade that cuts like a knife with the blade pushing through a stem or branch on to a ‘cutting board’ or block, in a similar manner to a knife on a chopping board. They are useful for cutting through thicker, woodier stems and dead wood.

Ratchet Secateurs: These can have either anvil or bypass blades and feature “ratchet” springs and mechanisms to ease effort and cut through a stem in a series of stages. This type of the tool is able to make tougher cuts gradually, as you repeatedly squeeze and release the handles to get through the growth and they are particularly useful for gardeners who lack strength. 

Browse our choice of the best secateurs of all three types, below;


Best Bypass Secateurs

Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A
Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A

Pros:

  • Nice to hold with a comfortable grip
  • Cut efficiently and smoothly and make large cuts easily
  • Comes with a generous lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • A number of different screws need to be tackled for adjustment or maintenance
  • Handles are wide when fully opened which may be a problem for smaller hands

With a comfortable grip, these robust secateurs are nice to hold. The central safety catch is easy to engage with the thumb and can also be used to reduce the blade aperture (opening width) for light work There is a handy wire cutting notch on the blade and the red handles help to make them easy to find if lost in the garden. They come with a lifetime guarantee.

Read the full review: Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A review


 Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Burgon-and-Ball-RHS-Endorsed-Left-Handed-Bypass-Secateurs-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine
Burgon-and-Ball-RHS-Endorsed-Left-Handed-Bypass-Secateurs-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine

Pros:

  • Easy safety catch
  • Replacement parts available
  • Comfortable
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Struggle with large cuts
  • Best for bigger hands

This Burgon and Ball pair are left handed secateurs and are a BBC Gardener’ World Magazine Best Buy winner. The strong high-carbon steel blade cuts well and can easily take on most pruning jobs. It’s also simple to sharpen. The large safety catch engages easily and replacement parts are available. There is a 10 year warranty included.

Read the full review: Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass review


 Niwaki GR Pro

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Niwaki-GR-Pro-Secateurs-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine
Niwaki-GR-Pro-Secateurs-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine

Pros:

  • Comfortable and well balanced
  • Cut cleanly and well
  • Strong and robust

Cons:

  • Safety catch needs getting used to
  • No replaceable blade
  • Expensive

These robust secateurs from Niwaki feature hand-forged, carbon steel blades which cut stems cleanly. The safety catch is chunky but easy to engage once you get used to it. The tool is well balanced and feels comfortable to use, so we awarded it Best Buy status. There are two sizes available and a replacement spring is included. The warranty lasts for two years.

Read the full review: Niwaki GR Pro review


 Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs
Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs

Pros:

  • The non-slip handle shape works well
  • The safety catch is easy to reach and use
  • Servicing is provided for life

Cons:

  • Several different screw need tackling for adjustment
  • The grip is wide when fully opened and not helpful for smaller hands
  • An expensive premium priced model

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy winner, these are classic secateurs from the world-renowned Swiss brand Felco. They feel sturdy and cut well in a variety of different jobs. They’re also easy to maintain and come with the Felco lifetime guarantee. The secateurs feel chunky but light and the ergonomic handle protects the wrist and hand, making longer pruning jobs less tiring. The blade also has a handy wire cutting notch. The red non-slip handle makes them easy to see if lost in the garden.

Read the full review: Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs review


 Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur

Our rating: 4 out of 5

pear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur
pear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur

Pros:

  • Feel sturdy and robust with a strong blade
  • Replacement parts are available
  • 10 year guarantee

Cons:

  • Central safety catch keeps catching halfway through a cut
  • Grip needs adjusting for different cuts

These classic secateurs feel sturdy, capable and long lasting. They have rubber shock absorbers on the handles to make cutting larger stems comfortable but the central safety catch often caught halfway through a cut which was frustrating. Cutting width also needed to be adjusted for different size stems. The plastic-coated handles are bright red so easy to spot if mislaid. Replacement blades and springs are available and they have 10-year guarantee.

Read the full review: Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur review


 Lasher Bypass Secateurs

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Lasher Bypass Secateurs
Lasher Bypass Secateurs

Pros:

  • Forged handles have a textured grip and are comfortable and easy to hold
  • Simple to take apart for sharpening or replacing the blade
  • The eye catching yellow stripe on the green handles makes them easy to spot amongst piles of clippings

Cons:

  • Safety catch has a sharp edge which is hard on the fingers
  • Struggle with larger cuts and stiff to close

These eye-catching bypass secateurs have good grip and are comfortable, apart from the safety catch which has a sharp edge that kept snagging the fingers. They cut smaller wood well but struggled with larger cuts and they were stiff to close which made quick snipping frustrating. They’re easy to locate if they get lost amongst clippings.

