If you are a gardener, a landscaper, involved in garden maintenance, or spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you will know that a pruning saw is one of your essential tools.
It’s one of the tools that can save you the greatest amount of time and physical effort when it comes to yard work.
If you are reading this, then you are likely to be looking to purchase a new pruning saw. To help you narrow down your choices, I have done some research on your behalf and chosen some of the best pruning saws on the market today.
After researching various products and reading the feedback from users of the different saws, the Corona Razor Tooth Folding Saw comes out ahead of the rest in both price and performance.
But there are some things to keep in mind when buying a pruning saw that’s right for you. I’ll show you the different options and explain what to look for before we dive into the extensive reviews.
|Best pruning saw||Images|
|Best overall handheld, curved pruning saw for performance and price: Corona Tools 10-Inch RazorTOOTH|
|Best handheld, curved pruning saw for the outdoors person: EZ KUT Wow 10″ Professional Grade Folding Saw|
|Best curved, heavy-duty pruning saw: Samurai Ichiban 13″ Curved with Scabbard|
|Best straight blade pruning saw for bush maintenance: TABOR TOOLS TTS32A 10 inch Saw with Sheath|
|Best pole pruning saw for long reach: Hooyman 14ft Pole Saw|
|Most versatile pruning saw: HOSKO 10FT Pole Saw|
What is a pruning saw?
For the uninitiated, a pruning saw is a saw that is specifically designed for cutting and trimming live shrubs and trees.
Yes, hedge trimming, shrub shaping, branch lopping, and trail clearing can all be done using hand shears or secateurs, but the on-the-job experience will have taught you that these tasks are far less time-consuming when done with a tool that is specifically designed for the job.
That’s why all keen gardeners need a good pruning saw in their shed! It is the ideal tool for those in-between cutting jobs that are too big for secateurs but not quite big enough to warrant a power tool.
There are various types of pruning saws, each type intended for a different application.
Pole pruning saw
This pruning saw enables you to reach higher branches. It consists of a long handle with a pruning saw attached to the end. In many cases, a pole pruning saw has a rotating head that allows you to prune branches at odd angles.
Handheld pruning saw
This saw is best for trimming smaller garden plants and shrubs. The shorter handle gives the user more control than a pole pruning saw.
Straight blade pruning saw
This type of saw offers easy back and forth cutting motion and is best suited to cutting thinner branches.
Curved blade pruning saw
This saw, with its curved blade, is usually better for cutting thicker branches that need to be cut in a single motion.
Things to consider before buying a pruning saw
Any hard-working tool, designed to be used outdoors, needs to be manufactured by a reputable company so that you are assured of the overall quality and durability of the tool.
Nobody wants to spend money on a product from a fly-by-night manufacturer which then breaks after a few months of use.
These are some of the key things to look out for before making your decision on the best pruning saw for your needs.
Length and sharpness of the blade
As a cutting tool, the most important feature of a pruning saw is its blade. The larger the blade, the more razor-sharp teeth it has and the easier and quicker it is to cut through thick branches.
Pruning saws come with either straight or curved blades. A straight blade is best if you tend to saw in areas that are on a level with the top half of your body.
If you’re more likely to have to reach upwards (or downwards), a curved blade is an easier option as the curved edge will help you put more pressure on each cut.
Ideally, you should be able to have the blades sharpened when they get blunt or replace them easily without too much financial outlay.
Here you have the option of a handheld or a pole-mounted saw.
If you generally need your saw for trimming high branches and hedges, it makes sense to buy one that is pole-mounted so you can reach foliage without climbing up a ladder.
The handle is also an important safety feature. Is it non-slip and does it fit comfortably in the hand and give good control?
It is also important for there to be a strong and stable joint where the handle meets the blade.
Configuration of teeth
The teeth of the blade are the working part of the tool. They determine how efficient the saw will be and their configuration on the blades is an important feature, known as TPI or ‘tooth per inch’.
- Small teeth, having TPI up to 11, are suitable for making fine cuts on harder woods
- Medium teeth, having a TPI of 8.5 are suitable for clean cuts on softwoods
- Extra-large teeth, with a TPI of 6 are for general pruning and aggressive cutting
- Extra-large teeth, with a TPI of 5.5 are usually found on curved blades and they are particularly suited to cutting thick branches
The weight of the saw is important. It needs to be heavy enough to offer strength and stability during use but not so heavy that it becomes unwieldy and difficult to handle.
