What Can You Use Secateurs For? (5 Amazing Uses)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Secateurs also known as hand pruners are strong and powerful shears or scissors that can trim through the branches of trees and bushes.

Secateurs have been in existence for the beautification of gardens since the 1890s’.

Secateurs are a handy tool to have at hand especially if you have a lot of shrubs and young trees or perennials in your garden.

The uses of secateurs are not limited to just cutting however.

Secateurs have various uses such as trimming shrubs and trees, flower arrangement, agricultural purposes to mention a few.

Secateurs come in different types most especially anvil and bypass secateurs.

Today we will be discussing the uses of secateurs, their use in agriculture, whether they are the same as pruners among other related questions. 

What Can You Use Secateurs For?

What Can You Use Secateurs For

As I mentioned earlier, your secateurs have quite a number of uses which most people do not even utilize them for and we will be exploring that in this section. Some of the major uses of a secateur include:

1. Pruning Thorny Plants Safely

A major use of the secateurs is for pruning plants and small shrubs.

Many plant and shrub species such as roses, bougainvillea, agraves, and the flowering quinces to mention a few have thorny parts which have given many gardeners cuts.

A secateur enables you to safely prune these kinds of thorny plants without actually getting pricked and injured. 

Although most gardeners wear safety equipment such as gloves and bulky clothing, it is still quite a regular occurrence for them to get injured without the proper use of secateurs.

2. Controlling Overgrown Plants

If flowers and shrubs are left on their own, they tend to grow in wild patterns and they also have dead leaves and branches.

Overall, this does not present a great and aesthetic look, not to talk of leading to deteriorating plant health.

The use of secateurs for pruning helps to control plants that have gotten leggy or sparse.

When done correctly, pruning with secateurs will not only leave the plant looking beautiful, but also stimulate growth of young and healthy offshoots.

3. Maximize Fruit and Flower Production

Pruning fruit trees and flowers with secateurs is mainly done to improve the flower and fruit output of the plant.

Typically, this entails pruning to broaden the canopy and allow more sunlight to enter. 

This promotes the development of flower buds.

Pruning done during summer when the trees are at their most productive, maximizes their potential to produce more output and you are rewarded with well flowered and fruity trees.

4. Garden Arrangement And Beautification

Gardeners from time immemorial have always worked on gardens to produce shapes and designs that are pleasing to the eye.

As I mentioned earlier, cutting flowers periodically helps to improve their health.

There are different ways to arrange your garden to produce an aesthetic look. These include making hedges, topiaries, and bonsai.

The secateur is an important gardening tool to have on hand for these activities. 

5. Arboriculture

Arboriculture is an art which involves the study and cultivation of trees and bushes, vines, and shrubs.

Learning about these plants entails knowing about their development and how they respond to human practices on them.

Arboriculture means you are taking your gardening to another level and there is no better handy tool to have than the trusty secateurs. 

Here is an article I wrote on maintaining your pruning shears

Are Secateurs Used For Cuttings?

One of the major uses of secateurs are for cutting and trimming flowers. Cutting purposes for secateurs include cutting stalks, stems, branches, flowers and other plants.

Proper use of secateurs helps to ensure your plants remain in good health as overgrown and dead plants are cut away giving room for young offshoots to grow.

By trimming and cutting, you are also ensuring that your plant has access to enough sunlight for growth.

Put in mind that secateurs should only be used for gardening activities and tools.

Using secateurs to cut through sappy or wet items will make the blade dull over time and this might cause damage to your plants.

Cuts made with secateurs should be sharp and clean or else your plants can get infected with diseases, as such your secateur blade should always be kept sharp.

What Is The Use Of Secateurs In Agriculture?

Secateurs are important in agricultural practice as they can be used for a variety of activities ranging from cutting branches from trees, harvesting vegetables and pruning fruit trees to maximize fruit production.

For small and even large scale farmers, secateurs are important for harvesting vegetables.

Vegetables such as the pumpkin and stevia which have thick stalks need secateurs to be harvested.

Also, fruit producing trees such as grape, apple and citrus fruits are usually pruned by farmers with secateurs to ensure they are delivering optimum output.

The uses of secateurs for agricultural purposes are wide and non exhaustive.

Are Pruners And Secateurs The Same Thing?

Basically pruners and secateurs mean the same thing. The differences in name come from the different locations in which they are used.

The term secateurs is common to Britain and other related countries and locales. 

However in areas like America and the Philippines, the word pruner is more commonly used. Secateurs come in three major types, mainly: 

Can Secateurs Cut Wire?

Many gardeners in the course of their work tend to use secateurs to cut wire.

Secateurs are gardening tools designed to cut through slim wood and branches and not wire.

Do not try to cut wire with your secateurs. 

This often leads to permanent nicking of the blade, making every subsequent cut a tad more difficult.

However, some secateurs have a small hole where the wire can be placed and cut.

When your secateurs are blunt and dulled, they are unable to make clean cuts on plants and your plants might get damaged and infected. 

The best tool for wire cutting still remains quality pliers.

You should endeavor to have these tools also on hand in case you need to make some important wire cutting from time to time. 

Also check out this article I wrote on sharpening secateurs with a knife sharpener

Can Secateurs Be Used To Cut Fabrics?

Although secateurs are a type of scissors, they are not designed to cut fabric.

Secateurs or hand pruners were designed to work on plants, small branches and arrangement of flowers.

You cannot use secateurs to cut fabric as they will ruin the fabric and not give a clear cut. 

There are various types of scissors used in dress and craft making.

Dressmaker or fabric shears are designed for cutting through fabrics without ruining or impinging on the fabric design.

Fabric shears usually have long and sharp blades that range in length from 7 to 10 inches. 

One of the blades is round to prevent fabric and seams from becoming entangled during the cutting process.

They are made to hold the fabric stable so that precise cuts can be made. They can cut through several layers of fabric at the same time.


Secateurs are very vital pruning tools, so investing in high-quality tools that can be serviced and sharpened, and have new parts is a great investment a gardener can have.

Purchase secateurs you can obtain, and they will most presumably be used for a long time as they are cost effective.

Secateurs can be used for a variety of purposes including and not limited to cutting and trimming plants, controlling overgrown shrubs and plants, harvesting vegetables, garden arrangement and beautification to mention a few.

Pruners are also the same as secateurs, the names are just different based on location.

Your secateurs demand proper care and you should use it for the required purposes only.

Your secateurs should not be used to cut wire or fabric or you will end up damaging the blade. Always keep your secateurs honed, clean, and well-oiled.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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