Taking cuttings is an important step in propagating some plants so to be successful, you will need to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. There are many different types of scissors, blades and knives, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for taking cuttings. When taking cuttings, you need to be able to make a clean cut in one smooth and swift motion and this means that your tool will need to have a sharp blade of some sort. Some people use Stanley knives and others simply use their secateurs but we think that a proper knife for taking cuttings is your best bet so we will give you our top 3 choices of knives for taking cuttings to hopefully help you determine which one is best for your needs.

Best knife for taking cuttings
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What to Look for in a Cuttings Knife

A sharp blade is essential so as not to cause too much trauma to the mother plant and also the clean cut will help the cutting propagate. The blade should also have a long enough handle so that you do not end up hurting your hands while using it and your tool will need to be strong enough so that will not snap or break under pressure. A good quality knife will also need to be capable of being sharpened. This means that the knife will have a long life and you won’t need to spend money on replacement blades.

It is also a good idea to make sure that your tool is stainless. Stanley blades, for example, are not ideal as they are prone to rust quickly meaning that you don’t get much longevity before the blade needs replacing.

Top 3 Knives for Taking Cuttings

Top Pick – Felco Grafting and Pruning Knife with Nylon Handle

The Felco Grafting and Pruning Knife (Amazon link – opens in a new tab) is the perfect tool for taking cuttings. With its curved steel blade, it features a fold-away design that makes it discreet and light enough to take anywhere. Whether you’re doing whip and tongue grafting or maintaining your garden, this knife gives you full control of your hand movements thanks to the confident grip on its handle.

Made in Switzerland from high-quality materials, this fantastic knife has a strong durable nylon handle with standard alloy lining that provides reassurance while reducing fatigue – essential when working in the garden all seasons of the year.

This knife will serve as an essential addition to any gardener’s kit or those who love working with plants at home!

Felco Pruning and Grafting Knife with Red Handle

Best Seller – Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Razorsharp Folding Garden Knife

Gorgeously designed for gardeners, hobbyists and enthusiasts alike, this hearty British gardening tool (amazon link – opens in a new tab) is well-equipped for tackling both large and small tasks, like creating room to plant, pruning plants, cutting blossoms, taking cuttings or harvesting veggies.

The sturdily-built blade is made of stainless steel to prevent rusting if left out in the rain (and it won’t be hard to spot it when you need it). The weatherproof handle is made from wood which not only looks great but feels comfortable helping you make precise cuts.

Developed and officially licensed by Kew’s horticultural team, resulting in a tool that is used and recommended by Kew Gardens.

Spear and Jackson Pruning Handle with Wooden Handle

Best Price – Draper Slimline Pruning Knife

This slimline foldaway Draper knife (amazon link – opens in a new tab) is perfect for anyone from landscapers to gardeners or allotment owners. The blade has been designed to make any job easier, so you can take cuttings, prune plants and tidy up all your garden with no hassle.

It has an ultra-lightweight and extremely sharp stainless-steel blade, locks in place when open to avoid any accidents, and is perfect for taking cuttings, pruning limbs, or general tidying around the garden.

Developed and officially licensed by Kew’s Just like any other Draper tool: it does a tough job with precision and ease.

Draper Foldable Pruning Knife

How to Sharpen a Pruning Knife

Personally, I use a stone, but it’s important to know what material you’re using so you don’t ruin your knife. I recommend the Shan Zu whetstone which can also be used to sharpen the knives in your kitchen too. You can find them here (Amazon link – opens in a new tab) for a reasonable price. The SHAN ZU Sharpening Stone uses ONLY WATER and doesn’t require expensive grinding oil. Superior set: The whetstone is combined with the grit 1000 and the grit 6000, for sharpening and honing.

This knife sharpener comes with a non-slip bamboo base and silicon base to help keep it in place. There’s even an angle guide that will put your blade on the optimal angle for you whilst keeping your fingers safe.


To take cuttings, you will need to have the right tools. This article has discussed some of the best knives for taking cuttings depending on what your needs are. If you do not currently own a knife or are looking for an upgrade to make it easier and more efficient when taking care of plants in your garden, these are the best around! We also provided information about how to sharpen any blade so that you can get the most out of it. It’s important that if you’re going to spend money on gardening equipment, then find ways to maintain them well into their life span so they’ll work better and last longer too!

Garden Doctor Trev

Garden Doctor Tips

“Don’t use throwaway blades like Stanley or art scalpels. Buy a knife that will last!”

“If you do not have one, get yourself a whetstone to keep your blade smooth and sharp!”

“When using sharp tools, always be careful, I’m sure that you want to keep all your fingers!”

“Think about the size of the handle, if you have huge hands, you will want a handle that you can hold comfortably!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are gardening knives curved?

Curved knives are designed for precision work so that the blade hugs the stem or any other precise object. Curves allow more precise control of the tool because of more contact with your hand. For this reason, gardeners prefer knives with curves rather than straight blades (those knives will limit their ability to do detailed work).

What is a propagation knife?

A propagation knife is commonly used for grafting plants like roses and fruit trees. The sharp blade of the knife is generally serrated or curved, meaning that it can make a clean cut along the edge of a branch while easily continuing to cut through any type of plant tissue.

What is a pruning knife?

A pruning knife is a small, sharp and flexible tool, similar to a pocketknife, used for pruning plants. They come in various sizes and shapes to meet the different needs of gardeners.


Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.

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