What are the best professional pruning shears? Find out by reading my reviews and the guide to choosing.

Professional pruning shears are the best allies for the care of our garden. No grower can do without them because, at a low price, they give the possibility to keep the green space in order, ensuring a careful, precise and safe cut for the seedlings. And this is precisely the difference that separates them from cheap scissors: they are reliable in the long run, they do not harm the plants, and they are much more comfortable to use.

Features of professional pruning shears

Given that not all shears are the same, given that they differ in some details that we will study together today, I would like to clarify some elements that all models have in common. First of all, the sharpening of the blade, which holds for a long time and which allows a clean and millimeter cut, so as not to damage the bark or the cuticle of the branch. Secondly, having a moderately low price (around 50 euros), they meet both the wishes of professionals and hobbyists, so they are also perfect for home use.

Then consider that these shears have a more efficient cutting system than the classic low cost gardening shears. Not to mention the handles and grip, often underestimated: they are ergonomic and non-slip, consequently they allow those who use them to tire less when applying the necessary force to cut off the branch. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a system to completely reduce fatigue, I recommend you read my guide on battery pruning shears.

Finally, it must also be said that they hardly allow the cutting of branches with a diameter greater than 2.5 or 3 centimeters.

Best professional pruning shears

1. Felco 6996013 Pruning shears

Felco is undoubtedly one of the most famous manufacturers in the sector of professional pruning shears. This model confirms this, and among other things is offered at a very competitive cost in my opinion. It is a single-blade through shear, therefore when it closes it develops a cross with the sash, which ensures record-breaking precision and an always clean cut.

  • Template: through blade and counter blade
  • Cutting diameter: 3 centimeters
  • Weight: About 300 grams
  • Special features: micrometric nut
  • Special features: groove for resin

Being cross, it is an ideal shear for pruning green twigs and live shoots, while it is less effective against woody and hard branches such as that of the vine. Furthermore, it has a maximum cutting diameter of 3 centimeters, it is rather light and above all it does not tire the wrist and joints when used for many hours in a row. This also happens thanks to the spring system, excellent for optimizing the force exerted by the hands.

What are the other features to underline? The Felco 6996013 has a nut for micrometric adjustment of the blade clearance, and a groove that allows the resin to pour away, so as to avoid getting the scissors too dirty. Secondly, it is very sharp and does not lose the thread easily, and is fabulous for those who fear tendinitis, given its high degree of comfort.

2. ARS HP-vs8 XR Swivel Handle Chrome Blade

These are real top-of-the-range scissors, and the quality can be seen right away, even studying the details. I start from the presence of a rotating lower handle, which accompanies the movement of the hand by distributing the weight on all the fingers. In this way, less effort is made and above all it facilitates the work of the wrist and joints, avoiding problems such as tendinitis and blisters.

  • Template: through blade and counter blade
  • Cutting diameter: 2.5-3cm
  • Weight: About 290 grams
  • Special features: micrometric nut
  • Special features: rotating handle

There is also a micrometric adjusting nut, while the maximum cutting diameter ranges from 2.5 to 3 centimeters. The model, like the previous one, has a through blade and counter-blade, so when you close it the two develop a crossing of a few millimeters, allowing a more precise cut of the green and live branches. Excellent rating also for the quality of the blade materials, in hardened and chromed steel Superior, which protects from rust and facilitates cleaning.

Another peculiarity that I would like to emphasize is the presence of an ergonomic handle with non-slip coating, and the extreme strength of the blade, designed to keep the edge even if used intensively for various pruning sessions. In addition, these ARS scissors are equipped with a classic spring management system, and in terms of performance they are truly exceptional: in fact, they guarantee a clean and very precise cut.

3. ARS VS-9Z for High Carbon Pruning

Another lap, another race, another pair of professional pruning shears produced by ARS. The well-known Japanese company is famous for the quality of its steel, and this product confirms it once again, considering that we are dealing with a through model with a high carbon content blade. As for the maximum cutting diameter, even in this case we are around 2.5 or 3 centimeters.

  • Template: through blade and counter blade
  • Cutting diameter: 2.5-3cm
  • Weight: About 250 grams
  • Special features: also suitable for the vineyard

As always, the chrome coating is present, which protects the blades from wear and discomfort caused by resins, which stick less than other models. Secondly, these shears have a traditional spring system that facilitates the task, allowing those who use them to make less effort. And the blade is once again extremely sharp and robust, to the point of not encountering problems even with wooden branches (such as those of the vine).

