Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
Pruning is one of the best treatments you can give to your trees and shrubs. Pruning your plants regularly encourages new, healthy growth, and also deters pests and animal infestations.
There are several tools you can use for pruning, but pruning shears are the easiest to get the job done. Also referred to as hand pruners or secateurs, pruning shears are basically a pair of traditional scissors, except they are much sturdier, and boast a robust build quality, making it easy to cut branches that measure up to an inch in diameter.
However, if you suffer from arthritis or any other similar medical conditions, using traditional pruners may cause joint strain or injury.
Here are our top picks;
Buying the best pruners for arthritis can a be a bit overwhelming, because you need to ensure that you buy a pair that won’t cause strain on your hands.
That said, we’ve researched this segment, and narrowed down on 6 best pruning shears for arthritic hands that will help you prune your garden with joy.
Best Geared Pruner — Fiskars PowerGear
Slotting in at the #1 position on this list of best pruning tools for arthritis is the Fiskars PowerGear2 Pruner for several great reasons, most notably its ability to cut branches that measure up to 3/4 inch (10.16 cm) thick.
It’s a great choice for people suffering from arthritis, owing to its PowerGear technology that offers 3x more power on every cut you make. The PowerGear2 boasts a patented, improved design, and arrives complete with modified gears, and a cam mechanism that makes it easier to cut through the middle of branches.
In terms of performance, the PowerGear2 hand pruner from Fiskars scores high, thanks to its integrated stainless steel blade, which is pampered with a low friction coating for smooth cuts, reduced gumming, and rust resistance.
Another noteworthy feature of the Fiskars PowerGear2 shears that makes it an excellent choice for arthritis is its contoured rolling handle, which just as the name suggests fits the shape and natural motion of your hand perfectly, resulting in comfortable use, and reduced hand fatigue.
- Cuts branches up to 3/4 inch
- PowerGear technology offers 3x more cutting power
- Lifetime warranty
- High quality stainless steel sharp blade with low-friction coating
- Contoured rolling handle
- Limited to 1 color option
Awarded the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use, the Fiskars Softouch micro tip snips are a great choice for novice, seasoned gardeners, and also those suffering from arthritis. It is available in two color options including orange/black, and is fitted with high quality, ultra sharp blades that make clean cuts in tight spaces.
Further, these blades are hardened, and precision ground, so they stay sharp through years of use. The handle of the Fiskars Softouch pruning shear features the company’s patented Softgrip touchpoints, which provide great comfort and control. Adding to this, it features an easy action spring mechanism, which is designed to open the blades gently after each cut in an effort to reduce fatigue.
The Fiskars Softouch pruning shear is lightweight at just 2.68 ounces (0.1 kg), making it a joy to work with even when snipping across longer periods. These micro tip snips are just the right size for harvesting herbs such as mint and chives. It comes with a cover to protect the blade during storage and transport, and is backed by a limited warranty against manufacturer defects. As with any pruning tool, care should be taking in keeping them clean and sanitized. Before and after use, you can use a weak hydrogen peroxide solution to clean the pruning blades to keep bacteria at bay.
- Sharp precision blades
- Great for those with arthritis
- Easy action spring and soft grip
- 2 colors available
- Comes with blade cover and limited warranty
- Does not come with carry pouch
(These Are Also Great Secateurs For Small Hands)
The gonicc garden pruners are an ideal choice for people with arthritis, owing to its ergonomic non-slip rubber handles. Further, it is designed for small hands, and is equipped with high quality, hardened steel blades that offer a 0.8-inch cutting capacity.
The gonicc bypass pruning shears is lightweight, and comfortable to hold, making it a joy to use for long periods of trimming. Adding to this, it features a sap groove design, which prevents it from sticking by channeling off sap.
Adding to its long list of features, it is a great choice for shrubs, wild grape vines and young trees, and features robust quality construction, so you can rest assured this pair of garden pruners from gonicc will last you for years to come with proper care.
