If you have lots of tough tree branches to cut, as well as soft plant stems and flowerheads to snip, then the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN could be the ideal choice to use in your yard.
An anvil pruner is a type of manual pruning shears with special blades made to powerfully cut tough tree branches and sinuous plant stems. The design combines a sharp, cutting top blade with a flat bottom blade that’s capable of crushing tough plant matter. It’s this cutting, crushing one-two punch that equips anvil pruners to sever tougher stems or branches than the average bypass pruner could. In the RSEN’s case, the metal blades are coated with a non-stick finish that prevents natural substances such as sap from adhering to the pruner.
While the RSEN is especially well-equipped to cut tougher, older stems, it can also serve as an all-purpose pruner thanks to its compact design, smooth cutting action and keen top blade. For example, you could use the RSEN to deadhead flowering plants, or cut soft, thin plant stems, not much less accurately than you could with a good-quality bypass pruner. This versatility helped the RSEN to secure a place in our roundup of the best pruners that you can buy.
Do bear in mind that while these pruning shears may be great at cutting thin tree branches, its branch cutting capacity is limited by the design of the blades. Branches thicker than ¾″ cannot be cut using the RSEN.
We assessed the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN by using it to carry out various pruning tasks around our reviewer’s yard. Because this is an ‘all-purpose’ anvil pruner, we tested the RSEN’s capability to cut both tough tree branches and soft plant stems.
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.
Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN: At a glance
Wolf-Garten is a century-old garden tools powerhouse, now operated by Connecticut-based Stanley Black & Decker Outdoor GmbH. The brand may have changed hands in recent years, but Wolf-Garten has maintained its reputation for delivering high-performing, long-lasting yard tools.
The RSEN pruner is one of several Wolf-Garten products that our writers can recommend based on their first-hand experience. The author of this review recently used an excellent Wolf-Garten UGM3 Dethatching Rake Head ($65, Amazon (US); £35, Amazon (UK)) with a compatible handle to dethatch a lawn.
You can pick up the Wolf-Garten RSEN Anvil Pruner for about $30 via online stockists such as Amazon.
Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN: key specs
|Blade material||Coated metal|
|Handedness||Left or right|
Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN: Performance
We began the process of testing the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN by focusing on one of the tool’s key strengths: cutting tough tree branches. Our reviewer identified suitable tree branches of varying widths, and pruned them one by one during the RSEN.
As expected, the RSEN was excellent at cutting slender tree branches. You can really feel the crushing force of the pruner’s flat bottom blade, when biting through a particularly tough branch. Cutting performance was good, right up to the RSEN’s maximum cutting width of ¾″.
Generally, anvil pruners are not categorized as a well-suited tool for light pruning tasks. We were therefore pleasantly surprised to find that the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN is pretty good at delicate work such as cutting juicy plant stems and deadheading. Cuts were neat and fairly precise, and the non-stick coating on the blades seemed effective at keeping the pruner clean, despite repeated use.
As for the user experience of cutting with the RSEN, we found this pruner particularly easy to use. The tool generates considerable cutting power relative to the effort applied by the user, and features such as the locking mechanism feel robust and well-designed.
Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN: should you buy?
|Price & availability||A fair price for a very good anvil pruner.||4/5|
|Design||Attractive, traditional style and a user-friendly design.||4/5|
|Performance||Great at cutting tough branches; pretty good at pruning plants.||4/5|
Buy it if...
Your plants and trees are hard to prune
The anvil pruner design of the RSEN is perfect for pruning tough, old branches and stems – the gnarlier sorts of plant matter that can cause problems for some bypass pruners.
Long-term value matters to you
We were impressed with this pruner’s build quality and the sanitary, non-stick coating on the blades. These traits suggest the RSEN is a good choice of pruner for medium-to-long-term use.
Traditional style pleases your eye
With its classic style and Wolf-Garten-red handles, the RSEN offers a more traditional aesthetic than most pruning shears today.
Don't buy it if...
You’ve only got delicate plants to prune
While the RSEN has good all-round pruning capabilities, in most cases you’ll be able to do a better job of pruning soft, young plants using a gentler tool – probably a bypass pruner.
The pruner needs to cut tree branches over ¾″-thick
Due to the design of the RSEN’s blades, it’s impossible to use this pruner to cut branches any thicker than its advertised maximum cutting width.
You need your pruner right away
Wolf-Garten products are often shipped from Europe, which means you may have to wait a few weeks for the RSEN to arrive. This won’t be ideal if your plants are in urgent need of pruning.
How does it compare?
The Wolf-Garten is a great choice of anvil pruner that will suit many users perfectly. However, this isn’t the only pruner that we can strongly recommend to our readers.
Another excellent option that can cut both soft plants and tough tree branches is the Felco 6 Bypass Pruner. The Felco 6 is significantly more expensive than the RSEN, but it performed exceptionally during our hands-on testing.
If your sole focus is cutting tree branches – including limbs thicker than the RSEN’s maximum cutting width, then you may want to consider pruners of different types, such as the Greenworks 24V 6" Brushless Pruning Saw, or Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Pole Lopper.
How we tested the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN
Like all of the pruners featured in our spotlight reviews, the Wolf-Garten Anvil Pruner RSEN was tested hands-on in our reviewer’s yard. We used the pruner for a selection of applicable pruning tasks, including cutting tough tree branches of varying thicknesses, and performing lighter work such as deadheading flowering plants and cutting soft plant stems.
See more about how we test.