Read the full review: Lasher Bypass Secateurs review


 Fiskars Quantum Bypass Secateurs

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Fiskars Quantum Bypass Secateurs
Fiskars Quantum Bypass Secateurs

Pros:

  • Cork handles are soft, warm and comfortable
  • Central safety catch is easy to engage for both left and right-handed user
  • Replacement parts available

Cons:

  • Heavy to use and struggles with thicker, larger cuts
  • At the top end of the price scale and were the most expensive secateurs we tested

These cork handled bypass secateurs have a non-stick hardened steel blade that won’t stick or clog. They’re beautifully and simply designed, and they’re easy to use and make smaller pruning cuts well. They’re heavy to hold but comfortable and the grip is good – the cork keeps the handles warm on colder days.

Read the full review: Fiskars Quantum Bypass Secateurs review


 Darlac Compound Action Pruner

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Darlac Compound Action Pruner DP332 secateurs review
Darlac Compound Action Pruner DP332 secateurs review

Pros:

  • Small and light, half the weight of other models tested
  • Easy to make most cuts thanks to the lever action
  • Smooth closing mechanism

Cons:

  • Struggled with larger cuts
  • Blade opening limited, making it tricky to sharpen the blades

These bypass secateurs have a central lever action, which makes them very easy on the hands when cutting, just like a ratchet secateur. The handles have a soft grip for comfort and they’re surprisingly light – half the weight of some of the other secateurs tested. The safety catch is on the top of the handle and easy to switch on or off with a flick of the thumb. Given the Best Buy badge by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, these are a great tool for those with weaker hands.

Read the full review: Darlac Compound Action Pruner review


Best Anvil Secateurs

Draper Deluxe Anvil Secateurs

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Gardeners World Magazine Review of Draper Deluxe Anvil secateurs
Gardeners World Magazine Review of Draper Deluxe Anvil secateurs

Pros:

  • Wide cutting width
  • Cut well and with strength
  • Feel powerful and sturdy
  • Excellent value

Cons:

  • Big and heavy
  • Safety catch needs two hands
  • No replacement parts

We judged this pair as the Best Budget Anvil secateurs. Our testers were impressed by how comfortable and well balanced they were to use, particularly for larger hands. They have a strong, wide cut which also makes them easy to sharpen and clean and the handles have comfortable rubber grip inserts so they are comfortable and warm to use. A lifetime warranty is included. 

Read the full review: Draper Delux Anvil Secateurs review


 Felco Model 32 Pruning Shears (Anvil)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Gardeners World Magazine Review of Felco Model 32 anvil secateurs
Gardeners World Magazine Review of Felco Model 32 anvil secateurs

Pros:

  • Clean, easy, strong cuts
  • Wide cutting width
  • Servicing provided
  • All parts replaceable

Cons: 

  • Safety catch stiff
  • Expensive

We were impressed with how strong and robust these anvil secateurs were. The hardened steel blade cuts cleanly and effortlessly through growth and these secateurs also have a wide cutting width and feel sturdy in use. Although there is no comfort padding on the grip these cut so smoothly there was no strain on the hand or wrist . All parts are replaceable and they come with a lifetime warranty. We awarded these Best Buy status as the Best Anvil All Round.

Read the full review: Felco Model 32 Pruning Shears review 


 Fiskars PowerGear X Pruners

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Fiskars-Power-Gear-X-PX92-Pruners-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine
Fiskars-Power-Gear-X-PX92-Pruners-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine

Pros:

  • Cut well
  • Comfortable and light
  • Replaceable parts available
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Rotating handle uncomfortable for some

Our testers were impressed with the performance of these secateurs and awarded them Best Buy status. The hardened carbon steel blade is powerful and cuts all types of wood smoothly. This pair feature a rotating handle which helps make repetitive pruning easier, although the feature may not suit all users. Available in two sizes with replacement parts available. There is a 25 year warranty included. 

Read the full review: Fiskars PowerGear X Pruners review


 Gardena Comfort Anvil Secateurs

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 

Gardeners World Magazine Review of Gardena Comfort Anvil secateurs
Gardeners World Magazine Review of Gardena Comfort Anvil secateurs

Pros:

  • Wide cutting width
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Feel sturdy and powerful
  • Cut cleanly and efficiently
  • Safety catch for left- and right-handed use

Cons: 

  • Opens too wide for small hands
  • Dark colour hard to spot

The blade on these powerful secateurs has a non-stick coating and cuts cleanly and smoothly. They are easy to use and have soft handles which are comfortable and ease strain well. They also have a wide cutting width and an easy to reach safety catch. We judged these the Best Comfort Anvil secateurs.

Read the full review: Gardena Comfort Anvil Secateurs 


 Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs
Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs

Pros:

  • Smooth, easy cutting action
  • Central safety catch simple to operate with one hand
  • Blade can be handily sharpened on the go

Cons:

  • Handles are hard in the hand and feel uncomfortable after prolonged use
  • Several screws need dismantling for adjustment or maintenance

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy winner, these sturdy, compact secateurs cut woodier stems with ease. It’s easy to sharpen and replace the blades, and their orange handles make them easy to find tin the garden. These are strong secateurs that cut through hard woody pruning with ease.