A lightweight saw is much more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
The blades of pruning saws need to be exceptionally sharp and thus they need to be covered and protected when the tool is not in use.
Some saws are foldable with a locking mechanism. Others come with a safety sheath or scabbard to cover the blade and working parts of the saw.
A non-slip, ergonomically designed handle also adds to the safety of the saw.
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Recommended best pruning saws to consider
Perhaps your pruning saw is worn out and needs replacing, perhaps you wish to upgrade the one you have or maybe you have recently acquired a garden and need to purchase some essential tools to keep it healthy and tidy.
Whichever it is, you are probably hoping to have some of your questions answered about the various pruning saws that are available and which one would best suit your specific needs.
Now we know what to look for in a good pruning saw, let’s look at some of the best options available on the market today.
Best overall handheld, curved pruning saw for performance and price: Corona Tools 10-Inch RazorTOOTH
This saw is ideal for a multitude of applications and it is uniquely designed for single-handed use.
The Corona Model RS 7265 Razor Tooth Folding Saw is the perfect handheld tool for trimming small to medium branches. It features a 10-inch curved blade which has the capacity to cut through branches up to six inches in diameter.
The blade is chrome plated which cuts down on friction during use and makes it durable and rust-resistant. The blade has up to 6 TPI (teeth per inch) for faster, smoother cutting and it is replaceable.
The ergonomically designed handle offers a strong and comfortable grip. It has a hole in the handle to allow for easy hanging storage.
The saw is lightweight, only eight pounds, which makes it very portable and easy to carry. The easy-to-latch folding blade is a great safety feature for when the tool is not in use.
- Length and sharpness of blade: This pruning saw has a 10-inch, folding blade with the capacity to cut through branches up to 6 inches in diameter. It is chrome plated for durability and rust -resistance.
- Handle: The ergonomically designed handle offers a strong, non-slip grip and it allows for easy single-hand use. The hole in the handle offers an easy hanging- storage option for when the tool is not in use.
- Configuration of teeth: The blade has up to 6 TPI (teeth per inch) for faster, smoother cutting. It is thus suitable for cutting thicker branches.
- Weight: This is a lightweight tool, weighing only 12 ounces, which makes it very portable and easy to use for extended periods.
- Safety: The folding blade with its reliable locking mechanism is a good safety feature, as the blade can be folded away when not in use.
Best handheld, curved pruning saw for the outdoors person: EZ KUT Wow 10″ Professional Grade Folding Saw
Perfect for the outdoors person and camper, the EZ Kut Wow Folding Handheld Saw has a 10-inch curved, replaceable blade.
The blade is made of hardened SK4 Japanese steel and the impulse hardened teeth give it superior durability and lasting sharpness. Designed with raker gap teeth to clear debris from the channel and to keep the blade cool, this saw cuts on the draw stroke.
It has ground tri-edge teeth which offer an outstanding cutting capability.
Built with a tough, ballistic polymer handle and genuine non-slip rubber grip, this saw is comfortable to use for extended periods and stands up to the toughest jobs.
You won’t be let down by this saw when you’re camping, or on an outdoor adventure. You’ll be able to cut down branches for shelter as well as firewood.
It has a metal-on-metal locking system and locks in both the extended and folded position, for ultimate safety.
Although it’s more expensive than the Corona Handheld Saw in the first place above, it is a must-have investment for those outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable, long-lasting pruning saw.
- Length and sharpness of blade: This saw has a 10-inch curved, replaceable blade made of hardened SK4 Japanese steel.
- Handle: The handle is made of tough, ballistic polymer with a genuine non-slip rubber grip, which makes it safe and comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
- Configuration of teeth: The impulse-hardened teeth give it superior durability and lasting sharpness. It cuts on the draw stroke and the raker gap teeth clear debris from the channel and keeps the blade cool.
- Weight: Weighs just under 10 ounces.
- Safety: It has a unique metal-on-metal locking system that locks in both the extended and folded position, for ultimate safety.
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Best curved, heavy-duty pruning saw: Samurai Ichiban 13″ Curved with Scabbard
The Ichiban from Samurai Saw can handle the toughest of pruning jobs with its impressive 13 inches, curved and tapered blade and impulse hardened teeth.
The blade has up to 6 TPI which makes for smooth and precise cutting and easy leverage. The chrome plating makes the blade rust-resistant and easy to clean.
