Pruners are a sensitive topic among us gardeners. We all have our favorites and god help the person who champions a competing brand. But that’s what this pruner showdown is about, so please don’t throw tomatoes at me.
(I’m only discussing bypass pruners here. Anvil pruners often crush the stems when they make a cut, so they aren’t a great choice for your primary pruner.)
The shiny red handles of Felco pruners are like a badge of honor to serious gardeners. You know you’ve taken the whole gardening thing past hobby and into obsession when you are willing to drop $50-60 on a pair of pruners.
There’s no question Felco makes a quality pruner. But do they really have the best pruner, or just the best marketing department?
Totally replaceable parts. You can buy a new everything on your Felcos; springs, nuts, blades, handle grips… If you still have something left to your pruners, you can fix or replace them after any problem.
Sap groove. The sap groove, a little inlet along your pruner’s lower blade, directs sap away from the cutting blade and keeps sticky stuff from gumming things up.
Wire-cutting notch. If you open your pruners all the way, you’ll see a little round notch on the blade to allow you to cut wires without dulling the blade. This comes in handy surprisingly often.
Shock absorber. Felcos have a little rubber bumper to help reduce shock to your hands and wrists while cutting.
Many styles and sizes to choose from. They aren’t totally customizable, but most styles come in left- and right-handed, for example. There are a few types recommended for larger or smaller hands, and one style that is ergonomically designed to reduce hand stress, with an angled blade and curved handle (Felco 8 and 9).
They also have rolling-handled versions which are great for propagating or long days of pruning like during fruit tree season. The roll-handled version is harder to get positioned in your hand because the handle is fatter, which is why I don’t like it on days when you are picking up and setting down your pruners.
The spring. I don’t know about you guys, but my Felco spring pops off constantly when I’m really getting into a shrub and pruning. I don’t have that problem with other brands.
Poor ergonomics. I used to think Felco’s ergonomic models were excellent. I went from a basic Felco 4 to a Felco 8 (ergonomic model), and I was in heaven, cutting much thicker branches with less wrist shock. Since then, I’ve worked with an even better pruner, which put Felcos’ ergonomic features to utter shame.
Now I look back and remember the weeks of soreness during pruning season with my Felco 8’s and I wish I’d tested other brands sooner.
The verdict on Felcos:
An excellent, functional pruner, but you can do better.
Coronas are the nerdy little sister to the fancypants Felco. They are a practical, functional choice, and are seen as a good middle ground between cheap-o off-brand pruners and the spendy Felcos.
Relatively inexpensive. You’ll spend between $20 and $25 for a basic pruner.
Replaceable parts. You can get new blades, new springs, new nuts – anything you need to get your pruners up and running again.
Good spring, which stays put when pruning and never pops off.
Non-slip handle grips keep your pruners from slipping out of your hands.
Sap groove keeps you pruning without the blades gumming up.
Wire-cutting notch allows you to clip errant wires while gardening.
There is nothing ergonomic about these pruners. The handles are not curved for a comfortable grip. The blades are not angled. There is no shock-absorption. I prune with these suckers for a half hour and I am feeling it.
Granted, I prune fast and hard, and I clip stems with my hand pruners that most people would reach for loppers to tackle. But even the average home gardener, deadheading for an hour a week, deserves ergonomic protection and better cutting capability than the normal Coronas offer.
They say you can prune branches up to 1” in diameter, but they must have softer branches in their neck of the woods, because I found that woody 1/2” stems were pushing it.
The verdict on Coronas:
Skip ‘em. These are reasonably nice cheap pruners because they do have a few higher-end features and replaceable parts, but unfortunately the features they have are not the ones that make pruning fun. And I don’t know why you’d wish to replace parts on a non-fun pair of pruners.
A note on Coronas: They’ve recently come out with a line of pruners that seem meant to imitate Felcos in every way – the shiny red handles, very similar styles and features. I haven’t tried any of these Felco knockoffs, since I own the real thing and don’t prefer them. If you’ve tried the Felco imitators, let us know how they compare to actual Felcos in the comments.
Let’s get right to it – I love my Bahcos. I started with a Felco pruner because as a pro, I care about a clean cut and features that reduce hand and wrist strain, and everyone I trusted told me to choose them.
But a couple years back, my favorite landscape contractor let me test out his Bahco saw. He’d been swearing by the brand for years, telling me about the special coating on the blades, the way the metal is forged, and raving about the way they cut.
I knew, of course, that I was already using the best with my Felcos, so I didn’t listen to him until I tested that saw. I cut through a hard 3” branch in about ten seconds, instead of sawing and sighing over it like I had been with my Felco saw.
I bought my first Bahco product the next day and soon was sawing away merrily at all my jobs. My contractor friend, encouraged, bought me a pair of Bahco pruners a couple months later, and even though I loved my Felcos with a passion usually reserved for items involving chocolate, I figured I’d better give those Bahcos a try.
I have not used my Felcos once since that day. I misplaced my Bahcos once, and pulled out my clean, sharp Felcos to revisit them, feeling happily nostalgic. I was able to prune with them for about fifteen minutes before deciding it wasn’t worth it to go on. I could feel a ker-chunk in my wrists with every cut, and I was struggling to cut medium-sized branches that my Bahcos just breezed through.
The Bahcos have become like an extension of my body. They cut thick branches and stems with such ease, and make pruning into the joy that it should be.
