Pruning saw cutting a tree graphic image

How to Choose the Right Pruning Saw for Your Needs

Navigating the array of options to find the best pruning saws can be a daunting task for any gardener or landscaper. Whether you’re tending to a small backyard or managing a large estate, the right pruning saw is a vital tool in your gardening arsenal. This guide focuses on various aspects of pruning saws, from blade type to handle design, helping you make an informed decision that matches your specific gardening needs.

Selecting the Ideal Pruning Saw for Your Gardening Tasks

No matter whether you are an agricultural artist sculpting your landscape into rabbits and gnomes or simply trying to clear away those pesky branches blocking up your son’s bedroom window upstairs, having the appropriate pruning saw is essential for success. But how do you select the ideal one?

Understanding the following features will guide you in choosing a pruning saw that not only performs well but also enhances your gardening experience: Whether you require a saw for delicate pruning or heavy-duty cutting, you can find an option perfectly tailored to your needs.

Consider some key factors.

Feature Details Significance
Blade Type Curved or straight, varying lengths and teeth per inch (TPI). Influences cutting efficiency and suitability for different types of branches.
Handle Design Ergonomic, non-slip grip, foldable, or fixed blade. Affects comfort and safety during use, portability, and storage.
Material and Durability High-carbon steel blades and corrosion-resistant coatings. Ensures longevity and consistent performance.
Cutting Mechanism Bypass, anvil, or ratcheting mechanisms. Determines the ease of cutting and the ideal use case (live or dead wood).
Maintenance Requirements Ease of cleaning and availability of replacement blades. Impacts the long-term usability and upkeep of the saw.

Blade Types

The shape of a pruning saw’s blade can have an immense effect on how easily and rapidly it cuts. The best pruning saws with straight blades are designed for comfortable back-and-forth cuts between shoulders and waist height, while curved blades work best for trimming branches above head height. You should also decide between folding and fixed-blade pruning saws, though fixed-blade saws tend to be larger and heavier.

Our reviews focused on testing the comfort, weight, and balance of handle designs as well as grip, how easily cutting with them was, safety features (some have hooked-shaped ends that prevent fingers from slipping as you use them), and blade folding into and out of handles to find out whether this would be an important consideration if taking a pruning saw up ladder.

When using a pruning saw, it is important to handle the sharp blades carefully. Always wear sturdy gloves when handling one and, when cutting above head height, safety glasses to shield your eyes from debris falling from above. It’s also best to prune in an area with good ventilation and make sure the saw doesn’t point towards anyone, as this could result in serious injury to yourself or someone else.

When choosing the material used for a pruning saw, prioritise hardness and long-term durability. Manufacturers construct most models of pruning saws using high-carbon steel that they impulse-harden for maximum strength and resilience. They then coat the steel to prevent corrosion and future rusting issues.

Harder metal blades tend to provide smoother, more precise cuts than their soft metal counterparts. Additionally, precision-ground teeth on some pruning saws allow for reduced pressure during use.

Before closing your saw, ensure the blade locks securely into place so as to avoid accidental cuts while it remains closed and ensure its safe storage or pocket space.


Material choice will play an integral part in selecting the ideal pruning saw model for you. Choose a handle made of sturdy yet comfortable materials that feel good against your hands. Most models offer either a pistol grip, where your fingers wrap around it from underneath, or a D-grip for traditional saw use. Some models also come equipped with hooks at their ends for pulling with more force. The grip should be designed to prevent your hand from slipping when sawing by incorporating grooves or ribs.

Choose a high-quality metal for the blade that can withstand the rigorous demands of pruning work and impulse-harden it for improved strength and extended sharpening time. Carbon steel blades should additionally feature a protective coating or chrome plating to reduce rust risk.

Consider the types and thicknesses of branches that will need to be cut before selecting the ideal pruning saw for your garden. Thick branches may prove more challenging to cut with smaller saws; therefore, heavier-duty models may be more suitable.