Note of merit for the handle, ergonomic and very comfortable to grasp, and for the precision of the cut, comparable to that of a razor. Its lightness and ease of use make it suitable for everyone, from professionals to simple gardening enthusiasts. Also, I remind you that they are super versatile, since you can use them both for the pruning of hard and dry branches, and for the green ones rich in sap.

4. Loewe 1104 Anvil Shears Diameter 2.2 cm

What are the best professional pruning shears, if we move into the sector of single blades with anvil head? This model produced by the famous Loewe could give you the answer you are looking for. It is in fact a pair of shears particularly suitable for very hard and woody branches, since they allow you to apply greater force to the cut thanks to the aforementioned anvil counter-blade.

  • Template: single blade and anvil
  • Cutting diameter: 2.2cm
  • Weight: About 290 grams
  • Special features: ideal for wooden branches

The maximum cutting diameter is slightly less than average, as it corresponds to 2.2 cm, but the performance is brilliant. Of course I advise you not to use them for green branches and soft shoots, because the anvil system would risk crushing the cuticle of the branch, producing among other things a loss of sap. Not surprisingly, this model is great for vines and for all plants with lignified branches.

Excellent blades, made of high carbon steel, and the same goes for the comfort offered by the handles. Also know that Loewe scissors have a coating that protects them from corrosion, and that prevents the blades from holding the resin, avoiding the risk of them sticking. Finally, they are quite light (290 grams) and the cutting edge lasts for a very long time.

5. Manaresi 6992021 Sichel Double Cut Scissors

Are you looking for a double-edged pruning shears? Then you will fall in love with this 100% Italian shear, produced by Manaresi. The two blades are very sharp and are made of steel with a high percentage of carbon, therefore they do not easily lose the edge and allow you to carry out very precise pruning work. The cutting diameter, on the other hand, corresponds to a maximum of around 2.5 centimeters.

  • Template: double blade
  • Cutting diameter: 2.5cm
  • Weight: About 230 grams
  • Special features: they are universal

The double blade system makes these shears universal, in the sense that you can use them both for hard, dry and wooden branches, and for young shoots and green twigs. Despite this, however, they give their all especially when it comes to pruning fruit trees and cutting flowers such as roses. The double blade system, in fact, ensures a cut so clean as to favor the healing of the stalk just cut.

Secondly, having a double cutting edge, they allow you to prune even the branches of medium hardness, such as those of the vines. In doing so they will not force you to suffer who knows what efforts, since the ergonomic handle makes things easier, making them very simple to use. Finally, consider that these scissors are produced by one of the most important Italian companies in the vineyard sector (Manaresi is a guarantee).

How to choose professional pruning shears

1. Cutting mechanism

Surely you already know that the cutting mechanism, that is the body or apparatus of the cutting edge, can be different and specifically we find three options: the single blade with swing, the blade with through and the double blade. What are the differences?

Single blade with flap

The lower blade is replaced by an anvil hammer, which has the task of holding the branch better, facilitating the cutting of hard or dry wood, when the upper blade descends. The leaf prevents the twig from slipping, and optimizes the force exerted by those who use the scissors, simplifying the pruning work. On the other hand, it is not very suitable for branches, young and green shoots and delicate barks, as it would tend to crush them causing the sap to escape.

Also known as rebate counter-blade shears, these models are fantastic for obtaining precise and especially straight cuts. As I anticipated, they do not fear dry or hard wood, and make the pruning phase easier, because they allow you to cut applying less force when pressing the handles. As for the cutting diameter, they generally do not exceed 2.5 centimeters.

Due to their characteristics, they are particularly recommended for pruning vines and all plants with lignified branches.

Single blade with loop

Also in this case the cutting system foresees the presence of a single upper blade and a lower sash. Except that, unlike the previous model, the blade does not stop on the anvil but overtakes it, which is why it is also called cross-cut or through-cut. This is a feature that allows for even more precise, neat and clean cuts, without putting young shoots and green branches at risk.

By not beating on the anvil, they do not crush the branch and therefore do not damage its delicate bark or squeeze the sap. However, these professional pruning shears are not suitable for hard, dry and lignified branches, as they can produce inaccurate cuts. This happens for a reason: being hard, these branches offer greater resistance, which causes the blade to widen with respect to the leaf.

The risk is twofold: you could break the mechanism and debark the branch, damaging both the latter and the scissor. Precisely for this reason, I advise you to use them for pruning green branches.

