ARS vs Felco pruning shears, a new look

For many years now, I have been telling anyone who will listen that I think the ARS VS series are functionally superior hand pruners to Felco, but this evaluation is based on how the products worked over 10 years ago, maybe longer.

The other day I dropped my ARS from high in an apple tree and reached for my new pocket shear. the cheapest Felco on the market that is also very light and has a closing mechanism not likely to accidentally open in ones pocket.

I was surprised to find that it seemed to cut wood with less applied force, but figured it probably was because it was a brand new tool. So I ordered a new VS8 to compare, and yesterday I was working in about 10 degree cold with frozen wood. The Felco still cut with less effort and the design of its “jaws” must be the reason. Somehow it achieves better leverage.

I learned about the inaccuracy of my recommendation by accident. Designs can evolve.

I enjoyed recommending the ARS when most pros recommend Felcos more than writing that my opinion is now in error. At least in my present opinion, but maybe the more expensive Felcos don’t cut as well- seems unlikely but I need to compare their jaws.

It’s been 20 years since I last tried a Felco loppers- I hope that design has been improved as well. I spent a small fortune just to trial it and found it wanting back then- couldn’t cut like a bahco.