If landscape maintenance is your career or past time......I suggest there is only one gardening tool for your tool belt. Felco Pruners with a Felco Holster should be part of your attire.
There are tons of pruning tools on the market. They range in size and color. While speaking of color,
A tip: Choose the brightest handles. As a landscaper and avid gardener, bright red is easy to find if I should drop them or lay them down somewhere. Habitually using the Felco Holster is a better practice.
Sure there are plenty of less expensive pruners on the market. If you have little to prune you can get by with others just fine for a while. Eventually the springs jump out, the screws give out, or the locks break and they stay open making them odd to carry around. Sharpening is required more and more, staying sharp less and less due to the inept quality of steel, if they are even made with steel. You truly do get what you pay for.
For the serious gardener and the once and done shopper, the Felco Pruners are the #1 gardening tools. Felco blades are superior, precision-ground, hardened steel. Made in Switzerland, they have the quality reputation. They are equipped with professional features like a sap groove, a wire-cutting notch, a non-corroding spring mechanism to last for years, and a cushioned shock absorber that prevents wrist fatigue.
The strong, solid-forged aluminum-alloy handles have easy-to-grip covers. The Rubber-coated handles are comfortable, lightweight and sturdy.
The list below describes the variety of pruners for significant different uses.
Felco 2 Pruners are the original and most recommended pruners in the world.
Felco 6 Pruners are better suited for small hands, and smaller jobs such as grape vines or light pruning. Florists prefer these because they have shorter blades more suitable for closer cutting.
Felco® 4: Quality Pruners at a Value Price
Felco 100: Cut-and-Hold Pruners for Flowers and Roses
-Anvil-style pruners to grasp stems before falling to the ground.
Felco 7: Professional-Quality Ergonomic Pruners
-Ideal for big pruning jobs, yard cleanup and extensive deadheading
-Rotating lower handle maximizes leverage and reduces the cutting effort 30%
Felco 9: Professional-Quality Pruners for Left-Handed Users
-Premium-quality, left-handed pruning shears to get the job done.
-Specially designed for left-handed users
As you can see at a glance, the right (or left) choice for you is available. I believe that anvil-type pruners are better for cutting dead wood, while the bypass are versatile for either. While that has been my experience, some gardeners might argue.
Choose your preference and be assured you are buying the finest quality tool for the fairest price.