The Best Hand Pruners for Arthritic Hands: A Review

In the Garden Sue May 26, 2024
1081 People Read
Pruners for arthritis

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon associate I may earn on qualifying purchases. 

Gardening is a wonderful hobby that brings joy and beauty to our lives. However, for individuals with arthritis, it can be challenging to find the right tools that provide ease of use, pain control, and ergonomic design. "Think of arthritis as both pain and the loss of joint function. Both are incapacitating," explains John Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation in Atlanta.

The role of assistive devices plays a crucial role in maintaining and enjoying a wonderful hobby, like gardening.

Here is a review of three different hand pruners by a physical therapist and master gardener

Links to Pruners in video:

Felco F-2:

Fiskars forges bypass:


Fiskars snips:

In this blog post, we will explore the top three hand pruners for arthritic hands. We'll discuss the key features necessary for individuals with arthritis and how these pruners address their unique needs.

If you would like to read a review on Long Handled Pruners/loppers and their suitability for senior gardeners, click here

1. Felco Pruner (Model F-8 or F-7, F-2):

The Felco brand is widely recognized for producing high-quality and durable gardening tools. The Felco Pruner, specifically designed for individuals with arthritic hands, is an exceptional choice.

Here are some notable features:

a) Ergonomic Design:

The Felco F-8 incorporates an ergonomic handle design that reduces strain on arthritic hands. Its angled cutting head ensures a comfortable grip and minimizes wrist and hand fatigue during prolonged use. The comfort grip extends up and over the finger and thumb blocks to prevent your hand from slipping forwards over the cutting mechanism.

b) Precision Cutting:

Equipped with a bypass cutting mechanism, the Felco Pruner delivers clean and precise cuts up to 1 inch in diameter. Its hardened steel blades provide excellent cutting performance and are easily replaceable. The cut was easier to make on the same size branch with these than the other two tested.

c) Adjustable Handles:

The pruner's handles can be adjusted to fit the user's hand size, ensuring a secure and comfortable grip. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis, allowing for customizable support and reducing strain on joints.

2. Corona BP 3180D Classic Cut Forged Hand Pruner:

Corona is another reputable brand known for manufacturing top-quality gardening tools. The Corona BP 3180D Classic Cut Forged Hand Pruner is an excellent choice for individuals with arthritic hands.

Let's explore its features:

a) ShockGuard Bumpers:

This pruner features ShockGuard bumpers that help reduce the impact during cutting, thereby minimizing strain and pain in arthritic hands. The bumpers act as a cushion, absorbing the vibrations that typically exacerbate arthritis discomfort.

b) Forged Steel Construction:

The pruner's blades are forged from high-quality steel, ensuring long-lasting sharpness and durability. The precision-cutting blade design enhances performance and minimizes the effort required to make clean cuts. When this one was tested on the same size branch, this model needed more grip strength to squeeze the pruner.

c) Non-Slip Grips:

The Corona BP 3180D comes with non-slip grips that provide enhanced control and reduce the risk of slippage. This feature is especially beneficial for individuals with arthritis, offering a secure and comfortable hold during use. This grip was better on these than the other two, but the grip does not extend over the finger and thumb blocks,so smaller hands tend to slip forward onto the steel portion of the block making it somewhat uncomfortable.

3. Fiskars Softgrip Bypass Pruner:

Fiskars is a well-known brand that emphasizes ergonomic designs in its gardening tools. The Fiskars Softgrip Bypass Pruner is an excellent choice for individuals with arthritic hands.

Let's delve into its features:

a) Softgrip Handles:

The pruner features Softgrip handles that provide cushioning and reduce strain on arthritic hands. The soft, contoured grips enhance comfort and minimize the effort required to operate the tool.

b) Bypass Blade Design:

The bypass blade design ensures clean and precise cuts. The hardened steel blades retain their sharpness, making pruning tasks easier and less taxing on arthritic joints. This pruner and the Felco pruner were about the same when it came to cutting small branches, but this one does not cut over a 3/4 inch diameter easily.

c) Easy Open Lock:

The pruner incorporates an easy-to-use locking mechanism that securely holds the blades closed during storage. The simple one-handed open and close function eliminates the need for excessive grip strength, which can be challenging for individuals with arthritis. The Fiskars pruner that was tested in the YouTube video below had a much harder locking mechanism than this one.

Choosing the right hand pruner for arthritic hands is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable gardening experience.

Our Top Choice for Garden Pruners:

The Felco Pruner, with its ergonomic design and precision cutting, is our top choice for arthritis sufferers. This Pruner also comes in different sizes for small or larger hands, and has more than one design to choice from. It cuts the largest diameter of a branch of the three tested and needed less grip force to cut cleanly through.

Felco pruners have replaceable blades, so if they become dull or damaged beyond sharpening, you can easily swap them out following the manufacturer's instructions. They are more expensive than the other 2 pruners, but they are known by all the professionals for their long lasting durability.

Felco Hand Pruners

Felco pruner

Tips for any Pruner you buy:

  • always wear grippy garden gloves which will help you grip better with any pruner you choose

  • keep your pruner sharpened so you don't have to grip or squeeze as hard to cut. Check out this article on how to sharper a hand pruner.

  • take breaks

  • keep your wrist in a neutral position when cutting so your wrist is not in flexion or extension when cutting.

  • choose a pruner that fits your size hand. Some models are specifically for small, medium or large hands and you can use the manufacturer sizing charts to make sure you get the right size for your hand.

When selecting a hand pruner, prioritize features such as ergonomic design and ease of use to make gardening more accessible and enjoyable for anyone with arthritis.

If you are a Senior or have too much hand pain for hand pruners, look at this article about the Best Long handled Pruners and Electric ones for Seniors

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.What Are the Best Hand Pruners on the market?

A: After an extensive review and personal experience, we feel the Felco brand of pruners are long lasting, has great ergonomic features and can be well maintained for years to come. They have lots of chooses for your individual needs and are worth the money.

2. Which is better bypass or anvil pruners?

A: The choice between anvil and bypass pruners depends on the type of cutting tasks you need to perform and your personal preferences. Both types of pruners have their own advantages and are better suited for different situations.

       +Bypass Pruners:

- Bypass pruners are typically the more versatile option for general pruning tasks. They work like scissors, with one sharp blade passing by a thicker, unsharpened blade.

- They provide cleaner cuts as the sharp blade slices through the plant material, minimizing damage to the plant.

         + Anvil Pruners:

- Anvil pruners have a single sharp blade that cuts against a flat, hard surface (the anvil) to crush and sever the branch or stem.

- They are better for cutting dead or dry wood, as the crushing action is more effective on tougher materials.

- They may not provide as clean of a cut on live, green wood, as they can potentially cause more damage to the plant.

3. What is the most common Felco Pruner?

A: The Felco F-2 is the most common pruner

4. How often should you sharpen your pruners?

A: Felco advises to sharpen your tool once every use for optimal sharpness. I personally sharpen mine once every couple of uses.

Happy Gardening!

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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon associate I may earn on qualifying purchases.