- Blades made from hardened, carbon SK-5 steel
- Ergonomic, no-slip handles
- 0.08-inch cutting capacity
- Designed for smaller hands
- Spring actions is not as tight as other pruning shears
The Power Driver anvil hand garden pruners are in a league of their own for its award worthy design that’s complete with a clever ratchet mechanism that makes it easy to make tough cuts with ease.
To explain briefly, this ratcheting mechanism works via a latch, which allows you to release and squeeze again as you cut. The settings of the mechanism offer 5x the power, so you do more work with less effort.
The Power Driver pruners are fitted with hardened, high-quality steel blades, which are heat treated, and coated with non-stick Teflon to resist sap and other sticky materials, and reduces the need for frequent sharpening.
Additionally, the Power Driver garden pruners makes the task a lot more enjoyable, and less stressful on your hands, owing to its ergonomic design. It is a great choice for small hands, and those affected by arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Clever ratcheting spring mechanism offers 5 x power
- Hardened, high quality, blades coated with Teflon
- Ergonomic design
- Require less sharpening
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Locking mechanism can feel sticky at times
The Corona Forged Classic bypass pruners are available in a choice of three different sizes, and features a 100 percent heat-treated, forged steel alloy blade, making it easier to make clean cuts.
It features a special groove, which prevents the blade from sticking, and allows you to cut efficiently, and without having to stop intermittently to remove the sap from the blade.
Speaking of which, the blade and hook of the Corona Forged pruners are hand matched for unmatched precision, so you’re guaranteed of perfectly sharp cuts each time.
The Corona Forged pruners for arthritis features non-slip grips, so you can expect less strain and fatigue when working with it. To top things off, this pair of pruners comes with a replaceable blade, and a lifetime warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- Fully heat-treated forged steel blade
- Groove to prevent the blade from sticking
- Hand matched for great precision
- Non-slip grips
- Lifetime warranty
- 3 sizes available
- Blades may need frequent sharpening
The Gardener’s Friend pruning tool features an effective and rather unique ratcheting mechanism, which makes it easy to make cuts without putting in a fraction of the effort compared to certain other pruners.
It is an excellent choice for trimming, flowers, trees and shrubs, and can make cuts in up to one-inch thick branches. Additionally, the Gardener’s Friend pruners showcase an ergonomic design, and come with a three-stage ratchet action, and a soft rubber grip, making it easy on your hands while doing the task.
The Gardener’s Friend pruners tip the scales at just 7.8 ounces, and are rust resistant, so they will serve you well for many years to come. The sharp blade of this pair of pruners is made from carbon steel, and features a channel coating to prevent it from dulling.
- 3-stage ratcheting system
- Soft rubber grip
- Can cut up to 1-inch thick branches
- Channel coating to prevent dulling
- Lock may be challenging to use for some gardeners
Benefits of Cutting Back Plants
There are myriad different benefits of pruning, most notably:
1. Encourage plant health
Trimming promotes plant health by getting rid of dying or dead stems and branches, which allows for new growth, and greatly reduces the chances of pest and animal infestations.
2. Maintain plants and landscapes
Cutting back trees and bushes encourages healthy fruit and flower production, and keeps them in great shape. By controlling plant size and shape with regular maintenance, the appearance of your lawn and garden stays neat and beautiful at all times.
3. Protects your family and property
Regular trimming considerably reduces the chances of storm damage to your property, and destroys unwanted pest habitats such as snakes and vermin.
Types of Pruning
Even though pruning offers several benefits for your garden, it’s best to seek professional help for trimming large trees, as you may not do the task properly, and/or in worse cases may injure yourself.
That said, there are four different types of pruning, starting with thinning, which is cutting branches at their base, and alongside their trunk. Topping is another type of maintenance that entails trimming most of the branches down to the trunk. Topping encourages your trees to grow in certain ways.
If you have low hanging branches in your property, raising is the method to trim them, and create headroom for parked cars, pedestrians or entryways. Reduction is another type of trimming for safety reasons, and usually requires professional help.
Pruning with Arthritis
Gardening is a doctor recommended activity for people suffering from arthritis, as it’s a great form of exercise, and a great way to connect with others who also have green thumbs. On the downside, gardening may not be a great option for everyone, and can exacerbate arthritis pain in some cases.
