When it comes to gardening tasks, pruning has to be the most important and demanding job. There’s just something fun about snapping some blades through uncut weeds and unsuspecting hedges.
When done regularly, pruning can help keep your plants in shape, prevent disease and encourage flower blooming. But to achieve all this, you have to use the right tools for the right job. So, just how do you get kitted out with the right pruning and shaping tools for your garden?
Well, you could always try loppers and secateurs which are great for a wide range of jobs, but they do seem a bit inconvenient at times. Alternatively, you could go for a pruning saw, but I get the feeling that you don’t want to be sawing through your hedge all day.
Here’s where good old lever action comes into play with everyone’s favourite hand shears. Also called hedge shears, these short handled shears are the ideal garden tools for box edging, clipping hedges, cutting stems and creating beautiful topiary finishes.
But as always, there are a few factors that have to be considered to get the right hand shears for the job.
- Manual vs. Powered – If you’re planning on doing some hedge shaping and light trimming, you’ll naturally go for hand shears given their lightweight nature and Picasso-like precision. But if you’re dealing with massive hedges or entire gardens, then you’ll need an electric or petrol powered trimmer to get the job done quick.
- Straight vs. Wavy blades – With wavy blades, you get a better hold on more stems and branches as you cut along, but they are very tough to sharpen. Alternatively, those with thicker hedges can opt to buy shears with a serated blade for extra grip.
- Comfort handles – Hey, we’re all concerned about blisters when working on the lawn or garden. That’s why it helps if you get apair of hand shears with comfort handles on them. The extra padding allows for both solid grip as well as sparing you the agony of metal and wood on skin.
- Other essential features to look out for include adjustable, telescopic handles for more reach and Teflon coated blades to prevent sticky, sap and garden debris.
Top Rated Garden Hand Shears
If there’s one brand that doesn’t mess around when it comes to gardening tools, it would have to be ARS. That’s why it’s no surprise that their latest hand shears are already an award wining pair. The ARS – KR-1000 is the ideal model that cuts right through the middle (pun intended). So whether you’re just looking for a quality model for home jobs or a light professional multipurpose tool, this is it right here.
The Ultra light ARS 100 boasts of a blade that is 2mm wider to create more strength at the tip while in operation. To achieve the lighter weight, ARS made use of light but durable pipes for the handles. At the same time, the pipes meet at a large M4 screw that allows for four times the torque on the blades. The ergonomic and comfortable handles make for a fatigueless experience.
What I like about it:
- Incredibly high quality construction
- Professional, multipurpose shears
- Enlarged shock absorber for less hand strain
With continuous innovation at the heart of the company, Spear and Jackson has been creating affordable yet quality tools and equipment for years now. Their Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears are a true testament to what budget friendly performance looks like. These particular shears feature a unique, geared mechanism that allows you to have mechanical advantage by amplifying the force in action.
Likewise, the blades are made of hardened carbon steel for long lasting sharpness while the PTFE coating makes them smoother and more resistant to sticky garden debris. But don’t be fooled by the cheaper price tag on this bad boy. The Razorsharp garden shears are as tough as they come thanks to some hardy construction. The final touch comes in the form of non-slip ergonomic grips for a more comfortable experience.
What I like about it:
- Incorporates a geared mechanism for force amplification
- Hardened carbon steel PTFE coated blades
- One of the cheapest pair of hand shears
Ever wondered what a pair of shrub shears look like in their purest and finest form? Well, the Okatsune 217 shears say it all. Razorsharp, incredibly clean cut and designed for optimal user friendliness, these shears are the ideal tool for anyone looking to get the job done right. I start off with the light and robust construction that guarantees a longer lifespan on your purchase.
What immediately catches your eye has to be the Japanese white oak handles that not only offer a solid grip, but also reduce vibrations for a more pleasant experience. To achieve the perfect balance on your shears, Okatsune created a combination of 175mm long blades and 300mm handle length. With such accuracy and balance, it’s easy to see why Japanese landscapers are so good at creating pieces of live art.
What I like about it:
- Beautiful Japanese oakwood construction
- Reduced vibrations and improved impact absorption
- Perfect balance for hedge shaping and contouring
Introducing one of the most popular gardening equipment company in the UK, Fiskars has definitely done its part to become an industry leader. But there’s one particular aspect where the brand really excels; and that’s garden shears. If you’re looking for the ideal compbination of affordability and innovation, then look no further than the Fiskars UK 1001433 HS22 SingleStep Hedge Shear Wavy Blade.
This sleek, well-made piece of gardening equipment just oozes quality from all angles. What instantly grabs your attention in the comfortable and extra sturdy unique set of handles. These bad boys are coated with glass fibre for more durability and reinforced with polypropene. Similarly, the wavy profile on the steel blades allow for better gripping and snipping through your hedge.
What I like about it:
- Incredibly affordable price range
- Glass fibre reinforced handles for more durability
- Wavy profile on blades allow for better gripping
If you thought that you’d seen affordable shears, get ready to have your mind blown. Introducing what is hands down the cheapest par on this entire list, the Kingfisher Pro Gold is perfect for homeowners with small hedges looking for something close to free. The Kingfisher Gold has been steadily impressing gardeners all over he UK, and it’s not just because of the price.
One look at the shears and its impossible to believe that they could come so cheap. The gold and brown detailing is absolutely gorgeous and stands out from a crowd. Apart from the aesthetics, you can tell that the construction is also relatively robust, but I think professionals who require regular use might want something stronger. The non stick cutting blades and ergonomic soft handle make for some great finishing features.
What I like about it:
- Budget friendly price range
- Non stick steel cutting blades
- Attractive aesthetics and design
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to sharpen garden shears at home?
Sharpening garden shears at home is easier than you might think. Simply clean the shears using soapy water, dry them well, and brush off any rust with a piece of steel wool. Next, secure the shears in a bench vice with the blades wide open. Now use a medium to coarse diamond hand file, and draw the file along the blade’s contour, at the same angle of the bevel of the blade.
After a few minutes of filing you should see a sharp edge start to appear on the blade, so turn the shears around and file off any burrs that have appeared. Finish the job by wiping the blades with a soft cloth dipped in linseed oil – this will prevent any rust forming.
Q: How do garden shears work and how to use garden shears?
Garden shears are used for cutting stems and branches of around 3/4 inch diameter, though some will go larger. Shears are bigger than some other garden cutting tools, and usually require two hands to operate. You can get shears for cutting hedges, trimming lawns, cutting back overgrown plants, and more.
Whichever type you use should be comfortable in your hand, and not too wide that you cannot close the blades together. You can buy shears for those with smaller hands, and some companies make shears specifically for left handed people.
Q: How to clean garden shears after use?
Your shears will start to become clogged up with the sap of whatever plants you have been pruning, and this will affect their performance so good cleaning is essential. You need to clean off dried sap with a pan scourer or some wire wool – you can loosen the stuck-on material with WD-40 to help at this stage.
Next, wipe off the WD-40 and sap residue with a clean cloth, and you can rub a thin film of linseed oil o er the blades to keep them rust free, if you are not going to be using them again for a while.
Q: How to maintain garden shears?
Maintaining your tools well will add years onto their lives, and save you having to buy more.
- Always remove mud, soil and sap from your shears after each use.
- Never put them away wet – either let them air dry or wipe them thoroughly with a dry towel.
- Sharpen your tools regularly.
- Wipe the cleaned blades down with an oily rag after each use.
- Thoroughly clean any tools that have been in contact with chemical fertilisers, weedkillers or other corrosive substances.
- Store them in a dry environment, preferably hanging up so that blades don’t get damaged or become an injury hazard.