The ergonomically designed rubber-coated handle offers a comfortable, non-slip grip, and it comes with a hard plastic scabbard to protect the blade and a heavy-duty nylon belt loop.
While this tool is more pricey than others, it is worth investing in for anyone who needs a heavy-duty, quality tool.
Those who have a garden maintenance business, or regularly prune larger tree branches will understand that the financial outlay is worth it for the results.
I also like the fact that the blade is chrome plated – so it is very durable.
- Length and sharpness of blade: This saw features an impressive 13-inch curved blade, which is chrome plated, rust-resistant and easy to clean.
- Handle: The ergonomically designed rubber-coated handle offers a comfortable non-slip grip.
- Configuration of teeth: The blade has up to 6 TPI which makes for smooth and precise cutting of branches of all sizes.
- Weight: Weighing just 12 ounces, this is a heavy-duty tool that is on the lighter side, and can be conveniently attached to your belt with its strong nylon belt loop.
- Safety: This saw comes with a hard plastic scabbard which covers and protects the blade when it is not in use.
Best straight blade pruning saw for bush maintenance: TABOR TOOLS TTS32A 10 inch Saw with Sheath
Lightweight and easily portable, the Tabor Tools Pruning Saw is a powerful handsaw with a 10-inch straight steel blade that has the capacity to cut branches up to 4 inches in diameter.
This lightweight tool can be carried in a backpack or car boot and is the ideal outdoor companion – for bush maintenance, clearing forest trails, and camping trips.
If you live on a farm or take regular trips into the wilderness, pack this pruning saw in with your toolkit. You won’t regret it.
The blade on this saw cuts on the draw stroke backward and the stability of the blade ensures accurate and easy cuts. The teeth on the blade are impulse hardened which makes the blade strong and durable and the design of the teeth prevents sap buildup.
It features a lightweight nonslip handle which is designed for minimum hand fatigue. The design of the saw also allows you to reach those tight spots that a bow saw is unable to reach.
This tool is similar to #2 on my list – the EZ KUT Wow Folding Handheld saw, but is featured at #4 on my list due to the fact that it doesn’t fold – making it a little less easy to carry around.
It does, however, come with a snug-fitting scabbard, as a safety feature and to protect the blades when they are not in use.
The scabbard has a convenient belt loop so you can carry it around the garden and up ladders comfortably and safely.
- Length of blade: The Tabor Pruning Saw has a 10-inch straight steel blade that has the capacity to cut branches up to 4 inches in diameter. The blade cuts on the draw stroke backward and its stability ensure accurate and easy cutting.
- Handle: It features a lightweight nonslip pistol-grip handle that is designed for minimum hand fatigue and maximum control. The handle has a large ‘quick storage’ hole, so you can hang it on a hook or attach a lanyard.
- Configuration of teeth: The three-angle teeth are impulse-hardened and their configuration on the blade prevents sap buildup. This 3-dimensional cutting edge offers outstanding cutting ability on the draw/pull stroke.
- Weight: Weighing around 12 ounces, this saw is light and portable.
- Safety: This saw comes with a snug fitting scabbard to protect the blades when they are not in use. The scabbard has a convenient belt loop so you can carry it around the garden and up ladders comfortably and safely.
Best pole pruning saw for long reach: Hooyman 14ft Pole Saw
The Hooyman Pole Saw has a 13-inch curved blade made from high carbon steel, with impulse-hardened teeth, is designed for extra durability and strength.
It has hooked blades on each end for pulling branches closer and to prevent slipping while in use. It has a lever lock with a detent for added length and can retract to seven feet for easier portability.
This is ideal for targeting those hard-to-reach branches that are high up in the trees. The length of the pole allows you to trim branches up to 14 feet off the ground without climbing a ladder.
It’s a great tool for home garden maintenance and those who have gardening-related businesses.
One of the heavier pruning saws on my list – due to the added weight of the pole – this pole saw weighs just over 2 pounds.
It features the non-slip H-Grip on the ergonomic handle that turns tacky when wet, thus ensuring a secure grip even in wet conditions. The safety sheath is made of tough polyester with a plastic liner to protect the blade.
- Length and sharpness of blade: The Hooyman Pole Saw has a 13-inch curved blade made from high carbon steel. It has hooked blades at each end for pulling branches closer and to prevent slipping while in use. The curved shape of the blade ensures the best leverage while cutting.
