Deadheading is dead easy with the Felco 6 One-Hand Pruning Shears. A classic style of pruning shears – Europeans would call them secateurs – is realized here with exceptional class.
These shears are designed specifically for light pruning tasks. Any stem or slender branch up to about ⅔″ is within the Felco 6’s cutting scope, from the juicy stems of tender plants to woody shrubs and even small tree branches. Typically, you would use these shears for deadheading, removing unwanted branches, and other pruning tasks around the yard. And if you like to create arrangements of your yard-grown flowers in a vase indoors, you can use these pruners to cut those stems down to size, too.
The Felco 6 belongs to a category of pruning shears known as ‘bypass pruners.’ This means the cutting action happens when the two blades pass against each other – as is the case with most household scissors or shears. With this type of shear, the two blades must be nicely in tension to contact each other closely along their entire cutting length. Proper tension makes for a smooth cut.
With this in mind, the Felco 6 gives you some control over tensioning the blades, which may lose their straight-out-of-the-workshop tension through normal, repeated use. Tension adjustment is done using a Felco 2/30 Adjustment Key (included), which you can use to tighten or loosen the nuts on the tool. You’ll sometimes need this tool for dismantling the Felco 6, ready for cleaning or blade replacement.
We tested the Felco 6 using the pruner to cut various plant stems and thin tree branches in our reviewer's yard. The results were so impressive that we ranked the Felco 6 first in our roundup of the best pruners you can buy.
Pete has reviewed hundreds of gardening products for titles including TopTenReviews, Ideal Home and the London Evening Standard – as well as writing articles on diverse topics for other publications such as The Guardian and BBC Good Food. A long-term contributor to the blog of leading scissors-maker Ernest Wright, Pete has in-depth understanding of the qualities and design features that go into a really good pair of shears.
Felco 6 Bypass Pruner: At a glance
The Felco name will be familiar to some of our plant-loving readers. Since the 1960s, this Swiss manufacturer has reliably made some of the finest pruning shears you can buy.
Deriving much of its design DNA from the classic ‘Felco 2’ model, the Felco 6 is a bypass pruner with ergonomically molded handles and sharp, exquisitely tensioned cutting blades. The shears are intended for various pruning applications, from high-precision tasks such as deadheading and cutting tender plant stems to cutting through tree branches up to 0.79″ thick.
You can pick up a pair of these premium shears for around $60 from online retailers such as Amazon.
Felco 6 Bypass Pruner: key specs
|Blade material||Hardened steel|
Felco 6 Bypass Pruner: Performance
The Felco 6’s first test in our reviewer’s yard was to prune tender plant stems and remove dead flower heads. It did this with great ease and precision and at the expense of practically zero effort from the user.
Cutting tree branches was a little tougher, especially towards the upper end of the pruner’s cutting width capacity. However, after a few seconds, the shears effectively made their way through the wood.
Pruning is truly a pleasure with these sensational shears. The spring mechanism gives the pruner a lovely, light, and easy action, and you won’t need to put in much effort to cut through plant matter (just so long as the shears are well-maintained).
The more closely you consider the details of these shears, the more you’ll appreciate them. We were particularly impressed with the soft stoppers above the spring mechanism on the insides of the shanks, which allow for quiet, peaceful pruning. The brushed finish on the hardened steel blades is another nice touch.
Felco is a sustainability-focused brand, so it’s natural that they’ve made the Felco 6 easy to maintain long-term. A bundled-in adjustment key lets you take the shears apart, ready to sharpen the blades or replace parts. The Felco 6 can be your trusty pruning helper for a lifetime with proper care.
Felco 6 Bypass Pruner: should you buy?
|Price & availability||Expensive, but spare parts available for long-term upkeep.||4/5|
|Design||An iconic, timeless design that works beautifully.||5/5|
|Performance||Excellent at cutting all appropriate stems and branches.||5/5|
Buy it if...
You love your plants!
The Felco 6 is a joy to use, which may encourage you to spend more time in the yard. The fact that these shears are cut very cleanly is good for plant health, too.
Classic design is your thing
Felco pruning shears haven't changed all that much since the 1960s. And even then, Felco's tool design had traditional roots.
You buy for the long term
With replacement parts available and an adjustment key bundled in, you can keep using the Felco 6 for decades.
Don't buy it if...
Price is a big issue
The Felco 6 is very expensive relative to an affordable bypass pruner. (However, you do tend to get what you pay for.)
You have thick tree branches to cut
This type of pruning requires a higher-capacity tool such as a mini chainsaw or lopper.
You don't enjoy tool maintenance
It's recommended to take the Felco 6 apart regularly for sharpening, cleaning, and replacement of worn parts.
How does it compare?
It’s worth considering a few alternative models of bypass pruner before you go ahead and buy the Felco 6.
Another option with a similar design, but designed for users with larger hands, is the Felco 8. This slightly larger pruner also has a greater cutting capacity, meaning you can cut thicker branches. However, the Felco 6 will feel more comfortable in most users’ hands.
At the lower end of the price spectrum, the Fiskars Solid Bypass Pruner P121 provides respectable pruning capabilities at an unbeatable price of around $10-20 (depending on the retailer). The P121 is nowhere near as special as the Felco 6, but it’s an effective choice for most pruning work.
How we tested the Felco 6 Bypass Pruner
Our reviewer tested the Felco 6 Bypass Pruner by using it to prune various plants around the yard. He tested the shears on a wide range of plants, from marigolds with juicy stems to half-inch-thick crabapple tree branches. He also tested the bundled-in Felco 2/30 Adjustment Key by using it to loosen and tighten the nuts on the pruners.
See more about how we test.