The first piece of advice is if you are a new gardener but in it for the long haul then invest in a quality brand and try before you buy. If you are left-handed then choose a pair that caters for your needs and locks the blades easily.
If you have arthritis or weak wrists look out for modern lightweight materials and ergonomic design. But there are also some innovative, cutting mechanisms such as rotating handles that reduce the stress on the wrists when cutting for long periods, or the extremely useful ratchet cutting systems that reduce the pressure needed to cut thicker stems.
This Fab Five selection includes simple, straightforward pruners, suitable for active, able gardeners.