Single-blade scissors passing through slightly thicker and more consistent branches should be used by cutting the bark beforehand. To do this you have to just place the blade on the branch and then make a small rotation in order to incise the cortical part. And, when you start cutting, you have to continue with the rotation of the wrist. This movement will give greater incisiveness to the cut and will avoid fraying.

When to use them? They are great for pruning roses, small shrubs and hedges. They are also ideal for picking small fruits (such as blueberries) and flowers.

Double blade scissors

They are the most versatile of all, considering that their cutting system makes them universal, therefore usable in any circumstance. How do they work? It’s super easy to explain. In practice, this time we have two blades but without the intersection, consequently the upper blade hits the lower one, producing a clean and rapid cut of the branch. Since there is no anvil sash, there is no problem of squeezing the lymph, nor of any debarking of the cuticle.

Another advantage is the following: often these professional pruning shears can also act against branches with a diameter greater than the average, around 3 centimeters. What are, however, the defects? As the two blades come into direct contact, these models often tend to lose their edge.

Consider that the lack of compression of the branch not only does not damage the latter, but allows a simpler and faster healing. This factor is very important, as it lowers the risk of disease.

Although universal, double-bladed scissors are generally used for pruning orchards and for cutting roses. This is because of the extreme precision of the cut, and because they do not damage the bark of the branch.

2. Blade materials

When wondering which are the best professional pruning shears, always evaluate the material of the blade. The fact that they are made of steel is hardly indicative because, as you already know, there is steel and steel, and they are not all the same. Specifically, the carbon content and the industrial production process, such as forging or forging, are very important.

  • High carbon steel: it is preferred over low carbon blades, because it makes the components harder and more robust, and because it holds the line longer. Not surprisingly, professional shears always have this peculiarity.
  • Forged steel: forging is an industrial production technique that makes steel blades even more robust.
  • Tempered steel: tempering makes the steel even more resistant, especially as regards mechanical stress, traction, torsion and impacts.
  • Coating: the coating is important as it prevents the resins from sticking to the blades, thus facilitating the cleaning phase. The best pruning shears are chrome plated, but there are also some great models with Teflon coating.

As for the coating, know that it is also important for another reason: it prolongs the life of the blades, since it protects them from the acids of the sap, which could corrode the steel. Finally, consider that the best brands from this point of view always offer you the best, as in the case of Felco scissors.

3. Mechanism: spring or ratchet?

It is also very important to evaluate the mechanism that allows the scissor to relieve the fatigue of those who use it, and which becomes precious when it comes to pruning for several hours in a row. In this case there are two options: the spring pruning shears, and the ratchet ones. In some cases, the ratchet shears give you the possibility to switch to fluid cutting, deactivating this system via a lever.

  • Spring system: it is the classic cutting support system, present in almost all professional pruning shears. The spring helps to distribute the force in an optimal way, reducing fatigue during cutting operations. It is a system particularly suitable for green and soft twigs.
  • Ratchet system: the ratchet system is especially useful for pruning hard and dry branches, as in the case of olive tree suckers. It always manages to guarantee a clean and clean cut, but you have to be careful: the cheap ratchet scissors tend to break, and in that case the tool will be thrown away.

Personally, I advise you to avoid ratchet models, because it is often a delicate mechanism, and also increases the weight of the scissor. Not surprisingly, almost all professional models are fitted with the classic spring.

Other important factors to consider

  • Self-cleaning system: some models such as Felco have a lower blade with a groove, which favors the flow of resinous substances released by the branch when it is cut. This way the scissor gets less dirty, is easier to clean and the two blades don’t stick all the time.
  • Closing block: present in all the best pruning shears, this block allows you to keep the blades closed, preventing them from suddenly opening. This is a fairly common security system.
  • Adjusting nut: some shears are equipped with a special toothed nut, which allows you to adjust the clearance between the upper blade and the inferior. The aim is to guarantee you a cut that is always precise to the millimeter, and can be customized according to your needs.
  • Rotating handle: some scissors have a lower handle that can rotate while cutting. This system allows you to reduce fatigue, as it distributes the effort on all the fingers, avoiding problems such as tendonitis.
  • Ergonomic and non-slip handle: as I have already explained to you, the ergonomic handle improves the grip, and prevents the shears from slipping from your hands in case of sweat.
  • Cushioning system: if present, this particular beater dampens the vibrations when you finish the cut, so as to protect your joints.
  • Replaceable elements: A good pruning shears should always allow you to replace parts prone to wear, such as blades and the spring.


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