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Last updated: January 18, 2021
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Hedge shears are a common instrument in the landscaper’s or gardener’s toolbox. Many people use these simply to maintain hedges and prevent overgrowth, but others use high-quality hedge shears to carefully prune hedges and bushes into artistic and creative shapes to give their lawn a unique look. Therefore, getting the right pair for you is important. With the best hedge shears, your productivity can increase hugely, not to mention the quality of results that you get.
In our hedge shears buying guide, we took many things into consideration, such as the possible uses of hedge shears and what their specific features are for each. In our analysis, we paid attention to the size and weight of the shears, blades, cutting mechanisms, cutting capacity, ease of use, maintenance, and warranties after all. Hedge shears may seem like a simple instrument to those who don’t use them frequently, but we know that when you are shopping for tools, you want the very best value for your money.
In our research, we spent hours combing over dozens of reviews, user manuals, and other publications to find helpful information that we have used to compile a complete guide. We are happy to pass this knowledge along to you in your search for a pair of hedge shears that fits your needs best. Scroll down for a comparison table summing up our top picks, detailed reviews of each with pros and cons, and a buying guide to help you through the decision-making process.
This pair of shears by Tabor Tools has a plethora of features that make it a great addition to any landscaper’s, gardener’s, or landowner’s tool set. To start with, it has strong, telescopic handles that allow for easy trimming and shaping of your shrubs and decorative foliage. The telescopic handles allow you to get access to hard-to-reach areas that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach with other shears. The overall length extends from 25” to 33” when the handles are fully extended.
The blades of these shears have a unique wavy design that is very sharp and ideal for any precision cuts that you need to make. The blades are made of forged carbon and have a wavy pattern all the way to the tip. This creates smooth, crisp, and precise cuts, which are so vital for plants’ health and make it easier for the limbs to grow back.
Another great feature of these shears is the shock absorbing bumpers. They will help to deter jarring vibrations and reduce arm/shoulder fatigue that commonly sets in when doing pruning work. The non-slip grips ensure safety and comfort as you use the shears. The adjustable blade tension gives you the ability to prune different types of plants with a very simple adjustment. This amount of versatility is really a unique feature that not many hedge shears have. The reputation of Tabor Tools is very good, and they take pride in providing active, responsive customer service that can handle any problems you might have with the product. This pair of shears comes with a 1-year warranty.
These authentic Japanese hedge shears deliver smooth, precise cuts regardless of the foliage you are in the process of pruning. Thousands of professional gardeners in Japan utilize these shears for their pruning and trimming needs. They help eliminate crushing and “chewed” cuts. The high-quality blades are made of hot, hammer-forged “Izumo Yasuki Steel”. This is the same steel that is used in the making of Japanese swords, giving them maximum sharpness and cutting power.
The handles are made of good-looking Japanese White Oak, a high-quality wood that also provides durability. The reviews for this product praise the razor-sharp blades and ease with which they cut branches and bushes. Another great feature is that, being so sharp that you may not notice you cut the branches, these shears are also extremely lightweight at just 1.12 pounds, so you probably won’t feel any fatigue in your arms and shoulders even after several hours of work in the garden.
These basic but reliable shears feature lightweight steel handles and comfort grips. The handles extend to allow you for more versatility and reach when trimming. The blades are straight and nothing extraordinarily special in terms of cutting, but they are made of high carbon steel that adds durability and strength.
The ShockStop bumper helps to reduce arm and shoulder fatigue for those long days in the garden or in the lawn, while the precision made pivot bolt provides smooth cutting action. These shears are great for everyday gardening use and have a limited lifetime warranty.
The only complaint users had with these shears was that they are somewhat on the heavier side, so if you do a lot of shearing, your arms and shoulders will probably get tired.
These clippers represent some of the most professional pairs of shears on the market. They are made of high carbon steel with straight, sharp, 7-inch blades that cut like a freshly sharpened pair of scissors.
They are very lightweight and easy to use. The cutting mechanism is simple, elegant, and powerful. Though these shears are powerful for their compact size, it should be noted that these shears are not intended for heavy, woody cutting. They are better suited for shaping and pruning. The cuts that result from these shears are nearly unmatched, and past purchasers of this product rave over the simple effectiveness of these shears. The clippers also feature a lifetime warranty and impeccable reputation.
