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Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

Best pruning saw

Which pruning saw is best?

Gardeners and landscapers know that using the right tool can make the difference between quick, efficient work and a task rife with frustration. If you're trimming trees and shrubs that are too thick for shears, you need the cutting power of a pruning saw.

The Silky ZUBAT Professional Curved Hand Saw is a comfortable, powerful tool that's great for outdoor work. The generous blade length and included scabbard make it easy to use and safe to carry.

What to know before you buy a pruning saw

Task needs

Different saws work better for different types of work. Consider the needs of your task before starting. Examine the thickness of the branches of your trees or shrubs, and see how easy it is to reach them. You may want to invest in more than one pruning saw to ensure you have everything you need for several different jobs.

Pruning saw types

  • Hand saws are a basic type of pruning saw. They feature a toothed blade attached to a handle. Some hand saws fold up for safe, compact storage.
  • Pole saws affix the blade to the end of a long pole. Gardeners use these to trim hard-to-reach limbs without the use of a ladder. 
  • Powered pruning saws, also called mini electric chainsaws, use a battery and motor to cut through thick limbs with minimal effort.

Blade considerations

Pruning saws often come with several different blade types. Consider what kind of work you plan to do so you know what blade configuration best suits your needs.

  • Straight blades work best on easy-to-reach branches at waist or shoulder level. These saws require strength, which may be hard to generate while cutting at an arm’s length away.
  • Curved blades are better when you intend to use a saw with a pole because their rounded shape hugs branches and requires less strength to make cuts.
  • Chains are often found on powered pruning saws. A chain will cut through limbs and branches without requiring repetitive arm motion.
  • Blade teeth also make a difference depending on the task at hand. Some saws only cut in one direction, while others feature blades that cut both ways.

Your physical ability

Sawing by hand is hard work, even if you're cutting through thin limbs. If you have difficulty with repetitive arm motion or upper body strength, consider a power saw. However, remember that these tools are heavier than manual options due to their motor and battery.

What to look for in a quality pruning saw


Pruning saws include a handle made of hard plastic, and some provide additional padding with a rubber grip. Select a pruning saw with an ergonomic grip that fits your hand and won’t result in cramping or blisters after prolonged use. 


A pruning saw should be sturdy enough to cut limbs without weighing you down too much. When selecting a saw, make sure you can distribute the weight evenly without putting too much stress on your wrist or arm.


Most pruning saw blades are made out of steel. Steel is strong and resilient, but it rusts easily. Look for a saw that features a coating on the blade to prevent corrosion.


Some pruning saws have safety sheaths or holsters to keep the blades covered in storage. Powered saws sometimes include extra batteries, chains and even safety glasses. Choose a saw that has a few additional items to give you the best value.

How much you can expect to spend on a pruning saw

Quality hand saws range from $20-$100, depending on features and configuration. Powered saws that include extra batteries and more cost around $50-$100.

Pruning saw FAQ

Do I have to oil the blade on my pruning saw?

A. Some people apply oil to their hand saw blades to clean them and help prevent rust. Telescoping pole saws require a lubricant so you can extend them with ease. Powered saws require regular chain lubrication to function properly.

Are pruning saws dangerous?

A. Pruning saws can inflict severe cuts if misused or if you grab their blades with your bare hands. You should always wear gloves and safety glasses while using a saw.

Why not just use shears or clippers?

A. Many people use shears or clippers to complete the same task as a pruning saw. Ultimately, your work requirements and personal preferences will determine which tool suits you best. Pruning saws, however, can cut through branches that are too thick for shears or clippers.

What’s the best pruning saw to buy?

Top pruning saw

Silky ZUBAT Professional Curved Hand Saw 

What you need to know: This professional pruning saw features a powerful blade made out of high-grade Japanese steel.

What you’ll love: It includes a scabbard specially designed to strap to your leg for quick access. It features an ergonomic handle and a 13-inch blade.

What you should consider: It has a fixed blade that you cannot fold.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top pruning saw for the money

Corona Tools RazorTOOTH Folding Saw

What you need to know: This economical pruning saw features a 10-inch blade.

What you’ll love: It folds up for safe storage. Additionally, it has a comfortable grip and a chrome-plated blade for added durability.

What you should consider: When folded up, part of this saw’s blade remains exposed and potentially hazardous.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

ZNP Mini Chainsaw

What you need to know: Available in three different colors, this powered pruning saw cuts through almost anything.

What you’ll love: With its 6-inch blade, this mini chainsaw can quickly cut through branches that would be too challenging to cut by hand. It includes a protective case, two batteries and an LED.

What you should consider: Buyers feel that the instructions included with this saw lack detail. And since the saw turns off automatically if it overheats, it may be difficult to use in hot weather.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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