I would never have tried Bahcos were it not for my friend, because of the amazing reputation Felcos enjoy. And while Felco makes a solid product, I’d really urge you to be open to trying other brands and types of tools, because they aren’t necessarily the best choice for everyone.
On to the pros and cons!
Customizable. Are you a left-hander with large hands, or a right-hander with small hands and some big branches to prune? No problem. You can choose blade size, handle size, and left or right-handed models for the PG and PX lines. (Lefties can choose from small, medium, large, or medium rotating handles. Left-handed models only come with a medium blade, which is the blade I prefer anyway.)
Ergonomic design. The tilt and curve of the handle, the angle of the blade, and the composite handle material all combine to make it easy to prune any size branch that you can fit in the pruning head. Felcos say they can prune 1” thick stems, but I have not found that to be the case. Bahcos advertise a 3/4” cut, but they actually cut thicker stems than advertised, and easily.
Blade coating and metal used. The blades are coated with something that makes them non-sticky (Xylan), and they stay sharp and clean much longer than any other brand I have tried. I sharpen mine about once a week (that’s after about 20 hours of pruning), while my Felcos I was needing to sharpen after 4-8 hours.
Has a sap groove, rubber shock absorber, and a good spring which stays on.
Prices reflect what features you get:
PG line is cheapest ($40 or so) because it does not have replaceable parts, but is otherwise similar to the higher-end PX line. I own a pair for employee use and they prune the same as my PX ones – they just might not last as long.
PX line is the standard high-quality ergonomic pruner. The parts are replaceable and the price runs between $45 and $60. I use the PX-M2, the replaceable-part kind (PX) with a medium handle (M) and the medium blade size (2) that most pruners have.
PX-R line is the type with rotating handles. I bought a pair of these as a gift for an excellent employee just before pruning season, and got to try them out. I hadn’t liked the rotating-handle Felcos in the past because I couldn’t grab them quickly and prune just one stem – it took some doing to arrange them in my hand – but the Bahco rotators have a smaller rotating handle which makes them easy to use as your primary pruning shears if you wish.
The clasping mechanism which holds the blades closed when not in use seems to get clogged with grit or sap eventually, and makes them tough to close. I only find this mildly irritating since I wear a leather (Felco) holster on my jeans to put them into between cuts, and the holster keeps them closed for me. I can fix this temporarily with cleaning, but it’s still annoying.
The wire-cutting notch is only found on the cheapest PG line of pruner.
The verdict on Bahcos:
Bahcos are my pruner of choice by a wide margin because of how easily and comfortably they make clean, smooth cuts.
From left: Felco 8, Bahco PG-M2, Bahco PX-M2
Felco 8’s lack of ergonomic curve:
Bahco PG/ PX line’s angled handle:
I hope my experiences with the three major pruning shear brands helps you in making a decision to invest in a pair of quality pruners. You don’t have to take my word for it, though – ask your friends what pruners they use and see if you can try out the different brands and styles to get an idea of what features are best for you.
Everyone’s going to have a strong opinion, so take it all into account when you are ready to upgrade, and don’t be shy about exploring new brands – if you find something great, come back here and tell me in the comments!
Here are a couple videos to get you started in your research:
Bahco pruners – the difference between each style:
Fiskars pruners – Monica the Garden Faerie’s pruner of choice:
90 responses to “Hand Pruner Showdown: Felco VS Corona VS Bahco”
Well, well, well… you dashed my Coronas, Gen. (wink) I’ve actually never liked Felcos, they never felt well weighted in my hand. But… I am quite intrigued by your Bahcos. (How do you pronounce? Baa like sheep or Bay like a hounddog?) I’m going to have to give them a try.
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I know, I know. That’s why I said to hold the tomatoes. But I think I deserve tomatoes from the Corona lovers.
I know there are some passionate Corona defenders out there!
Bahcos are pronounced Baa-co. The cheaper PG line is remarkably good. I just got a new pair for my employees to use and they are cutting niiiice. I was surprised at how good the $30 PG’s really are.
I love my Felco hand saw but I’ve never warmed to Felco pruners; they just don’t feel right in my hand. I use the Fiskars to the far right and it really works with my hand size. I used it about five hours straight today and I’m good!
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[…] Hand Pruner Showdown: Genevieve has a readable yet informative post on pruners and which one she thinks is best. And it’s not Felco’s! […]
I lost my old felco 2s a while ago. never will get over losing them.
I do have an even older pair of felco 1s, but i have not got the parts for em. Since, ive been using coronas. I find good maintnence is more important than quality as my pruners go through marathon runs and will always dull eventually. But for me, ergonomics don’t work. I have tried, and they just don’t pay off??? Coronas are simple and tough, and with strong hands and good technique (hold your mouth right, and put your chi into it!) they do what I need them to
cool article though!
If I ever see the bachos ill give them a shot.
Wonderful information! I’m glad my Felcos can’t read though, since their feelings would have been hurt.
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Bahco’s are absolutely the best. I gave my old Coronas and Felcos to a guy I don’t like. I buy only Bahco pruning tools now for my own use and for my landscaping crews. Bahco’s require sharpening less often and wear better than others, particularly Felcos. Parts are available for Bahcos, too. I buy mine from A M Leonard, they have good prices on all excellent Bahco pruners, loppers, shears, and saws. Try ’em, you’ll love ’em too.
