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Best secateurs for 2019

By Manette Kaisershot

Find out which secateurs give the cleanest and easiest cut, making your garden tidy-up quick and easy - and the ones to avoid.

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A great pair of secateurs cuts cleanly and without much effort on your part. They'll also be well-made so they'll last you through many years of pruning and dead-heading. 

We test secateurs for how well they cut through a variety of plants and assess how much force is needed to cut through a standard branch size. We assess them for how comfortably they sit in your hand, how easy they are to spot if left in the garden and how easy they are to clean. 

We also check to see if each pair of secateurs is suitable for left-handed people or people with a weak grip. This will help you to select the best pair of secateurs for your garden work. 

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We've tested 12 popular secateurs, from premium secateurs, costing over £70, to more basic models that you can pick up for under £20. 

In the table below you can see them all, rated from best to worst. Our top pick scored an impressive 83% and is a great all-rounder that has blades that leave an exceptionally clean cut. Our worst on test weren't bad at cutting, but were not comfortable to use. 

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Best secateurs for 2019 

Model Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   83%

 These secateurs are razor sharp, cut cleanly and easily through all types of plants and are comfortable to use. The coloured handles make them easy to spot in the garden in daylight or at night.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   81%

These secateurs are great value. They did nearly as well as our top scoring pair and cost less then half the price. Their simple design is appealing to the eye, as well as comfortable to use.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   74%

 The colour of these secateurs makes them difficult to spot in your garden and they were difficult to clean. However, they cut cleanly, though require a bit more force to cut than our Best Buy secateurs.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   72%

 These secateurs do a good job of cutting cleanly and don’t require too much force to cut. However, they are uncomfortable to use and the span of the handles is very wide.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   71%

 These secateurs took a little more force to cut than some of the other we have on test. The roll handle divided opinions, too, with gardeners either loving it or hating it.

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
  69%

 We found these secateurs are good at cutting and don’t require a great deal of force. However, their colouring means they will be easy to lose in your garden and they are difficult to clean. 

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   66%

 Like with other roll-handle secateurs, opinion was divided on these secateurs. They cut cleanly, but you’ll find it requires a bit of force to cut. The colour means you’ll easily lose these in the garden.

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Ease of use Score
   64%

These secateurs did very well in our test, cutting through plants cleanly. They are easy to use and sit in the hand comfortably. However, you’ll need a bit of force to cut, which is the major drawback to this pair of secateurs.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   62%

 Another pair of secateurs hard to find if you leave them in your garden. Though these secateurs give a nice clean cut, you’ll need to apply a bit of force when using them. The spring is a bit tough, which is why the extra force is needed.

  • Suitable for weak grips

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   61%

 These secateurs give a nice clean cut but require a bit of force to do so. They also feel a bit heavy and unbalanced in your hand; which might prove uncomfortable if tackling a large pruning job. 

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   58%

 The cleanness of cut and force needed to cut of this pair of secateurs are on par with Felco and they look similar, too. However, they are not very comfortable to use as the weight is a bit unbalanced in your hand. 

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  Force needed to cut Blade effectiveness Spring Score
   51%

While not a bad pair of secateurs, they don’t cut as cleanly or well as other models we’ve tested. You won’t find them comfortable to use and they are hard to clean.

  • Suitable for a left-handed person

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Table last updated August 2018

How we test secateurs 

We sent several pairs of each secateurs into the capable hands of professional gardeners, who assessed them on a range of aspects; including how well they cut, how easy and comfortable they are to use and how heavy they feel.

As they use these tools every day in their line of work they know what to look for in a good pair of secateurs.

We rate each pair of secateurs on: 

  • Force needed to cut and blade effectiveness 
  • If they are bright and easy to spot in your garden 
  • The comfort of the handle 
  • The weight, balance, how well the spring works and if the span of the blades is right 
  • The suitability for a left-handed person or someone with a weak grip 

Secateurs that earn over 75% get a Best Buy recommendation from us. 

Choosing the best secateurs 

Your ideal pair of secateurs will cut cleanly and easily through all types of plant stems and foliage. You won't need to exert too much force and the tools will sit comfortably in your hand. 

It is important the that spring is strong enough to last through years of use, but nimble enough that it doesn't take too much force to cut or spring back too hard when you are done cutting. 

Secateurs are easy to lose in the garden, as you'll put them down from time to time to clear as you are doing cutting. You'll want a pair with brightly coloured handles that will be easy to spot when they go missing. 

For detailed buying advice on what to else to consider when looking for a new pair of secateurs, visit our page on how to buy the best secateurs. 

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