Garden Tools & Supplies, Plant Care, Pruning, Winter Gardening

7 Best Garden Tools For Your Winter Pruning Needs

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A pair of green hand pruners in Spoken Garden's

Winter pruning is a garden task that doesn’t have to be daunting. You can prune your trees and shrubs with confidence as long as you are prepared.

You need to have the correct pruning tools in your arsenal!

We will teach you about each tool and help to answer any questions you may have.

For example, when would you need to use pruning shears vs. pruning loppers?

Why would a pruning saw be beneficial?

Knowing which type of pruning tool to use, like pruning shears vs. loppers vs. a pruning saw, and when to use each one can be the difference between healthy and unhealthy plants.

Read our winter pruning tools review to learn the following:

  • The 7 pruning tools you need for your collection.
  • Tips for how to best use each tool.
  • Our time-tested recommendations plus direct links to buy each tool now.

Our recommendations below will highlight the best tools you should be using to freshen up your yard and ready it for the rest of the year.

If you want to learn Smart Pruning Basics, click here and sign up for our FREE 7-day email course. Get the basics on Smart Pruning.


7 Types of Pruning Tools

By the way, this post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on any of the links we are promoting, we might get a small commission at no cost to you which helps us run our website and podcast.

1) Pruning Shears

Pruners are defined as a hand-held garden tool used to cut away smaller branches or stems with more precision and finesse.

Hand pruners work best when used on small stems up to 1-inch thick.

corona pruning shears are on our list of best pruning tools for 2019.

These Corona pruning shears have been our go-to brand for over 20 years! Click for a current Amazon price!

Our recommendation is The Corona ClassicCut Forged Bypass Pruning Shears for so many reasons! Mainly, the Corona ClassicCUT pruning shears are the best basic pruning shears you can buy because they are built with strength and dependability.

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • These hand pruners work best when they are used on small stems up to 1 inch (but can be used for some larger stem sizes too).
  • Be sure to re-engage the thumb lock so no unwanted scrapes or cuts happen to you or anyone else.

The Corona ClassicCut Forged Bypass Pruning Shears can be your go-to tool for pruning! Check out our video below! 


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  • Good for tight spaces
  • Self-sharpening
  • Self-cleaning
  • Made of forged steel (which is the best material for pruners!)


  • These hand pruners are built with strength and dependability
  • Can be used on deciduous trees, plants, flowers, shrubs, cutting wire, pretty much anything you can think of
  • Ergonomically-shaped

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2) Loppers 

Loppers are best used for larger stems or branches over 1-inch thick that need more cutting leverage. This tool can be used for some fine-cuts too.

In general, this tool is generally used for stems over 1-inch up to 2 or 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Fiskars loppers from Amazon are a perfect pruning tool.

These Fiskars loppers are one of our recommended pruning tools for 2019! Buy them now by clicking on the image above!

Our recommendation is the Fiskar’s 28-inch Bypass Loppers because after 20+ years of use in many different situations, these loppers are the most dependable!

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • These loppers work best for stems of any size between ½ an inch to 1.5 inches, in general.
  • Power or Compound-loppers can also be used on oversized, larger limbs up to 2 1/2 inches.


  • Constructed with two forged-steel pieces, instead of many like other models
  • Rust-resistant and self-cleaning
  • Has a shock-absorbing bumper stop to eliminate jarring forces from big cuts from affecting your body
  • Non-slip comfortable grips for your hands


  • Really powerful.
  • Easy on your back and shoulders due to their long reach and lighter weight
  • Can be used on deciduous trees, plants, flowers, shrubs
  • Less maintenance due to few pieces

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3) Hand Saw

A pruning hand saw is versatile, lightweight, and powerful enough for all pruning projects.

In general, pruning saws are used for cutting stems and limbs anywhere from 1 ½ inches up to 3 inches.

Our recommendation is the 7-inch PowerTooth Soft-Grip Folding Saw!

Fiskars Powertooth Folding Saw from Amazon is on our pruning tools list.

Everyone needs a good pruning saw and this model from Fiskars is on our list for best pruning tools!

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • Start cutting on the top of the limb facing down
  • Undercuts pinch the blade which could stop your cut
  • Side cuts give uneven cuts
  • Any larger of limbs to cut and you should use a chainsaw to save you time and a lot of effort


  • Ergonomic handle that has a soft grip.
  • Hardened steel blade.
  • High tooth count/inch blade.
  • Compatible with a 10-inch blade (which we prefer).