Consider whether your pruning work involves pruning above or below ground. If it involves trimming branches above your head, look for a pruning saw with a curved blade, which will prevent the branch from slipping while sawing it. A curved blade also works well for cutting below the waist, as it keeps your body facing forward rather than backward.

Ideally, make pruning cuts outside the branch collar, which is the slightly swollen and ridged area where a branch meets its trunk or larger branch. The collar helps the branch heal while protecting it from disease and insect pests; cutting too close may leave unsightly stubs susceptible to disease and insects.

Handheld handsaws are ideal for pruning small to medium-sized branches, as they’re easy to use and feature curved blades that cut on the pull stroke. Popular brands include Fiskars, Silky, Corona, and Bahco; their durable products are popular with professional orchardists and arborists for their ergonomic design and durable performance.


When using your pruning saw, make sure it fits comfortably in both of your hands without causing strain on your fingers and shoulders. A comfortable handle will make for more effective pruning sessions overall.

Professional arborists and orchardists require pruning saws with different blade lengths and tooth configurations in order to work efficiently on various trimming and cutting tasks. Brands like Bahco, Gerber, and Silky offer pruning saws equipped with different features so as to meet individual customer demands.

Professional gardeners and home gardeners may prefer lightweight pole saws to reach high branches without climbing ladders. These telescopic pruning saws are usually powered by batteries or gas and feature four sections with an aluminium alloy pole containing four saw blades, providing greater flexibility and safety than traditional hand tools since no climbing is necessary.

However, while these tools can be effective at reaching higher branches, we do not advise homeowners to use them in place of ladders, as a fall could prove fatal. Only trained tree care professionals should utilise ladders, with at least one colleague joining in their use to maximise safety.

As well as considering blade size, it is also essential to think about how a pruning saw will feel in your hands when in use. A lightweight and easily controlled saw will make it easier for you to achieve consistent cuts with greater accuracy; on the other hand, a heavy or bulky pruning saw can put too much strain on your hands and fingers, leading to fatigue or pain in both.

Japanese manufacturers design the best pruning saws for light and comfortable use, incorporating blades made from SK5 carbon steel with impulse hardening to extend their sharp edge and prevent them from dulling over time. Chrome plating helps with rust resistance, while its soft, curved handle features anti-slip gripping to keep hands from slipping in use. There’s even an on/off switch and locking button for safety when not in use—all folded into storage when not required for safety and storage purposes.


Pruning can be a hazardous endeavour, so using an appropriate pruning saw is one way to mitigate potential danger. To reduce the risks associated with pruning, the blade must be strong enough to cut through wood without breaking and the handle strong enough to resist force; additionally, its handle must provide easy gripping with a non-slip grip that fits comfortably in your hand and an easily accessible curved blade that does not catch on anything during its cutting operation.

There are a variety of brands that manufacture top-of-the-line pruning saws for landscapers and gardeners. Popular models from these brands are ARS, Felco, and Silky. These models have earned themselves an excellent reputation due to their precise cuts, rugged durability, and ergonomic designs that reduce hand fatigue while helping users complete tasks more quickly and accurately.

These pruning saws have blades made of high-carbon steel that is quenched or impulse-hardened, increasing strength and sharpness while preventing rusting. Kerf width can have an impactful impact on finish quality and cutting efficiency; narrower kerfs allow for cleaner cuts with greater precision, while wider ones may prove more practical for cutting through larger branches.

All pruning saws should be simple to use and maintain, with many featuring detachable blades for cleaning purposes. Handles made of durable materials like rubber or TRP plastic can also help ease maintenance responsibilities, while plastic or metal guards should cover their jaws for additional user safety. Additionally, most pruning saws are designed for one-handed operation, featuring ergonomically shaped handles that offer comfortable use while still producing maximum power output.

An effective pruning saw is essential to controlling overgrowth and maintaining the shape of trees, shrubs, and other plants. Having one handy can make all the difference when it comes to successfully completing challenging pruning jobs while protecting both your property and your employees.