5 Best Pruning Saws Of 2023 For Branches & Trees

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Keeping your home’s landscaping looking neat and inviting is much easier when you own a pruning saw.

A pruning saw is invaluable for those branches too thick for pruning shears or loppers but too small to deal with the hassle of chainsaws or cordless power saws.

To help you select the best pruning saw, I put together this buying guide. Inside, find reviews of the top models, the reasons you need one, and the features to look for.

I also answer frequently asked questions, so you can make your decision with confidence and have the best pruning saw to handle your landscaping chores!

What I Look For In A Pruning Saw:

Blade Size13” – 15″
Blade MaterialRust Resistant Steel
SafetyShealths And Storage Options

Our List Of The Best Pruning Saws

Best Overall

Tarval Heavy Duty Pruning Saw (14″ Blade)

Heavy Duty Pruning Saw (Razor Sharp 14' Curved Blade) Comfort Handle with Saw Blade Enclosure - Japanese Style Hand Saw - Perfect for Trimming Trees, Plants, Shrubs, Wood, and More!

Reasons To Buy

  • 14″ curved blade allows cutting through branches up to 8-inches thick
  • Soft-grip cushion on handle prevents blisters and slippage
  • Durable materials and quality construction keep the saw firm during use
  • Sheath protects blade and people from accidental damage or injury
  • Hole on handle lets you safely hang the saw for storage

Reasons To Avoid

  • Small tab on the scabbard can get pushed down and get stuck on the blade (users suggest pulling up and cutting off this tab to prevent this issue)
  • Only cuts on the “pull”

The Tarval Heavy Duty Pruning Saw lets you blast through landscaping chores with its 14-inch razor-sharp curved blade featuring a row of mid-depth teeth.

I like that the blade’s shape and width easily fit into smaller gaps between branches, so even bushes are no match for this tool. I also appreciate the handle and grip that is comfortable to hold for long pruning sessions.

On the downside, the poor design of the scabbard is the real issue with this pruning saw. Either the blade tip pushes through the end, or it gets stuck on the teeth, which is not only frustrating but makes removal somewhat dangerous.

The Tarval Heavy Duty Pruning Saw is a top pick due to its sturdy construction, ergonomic handle, curved blade for effortless pruning, and very affordable price, which makes it ideal for any homeowner with light-to-medium duty pruning needs.

Best Overall

Corona Razor Tooth Pruning Saw (13″ Blade)

Corona Tools 13-Inch RazorTOOTH Pruning Saw | Tree Saw Designed for Single-Hand Use | Curved Blade Hand Saw | Cuts Branches up to 7' in Diameter | RS 7120

Reasons To Buy

  • 13″ blade with three-sided teeth increases cutting contact with branches
  • Handle angle and grip increase leverage and control during use
  • Japanese hardened SK5 carbon-steel blade stays firm so it won’t flex or snap
  • razorTOOTH technology cuts up to 7-inch branches twice as fast as regular pruning saw blades

Reasons To Avoid

  • Teeth configuration only cuts on the “pull” and seems to dull faster when cutting hardwoods
  • Works better on thicker branches
  • No sheath to protect blade during storage

The Corona Razor Tooth Pruning Saw features both shorter and longer teeth for clean cuts and a professional-grade pistol grip with finger hook that provides more control over the saw during use.

I like the teeth that are sharpened on three sides and made of impulse-hardened carbon steel, so the blade stays sharp. The handle’s angle also increases comfort and leverage on the blade so you can cut through 2X the material on each pull stroke over other pruning saws.

On the downside, you can’t purchase replacement blades for this saw. Sharpening the blade can be difficult and costly, so replacing the whole unit when it gets dull may be the only choice.

The Corona Razor Tooth Pruning Saw makes our list for the exceptional value of cost and features. The quick cutting action of the teeth design and the easy-to-grip handle make this saw ideal for homeowners with lots of bushes or trees to trim.

Best Overall

DocaPole Pruning Saw With Extension Pole (13″ Blade)

DocaPole Pole Saw for Tree Trimming - 5-12 Ft Tree Pruner w/Telescoping Extension Pole & GoSaw For Tree Branches Less than 2'- Extendable Limb & Trimmer Saws - Includes Feather Duster

Reasons To Buy

  • 13″ bi-directional blade features razor-sharp 3-sided taper-ground teeth
  • Rust-resistant, chrome-plated finish on the blade increases durability
  • Lightweight handle with secure comfort grip increases cutting control
  • 5-12 feet of extension provides 17 feet of extra reach
  • Replacement blades are easy to purchase and saw will fit on any standard Acme-threaded extension pole

Reasons To Avoid

  • The aluminum extension pole is weak and, when fully extended, is easy to bend
  • Tightening clips on the pole fail to keep it secure

The DocaPole Extendable Pruning Saw is the perfect two-in-one pruning saw kit that works just as well as a handheld or a pole saw for complete landscaping flexibility.