Great review. I usually buy good tools for anything I do around the home or garden, but there is no tool I feel more passionately about than my Bahco PX-M2. The pruner fits my hand perfectly and the balance is wonderful. It makes clean cuts, time after time, in most any thickness of vegetation.
The Bahco holster is also worth picking up as it provides a perfect fit.
I have an old pruner that uses utility blades. I think the brand was Stanley, but the name is gone. It is yellow.
With the standard blades it came with, it is a so-so product because the blades break. But when I use “unbreakable” Irwin brand blades, it is the best pruner I’ve ever used. Does anyone know where I can find this pruner, because it is starting to wear out at the hinge.
Okay Gen – you’ve convinced me! I’ll now try to get Bahco Pruners in the Nursery. It sounds like the perfect pair for me also.
I am so glad Kristina! You might start with the cheaper PG line rather than the PX line which has replaceable parts. Might sway some of those Felco devotees to try something new if it’s cheaper, and the PG line still has all the ergonomic benefits I love.
I’VE BEEN USING THE BAHCO’S FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS. I THINK THEY ARE THE BEST OUT THERE. I HAVE TO REPLAVE PARTS OCCASIONALLY AND CLEAN MONTHLY AT LEAST.
Thank you for these excellent video reviews. It helps to see it in action. I had been looking for the ‘validation’ for the extra price of the Felco pruner, and my husband has been trying to convince me that the Fiscars are more than enough. I have small hands, and little strenght in them, so I really wanted to be sure I got the right ones. We are doing a little urban homestead, and I need something that I can carry with me.
The Bahco seems to have everything I am looking for; and at a price between the Felco and Fiscars I have hope of actually getting them! (thanks to your videos)
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I was just doing a bit of garden tool research online and came across this review of pruners. Having been an avid user of Corona tools for many years I can’t help but think your comments on Corona are a bit one-sided. I have been nothing but completely happy with my Corona loppers and pruners which I rely on heavily when tending to my gardening. The pruners you mentioned are the ones I recently upgraded to and love them, even after spending considerable time using them in the garden. Your review indicates they aren’t ergonomic but did refer to the “Felco knock-offs” they have. Corona tools have been using the signature “red” design for years and I find it hard to believe they came up with the design indended to be a knock-off of the Felco brand. That comment comes off a bit petty and makes me question the validity of rest of your review. Good or bad, I would prefer the comments simply be objective.
In the future I would like to see a more meaningful apples-to-apple comparison if you take the time to put together an updated review. There are many choices for garden tools out there and my choice of tools is Corona. They’ve lasted for years, get the job done and I have certainly gotten my money’s worth and more.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment…
My thoughts exactly..
[…] all know how I feel about my Stainless Steel Hori-Hori – if I’ve got that, my Bahcos, and gloves – I’m ready to tackle the world! Or, um, the world of gardening at […]
[…] If you’ve hung out at North Coast Gardening for a while, you know I have some, ahem, opinions about gardening tools. Felcos? Forget it! […]
I have to differ, I do full time grape pruning over the winter months and I go with rotating handle Felcos every time over Bahcos, Felcos simply feel better in my hands and are much more comfortable to use.
Sometimes I might leave my Felco’s behind and would be force to use my bahcos and I slow down quite considerably until I get my Felcos back. Although, most people I work with prefer to use Bahcos.
Thanks so much for the review!! I’ve been using Fiskars for a few years & must always get a ‘bad batch’ of tools – the handles pop off & the locking mechanism jams into the locked position. I might be trying the wrong size, but just never liked the 4 or 5 pair that I own (it’s good to have pruners handy by every doorway, in the greenhouse & in your carry-all bag).
I can’t wait to try out either the Bacho or the Felco when I hit a garden centre this fall – might try one of each & see how things go!
Awesome, Michelle. If you pick them up, be sure to let me know what you think!
I have been using Bahco’s for two years now and as far as cutting and egronomic feel I like them the best over anyting I have ever had in our nursery…., EXEPT the design of the locking clasp to keep them closed has been a real issue and needs to be re-designed. Some won’t clasp to stay closed (which is dangerous) and on some, the clasp falls closed when tilting the pruners downward causing you to take them off safty everytime. These are real issues when your using them alot like we do. I wish they would fix that, the cut great, have awesome steel and feel good in your hand.
Craig, I couldn’t agree more about the clasp being an issue. That’s the one complaint I have, too. That and their obnoxious orange color. Yuck. Purple power, baby!!
Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful article on pruning shears. Recently I lost my old Felcos and needed to find a new pair. I had owned a different model, so I decided to research the web to see if the No. 2’s were still considered the standard, as those were the ones I had really wanted way back. Then I came across your article and review on Amazon. I was still a little apprehensive about trying a brand I never heard of so I ordered both the Felco No. 2’s and the Bahco PX-M2. I figured if I misplaced one I’d always have another to use. I couldn’t believe how much I used pruning shears until I lost them, so I didn’t want to ever be without a pair again.
They arrived and we had some heavy pruning to do. My husband tried out the Bahcos and I used the Felcos. The next day I decided to try the Bahcos as he raved about them so much. What a difference! They cut with the greatest of ease and were a pleasure to use.
They are now my choice of pruner and I’m afraid my new Felcos are sitting unused in my garden basket.
I can’t thank you enough for the time you spent rating the various brands and for acquainting me with one of the best pruners I have ever used. And I hope you won’t mind my referencing your article when I also review these on Amazon.
