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What is the difference between Bypass and Anvil secateurs?

There are two types of Wolf Garten Secateurs (Wolf pruners); anvil and bypass.

Bypass secateurs are by far the most popular option. If you're using secateurs with an anvil cutting action to perform the majority of your pruning in the garden, chances are that you're using the wrong tool. Keep reading to find out more.

To make the most of your garden or outdoor space you need the right tool for the job, Wolf Garten Secateurs are a gardening essential as far as we are concerned - with an extensive range to browse; the first question to answer is which type will suit your needs best. Here are the key differences between anvil secateurs and bypass secateurs.

Anvil Cutting Action - Crush

Picture a knife and chopping board like you have in your kitchen at home, this is essentially how a pair of anvil secateurs or pruners work. A sharp blade is pressed down to meet a flat metal base; the blade is forced through your cutting material - the process produces the cut. The blades meet in the way a hammer and an anvil would but unlike the hammer, your cutting blade is razor sharp (when maintained correctly).


The benefit of anvil secateurs is power, with a wide point at which the cut is made you require less force. This is great for hardier branches, woody stems, dead wood and the like.

However, think of this cutting action as more of a crushing action with two blades meeting rather than bypassing one another as a pair of scissors would - the cut is not as clean and will crush sensitive live plant material and tissue. Unlike a bypass pruner which when used correctly will do virtually no damage to your plants. Crushed stem tissue till take far longer to heal than a cleanly cut stem would.

We recommend Wolf Anvil Secateurs for pruning dead wood and hardier stems only - cutting jobs where more power is required.

Bypass Cutting Action - Cut

The bypass cutting action mirrors the way a pair of scissors work, two sharp blades bypass each other and produce a clean precise cut. This method is extremely adaptable and suits a choice for all round use.

When using Bypass secateurs to prune you can make your cut near the bud without stress and the risk of damaging the stem that you would encounter with anvil secateurs.


Chances are that if you're new to gardening (or just pruning) and have ever picked up a pair of secateurs used by your parents, friends, nearest and dearest - you've probably been handling a bypass pair as these are by far the most popular (we would be lost without ours). This cutting action is very familiar to all gardeners.

We recommend Wolf Garten Bypass Secateurs to virtually all of our customers as the best option for all round use - they produce a trusted and precise clean cut time and time again.

Which Model Should I Choose?

Wolf Garten Secateurs are tested for up to 100,000 cuts, built to last and work as they should for years to come. Both the bypass and anvil models feature non-stick blades which are precision ground for optimum performance and precise cutting. Wolf Garten Secateurs are also backed up by the manufacturer's 10 year guarantee.

The Wolf Garten range is extensive; with bypass and anvil options to suit all hand sizes and cutting needs.

We recommend that you take the time to read through our product descriptions which have been carefully written to help you make your decision.

The range of secateurs includes:

Wolf Garten General Purpose Bypass Secateurs, 19mm Cutting Diameter - RREN
Cheap and cheerful, a great choice for occasional use - with a bypass cutting action for fresh wood

Wolf Garten General Purpose Anvil Secateurs, 19mm Cutting Diameter - RSEN
Cheap and cheerful, a great choice for occasional use - with an anvil cutting action for hard wood

Wolf Garten Bypass Secateurs, 18mm Cutting Diameter - RR1500
Great all rounder choice - with a bypass cutting action for fresh wood

Wolf Garten Anvil Secateurs, 25mm Cutting Diameter - RS2500
Great all rounder choice - with an anvil cutting action for hard wood

Wolf Garten Bypass Secateurs - Large, 22mm Cutting Diameter - RR4000
Great all rounder choice for a large hand - with a bypass cutting action for fresh wood

Wolf Garten Anvil Secateurs - Large, 25mm Cutting Diameter - RS4000
Great all rounder choice for a large hand - with an anvil cutting action for hard wood

Wolf Garten Professional Bypass Aluminium Secateurs, 25mm Cutting Diameter - RR5000
Best in class, the choice for regular use - with a bypass cutting action for fresh wood

Wolf Garten Professional Anvil Aluminium Secateurs, 25mm Cutting Diameter - RS5000
Best in class, the choice for regular use - with an anvil cutting action for hard wood

Click here to browse the full range of Wolf Garten Secateurs

All models are designed primarily for the right handed user but may be used by anyone.

If you're unsure how best to proceed then then please feel free to call our team of Wolf Garten Experts on 0208 829 8850 and we'll be happy to help you choose the pair which is right for you.