  • Can be used in tight areas
  • Can cut a large range of sizes
  • It folds up so less chance of injury or accidents
  • Lightweight so it is easy on your shoulders and back

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4) Hedge Shears 

Fiskars Hedge Shears on Amazon are recommended on our list of best pruning tools

Hedge shears are a great pruning tool and one you should have in your tool kit!

Hedge shears are a pruning tool that are GREAT for shaping plants with small-sized stems.

They are also a perfect tool for adding crisp, clean lines to your plants.

Our choice is The Fiskars Power Lever 8-inch Hedge Shears because they work the best and keep their blade cutting edge with super overuse. Even with little cleaning necessary!

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • These hedge shears work best for plants needing shaping and stem sizes anywhere from the smallest up to ¼ inch.
  • Any stems larger in size than this and you should go through the plant first with hand pruners or loppers to clear the larger stems out first.
  • Since the cuts you should be making with hedge shears are not large, this tool is ideal for fine-tuning, delicate shaping of plants.


  • Steel blade
  • Self sharpens
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Cushioned, comfortable hand grips


  • Blades stay really sharp after lots of use
  • Lightweight so they won’t hurt your shoulders, back, or other muscles after lots of use
  • The grips are comfortable

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5) Fan or Leaf Rake 

This tool is fine and small pieces of pruned debris and putting it in piles.

This rake works well to gather and pile up any loose small stems or leaves for pickup and disposal.

Our choice is  This 22.5 inch, 22-tine Metal Leaf Rake because  

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • Don’t overuse the rake, press too hard or try to move too heavy of material as the tines will bend or break.
  • When all done cleaning up in a garden bed over mulch or bark, turn the rake upside down so the tines are turned up and place on the mulch pushing and pulling back and forth to smooth out uneven chip areas.


  • Solid, steel-made tines
  • 54-inch handle


  • Construction has a lot of flex to it
  • This rake is strong and durable after years of use
  • The bright, red color makes it easy to spot across the yard

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6) Bow or Hard Rake  

This tool is really beneficial for your pruning jobs for helping collect the medium to larger pieces of pruned debris.

A hard rake as advertised by Amazon.

This strong, rake is perfect for moving your pruning debris.

Our choice is Bully Tools 12-Gauge,16-Inch Bow Rake because it is lightweight but has super strong handles. Also, this rake is long-lasting even in the cold and freezing temperatures. This is perfect for your winter pruning needs!


How Best To Use This Tool:

  • This hard rake works well for raking stems and other debris out of gravel areas after pruning.
  • This rake works well when gathering larger limbs or piles of debris away from where they were cut for disposal.
  • This rake also performs well moving larger debris into piles that your fan rake can’t do, especially if your material is too heavy, such as larger limbs and other heavier materials.


  • Fiberglass handle
  • Commercial-grade steel tines
  • 58 inch length
  • Made in the USA


  • This rake is lightweight so it won’t be too heavy after long use
  • It’s made of tough steel and it’s a great length
  • Can be used with any tough pruning debris, soil, rock, or mulch

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7) Pitch Fork 

This tool is GREAT for pruning because it helps speed up the clean-up portion of your pruning project.

A pitch fork helps you move the cut debris as you clean while saving your back from repetitive bending or stooping.

Our choice is the 5-Tine, 50-inch-handled Manure Fork by Truper because it is sturdy and lightweight.

How Best To Use This Tool:

  • These wood handles are easy to grip so you get leverage when picking up debris.
  • Don’t overload the fork or pick up too much at a time as it will be unbalanced and hard to control.


  • Steel tines.
  • Lightweight handle
  • 50-inch, professional grade fiberglass handle.


  • The soft-cushioned grip is comfortable after long use
  • This pitch fork is sturdy and lightweight

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Winter Pruning Tools Conclusion

Now that you understand the difference between the two types of pruning cuts, thinning or heading, you can attack your trees, shrubs, and 

Choosing the correct pruning tool for that big job can make your life so much easier.

No professionals necessary.

Related Pruning Resources:


Well, that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading and we hope these 7 best garden tools for your winter pruning needs will help you make your outdoor space the best ever this new year ahead.

Check out our Resource Library page for FREE printable freebies in our Resource Library! For information about updating your yard for the fall season, check out either our mulching or our pruning page.

See you in the garden!

~ Sean and Allison

P.S. Find us on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so you don’t miss a thing! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 



About spokengarden

HELLO AND WELCOME! We are Sean and Allison of Spoken Garden. With combined backgrounds in horticulture, gardening, landscape, and teaching, we hope to educate and inspire you.

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