What is: Hand Pruners

Hand pruners, also known as secateurs or pruning shears, are essential tools for gardeners and landscapers. They are designed to cut and trim small branches, stems, and twigs with precision and ease. Hand pruners come in various sizes and styles, each suited for different types of pruning tasks. In this comprehensive glossary, we will explore the different types of hand pruners, their features, and how to choose the right one for your gardening needs.

Types of Hand Pruners

There are three main types of hand pruners: bypass pruners, anvil pruners, and ratchet pruners. Each type has its own unique cutting mechanism and is suitable for specific pruning tasks.

Bypass Pruners

Bypass pruners are the most common type of hand pruners. They have two curved blades that pass by each other, similar to a pair of scissors. This cutting mechanism allows for clean and precise cuts, making bypass pruners ideal for pruning live plants, flowers, and green stems. The blades of bypass pruners are usually made of high-quality steel, ensuring durability and sharpness.

Anvil Pruners

Anvil pruners, on the other hand, have a single straight blade that closes onto a flat surface, known as the anvil. This cutting mechanism is suitable for cutting dead or dry branches, as well as thicker woody stems. Anvil pruners provide more cutting power compared to bypass pruners, but they may crush live stems if used incorrectly. It is important to use anvil pruners with caution and precision.

Ratchet Pruners

Ratchet pruners are designed for cutting through tough and thick branches with minimal effort. They feature a unique ratcheting mechanism that allows for multiple cuts with a single squeeze of the handles. This makes ratchet pruners ideal for individuals with limited hand strength or those who need to make repetitive cuts. The ratchet mechanism also reduces strain on the hand and wrist, making pruning tasks more comfortable.

Features to Consider

When choosing hand pruners, there are several features to consider to ensure you select the right tool for the job:

Blade Material

The blade material is an important factor to consider as it determines the durability and sharpness of the pruners. High-quality steel blades are preferred for their strength and ability to retain sharpness even after prolonged use. Some pruners also feature non-stick coatings, which prevent sap and debris from sticking to the blades, reducing friction and making cutting easier.

Handle Design

The handle design plays a crucial role in the comfort and ergonomics of the pruners. Look for pruners with ergonomic handles that fit comfortably in your hand and provide a secure grip. Handles with non-slip materials, such as rubber or silicone, are ideal for preventing accidents and reducing hand fatigue during prolonged use.

Locking Mechanism

A reliable locking mechanism is essential for safe storage and transportation of hand pruners. Look for pruners with a secure locking mechanism that keeps the blades closed when not in use. This prevents accidental cuts and ensures the longevity of the tool.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of hand pruners can vary significantly. Consider the size of your hands and the type of pruning tasks you will be performing. Smaller pruners are ideal for precision pruning, while larger pruners provide more cutting power for thicker branches. Additionally, lightweight pruners are more comfortable to use for extended periods.

Maintenance and Sharpening

Proper maintenance and sharpening are essential for keeping hand pruners in optimal condition. Regularly clean the blades after each use and oil the pivot point to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Sharpen the blades as needed to maintain their cutting performance. Some pruners come with replaceable blades, making maintenance and sharpening easier.


In conclusion, hand pruners are versatile tools that are essential for any gardener or landscaper. By understanding the different types of hand pruners and their features, you can choose the right tool for your specific pruning needs. Remember to consider factors such as blade material, handle design, locking mechanism, size and weight, and maintenance requirements when selecting hand pruners. With the right hand pruners in hand, you can achieve precise and effortless pruning, ensuring the health and beauty of your plants.