Your Guide to Floral Cutting Tools
by Tonneli Grüetter
Scissors are an excellent choice for beginning florists not yet ready to try the knife. Scissors are available in many styles and should be selected to suit the user’s dominant hand. We recommend keeping both short-blade florist scissors as well as traditional long-blade scissors on hand.
When to use them: Scissors are great for trimming soft-stemmed flowers.
Brand we love: Sakagen, founded in 1903 in Japan, has been celebrated by horticulturists for more than 100 years.
Try this model: Sakagen Florist Scissors F-170 — $27.87
As tempting as it may be to use your snips or floral scissors to cut ribbon and fabric, we must advise against doing so. Correctly used, fabric shears maintain extremely sharp edges and provide an exceptionally clean cut.
When to use them: Use fabric shears when cutting fabrics—accent draping, ribbon, burlap, etc.
Brand we love: Smithers-Oasis North America/Oasis Floral Products creates fabric shears and other tools designed specifically for the performance and durability professional florists need.
Try this model: OASIS® Ribbon Shears — $16.50
Often mistaken for pruners, these lightweight trimmers are prized for their maneuverability. The best pairs are both durable and comfortable in the hand. Look for a model with sharp pointed blades and spring-loaded handles, to ensure clean cuts.
When to use them: Delicate and soft stemmed flowers such as sweet peas, Ranunculus and Scabiosa.
Brand we love: ARS, founded in Japan in 1876, makes exceptional lightweight snips
Try this model: ARS SE45 Floral Shears — $30.20
Bypass pruners feature two curved blades, one sharp and the other blunt, that bypass each other. These tools are heavier duty than snips and provide clean cuts—as long as the blades remain sharp.
When to use them: For heavy stems it is best to have a variety of pruners in a few sizes specific to cutting different diameters of stems. At the very least, we recommend keeping at least two pairs—one used exclusively for slightly smaller diameter fresh flower stems, such as roses, and a second pair for cutting seasoned dry decorative woody stems.
Brand we love: FELCO Swiss Made. These shears offer the best warranty of all similar products.
Try this model: FELCO 4C&H — $67.10
A longtime favorite of landscapers, loppers are equally useful to florists. These tools feature long handles, for extra leverage, and strong bypass-style blades, similar to pruners and scissors.
When to use them: When branches are thick and woody, loppers are the perfect tool. Decorative branches, dogwood and Magnolia are all examples of stems loppers should be used on.
Brands we love: Fiskars is widely available and offers loppers in many sizes to suit your comfort as a designer
Try this model: Fiskars PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper — $38.99
Prized by seasoned professionals, floral knives can add big-time efficiency to your bench. Snips and shears cause vascular damage to stems and can harbor bacteria in hard-to-clean areas, both of which lead to shorter vase lives for the flowers. Floral knives are the perfect solution.
When to use them: When properly maintained, floral knives are extremely sharp and should be used only on soft herbaceous stems—never on branches or other woody stems or other materials that may dull the blade and pose safety risks.
Brands we love: Opinel, founded in France in 1890, makes affordable knives of excellent quality.
Try this model: Opinel No. 8 Pruning Folding Knife — $24
These dedicated tools are modified forms of pliers, designed to create clean cuts on wire and featuring two contoured handles.
When to use them: From wire-edge ribbon to paddle wire and even wired faux flower stems, an excellent pair of wire cutters is essential to avoid the temptation of using expensive shears and snips, causing big-time damage to their specialized blades.
Brands we love: Smithers-Oasis North America/Oasis Floral Products creates wire cutters and other tools designed specifically for the performance and durability professional florists need.
Try this model: OASIS® Wire Cutter — $20.50