Best Pruning Saws: Hand, Folding, Tree, and Electric

If there's one tool gardeners overlook, it's the pruning saw. See my picks for the best pruning saws as well as the type you should buy.

Felco 600 pruning saw in action


Have you found yourself gazing at your favorite little nook in your study, thinking about lopping off a few branches of that tree outside to let in a bit more natural light for reading? Do you feel that extremely tall lilac bush is about to consume the smaller bushes next to it for lunch? Have you glanced at your pruning shears and sighed because they whimper at the thought of attacking those behemoths lining your walkway?

Perhaps it’s time to consider a new tool for your tasks: the pruning saw. With so many different choices to check out, you may find yourself wallowing in details. Not to worry! In this guide, I will condense a lot of those details for you and help you understand which is the best pruning saw to purchase.

So let’s discuss the best pruning saws out there so you can be winter-pruning-ready when it’s time to trim and shape your trees and shrubs!

Product Features
Felco 600 Folding Pruning SawBest OverallFelco 600 Folding Pruning SawBest Overall
  • Non-slip handle
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Blade-locking system
Check Epic Price
Corona 13Best ValueCorona 13" RazorTOOTH Pruning SawBest Value
  • Cuts 5-inch branches
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 3-sided razor blade
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Fiskars 14' Extend Tree PrunerBest Pole SawFiskars 14' Extend Tree PrunerBest Pole Saw
  • 14-foot pole
  • Precision steel pruner
  • Flex-reducing oval pole
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BLACK + DECKER Electric Hand SawBest Electric SawBLACK + DECKER Electric Hand SawBest Electric Saw
  • 3.4 amp electric motor
  • Lightweight design
  • Up to 4600 SPM
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Tarvol Heavy Duty Pruning SawHeavy Duty ModelTarvol Heavy Duty Pruning SawHeavy Duty Model
  • Cuts 8-inch branches
  • Cushioned handle
  • Easy to maneuver
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Samurai Ichiban 13Specialized DesignSamurai Ichiban 13" Curved Pruning SawSpecialized Design
  • Tapered grind blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 4mm tooth pitch
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Scalebelly 14' Telescoping Pole SawAdaptable ModelScalebelly 14' Telescoping Pole SawAdaptable Model
  • Two modes of use
  • Double hook blade
  • Flip tab clasps
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The Best Pruning Saws

Here are the top quality pruning saws that I consider the best for each category of hand saw, electric saw, folding saw, adaptable saw, heavy-duty, pole saw, the best overall, and more. Because we’re covering different types of saw here, it’s likely there’s something suited to you on this list.

Best Overall Pruning Saw

Felco 600 Folding Pruning Saw
Felco 600 Folding Pruning Saw

Not only are FELCO pruners extremely reliable, high-quality tools, but FELCO also makes a few different models of pruning saws too! Conveniently, the FELCO 600 is sold right in our online store. This folding pull stroke saw cuts through small and thicker branches with ease, and it stows away conveniently in a folded position.

The soft touch, non-slip phthalate-free handle is just one aspect of the ergonomic design that, along with the light weight of the folding pruning saw, will make you want to find pruning projects to tackle around the garden. Another great aspect of this saw is its lifetime guarantee.

FELCO carries sharpening tools and replacement parts that ensure your folding pruning saw is always in tip-top shape with an extra sharp blade. Replacing worn blades and handles isn’t difficult either. While other folding saws are better suited to much thicker branches, it’s fairly adaptable. All this combined is why we’ve deemed this saw Best Overall among the other best pruning saws outlined here.

Get a Felco 600 From Epic Gardening

Best Value Pruning Saw

Corona Tools 13-Inch RazorTOOTH Pruning Saw | Tree Saw Designed for Single-Hand Use | Curved Blade...
  • IDEAL FOR LARGE BRANCHES: 13 inch blade ideal for...

For a price that’s at least half of the others on this list, you get a lifetime warranty for this 13-inch saw from a company that’s been around since the 1920s. Its weight and ease of use is comparable to the Samurai Ichiban, especially for those looking for a lightweight saw.

The issues with this brand center around the locking mechanism, with reports of the hinge pin coming loose and the lack of different locking positions available. Users have also expressed a desire for a better-quality ergonomic handle.

Best Heavy Duty Pruning Saw

Heavy Duty Pruning Saw (Razor Sharp 14" Curved Blade) Comfort Handle with Saw Blade Enclosure -...
  • Razor Tooth 7TPI Curved Blade - Curve Styling...
  • Cuts Branches Up To 8 Inches Thick - Incredibly...
  • Ergonomical Cushioned Handle - Pistol Style Grip...