- Handle: The ergonomically designed handle features the non-slip H-Grip which turns tacky when wet, ensuring a secure grip even in wet conditions.
- Configuration of teeth: It has impulse-hardened 4-edge teeth for excellent cutting performance.
- Weight: This saw weighs just over 2 pounds. It extends to 14 feet and retracts to 7 feet, for easier portability. It features a lever lock with a detent for added length.
- Safety: The saw comes with a safety sheath made of tough polyester with a plastic liner to protect the blade.
Most versatile pruning saw: HOSKO 10FT Pole Saw
This pruning saw is both a pole saw and a handheld saw in one.
It consists of several detachable sections of stainless-steel poles which fit together, allowing you to adjust the length depending on your needs.
The poles are easy to assemble and to disassemble for easy storage.
The saw can extend to ten feet in length and is ideal for reaching higher branches, but it can also be handheld for lower trimming.
At just over three pounds, it is not too heavy for the average gardener and is easily maneuverable. Most of those who have tried this tool say that even at full extension, this pruning saw is well-balanced and never feels top-heavy.
The blade has a sharp three-sided sharpened edge and a single-sided barb design and the hook on the saw head is useful for breaking off brittle branches or dislodging cut branches that get caught in the tree.
This pole saw is cheaper than the long-reach 14ft Hooyman above, but it is not as high quality. While it is great for home use and yard maintenance, I wouldn’t recommend it for heavy-duty work or as a good tool for small businesses.
If you want something that’s going to last longer and be up to the challenge of regular use, then I would advise you to rather invest in the Hooyman.
- Length and sharpness of blade: The curved blade has a sharp 3-sided sharpened edge and a single-sided barb design. The hook on the saw head is a useful feature for pulling down smaller branches.
- Handle: Even when it is fully extended, this saw is well-balanced, and it is easy to manipulate the hook on the saw head as well as the blade itself.
- Configuration of teeth: The curved blade has up to 6 TPI, which makes it effective for cutting both small and large branches and limbs.
- Weight: At just over 3 pounds, this saw very well balanced, so it never feels top-heavy, even when it is fully extended.
- Safety: Blade is enclosed in a flexible heavy plastic sheath with a snap on the bottom, allowing it to be bolted to its holder while keeping its teeth covered. It can be slid back on for storage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Alright, let’s finish off with some questions I often get about pruning saws.
How do you take care of a pruning saw?
- Keep it dry.
- Store your saw in a dry place or a toolbox (these are some great ones!) to prevent rust.
- Lubricate the blade.
- After each use, lubricate your blade with gun oil, paste wax, or WD-40 before storing.
- Oil the handle if necessary.
- Remove blade rust with a razor.
- Sharpen the saw.
Here’s a video explaining how to sharpen a pruning saw:
How do I choose a pruning saw?
The most important factor to take into consideration when choosing a pruning saw is what size blade you’re going to need.
The larger the blade, the more teeth will be used to cut through the wood on each stroke, which allows you to cut through thicker branches faster.
How do you clean pruning saw blades?
Simply spray 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol on the blade of hand pruners, loppers, and saws. Wait 20 seconds, then, wipe off.
This not only kills fungi and bacteria, but also removes tree and plant sap.
You can also clean your saw using dish soap, or bathroom cleaner to remove dried sap. If the blade has rusted, you can soak them in vinegar.
Why are pruning saws curved?
Curved blades, as opposed to straight blades, are best for heavy-duty cutting on higher branches.
What length should a pruning saw be?
The ideal length of a pruning saw for cutting sturdy branches should be 10 to 15 inches. However, the ability to cut thicker branches also depends on the sharpness of the saw.
Can you kill a tree by cutting branches?
Over-pruning reduces the foliage that’s available for making food for the rest of the plant and can allow pests and diseases access to the tree if cuts are made incorrectly.
So, although pruning may not kill your plant directly, over-pruned trees and shrubs can die as a long-term result of the associated stress.
Chat to an expert or do your research on the right time to prune your trees before you start cutting.
What are the reasons for pruning and trimming plants?
Reasons to prune plants include:
- deadwood removal
- shaping (by controlling or redirecting growth)
- improving or sustaining health
- reducing risk from falling branches
- preparing nursery specimens for transplanting
- increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits
I hope that you have had some of your questions about pruning saws answered and feel more informed about the various products on the market.
This should put you in a position to make the right choice for your needs when you purchase your new pruning saw. Happy gardening!
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I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.