I like the lightweight design that eases arm strain and the bi-directional teeth on the blade that works on both the pull and the push, so the job gets done faster. The handle and blade can attach or detach from the 12-foot extension pole for close-up cuts or reach branches over 15 feet away.

On the downside, the extension pole is the weakness of this tool. It holds up well at shorter lengths, but when fully extended, it flexes nearly too much to perform any cutting action.

What makes the DocaPole 12′ GoSaw Pruning Kit a list topper is the reasonable pricing combined with flexibility to have a hand saw and pole saw in one purchase. This set is best for homeowners who have lighter-duty landscaping needs of both low and high branches.

Best Overall

Silky KATANABOY Professional Folding Saw (XL Teeth)

Silky KATANABOY Professional 500mm Folding Saw XL Teeth (403-50)

Reasons To Buy

  • 2mm-thick carbon steel 19 4/5″ blade features Japanese technology that is harder, sharper, and creates less tension while cutting
  • Long handle allows for two-handed use which increases cutting force
  • Non-slip rubberized grip handle is comfortable and reduces arm fatigue
  • Blade opens and locks securely and safely into place
  • Comes with a nylon shoulder bag to protect the saw and make it easy to carry

Reasons To Avoid

  • Higher price point makes this a real investment
  • It’s awkward to use on thinner branches unless they are a couple feet away

The Silky KATANABOY Professional Folding Saw may cost more but delivers excellent results for not only tree or shrub pruning at home but to take camping or for clearing trails.

I like the professional-grade, super-sharp blade that slices through even large branches like butter but can fold away and tuck into its carry pouch for compact and safe transport. I love the ability to grip the handle with two hands, which balances the cutting between both arms.

On the downside, while the blades are very sharp upon purchase, they will get dull over time and reduce cutting ability. But, you can sharpen the blade, which saves you from purchasing a new saw.

The Silky KATANABOY Professional Folding Saw gets top marks for the sheer cutting force, two-hand grip long handle, extreme durability, and compact storage. This pruning saw is best for homeowners who also want a “survival” tool for outdoor adventures.

Best Overall

Notch Pole Saw Set (15″ Blade)

Notch 18’ Pole Saw Set with 15” Blade (40207)

Reasons To Buy

  • 15″ steel glade with impulse-hardened teeth maintain sharpness
  • Rust-resistant plating on blade delivers long-lasting use and slides cleanly through cuts
  • Comes with three 6-ft interlocking fiberglass poles for versatility and reach
  • Hook feature on saw head helps safely pull down loose limbs

Reasons To Avoid

  • Some issues with bad batches where the saw blade holes don’t match up with the holes in attachment head, requiring a manual drill out
  • Saw blade head cannot be detached and used as a hand tool

The Notch Pole Saw Set features a super-fast pull-cut tooth design and long pole that can easily cut through branches even far out of reach.

I like the long steel blade with impulse-hardened teeth that cut through smaller limbs in seconds with almost no strain, and the professional-grade extendable fiberglass pole that remains straight and strong even at full length.

On the downside, there are a few manufacturing flaws that can impede clean connections, and the blade is not detachable for use as a hand tool, which makes it awkward to use in some areas.

The Notch Pole Saw Set is a favorite due to the professional-grade pole that won’t flex, the fast cutting action, and the convenient hook to pull down loose branches. This saw is best for homeowners with tall trees that need occasional pruning.

Do You Really Need A Pruning Saw?

If you have trees or large bushes on your property, a pruning saw is a handy, manual way to remove dead or overgrown branches.

After a recent hurricane, my area was shut down. That meant no electrical power or access to gasoline for days. With no electricity for my saw or gas for my chainsaw, I didn’t know how I would clear a fallen tree off my car and driveway.

I spotted my pruning saws in the shed and gave it a try. Not only did it work great, but I was also even able to cut through branches eight to ten inches thick with no issues or much strain, which I found surprising!

TIP: On thick branches, I still start the cut with my medium-coarseness blade until the cut is about half an inch deep, then switch to my coarse-tooth pruning saw. Doing this keeps the larger saw from “jumping” around until a groove forms to keep it in place.

My investment in such an affordable tool was incredibly worth it and came through like a champ when I needed it most!