Heuchera, can I tell you how thoroughly you have made my day? It makes me so happy to know that you tried both out side by side, as did your husband, and that both of you preferred the Bahcos.
That’s how I feel, but the incessant marketing of the Felco peeps seems to overwhelm the quiet quality of the Bahcos, and I feel like so few people have even heard of the Bahco brand.
My Felcos are rather sad and unused as well. I keep my old pairs by the door in case I need to do a quick prune and don’t want to run to my truck for my Bahcos, but if I have more than a few cuts to make I just go get my good ones.
Thank you so much for commenting, and I would be honored if you’d mention me in your review! I’m a big fan of the way Amazon has provided such a centralized place for reviews.
I used a Sandvik pruning saw for years. When it finally got too dull to use, I looked up Sandvik to order a replacement…and discovered it is Bahco now. (not sure how that history works)
I also used the Fiskars bypass pruners; they pruned OK as long as I kept them sharp, but they hurt my wrists after a couple hours!
Anyway…the Bahco pruners and saw are on my Christmas wishlist. : ) I can’t wait to try them! I appreciate your review, in that you wrote out the pros and cons of each brand. I had been wondering about Felco and Corona. I even handled the Corona pruners in the store, and my hands hurt at the thought of using them. : )
Gina, I’ve heard that from other Sandvik fans! I’ve had my Bahco saw for some time and it hasn’t yet needed sharpening or care after many winters! I have both a cheaper version and a pricier one and both work great.
I’ve actually been surprised, the cheaper Bahcos have really gone down in price – they have them for $17 plus shipping on Amazon right now (check my sidebar for a link). I have had my employees using them for a couple years now and they haven’t needed any repair even with near-constant and sometimes careless use.
I have had the misfortune of using both corona pruners and loppers, and unfortunately also had to pay for them. I will use my felco pruners any day over the coronas. The warranty on corona products isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you can’t get the retailer you purchased them from to replace a practically new pair that’s defective, you have to send the piece to corona, ca for any help. At our house, instead of a bad word, we say “corona!” I would certainly be willing to try the bahco pruners if i had the opportunity to.
I was ready to buy the Felco pruners until I read your review. I’ve been looking at the Bahco pruners, but I’m having a hard time determining where they are manufactured. One web site states the PX M2 are “Imported”, and that usually means China or the Pacific Rim, not for me thanks. Do you know where these are made? If it’s not the US or EU, then I’m back to Felco F8. Thanks,
Mike, no clue where they are made, but I would actually suspect Europe since I think it’s a Swedish company? If you find out, I hope you will report back.
Genevieve, I called Bahco Supply and spoke to someone directly. He told me the Bahco PG and PX are made in Sweden and France, not one or the other but parts are made in each country. He thought the blades are made in Sweden and the handles in France. The fact it’s not all one country may be why I saw “imported” on one web-site as opposed to just one country like the Felcos were listed.
Part of the confusion is that like many other good brands, Bahco has been bought by another company, merged, bought and sold again in recent years, so it’s hard to tell if they still are what they were just a few years ago and if they still are made in the same country.
Mike, thank you so much for this info. You’re absolutely right, when a company changes hands a lot it’s hard to know if they are still the same company with the same processes and values. I really appreciate you letting us know.
Just a quick update, I ordered the Bahco PG M2 pruners for my wife and they came in yesterday and are clearly marked on the packaging and pruner blade, “Made in France”. She really likes the way they feel, I would definately need a large.
Also they are available from the Harry J. Epstein Co. of Kansas City for $12 on their website. http://store.harryepstein.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=1930&Category_Code=BahcoGarden
Thank you Genevieve for this great review, and thanks to Mike G for this link, as I just ordered a pair of my first Bahco’s and can’t wait to try them! I was ready to invest in a very good pair, and your review convinced me I needed to try Bahco’s, and this link made it easy to go for it. I’m frugal with my money. 😉 I got the PG-S2 (my hands are 3 inches wide x 6.5 inches long). My size hand fit in the Bahco size chart categories of Small and Small-Medium. I know these PG aren’t the ones you can replace the blades on, but I figured I would start with these first. I’m a home gardener but I use my pruners a lot, so I’m hoping these last a long time. If I like them, I will invest in the PX version cause I like the idea of being able to replace the parts. Until now I’ve used cheap pruners that always broke, whether it was the handle or the locking mechanism. I worry about the locking mechanism lasting on these from the review, as I have had some that slide into lock on their own and it pretty much renders them unusable, but I’m gonna give it a go. I’m currently using a pair of Fiskars Softtouch bypass pruners (Model # 79236966J) for $10 that I got last year at one of the big home improvement stores, and I should tell you I am impressed with them. It’s actually a great little pruner, easy on the hands and is easy to lock. I know your article wasn’t on Fiskars, but I thought I’d mention them. I just had to sharpen them cause I dulled the blade cutting a lot of branches, but they held up great and are still good to go. I’d recommend them if someone can’t afford much, doesn’t want to spend much, but wants a good pair. 🙂
Mike, you are officially a rock star. I am headed on over there to pick up a passel of cheap Bahcos. I can’t tell if this is a sale price because they’re closing them out or their regular deal. Either way – COOL!!!! Thank you so much.