While a folding saw or a lighter saw is great for smaller projects, if you’re looking for a saw designed for tougher cuts on larger tree branches, check out the Tarvol Heavy Duty Pruning Saw. Both the push stroke action and a razor-sharp 14-inch curved blade cut branches up to 8 inches in diameter.

The accompanying holster has a belt loop that makes carrying it to far-away jobs simple too. The only complaint I’ve seen on the market is the saw is too good. It cuts too easily. Therefore, be careful when you handle the pruning saw blade.

Best Adaptable Pruning Saw

Scalebelly 5.6-14 Foot Telescoping Pole Saws for Tree Trimming, Extendable Tree Trimmer Pruning Saw...
  • 【Durable Material】 Tree pruner poles are made...
  • 【Telescopic Pole】 4 section telescoping pole...
  • 【Upgraded Double Hook Saw Blade】 Two-way blade...

The Scalebelly 5.6-14 Foot Telescoping Pole Saw is great for people who want it all in one tool! Aluminum alloy interlocking poles allow you to extend to reach higher heights and collapse to lower ones if needed with multiple flip tab clasps. Add to that a double blade that makes cutting simple, and you’ve got a really great modular tool.

It’s durable, and you can use the Scalebelly as a hand saw, or put it on the adjustable pole to make cuts up to 25 feet away. The curved blade pruning saw is hooked to ensure your cuts are clean, so trees and shrubs can heal up quickly. This is an excellent choice for people with a wide range of job types.

Best Pole Pruning Saw

Fiskars Power-Lever® Extendable Pole Saw and Tree Pruner - Lawn and Garden Tools - Black/Orange, 14...
  • SHOWER ROD WILL NEVER RUST: Strong, lightweight...
  • EASY TO INSTALL IN JUST 2 STEPS: No drilling, no...

The 15-inch blade with a special coating to reduce friction, the 14-foot pole for long reach, and the Power-Lever feature all make this an excellent choice in pole saws. The fiberglass pole is lightweight and saves you from performing that scary balancing act atop a ladder. It deconstructs to a smaller size for storage. The limited lifetime warranty will give you some peace of mind as well.

While the extendable component is a most desirable feature in this pruner, a few users describe issues with the locking mechanisms sometimes not tightening enough. There is also some flexibility in the fiberglass pole when fully extended, which is practically unavoidable considering its length.

Best Electric Pruning Saw

BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw with Storage Bag, 3.4-Amp (PHS550B)
  • HIGH POWER ELECTRIC HAND SAW - 3.4 Amp electric...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT DESIGN - Ergonomically...
  • HIGH POWERED - Powers up to 4600 SPM (strokes per...

Do you have to cut branches that number more than just a few? The changeable blades of this electric saw, with the assistance of the 3.4 amp, 4,600 SPM motor, allow you to cut through metal, plastic, and wood. Its weight, compact size, and 6-foot cord make it an easy tool to use around your home and landscape. It even comes with a storage bag to keep your straight blade and cord all nicely bundled together, saving you from long searches because you misplaced your metal-cutting straight blades last time you used it.

Other users of the B&D Handsaw have said that cutting certain sizes and materials can be time-consuming. While changing the straight blade doesn’t require special tools (a screwdriver is recommended for assistance), it can be difficult and has a bit of a learning curve.

I know, I know. This is technically not a pruning saw. But it’s pretty neat and handy around the house if you want to speed up your workflow.

Specialized Pruning Saw

Samurai Ichiban 13" (330mm) Curved Pruning Saw w/Scabbard
  • Our #1 selling saw for the Arborist and Landscape...
  • 13-inch (330mm) blade length, taper ground surface...
  • 6.5 teeth per inch (7.5 teeth per 30mm) teeth...

Now I might be biased because I absolutely love almost anything from Japan, but I’m not alone in loving this pruning saw. Users of this Japanese saw both rave and caution about the sharpness of the steel blade, as well as the ease with which it cuts through thick branches.

Weighing in at about 12.8 ounces, this light model with a comfortable rubber grip is great for getting a large project done fast. You’ll be finished before you know it. And with the included sheath, you can channel your inner samurai and impress your neighbors. Just keep in mind the sharp blade this tool has (with 6 teeth per inch), and don’t get too fancy showing off.

One of the cons of this brand is the difficulty of sharpening the coarse teeth should they get dull. Aside from using your own effort to keep a sharp blade, purchasing a replacement blade may be a good idea. Although, depending on how much you use it, you may never need one.

Reasons to Get a Pruning Saw

Here are a few reasons you may have for getting one. Or, if you’re just looking for more reasons to add to your own and convince your wife, you can choose from this list.

