It is a huge question for any gardener…
Niwaki or Felco?
When I was training there was only one brand of secateur, they had red handles, were made is Switzerland and they lasted a lifetime.
As a student I bought my Felco’s – Felco 7’s to be precise (the ones with the swivel handle) – they have lasted me some 35 years of use.
I love them
I sharpen them
I clean them
And as they have aged, I have also replaced the blade, and the spring.
I have always been a Felco user.
But now there is a new kid on the block.
Niwaki, maker of the Hori Hori which I reviewed the other day are the rising star in the world of secateurs.
Indeed The Independent who like nothing more than a good list, put Niwaki ahead of Felco in the 10 best secateurs in the world.
So, I parted with some £70 and bought a pair of Niwaki Professionals at Chelsea Flower Show.
So, down to the question Felco, or Niwaki?
The Felco’s have served me well, they are capable, have stood the test of time and do the job. They are balanced and thoroughly capable, they are easy to strip down and clean, and 35 years on will still cut a sheet of tissue paper.
The Niwaki have youth on their side, but also a real feel of craftsmanship, they are hand forged and finished, they have an incredible engineered feel to them, and in some very strange way that seems to connect me more closely with the plant that I am working on.
Both are incredibly capable secateurs.
And either brand would make an incredible gift for a Plant Enthusiast.
But if I had to choose one over the other, well for all the quality and longevity of the Felco, the bright red handles, the thumb release in the catch and the precision, I would have to say by a whisker I would choose the Niwaki, they are just beautiful, they feel hand crafted, there is a weight to them, and maybe it is that weight that gives them a sold feel in the hand, that makes them feel more confident and that gives you that feeling of connectivity with the plant.
So, for now, the Felco’s have been hung up in the potting shed, and the Niwaki’s are the tool of choice.
But in reality comparing the two is like comparing a Ferrari with a Maserati, they are both incredibly well designed, engineered and beautiful.
And unlike sports cars, I am in the lucky position of being able to have both in my garage…