When working with arthritis, you should pay close attention to pain signals, and if you feel the pain increase during the task, you should to give yourself and your garden tools a break.
Here are a few tips on how to keep pain at a minimum when carrying out your pruning needs, and performing other gardening needs with arthritis.
1. Transporting gardening tools and soil
The best pruning tools for arthritis aren’t heavy, but can cause strain on your hands when used for longer periods of time. If you have many trees to trim, then taking a break every so often is a good way to give your hands some rest.
If you’re going to be clipping and completing other gardening tasks such as applying lawn fertilizer, you should stock up on smaller bags of fertilizer or compost, and ask for help when you need it.
Speaking of which, when picking up bags of soil or heavy gardening tools off the ground, always try and keep your back straight, and bend your knees. When putting things down, simply drop them to the ground rather than bending over.
2. Keep your plants elevated
Bending, stooping and kneeling can cause pain when pruning with arthritis, so keep your flower beds at waist-height or a bit higher when removing flower buds, and trying to decrease the amount of spring bloom.
3. Choose tools that are easy to work with
When choosing pruners for arthritis, it is important to buy a pair that comes with a comfortable grip and ergonomically designed handles and sharp blades that will stay sharp. Ratchet pruner aka anvil pruners are similar in size to bypass pruners, and make it easier to cut through twigs with several smaller squeezes rather than one big squeeze.
If your pruning needs require you to tackle a thicker branch, then you should consider using a strong pair of long handled garden loppers, such as these Fiskars loppers rather than pruning shears, they have much more leverage making cutting easier.
If you need to reach higher branches, and using a ladder is unsafe, then you might want to consider using an extendable manual pole saw, also known as a pruning saw.
Best Pruners for Arthritic Hands Buying Guide
As mentioned earlier, a pruner is similar to traditional scissors, yet there are a few important factors to consider when shopping for the right pair for arthritic hands.
Type of Secateurs and Pruning Shears
There are three types of hand pruner to choose from — bypass pruners, anvil pruners, and double cut pruners. The bypass pruner is the most common of the three types, and are designed to cut young wood, small plants, and dried wood making a clean cut.
The counter blade of bypass pruners helps keep the branches in place when cutting, and crushes the bottom of the branch, resulting in less damage to the branch itself.
For cutting back old, hard, brittle and dead wood, anvil pruners are your best bet. This type of pruner is equipped with one thin cutting blade, and a wider metal base, and is a not a good choice for cutting young and/or soft wood.
This type of pruner features two cutting blades, where both come together in the center to make clean cuts.
Types of Handles
Just like the different types of pruners to choose from, there are different types of handles available. But with regard to handles, the most important factor to consider is a rotating and easy to use design, which reduces blistering and strain on your hands, making them a perfect for people with arthritis.
The rotating handles of certain pruners turn along with your hand as you open and close them, which considerably reduces hand fatigue.
Dull blades will make pruning a bit challenging, as you’ll have to put in a fair bit of extra effort. Most of the best razor sharp blades are crafted from premium quality steel, and some coated with a non-stick substance to resist sap and other sticky materials.
High quality, hardened carbon steel blades offer longer service life, and don’t require frequent sharpening. Poorer quality blades don’t just get dull quicker, but also don’t hold a sharp edge, making gardening a laborious task, and one that could cause damage to your plants.
Some shears come with a locking mechanism, which works via an integrated latch to open and close, making them safer to use, and protects the blade when not in use.
Another great feature to have to help reduce hand fatigue, and get relief from arthritis pain is a strong onsite spring. There are two types of pruning shear springs available coiled metal aka volute spring and wire springs, both make it much easier to use the tools.
Final Thoughts on Pruners For Arthritic Hands
Garden maintenance can be a daunting task, especially if you’re suffering with arthritis, and don’t have the right tools. The secateurs and hand pruners mentioned on this list are designed to reduced pain caused by arthritis, and make the overall job a lot easier, and enjoyable.