Aesthetics – You don’t have to be an agricultural artist sculpting your landscape into bunnies and dragons to appreciate a tidy grove of trees or row of bushes. Neatly-shaped shrubs can, say, open up the view of your garden pretties by unblocking windows and clearing pathways.

Size – Pruner shears lack the reach and power of a pruning saw, meaning you may not be able to get to those high, thick branches trying to force their way into your son’s upstairs bedroom window.

Plant Health – If your tree has a limb suffering from disease, your shears may not be able to get the thick affected branches. For the safety of the healthy parts, better to have the right tree pruning saw strong enough to lop off the bigger stuff so there’s nothing of the disease left to spread.

Fun Stuff – Want to blaze a trail through thick growth and play explorer with your kids? Need a handy tool to help you make a fire or clear a space for your tent while camping? Consider giving the pruning saw a look-see.

If you’ve tried looking up pruning saws, your head might be spinning from all the different types. Here’s a quick list to sum it up for you.

Types of Pruning Saws

Felco 600 pruning saw in action
Felco 600 pruning saw in action

The best pruning saw for you starts with the types of pruning saws you choose. If you have a high-quality pruning saw that isn’t suited to your needs, you’ll have to spring for something else.

Hand Saws – These are just what they sound like: sturdy saws powered by your own hands via pull stroke and muscles. Common types of hand saws include bow saws and ones that look like overlarge kitchen knives.

Folding Pruning Saws – Having a good pruning saw of this kind is very handy for camping trips because they fold up to a smaller size for easy take-along. Folding saws are useful around the home too, and the blade folds inward and has a locking mechanism to protect you from injury.

Electric or Gas Saws – Not in the mood to grit your teeth and power through that really thick branch while occasionally stopping to wipe sweat from your brow? A gas or electric pruning saw will supply its own energy, making quick, sweat-free work of those annoying boughs. Well, they do as long as you supply the gas or electricity.

Pole Saws – If you don’t have a ladder nearby to reach those high branches, or if heights make you a bit nervous like me, a pole pruning saw gives extra length to your arms without needing to leave the ground.

There are other types of saws out there, but for the purposes of this article, these will do!

What Size Saw Should You Get?

The objects you intend to prune will guide you to the size of pruning saw you’ll need. Many pruning saws handle branches around one to three inches in diameter. Even a good folding pruning saw can handle that kind of job.

If you are dealing with slightly thicker branches, you may need a beefier, straight-blade pruning saw as opposed to a thin, curved one. With pole pruners, make sure to consider how heavy the apparatus is so you don’t tweak your back trying to use it. You also want to consider how many teeth per inch the saw blade has. Triple-cut razor teeth are better for smoother cuts, for instance.

Are the branches you want to prune in a small, narrow area? A bulky saw blade may not fit where you need to go. Consider this when you decide which is the best pruning saw for you.

Using a Pruning Saw

A few tips to help you on your pruning journey:

  1. It’s a good idea to wear safety glasses and gloves while using a pruning saw to protect your valuable assets.
  2. If you can do it safely and comfortably, try to cut down from top to bottom so that gravity is working for you and not against you.
  3. Make a note of other branches and parts of the tree near your cutting spot. You don’t want to hurt it more than necessary.
  4. To prevent the branch from tearing off and further wounding the tree while cutting branches, remove smaller branches and leaves off first to remove weight.
  5. To reduce the chance of slipping, begin cutting by first making a groove where you intend to remove the limb.

This video gives more information on pruning properly:

YouTube video

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I choose a pruning saw?

A: Start with the general diameter of the branches you’ll be cutting and where they are. Many jobs closer to the ground won’t need more than a hand saw. Some higher up may need a pole saw.

Q: What is the best length for a pruning saw?

A: Most blades at 12 to 15 inches will do a variety of duties.

Q: How thick a branch can a pruning saw cut?

A: It depends on the saw. Many are suited to at least a few inches of diameter.

Q: What is the 1/3 pruning rule?

A: It’s a rule applied to pruning woody shrubs and trees. Take no more than 1/3 of the plant as you prune branches. Start with dead wood, and leave green wood for last.

Q: What are the 3 D’s of pruning?

A: The three D’s refer to the following: dead, damaged, and diseased. These are the types of branches you want to prune away first. Then work on shaping and pruning for growth.

Q: Do you prune at an angle or straight?

A: Angled cuts at 45° are best as they prevent disease better than straight cuts.

Q: Which kind of pruning cut is not recommended for shrubs?

A: Try not to top trees and shrubs. This can seriously hamper growth and open the plant up to pests and diseases.

Q: What is the best tool to cut large branches when pruning shrubs?

A: The best pruning saws with a maximum cutting capacity for cutting thicker branches are right in this list above! Check them out.

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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