So, for general landscaping touch-ups, or serious emergency clean-ups, a quality pruning saw is a must-have gardening tool for most homeowners.

Features Of The Best Pruning Saws

To find the best pruning saw for your needs, take a look at these important things to consider before deciding on a purchase.

Style

The style of saw you choose depends on the location and amount of pruning you need. Here are the four types of saws you can choose from:

  • Hand Saw – A one-piece tool with a handle and blade. Affordable and typically around 1-2 feet in length. Easy to use and creates enough leverage to work through most branches.
  • Foldable Hand Saw – Similar to a hand saw, the blade can fold toward the handle for compact storage or reduce the chance of injury when not in use. The bolt or locking mechanism between the handle and blade can often slip, making it difficult to control the blade during cutting, so make sure this pivot point is strong and secure.
  • Pole Saw – A pruning saw blade is attached to a long, extendable pole for hard-to-reach branches. Leverage of this type of saw is poor, as you are standing very far from the blade, which makes it challenging to use in many circumstances
  • Bow Saw – A saw blade suspends between two posts, similar to a hacksaw. The blades on these tend to cut faster, as the tension between the two ends of the blade stays firm, so the cut stays true. They are also bulkier and may not fit well inside tight places like bushes to make clean cuts.

Blade Material

Look for blades made of high-carbon or hardened steel, which will last much longer. The material can hold up to sharpening when the edge gets dull, so you won’t have to invest in a new saw.

Some pruning saws add a Teflon or rust-resistant coating on the blade to improve cutting speed, prevent gumming up, quicken clean-up, and reduce corrosion. These finishes eventually wear down if you regularly use the saw, but I find they are worth the extra few bucks.

Blade Length

The overall length of your pruning saw should be in relation to the projects you intend to use it.

Is most of your pruning for bushes or small trees? If so, consider a blade 6-12 inches long sufficient to handle the task.

A blade that is 12” to 18” long is ideal for most general landscaping needs.

Blade Shape

The blade shape is another option to decide. I prefer curved blades over straight, as they help “hold” the saw to the branch while also touching more of the wood at once, so the cut is easier and faster.

A flat blade is better for branches close to the ground or very near to each other, as the sawing action won’t lower the edge into a position that will hit the soil or nearby branch before you can cut all the way through.

Blade Teeth

Pruning saw blade teeth can cut either on the pull, the push, or both directions. I prefer a saw that cuts in both directions as it speeds up the slicing process and uses the energy of your full arm motion, which reduces overall strain.

Larger spacing and longer teeth theoretically cut through wood faster, but also require more downward force to be effective. Smaller teeth a shorter distance apart is more comfortable to push and pull but will take many more strokes to cut through a branch.

A mid-size depth of teeth and spacing, with two directional cutting, is my preferred blade configuration, but trying the different options in real life is the only way for you to find the best one.

Handle Material

The best blade is useless if the handle is weak. Pruning saw handles can be metal, wood, or a plastic or fiberglass composite.

The biggest concern will be that any handle material is thick and durable, so the blade stays securely in place, and the handle won’t crack or break under the stresses of cutting.

A cushion grip on the handle is superior if available, but most people wear gloves while pruning, so this feature isn’t as crucial as other garden tools.

Also, verify that any hardware that holds the blade to the handle is rust-resistant and heavy-duty, so it doesn’t twist or slip while in motion. If you purchase a folding pruning saw, ensure the locking mechanism works correctly and is made of materials that will withstand the elements.

Pruning Saw FAQs

Why Are Pruning Saws Curved?

The curvature of pruning saw blades enhance users’ cutting action and comfort, especially when the material is below the waist or above the shoulders. The natural tendency of your arm motion while sawing with a straight blade is a more angular position when outside of the hip to shoulder region, so the curving blade helps maintain blade-to-wood contact. More contact during the cutting motion means a faster finish.

What Size Saw For Pruning Is Best?

The size of the saw you choose for pruning depends on what you need to cut. I can only rely on pruning shears to cut through branches up to 3/4-inch thick. After that, I turn to my pruning saw. For branches 3-inches in diameter or thinner, I use a hand saw with medium-coarse teeth. I turn to a saw with coarse teeth for thicker branches as it cuts much faster through the material.

About Justin Micheal

Justin has always loved gardening and caring for the outdoor spaces in his grandmother's backyard. He believes everyone can enjoy the space available to them, no matter how big or small. On Backyard Digs, he shares everything he's learned about growing a successful garden and maintaining and improving the landscape of a backyard.