Please note: Delivery delays are currently occurring with all carriers, so please allow additional time for your order to arrive.

Search

Search

How to choose the right pair of secateurs

How to choose the right pair of secateurs

Choosing a pair of secateurs can appear to be quite a daunting and confusing process, with so many options and variations available. In this blog we will attempt to provide guidance on selecting the most appropriate model and answers to the most common questions we get asked about choosing secateurs.

The first decision you need to make is do I want a pair of quality secateurs that cut well and will last for many, many years, or I do I want a cheap throw away pair. You could spend $10 on a really cheap, nasty pair. The first time they cut they might be sharp, the second cut probably not so good and by the 100th cut you’ll probably be noticing that they are now tending to tear rather than providing a clean cut or the blade has already broken. But that’s ok, you can just go and get a replacement blade…oh wait, there aren’t any available. Now into the bin they go and you buy another $10 pair. Landfill 1, environment 0. The other option is to buy a quality pair. Let’s use Felco as an example, and say they cost you $100. Now that may seem like a lot to spend, but consider this: we have seen Felco secateurs that are over 60 years old that have been passed on through generations of users and are still working well (maybe a few blade/spring changes over the years), but that works out to be less than $2 per year ownership cost, including the cost of the spares. Landfill 0, environment 1, total cost of ownership 1. Another benefit is more precise, cleaner cutting due to better quality steel, meaning the blade holds its edge better. This results in less effort to cut, less strain on the hand and wrist, and reduced need to resharpen the blade. Of course having access to a large range of spare parts means you can keep you secateurs in great shape for decades.

OK, let’s move on to models. One mistake people make is thinking that because the secateurs have the ability to cut 25mm, then the user will be able to do that, and a model that only cuts 18mm isn’t as good. Not true. The fact is that most people won’t be able to cut even 15mm of anything of reasonable hardness with a pair of hand secateurs. So don’t go looking at cutting capacity as the first criteria - select one based on your hand size. If you have small hands, choose a small hand version; if you have large hands, choose a med-large hand version. Choosing the correct size really does make a big difference to how comfortable the secateurs are to use.

There is then the question of fixed handle versus rotating handle. In a rotating handle pruner the bottom handle rotates around a shaft, so that when you close that handle with your fingers the handle will roll around as it closes. This is designed to be more ergonomic and reduces the stresses placed on your fingers and wrist when doing extensive pruning. It has also been found to be beneficial to people who suffer from arthritis or repetitive strain injuries. If you haven’t tried a rotating handle pruner before it can feel a bit awkward, but if you persevere you may find it offers considerable advantage over a fixed handle pruner. With that said, fixed handle pruners are still the most popular.

One question that we keep getting asked is what is the difference between “bypass” and “anvil” secateurs. Bypass is where the blade cuts down alongside the bottom curved “hook” (also referred to by some as the anvil), so the blade bypasses the hook or anvil. The hook effectively supports the branch while the blade slices down the side of the hook. In anvil secateurs, the blade actually cuts straight down onto the centre of the anvil. The anvil material in an anvil secateur is always a softer material than the blade (anvils are often brass whereas the blades are high carbon steel). This means the anvil is sacrificial, as the blade cuts into it over time, and the anvil gets replaced on a semi-regular basis. Bypass secateurs are great for general pruning tasks, particularly green material, as they enable a very close cut to the trunk. Anvil secateurs are generally better for cutting very hard or dead wood.

So that’s a general overview. As for brands, we carry the best in the industry, so you can’t really go wrong with any of the ones we sell.