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The Dirt

What are the best hand pruners?

Photo/Illustration: Steven Cominsky
Photo/Illustration: Steven Cominsky

In the July/August 2009 issue of Fine Gardening (#128), we featured “100 Skills to Make You a Better Gardener.” Entry #9 is on buying quality hand pruners, with Felcos being the recommended brand. A reader took us to task for implying that Felcos are the only quality pruner around. This reader (who prefers Bahco pruners) makes a point I usually try to make. I use ARS V-8 pruners, and I wouldn’t trade them for a box full of Felcos. Well, maybe for a box full — but it would have to be a big box. What do you think? Are Felcos the best? Are there other good hand pruners that gardeners should try?




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  1. DanielleGardenGirl 06/01/2009

    I’m actually a HUGE fan of my Smith and Hawken pruners. They have all the same bells and whistles as Felcos--but have orange handles instead of red. I was thoroughly offended when a friend once called them, “Felco-Knockoffs.”

  2. Brandi_S 06/01/2009

    I shop for pruners like I shop for food - if someone tells me they like a certain brand, I'll try it once. If it sucks, I'm not going back. I also have what I call my "safety" brand that I know is to my liking, which I keep around for reliability. Felco is my "safety" brand. They might not be the cheapest, but they get the job done right.

  3. tipnmillie 06/16/2009

    I'm on my second set of Felcos and think they are the best...sharpest and wrist friendly. The expense is an issue...but they last for years so it all evens out.

  4. curty6969 04/10/2010

    I am looking forward to owning a pair of Felco pruners. I hhave been using Corona pruners and they get the job done. Bur when you want to replace parts you are out of luck. Yes, Felco's are more expensive but will be with you for a long time.

  5. Plantmum6 02/20/2012

    I work at a nursery and I would be lost without my Felco 400's. Sadly they discontinued this model, but I have two pairs that I hope will last me fourty years, then you can bury me with them!

    I did try a pair of pruners at a home and garden show that had a racheting mechanism, they were pretty cool as they could cut large branches with ease. My only problem was that they were anvil cut and I prefer bypass. I wish I could remember the name of those!

    1. anansievony 10/09/2014

      Pretty sure they were the Florian Ratchet Cut pruners. I saw that The Online Greenhouse has them. I am undecided on the bypass vs. anvil....

  6. nicolepent 11/15/2014

    I can personally endorse Felco F-2 Classic Manual. Very well made pruners! http://reviewplex.org/felco-f-2-classic-manual-hand-pruner/

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