Read the full review: Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs review


 Wolf Garten Anvil Comfort Plus

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Wolf Garten Bypass RR 4000 bypass secateurs

Pros:

  • Wide cutting width
  • Simple design
  • Cut cleanly and sharply
  • Suitable for right and left-handed use 

Cons:

  • Feel flimsy
  • Bottom handle rubs with use

The secateurs are small and compact and feature a non-stick blade which cuts cleanly. There is an integrated spring closing between plastic handles which do have a rubber grip but only on the upper side. We found the safety catch was easy to reach, however it was quite stiff to operate. Overall the tool performed well but did feel quite flimsy compared to more sturdy models.


 Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil Secateurs

Our rating: 4 out of 5

Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil Secateurs
Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil Secateurs

Pros:

  • Feel well balanced in the hand
  • Central safety catch easy to reach and engage
  • Blade opens wide so sharpening is easy
  • Cone with a 10 year guarantee

Cons:

  • Large and heavy and may be too much for gardeners with smaller hands and those lacking strength
  • Cord wrist strap gets in the way

With an integral spring, these large anvil secateurs are comfortable to use. The blade feels sharp and is angled so accessing difficult cuts is much easier. Plastic grips on the aluminium handles make holding them softer and less cold. However, the wrist cord just gets in the way and larger cuts were a struggle.

Read the full review: Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil Secateurs review

Best Ratchet Secateurs

Jardin de France Ratchet

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Jardin de France Ratchet - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Jardin de France Ratchet

Pros:

  • Strong, clean cut
  • Light and comfortable
  • Replaceable blade
  • Right and left use

Cons:

  • Ratchet slips occasionally
  • Fiddly safety catch 

These ratchet secateurs feature a coated carbon steel blade which cuts well through growth. The handles are aluminum and topped with a rubber grip for added comfort. The tool is suitable for left and right hand use and both the blade and spring are replaceable. We found the safety catch could be fiddly and the three gear ratchet did occasionally slip. There is a one year warranty included and we thought the secateurs were great value for money overall.


 Darlac Super Classic Ratchet

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Darlac Super Classic Ratchet - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Darlac Super Classic Ratchet

Pros:

  • Wide cutting width
  • Cut well 
  • Good value
  • Replaceable parts

Cons:

  • Large and wide
  • Slow to cut 
  • Lack grip

These Darlac ratchet secateurs come with an impressive 25 year warranty. The coated SK5 steel blade cuts smoothly although the action took longer than other models tested. The tool has a wide cutting width which is useful on larger stems, although the handles were also quite large which made it trickier to handle. There are replaceable parts available.


 Wilkinson Sword Comfort Ratchet Pruner

Our rating: 3.8 out of 5

Wilkinson Sword Comfort Ratchet Pruner
Wilkinson Sword Comfort Ratchet Pruner

Pros:

  • Cut well and central safety catch easy to reach and opens and closes easily
  • Blade removable for sharpening and replacing

Cons:

  • Metal handles cold in the hand despite soft grip inserts
  • Opened further than most of the testers could grip
  • Their dark colour makes them harder to find amongst prunings

These ratchet secateurs feel robust and strong and the ratchet mechanism and anvil blade make cutting efficient and easy – the ratchet can be used in up to three stages which is great if hand strength is an issue. The ratchet mechanism did rattle noisily but still cut well. The blade is replaceable and they come with a 10 year guarantee.

Read the full review: Wilkinson Sword Comfort Ratchet Pruner review


Corona Ratchet Cut Comfort Gel Anvil Secateurs

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Gardeners World Magazine Review of Corona Comfort gel Ratchet Cut secateurs
Gardeners World Magazine Review of Corona Comfort gel Ratchet Cut secateurs

Pros: 

  • Comfortable handles
  • Strong, efficient cut
  • Sturdy and robust
  • Four-gear ratchet

Cons: 

  • Feel weighty
  • Safety catch needs two hands

These weighty, robust secateurs have a four gear ratchet system that enables them to cut  tough wood easily and they have soft, well-gripping handles which makes working comfortable and effortless. Only for right handed gardeners they come with a ten year warranty. We judged these the Best Comfort Ratchet secateurs out of those tested by our experts.

Read the full review: Corona Ratchet Cut Comfort Gel Anvil Secateurs review

Brands featured in this video: Briers, Bulldog Tools, Burgon & Ball, Darlac, Draper, Felco, Fiskars, Kent & Stowe, Lasher, Niwaki, Spear & Jackson, Stihl, Wilkinson Sword and Wolf Garten.

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Many thanks to Rosie Yeomans and Sparsholt College for their help in making this video.