I came across your review now as I was doing some searches on Bahco PX shears. I am an importer and re-seller of the Bahco products in South Africa, see http://www.pruning.co.za and I can confirm the following for you :
The Bahco handsaws are still made in Sweden, where Bahco/Sandvik originated.
The pruning shears, hedge shears, loppersand top pruners however, are made in France. I have visited the factory and the attention to quality is very good.
We also sell Felco shears and have had many comments from professional users saying they have found the Bahco blades to be superior.
Bahco Tools was purchased by Snap On Tools from the USA, but the agricultural/horticultural products division is still managed from Europe.
Unfortunately we do not ship to the USA but I am sure you have more than enough places to purchase.
Thanks for the review, I will continue to watch your site especially since my sister has moved to Oregon 🙂
Sean, what a wonderfully helpful comment! Thanks so much for chiming in with the specifics of where and how they’re made. I’m glad to know that South African gardeners and farmers are able to buy the best pruners in the world, too!
Great comparisons. This shows what our customers like and how we at the factory can improve our tools.
Thanks for the information.
Bahco Pruning Tools
Western Regional Sales
Based on the consistent comments regarding the poor quality/performance of the locking mechanism, are there any plans for an improvement to this component? Please provide an update.
I’ve just ordered a pair of the PX-M2’s and i’m excited to give these a try.
I have to add to the “Cons” on the Bacho’s, sorry! Last year I bought two sets of Bacho (the “cheap” and the “replaceable parts” kinds) based on your article here. I do like them a lot (both sets), BUT when I use them to cut the (seems like millions) of young, sappy, doug fir twigs and branches when clearing on my large property, I find they get gummed up with pitch and become almost unusable in a disappointingly short amount of time. I never had this problem with my old “no brand” cheap pruners, that would go all day and they didn’t even have a sap groove. I can’t understand it and it makes me want to cry, because I love the Bahco’s otherwise. And I can’t even replace the old ones because I have no idea what brand they are and where to find them!
That’s weird, Terry. I haven’t noticed this problem myself, but it could just be that I have a habit of using WD-40 every day on my tools, which I think eats through a bit of the sap. Bahco also has a spray-on sap dissolver/ lubricant that worked well – I just use WD-40 since it’s cheap and locally available.
Hi Genevieve, For that sap problem, go to this website… http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=78824 and scroll to page 48. In the page you will find SAP-X. It is a great cleaner for Sap problems. I find that this can take care of all the problems associated with sap and other residue that plants and branches leave on pruners. As far as steel goes, usually forged-aluminum is great for sap problems but our pruners will never be or are they made out of forged-aluminum due to the weight that it adds to our pruners. It wouldn’t be consistent to the way Bahco(WE) make our pruners.
Terry, thanks for buying Bahco.
Western Regional Sales Manager
Bahco Pruning Tools
How about the Bahco pneumatic pruner? I have two old pruners that were made by Agrimatica (not sure about the spelling) They work great in my orchard but I can’t find them online. I have a Campagnola that just does not work as well. I have a number of hand pruners but with the amount of pruning I do I have to use power pruners. I will someday need parts for my old pruners and I have no idea how to find them.
Mr. Thompson, Try page 17 in the Bahco Catalog.
click Here-> http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=78824
Go to Page 17 and look at Model No. 9210.
Thanks Gen and Gene!
I guess I have the least expensive Bahco pruners. Since I have had mine I no longer care to use other pruners. I am a professional who uses her tools extensively, and I am glad you posted this article. I had to look at the name of my new favorite pruner, and I will be getting the high end Bahco with the rotating handle. Love this brand.
I lost my Corona’s in the garden this past summer so have been looking for a replacement. You’ve convinced me to buy a couple of Bahco’s, so now, where can I find the best price? Meaning the lowest price and hopefully no postage.
Sharon, this is the cheapest I’ve found them: http://www.amazon.com/Bahco-Ergonomic-Pruner-Medium-PG-M2/dp/B000288L42/ref=as_li_wdgt_js_ex?&linkCode=wey&tag=northcoastgardening-20
(as of 4/29/14 ‘The Pruner Warehouse’ sells the Bahco PX-M2 for $39.89 which includes free shipping. They also sell parts and accessories. The prices on both Bahco’s and Felco’s are quite a bit less here than at Amazon).
Thank you, I am 3 inches across the palm and 7inches from tip of finger to wrist.
would you reccommend the s or M.
Hmm. The size chart is here. You can print it out for accurate sizing: https://www.oescoinc.com/bahcodirections.pdf
Genevieve: I noticed the link no longer works. I was looking for Bahco sizing information today and found this illustrated sheet that walks you through the sizing process. Very easy…used a measuring tape and it took only about a minute to size the hand. Link: http://www.peachridge.com/pruning/handpruners/pxsize.htm
Tried both links and none worked. Found it here tho:
Interesting comparison, seems to be nothing else like it on the web. With so much disposable junk widely available to both home gardeners and professionals. I loathe the semi-moderated reviews on “shopping sites”, worthy of a look-see but in the catagory of tools user error tends to lead to disappointment and a negative review. A person experienced with similar tools might be able to dismiss such commentary but it can easily be misinterperated by the average shopper. This review is helpful to me having already ordered one new pruner today.
