Secateurs are an indispensable tool, essential for tidying up around the garden. While tools like hedge trimmers and other cordless garden tools are 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.
Available as bypass, anvil and ratchet, each type is designed for a particular job:

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Bypass Secateurs have two blades, which cut like a pair of scissors with a sharpened blade crossing over a thicker metal platform. They're pointed to help them get in amongst stems and branches and are ideal for cutting stems between 10 and 15mm thick. They're 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 have one blade that cuts like a knife, with the blade pushing through a stem or branch onto a lower block, in a similar manner to a knife on a chopping board. They're useful for cutting through thicker, woodier stems and dead wood.

Ratchet Secateurs 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.


Our expert testers trial hundreds of garden tools to work out which will do the job well and offer the best value, comfort and quality. If you're pruning larger branches, take a look at our reviews of the best loppers and best pruning saws and for help clearing up, see our test of the best wheelbarrows.


Secateurs Buyer's Guide - video


Best secateurs to buy at a glance

Our expertise

We tested the different types of secateurs, using them in the garden on a range of different plants and at different times of year, to help you find the right one for your garden. Each pair has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to handling, cutting, maintenance and value for money. Every pair in our round up below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.

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In every review we award the outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best bypass, anvil and ratchet secateurs below:


Best Bypass Secateurs in 2022

1

Kent and Stowe Eversharp Bypass Secateurs

RRP: £34.99
Our rating:4.5/5

Kent and Stowe Eversharp Bypass Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Kent and Stowe Eversharp Bypass Secateurs

Pros:

  • Cut easily through live and dead wood
  • Hard, sharp blade
  • Comfortable FSC-certified wooden handles
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable width
  • 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • Hard to spot if dropped in the garden

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for best bypass for comfort the handles of these secateurs have an aluminium frame with a sustainably sourced FSC-certified ash insert. This smooth wood is comfortable to hold and offers a great grip, even without gardening gloves. They're suitable for both right and left handed gardeners and although the secateurs are lightweight, at just 330g, they still feel robust and hard wearing.

When pruning, they cut through almost every material on test with little resistance. Live, green wood was easy to prune and even hard, dried wood was simple to snip. This is thanks to a carbon steel blade covered in a plasma coating, which Kent and Stowe claim makes these harder than any other blade.
The cutting width can be adjusted with a simple catch, from 1cm to 2.5cm, so these secateurs can tackle thicker branches as well as more delicate stems and the safety catch, which is placed by your thumb, is easy to open and close with one hand. They also have a handy hole for hanging them up in a shed or greenhouse after use and a notch on the blade for cutting twine and garden wire. With a fantastic 10-year warranty, these secateurs should last you a long time. However, we found that the grey blade and light brown handles are tricky to spot if you drop them in a border or lose them amongst prunings.

Read the full Kent and Stowe Eversharp Bypass secateurs review


Niwaki GR Pro

RRP: £84 (right handed)

Our rating: 4.5/5

Niwaki GR Pro - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Niwaki GR Pro

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 were awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for the best premium bypass secateurs and feature hand-forged, carbon steel blades which cut stems cleanly and smoothly. The safety catch sits at the end of the handles and is chunky but easy to engage once you get used to it and they feel well balanced and feels comfortable to use. A replacement spring is included in your purchase and they come in a choice of sizes, including small, regular and large and for both left and right handed gardeners. A holster is also available to buy and they come with a two year warranty.

Read the full Niwaki GR Pro review


Felco Model 8

RRP: £66.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Felco Model 8 - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Felco Model 8

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 Felco 8 Bypass Secateurs review


Darlac DP1030A Expert

RRP: £29.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Darlac DP1030A Expert Bypass - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Darlac DP1030A Expert

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

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy winner for best bypass for large stems, these robust secateurs have a comfortable grip and 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, which is useful. There is a handy wire cutting notch on the blade and the red handles make them easy to find if lost in the garden. They come with a lifetime warranty.

Read the full Darlac Expert Bypass DP1030A review


Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass

RRP: £22.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Struggle with large cuts
  • Best for bigger hands

Awarded a BBC Gardener’ World Magazine Best Buy for the best left handed bypass secateurs, these have a strong, high-carbon steel blade that cuts well and can take on most pruning jobs easily. They are also simple to sharpen with a large safety catch that engages easily. Replacement parts are available and they come with a 10 year warranty. included.

