We asked 10 gardeners for their favorite tool, expecting 10 answers. But one tool was the clear favorite.

Felco Pruning Shears
David Fenton

Some of you may remember that earlier this year, we did a deep dive into backyard gardening and produced an eight-part newsletter on the subject, called The Ultimate Guide to Raised Beds.

(It’s not too late to get this newsletter, by the way. Sign up here to start it from the beginning.)

We spoke with a lot of garden experts, and we asked each one a couple of questions: What’s your best piece of advice for the beginning gardener? And what’s your favorite gardening tool? 

We expected to surface recommendations for a wide range of gadgets, grommets, and gewgaws. But our sources were surprisingly aligned: They love a pruner. And not just any pruner, but those by Swiss manufacturer Felco. Gardener after gardener sang the tool’s praises, disclosing that they’re rarely in the field without it in an apron pocket. Or, as Sophie Pennes of Urban Farms LA put it, “These are like my right hand.”

 What the Experts Said

“I really only use a couple different tools, and I love a good clipper. It really helps me especially when I’m trying to take out the old season of, say, sugar snap peas or climbing beans. A good set of clippers is the best tool a gardener can have, and you can just take it out of your apron or pocket to use.”

—Lauri Kranz, founder of Edible Gardens LA

Lauri Kranz, Edible Gardens LA
Lauri Kranz

Photographs by Yoshihiro Makino from the book, ‘A Garden Can Be Anywhere,’ by Lauri Kranz and Dean Kuipers, published by Abrams Books

“You can’t go wrong with a good hand pruner. I love the Felco F2 pruner and a quick saw.”

—Kevin Espiritu of Epic Gardening

Kevin Espiritu's Turnip Harvest

Courtesy of Kevin Espiritu

“I love my pruners. I mean, those are like my right hand. I use them all the time. I have a few different kinds. I use Felcos.”

—Sophie Pennes, of Urban Farms LA

Sophie Pennes with Produce
Sophie Pennes in the garden with produce

Courtesy of Sophie Pennes

“I have a pair of Felcos—I have my original pair, which I think I’ve had since the late ‘70s, which is crazy. They’re Swiss. The Swiss, the Germans and the Japanese make amazing tools.”

— Clarke De Mornay, senior sales person and buying consultant, Flora Grubb Gardens and Grubb & Nadler

Clarke de Mornay in the Garden

Courtesy of Clarke de Mornay


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