I’ve been in the lawncare/landscape industry for over 25 years. Gardening tools are a huge part of my life. Some are replaced by necessity and others by choice. I don’t always purchase the “best” but I do prefer quality, I have very little interest in throw-away products. With a recent move and tackling a new market I’m in the market for quite a few new tools and although most of my old tools are serviceable I do have to consider my new client’s first impression as well. Quite a few old favorites as well as some with innovative twists incorporated are on my list.
I’ve used Corona pruners and loppers for years and have very few complaints. The bottom line being that they were the best offerings at the common places I shop. Case in point would be my new loppers that I’m anxious to get to work with. Mid-grade Coronas @ $50 as I wasn’t quite dedicated to their commercial offerings or Felco’s at $100. I’ve use Corona pruners for years. Stout, sturdy beasts that could last the average user a lifetime. With a leather sheath you’ve got a good tool and a professional appearance. I’ve been so tempted to “upgrade” to Felcos for my finer pruning jobs but I’ve had difficulty justifying the cost. I was surfing the AM Leonard website as I’ve been impressed with their tools over the years and saw the Bahco offerings but no real world experience/reviews. Never heard of ’em. I decided on a mid-grade Felco knock-off with the Leonard name but after finding your review and getting a good look at the Bahco pruners I’ve decided to add the PX-M2 to my arsenal as well. The ergonomic design and angled cutting head intrigue me as well as the reviews thus far. Aging and arthritis lead to a need for comfort and the price justifies at least trying something new.
Wow, my ex-b/f gave me a pair of Corona’s before our break-up, but my wrist hurt so bad after an afternoon of trimming the old, overgrown blackberry patch, I did some online research, fell for the hype, and invested in a pair of Falco’s, which were hardly any better. Gardening in Maine is a lot of engrossing work, and one needs to go into battle with the very best of tools. I sure do wish I’d read about Bahlco’s before the Felco Fiasco, but will move on from both Corona and Felco, just as I did the less-than-satisfactory b/f, without wasting any more time. Thank you!
I worked at commercial apple orchard 35 years ago. When I first started pruning we had a box full of anvil type shears that were junk. We decided to purchase a couple Felco 2 s. After a couple of years a bought a pair for home and still using them 33 years later.
I use them year round ( in Maine ) for everything you can think of, and always careful not to get onto the dirt. A few passes over the blade with a small fine flat file is all it takes to make a nice clean cut.
So 33 years ago I thought I was crazy for paying $25.00, you get what you pay for.
There is an alternative!
Try the Lowe 8.107 from Big Bear Tools.New to North America in the last couple years.
Really Superior products from Germany!
Gauging which model is best, based on 30 years of daily or weekly use, I find that the Felco #2 are the best model. Their ergonomics may depend on hand size. I think that most professionals specializing in pruning services have the right size hand for those.
I have 2 pairs, both pre-1985. They actually have Corona and Felco stamped on them, proving their age. Because post-1985 Felco #2 only have Felco marked.
Odds are, that loss of the spring is more of a novice or technique issue. The spring on mine only comes loose about once every month or so. I’ve only lost one spring in 30 years, and keep another spare, that has yet to see use.
The grip coating wore off mine after about 6 years. And using them that way makes me realize that a non-slip coating is not all that critical on any brand.
The Bahco would be a secondary choice. but it’s easy to see from side-by-side comparison that the Bahco’s blade is oriented at more of an angle to the handle. In other words, the Felco #2 is a bit more easy to insert straight-on into a gap to reach twigs or limbs.
I think the Bahco is seems more ergonomic for pruning landscape shrubs or trees if someone has a certain size hand or feels pressure from one side of the handle where dimensions vary.
[…] For more pruner reviews, check out this link. […]
Hi Gen, Here is a new hand pruner that is causing huge attention at the farm level everywhere I go. The new black P1-20T. It is Felco’s and Corona’s biggest nightmare out on the fields.
Wow, David. I just can’t wait to see that! How do we order? Are there any online sources?
Why do you say that P 1 is new?
It was started to produce in the early 90’s and was the predecessor of PX series.
Thanks for the fantastically informative review! Everyone else’s reviews included silliness like “oh, let’s see how wire dulls these” or whatever, and here I am wanting to know about use, not abuse! Yours included cut quality, ease of cut, and how honest their rated cutting capacity actually is, which I think is about exactly what I’d need to know about such a tool. Thank you! Just ordered myself a pair of PX-L3’s with which I’m quite sure I’ll be pleased with this solid and informative of a review leading me to them.
Hi Based on this review and comments I bought a Bahco PX and used it today…. WOW outstanding! And i can even use my lawn tractor with it in my front pocket due to the angled handle. This will also help when i fall off a ladder (God forbid!) I had no issue with the close stopper as some have commented about. LOVE IT! Vive La France on this one!
After reading all the great comments about Bahco pruners here, I ordered a pair from Amazon. They just arrived and I feel really, really stupid. How do I remove the packaging? The paperboard is under a nut. I tried to remove the nut, but it’s not coming off easily and I can’t imagine that I have to go through all that to remove the pruners from the packaging. Again, I know I’m the dense one! But can someone advise me?
I have the same problem on my new Bahco PX-M2. Did you find a way to get the packaging off?
I just use a pair of pliers.
Thank you for this review! My mom told me she had lost her Cutco pruning shears and wants a new pair for Christmas. I ordered the Bahco PX-S2 for her on Amazon and the leather holster. She said the others were a little big for her hand, so I think the smalls will be appropriate. I think she will be very impressed with such a fancy pair of shears! Will try to remember to update here once I hear how she likes them.
