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Last updated: 15 November 2016

Secateurs are an essential tool for most gardeners, but there are hundreds of models out there, costing anywhere from $4 to up to $100 (or more). We put bypass and anvil secateurs to the test to see which ones cut the mustard – or more usefully, the rose bushes.

  • Our secateurs buying guide will also help you cut to the chase when deciding which type and model will suit you.
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Our tests are done by a panel of four testers, including one woman and one left-hander, all with plenty of gardening experience. Our secateur reviews will tell you:

  • which models cut easily and effectively through both soft and hard wood
  • which ones feel most comfortable in the hand

Our interactive comparison tool lists other useful specifications and features for each model, to help you quickly figure out which secateurs are right for you. And our Recommended list tells you which models come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

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    Recommended or typical retail price, as of February 2016.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 4 and 88

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    Type

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    Bypass secateurs work like scissors: the plant rests on the curved bottom blade and is cut by the sharper top blade as it slices past the bottom blade. 

    Anvil secateurs work like a guillotine: the top blade does the cutting, coming down onto the bottom flat blade (the "anvil").

      Ambidextrous design

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      Ambidextrous design means the safety catch is positioned centrally so that it can be easily accessed no matter which hand you use to hold the secateurs, and the handles are not specifically shaped to fit one hand in particular. Most models have ambidextrous handles but several have the safety catch on the left side of the secateurs, to be operated by the right hand thumb.

        Test results

        Performance score

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        The performance score is an equally weighted average of the testing panel's scores. The four-person panel (including one woman and one left-hander) assessed how well the secateurs cut green and semi-dry cuttings up to about 20mm in thickness, as well as hard 9.5mm dowel.

         

        enter value/s in increments of i between 20 and 88

        Ease of use score

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        The ease of use score is an equally weighted average of the testing panel's scores. The four-person panel (including one woman and one left-hander) assessed the secateurs for comfort in the hand while in use and the ease of using the safety catch.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 43 and 84

        Specifications

        Weight (g)

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        The measured weight of the secateurs, in grams.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 133 and 358

        Maximum cutting diameter (claimed, mm)

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        The cutting diameter is the thickest branch the secateurs claim to cut. This is usually for green or soft wood; with hard, dry wood, they might only manage smaller diameters.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 15 and 28

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