Long, powerful, lightweight and precise, the Felco 8 Bypass Pruner is a superb yard tool for users with relatively large hands.
Suitable for light to moderate pruning work, these bypass shears can remove delicate flower heads, cut fleshy stems, and even prune slender tree branches. You simply squeeze the handles to bring the shears-blades together, so that they pass against one another in a cutting action – hence the term ‘bypass shears’.
Felco, the storied Swiss maker of the No. 8 Bypass Pruner, champions sustainability in its marketing materials. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Felco 8 gives the owner comprehensive options to maintain these shears long-term. Bundled in with the tool is an adjustment key, which can be used to take apart the shears for routine cleaning, sharpening, and replacement of worn-out components. All of the key parts of the Felco 8 can be ordered as spares from the Felco website.
As well as suiting larger users, the elongated design of the Felco 8 equips this model for slightly bigger pruning tasks, relative to most comparable Felco shears. The blades have a cutting capacity of up to 0.98″, which is more than enough width to prune smaller branches on small-to-medium-sized trees. With that said, it’s worth bearing in mind that the larger ergonomic design of the Felco 8 makes this a poorly-suited choice for smaller users.
We tested the Felco 8 by using the shears to deadhead flowering plants, cut fleshy stems, and remove small branches from fruit trees in our reviewers yard. Read on to learn how the pruner performed.
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 8 Bypass Pruner: At a glance
Swiss tool-maker Felco is famous for crafting some of the best and most iconic pruning shears of the last century.
This particular model, the No. 8, combines classic Felco build quality and style with ergonomic handles intended for users with relatively large hands. Its blades are sharp and beautifully tensioned, ready to prune a variety of tender or woody plants.
These shears become more impressive the more closely you look at them. Standout features include a sap groove sunken into the metal, and a pair of noise-deadening, impact-absorbing stoppers between the handles. An adjustment key is included with the Felco 8, allowing for independent maintenance of the shears.
You can purchase this pruner online for a little over $60, from retailers such as Home Depot.
Felco 8 Bypass Pruner: key specs
|Blade material||Hardened steel|
Felco 8 Bypass Pruner: Performance
Given that the Felco 8 is one of the brand’s larger bypass pruners, we were keen to see how the tool would perform when used for heavier pruning work. So, our first task during testing was to use the shears to cut fairly thick branches on our reviewer’s fruit trees.
The pruner did a great job of cutting tree branches up to its maximum cutting capacity of roughly one inch. The shears made their way through thinner branches with minimal effort, although we had to squeeze the handles a little harder when cutting the thickest compatible branches.
We were similarly impressed with the Felco 8’s performance during our second phase of testing, which focused on removing dead flower heads from a variety of plants. The elongated design of the pruner made it easy to reach between stems and cut exactly where we wanted to cut.
Provided that you have medium-to-large hands, using the Felco 8 will be a total pleasure. The handles are comfortable, the tool is light, and the blades work with a silky-smooth cutting action. Of course, users with smaller hands would be better off trying a smaller Felco pruner instead.
Much to our relief, it proved simple to take apart the Felco 8 using the bundled-in adjustment key – as did putting the shears back together after disassembly.
Felco 8 Bypass Pruner: should you buy?
|Price & availability||Premium pricing, but great long-term value.||4/5|
|Design||A winning combo of ergonomics and classic style.||4/5|
|Performance||Great at pruning plant stems and thin branches.||5/5|
Buy it if...
You’re going to do lots of pruning!
Light, comfortable and ergonomically designed, these shears are ideal for long-duration pruning sessions.
You love classic design
The Felco 8 Bypass Pruner combines traditional secateur design with 20th century ergonomics. For design-loving buyers, it’s a tantalizing combination.
Most pruners are too small for you
If you’re looking to buy the Felco 8, rather than a smaller Felco pruner, the main motivation should be that your hands are too large for most other ergonomic pruning shears.
Don't buy it if...
You’re on a tight budget
This pruner costs well over double the price of many competing pruning shears. If you have limited budget to spend, there are plenty of more affordable tools to consider.
Your hands are relatively small
As we’ve already mentioned, the Felco 8 is designed for larger hands. The handle design doesn’t work, ergonomically, if your hands are on the smaller side.
You don't like taking tools apart
In order to get the best long-term performance out of the Felco 8, you’ll need to disassemble the tool regularly for cleaning and sharpening. This kind of tool maintenance is not for everyone.
How does it compare?
The Felco 8 is a superb model of bypass pruner – but you may want to explore a few other options, before you go ahead and buy it.
We can also highly recommend the Felco 6, a similar Felco pruner with an ergonomic design that’s more middle-of-the-road than that of the Felco 8. The Felco 6 placed first in our roundup of the best pruners you can buy.
Available at under half the price of the Felco 8, the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN is an affordable alternative which also excels at cutting slender tree branches.
How we tested the Felco 8 Bypass Pruner
Our reviewer tested the Felco 8 bypass pruner by using it for a variety of pruning tasks around the yard, including pruning thin fruit tree branches, deadheading plants and cutting juicy plant stems. He also tested the bundled-in Felco 2/30 Adjustment Key by using it to loosen and tighten the nuts on the pruner.
See more about how we test.