To David Sanchez: I hope you are able to encourage your company to improve their website. I went there to determine which model of pruning shears I should buy. I never could get to one listing of pruning shears online. Not user friendly. I’ll try to wade through amazon reviews.
I ordered a Bahco pruner once. Being a small left handed female, I went with Bahco because they offered any configuration you wanted. When i contacted the store via phone customer service informed me they no longer offer small left handed clippers, and convinced me medium would be fine for my hand measurements. I ordered them and was told to “try the out” and if i was unsatisfied I could return them. As a professional gardener i tried them at work for one day. I did not make it through the day with them. Clearly they were to big once I tried to cut with them. Bahco would not except the return because I actually cut things with them. How can you “try them out” with out cutting something. I recommend small lefties to avoid Bahco and their lies. I can’t recommend an alternative because I can’t find ne
Try a PG-03-L. It is my favorite and Genevieve can tell you how to get them.
PG-03-L- Availability at the factory USA, 124 pcs
CLICK HERE: http://www.powertoolsdirect.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/600×600/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/a/bahco-pg-03-l-secateurs-left-handed.jpg
Thanks for the review. 😉 I have to chime in will Corona fans. I have an OLD pair. I received a new Felco and really wanted to like it. But, it is on the shelf and my old Coronas are on my belt. Wish I could walk into a store and look at a pair of the Bahco. Oh, and I agree with a comment someone made about their website — maybe good tools, but the website sucks.
I have been in the landscaping business for 17 years and the best pruners i have ever used by far are Okatsune. made in Japan and they hold an edge longer than any other pruners on the market. Forget both Corona and Felco as they are overrated, and Bahco’s are nice but they still dont compare to Okatsune. ive have the same pair for 10 years now as I lost my first set so i thimk to pairs in 17 years is pretty good. oh and by the way thats 10 years on one blade. No need to replace parts when they never break. take care them and they will last a lifetime.
[…] https://northcoastgardening.com/2009/04/hand-pruner-felco-corona-bahco/ […]
Fab article and just what I needed to read after -in a fit of pique- I revolted violently from the Felco brand and its smug marketing campaign (without Felco you are not really a professional gardener are you?).
I too am plagued by the spring pinging off or the clasp locking or the centre wheel becoming loose.
Before reading this I went a little nuts and ordered new loppers and secateurs from Bahco.
Then panicked a little.
And now I am feeling rather smug myself.
Thanks for a very interesting review and a happy new year one and all.
I have seen no websites that compare Stihl pruners. Has anyone tried them? How do they compare with the other brands?
Who outside of our profession could ever imagine the passion we feel about pruning shears?
I have never bought into the Felco worship syndrome. I gave up Coronas very early in my career, over 40 years ago, and have been using Felcos ever since. But dang, there’s some stuff I definitely don’t like about them.
I have not had the spring problem you mention, Gen, but I have often (like every 10 minutes) been vexed by the little closure latch thingy swinging around and locking up the shears in mid-stroke. I know it helps to tighten it now and then, but I just think it’s a wrong-headed approach to locking that could be easily solved. (I do so hate to say this, but the best locking mechanism I have found is on a pair of off-brand cheapies I got for around ten bucks at Costco many years ago.)
Another Felco shortcoming is the notched wheel used to adjust the tension; I have never found it all that easy to operate.
And the ergonomics are just not happening. So you have sparked my interest in alternatives, and I shall look into the Bahcos and some of the other brands your readers mention.
Thanks a bunch. Happy pruning!
[…] Hand Pruner Showdown: Felco VS Bahco VS Corona […]
I am new to the pruning game commercially but for many years I have been using Sta For pruners for bonsai. The guys I now work with all swear by their Felco’s so I went to purchase a pair at Oesco in Conway, Ma. (A great company by the way, check them out)! They recommended I try Bahco’s so I did. The first day we were shaping a lot of maples. By the end of the day we were comparing pruners and discovered my Bahco’s had play in the joint between the blades. Their Felco’s had been used for five and three years respectively and no play. I did note the new Bahco’s cut a little easier but with less capacity. As for the spring issue, I noticed I got twigs caught in the open spring, it never popped out but was annoying. I was told Felco uses the closed spring to prevent this, so does Sta For. I wasn’t happy about the play after one real hard day of use because they were starting to clog once in awhile. I could have tightened the nut but I was afraid it was going to happen regularly even though the nut has a keeper which was tight by the way. So I decided to switch to Felco’s. The new ones cut about the same as the Bahco’s and are heavier but also feel sturdier. Bahco only makes a medium handle in left handed so the Felco’s 9’s have a bigger grip which fits my hand better and the grip is more ergonomic. The blade is not but I’ll get use to that. One. Of my fellow workers is from Belgium and has used Felco’s for twenty-thirty years, only had a new pair because he lost his first pair. I am new to this so will post again after some more long term use.
I’m screening the net for a couple of days now trying to find a good pair of pruners. Here in Europe you can find almost every brand but from this guide I couldn’t find the Corona brand so I don’t know what it’s worth. What I know is that Felco is praised in the fruit business here. So I looked for Bahco, Felco, Gardena, Wolf Garten, Polet, Fiskars, … and I found Okatsune and ARS.
If I could add a requirement in finding the right pair it’s the material of the pruner. Okatsune uses harder steel than any other followed by ARS which is largely used in Italy. The blades are sharp as hell.