Read the full Burgon and Ball Left Handed Bypass review


Darlac Compound Action Pruner

RRP: £19.99

Our rating: 4.3/5

Darlac Compound Action Pruners - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Darlac Compound Action Pruners

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. A great tool for those with less strength they were given a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award for the best bypass secateurs for smaller hands.

Read the full Darlac Compound Action Pruner review


Best Anvil Secateurs in 2022

Draper Deluxe Anvil

RRP: £31.34

Our rating: 4.5/5

Draper Deluxe Anvil Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Draper Deluxe Anvil

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

Awarded a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award for the best budget anvils, our testers were impressed by how comfortable and well balanced these 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're comfortable and warm to use. They come with a lifetime warranty.

Read the full Draper Delux Anvil Secateurs review


Felco Model 32

RRP: £66.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Felco Model 32 Anvil Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Felco Model 32

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Safety catch stiff
  • Expensive

These anvil secateurs are strong and robust with a hardened steel blade that cuts cleanly and effortlessly through thick, woody growth. With a wide cutting width they feel sturdy in use and although there's 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 BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy status as the Best Anvil All Round.

Read the full Felco Model 32 Pruning Shears review


Gardena Comfort Anvil

RRP: £25.95

Our rating: 4.5/5

Gardena Comfort Anvil Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Gardena Comfort Anvil

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

Awarded a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award for the best anvils for comfort, these powerful secateurs are easy to use with soft handles which are comfortable and ease strain well. The blade has a non-stick coating and cuts cleanly and smoothly and they also have a wide cutting width and an easy to reach safety catch. They come with a 25 year warranty.

Read the full Gardena Comfort Anvil Secateurs


Stihl PG25 Anvil

RRP: £31.03

Our rating: 4.3/5

Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Stihl PG25 Anvil

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 for the best ratchet secateur for comfort, these sturdy, compact secateurs cut woodier stems with ease. The carbon steel blade has a non stick coating and can be easily sharpened or replaced and their orange handles make them easy to find amongst prunings in the garden. They come with a two year warranty.

Read the full Stihl PG25 Anvil Secateurs review


Best Ratchet Secateurs in 2022

Corona Ratchet Cut Branch and Stem Pruner

RRP: £37.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Corona Ratchet Cut Branch and Stem Pruner - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Corona Ratchet Cut Branch and Stem Pruner

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Feel weighty
  • Safety catch needs two hands

Awarded a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award for the best ratchet anvil for strength, these weighty, robust secateurs have a four gear ratchet system that enables them to cut tough wood easily. Soft, well-gripping handles make working comfortable and effortless and the non stick carbon blade can be resharpened to keep you cutting for years. Best for right handed gardeners the safety catch is a little stiff and needs two hands to engage. They come with a ten year warranty.

Read the full Corona Ratchet Cut Comfort Gel Anvil Secateurs review


The best of the rest

Although some models didn't quite achieve a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have various features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test.


Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty

RRP: £25.99

Our rating: 4/5

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass

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 Spear & Jackson Razorsharp PRO Heavy Duty Bypass Secateur review


Wolf Garten Anvil Comfort Plus

RRP: £24.99

Our rating: 4.3/5

Wolf Garten Anvil Comfort Plus - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Wolf Garten Anvil Comfort Plus

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

RRP: £54.99

Our rating: 4/5

Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil

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.

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Read the full Wolf Garten RS5000 Professional Anvil Secateurs review


Jardin de France Ratchet

RRP: £29.95

Our rating: 4.3/5

Jardin de France Ratchet secateurs - 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 aluminium 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

RRP: £18.99

Our rating: 4.3/5

Darlac Super Classic Ratchet secateurs

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.


How we tested secateurs

The secateurs were tested around the garden on perennials, trees and shrubs and at different times of the year. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:

  • Handling: Assessed the secateurs comfort, weight, balance, the safety catch and general ease of use.
  • Cutting: Looked at the qualities of the blades, including their material, strength and opening widths, as well as their manoeuvrability and cutting efficiency.
  • Maintenance: Considered how easy they are to clean and sharpen, if replacement blades are available or a maintenance service is offered.
  • Value for money: Focussed on the quality of the secateurs, any special features and warranty and RRP.

For more information on our testing process, take a look at How we Review.


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

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