A pair of trusty secateurs is one of a gardeners most-used tools, so it would make sense to invest in a decent pair right? Well, I have to admit that I’m not one for parting with a lot of money when it comes to tools on the allotment. They can be quite expensive so I’ve pretty much always opted for the cheaper option. When Sensei gifted me a pair of their Japanese secateurs in exchange for an honest review, I was intrigued to try something more professional (but still affordable) than the cheap plastic things you can pick up from Aldi or Wilkos for about £3.
First off, I need to take a moment to talk about the packaging. Boring? No, it’s sexy as hell! These secateurs arrived in mysterious long, black box. I actually let out a little shriek to discover it even had a magnetic lock on the hinged lid. When you open the lid, the secateurs are kept snug inside the protective cutout cushion. Somebody really thought about the design of this box and I appreciate that. It’s slick, it’s fancy and I suddenly felt like I was a new member of an elite garden club.
Design & Feel
Have I already mentioned how sexy these secateurs are? I love contrast of the shiny steel against the matte black handles. (I’m sorry that my photos don’t show them as shiny and clean as when they first arrived with me, I enjoyed using them!). The first thing I noticed when holding the Sensei secateurs is the satisfying weight to them. You know that you’re holding a quality product when it has a good weight to it, right? The shape fits comfortably in my hand but if I had to find a criticism, it would be that my thumb finds it a bit of a stretch to pull the leaver to release the blades. However, this is probably down to my hand size more than anything else! I love the finish of the textured handles, made from SK5 Japanese carbon steel, (SK stands for “Steel Kougu” meaning “Steel Tool”), so these are extra-strong . The spring action is also very strong, to the point where they almost sprung out of my hand when I first opened them! There’s even a notch at the top of the blade for cutting wire, not that I used it because I had more important things to test.
So how well do they perform? Well, I’ve spent a good few weeks testing these secateurs on different plants in the allotment. After the summer raspberries finished fruiting, I used them to prune the old, woody canes and the blades had no issue in slicing through them. I also enjoyed deadheading my flowers which happens to be one of my favourite summer jobs. With my new super springy, sharp cutters I snip-snip-snipped my way through the cosmos, dahlias, rose campion and cornflowers in no time!
I was intrigued to test the Sensei against the standard cutters in my shed. My spent oxeye daisy flowers were flopping over and needed cutting right back. Here below you can see a comparison in the cut between the Sensei secateurs and cheap secateurs on an oxeye daisy stem. The Sensei gave a sharp, clean and fast cut that didn’t damage the stems. In comparison, the old, cheap pair failed to even cut all the way through and actually crushed the stem rather than slicing it, leaving a very messy cut. Using these on the allotment could weaken plants, stunt growth and leave them vulnerable to disease.
I’ve thoroughly enjoying testing out my sexy pair of Sensei secateurs and I hope they will serve me for many years to come. They’re sharp, efficient and cut superbly for fair price of around £20. It’s a genuine joy to use these cutters and it has definitely made me realise that I shouldn’t be wasting my money on cheap tools anymore, especially when it becomes more costly in the long run!
This was an honest product review and not something have been paid to do, nor will I receive any money from the website links above.