So after looking, waiting, looking, waiting, I ordered myself a pair Okatsune 103 (104 for larger hands) and ARS VS-8Z.
Okatsunes are in a completely different world. I’m in SW France where EVERY vineyard for miles around use only Okatsunes – and have abandoned their old compressor-powered commercial Felcos.
The vital factor is the sheer quality of the Japanese steel – just amazing.
We’ve got Okatsune 103s and 104s – the v slightly larger 104s worth it in our view.
The more-expensive Tobishos and Niwakis are superb too but, tho’ even ‘better’/sharper, we find them less robust and no longer bother with them.
When I went through my state’s Master Gardener course last year, Felco was hailed as the best of the best, and Bahco was never mentioned. I’m so glad I found your article during my research: you introduced me to Bahco, and in the end I ordered the PXR-M2. I’m really pleased with how it cuts, and in particular with the rolling ergonomic handle. Thanks so much for your informative article!
Well, I just bought a pair of Bahcos, and they do cut through thick branches with ease, but the spring already popped off (which I can’t find) and prior to that, every cut the branches would get caught and I’d have to force it back open. I lost my Felco #2–still like the feel and weight of them better, so for me Felco is still my fav!
Coronas are great for removing deadwood. Felcos are for creating it.
I’m searching for SANDVIK-PRADINES pruner (ergonomic model)
please kindly let me have your help.
thank you very much.
Sandvik is now called Bahco. The Bahco Ergo line is what you are looking for, I think.
Iv been hand pruning grape vines for 14 years, every winter ten hours a day and love it. (Dont love the wrist strain lol) as you could imagine iv used every professional cutter. The bahcho’s aren’t bad with the roll handle, felcho 9’s are very good they have a extended handle for your second hand leverage. But the best around set without doubt is the classic felco 7 with the roll handle I have one set in my pouch now
Bought the Felco F2 about a year ago. Cuts through branches up to half inch thick like butter. Love them. Probably the nicest tool I own. It’s hard to clean off the sap after use, and I keep the blades and mechanism oiled, just in case, so some care is required. This isn’t specific to any tool, just fyi from my experience.
My mother in law is a serious pruner with her roses in her beautiful garden. Been wanting to get her a new set of shears but I didn’t have any idea just how much there is to a good set of pruning shears! Thanks for all the detailed information. I want to get her an awesome set.
I would suggest people try otkasune hand pruners. I have a landscape company with many commercial and residential jobs so I’ve tried many over the years and i’ve become very particular. I started with Coronas and used to swear by them. Honestly, they turned my hands into these calloused crushing mechanisms. They really made my hands strong and when i was younger, it didnt bother me, i was proud of every one of those callouses but then one day, I started reading about felco 2’s and how people swear by them so i tried a pair. They were so comfortable, in comparison, i barely knew i was holding anything when using them and really reduced hand fatigue. I even lost some of my callouses ;). Locally, these pruners are 90+ dollars where i live! (Makes it hard to shop local.) i have various models of felco’s now… and model number is important when doing a comparison because they can feel very different. Felco 2’s and 11’s are tried and true, for gardeners, and can be trusted if you take care of them.
As my company grew and new people came aboard, I had a lead guy develope painful hand strain from pruning so much so we tried some bahco pxr’s with the swiveling handle and he came to love those, they really helped. I did not personally care for them as much as he because they just felt odd but, i appreciated their build quality so later on I purchased some bahco loppers which i love to this day. Super simple, tough and traditional.
I personally have opened my mind to more japanese tools because i love the simplicity and quality. Otaksune hand pruners are, from what i’ve read, japan’s perferred pruners and i now understand why. I would suggest researching them for yourself and try some. I can find them for about $30-40 online, amazingly. There are youtube videos with people swearing by them and perferring them over felcos and bahcos. They also make tremendous hedging shears.
This is what works for me and why.
I personally use otkasune extra large hand pruners, bahco p14 loppers, silky hand and pole saws (silky ultra accel 240/hiyauchi model#17939), nisaku hori hori’s, ars long reach pruners and saws, 52-60″ turf tiger commercial mowers, stihl commercial arborist chainsaws (200t), line trimmers (fs94’s/110’s/130 kombis), br 600 blowers, hedge trimmers (hs81r/hs87r) trust me, this stuff is amazing.
Because I lent out my lopper, and it wasn’t returned, I have to buy a new one (details missing).
I happen to have a Bahco scraper, and a box of the hardened blades when the original becomes to worn to use. However, these blades are FANTASTIC. I’ve scraped nearly 30 pieces of painted T&G siding with no noticeable dulling of the blade. The siding is rough finished and I need lit to match siding previously installed that is rough but does not have a raised knapp like the new siding. The lumber came to me too moist, which I only discovered after painting most of it. So I had to let it set in an enclosed area for over 2 years to be absolutely certain it was dry.
Based on this experience my inclination is to buy a Bahco lopper. It seems Bahco knows enough about metalurgy to produce good cutting tools.
This was awesome and so timely!! Just ordered Bahco pruners with a Gift Cert from my mother-in-law – haven’t been able to find my Felco’s that my sweet daughter-in-law gave me years ago (don’t tell her!) and in the meantime had purchased some Corona’s that did NOT work the way I needed/wanted… So, thank you!! Excellent reviews!