What we liked:
Good results for a smaller size
Razor sharp blades
Easy to use
What could be better:
Some users reported the joint breaking after a period of time
These shears by ARS are in the middle of the pack in terms of the price but are some of the most extendable options on the market. They are professional-grade telescopic hedge shears that are well-suited for hard-to-reach shrubs, trees, and other areas. Some examples of this would be tall bushes or bushes that are wide and hard to reach in the middle. You can also trim small branches, which makes maintenance for young trees a breeze.
These shears aren’t just versatile and lengthy, they also feature high-quality, hard-chrome-plated blades to increase the cutting strength. This is an important feature that increases the versatility of the shears and allows you to use them for different types of pruning jobs. The blades on these shears are slightly curved. As we know with the curved blades, they often allow for more precise, easier cutting. The handles extend up to 13.5 inches more than their additional length. It’s like stacking two shears into one!
These Power-Lever Hedge Shears by Fiskars feature innovative compound lever technology that multiplies your leverage to give you up to two times more cutting power than typical single-pivot shears. This way, these shears make high, hard-to-reach or awkward cuts easy. They also include easy-to-grip handles that extend and lock securely.
The fully hardened, precision-ground, extra-strength steel blades feature a serrated edge to grip limbs while cutting, and a patented self-sharpening blade design ensures that every cut is clean, crisp, and precise. A rust-resistant, low-friction coating protects your shears’ blades and makes every cut even easier.
The shock-absorbing bumpers absorb jarring vibrations and durable steel handles with non-slip grips offer easy control. These shears are most ideal for trimming and shaping hedges and some decorative shrubs. The lifetime warranty offers a lot of extra value to these shears and protects your purchase.
These professional shears by Bahco are high-quality and intended for professional use in parks, vineyards, estates, and topiary artwork. The compact, easy-to-use, and high-quality design of these shears makes it a favorite for professionals that create art with their pruning.
The partly serrated edge cuts up to 15mm thick branches easily. This, combined with a relatively light weight of the shears, reduces fatigue. Though this is the ideal option for professional hedge artists, it may not be best for the everyday gardener or landscaper. Some users find them high-quality, but somewhat difficult to use.
What we liked:
Good for experienced professionals
Durable and long-lasting
Sharp and precise
What could be better:
Somewhat difficult to use
More expensive than most shears
Intended for smaller branches
Things to Сonsider
Hedge shears are a little bit like vehicles: there are different kinds for all different needs and it’s a huge benefit to have a reliable pair. Hedge shears actually come with a large variety of features and the goal for any experienced or beginner gardener is to find a pair that gives good value for the price. These shears should be able to help you with all your daily gardening or pruning tasks with ease, and it would be ideal to not have to replace them for a few years. All of the shears that we have placed in our guide are high-quality, but some are better than others for specific needs.
When you might need hedge shears: dos and don’ts
Most often, people need hedge shears for common gardening and pruning use. It’s important to keep bushes trimmed for their health, as letting them become overgrown will make it difficult for the plant to grow healthily and it will also become an eyesore for your lawn or garden. You should always remember to be safe when using the shears and you should only use them when necessary. Safe storage is also important. You shouldn’t leave them within reach of children, and you should always clean and dry them before storing to prevent rusting.
Features to consider while choosing hedge shears
There are more features to consider than you’d think when picking out a pair of hedge shears. The factors that we considered in our buying guide included such features as size, weight, blades type and material, the cutting mechanism and cutting capacity, ease of use, maintenance, and warranty.
Size and weight
Size and weight are important factors to consider when picking out hedge shears, especially if you’ll be using them a lot. For starters, you want something compact that’s easy to store if you are tight on space. If not, this isn’t as much of a factor.
Still, a lighter, smaller pair of shears is better because they will be easier to work with for longer periods of time. When trimming, you’ll likely be holding the shears above your head or away from your body. This can cause fatigue quickly and even be dangerous if you become so tired that you drop them. If you want to be using these for a few hours at a time, you want something that you’ll be able to hold for a long time. For that reason, we recommend that you seek out a lightweight pair of shears for your gardening needs.
As for the size, this will vary. Getting a pair of shears that is extendable is a great if you need to cut branches and twigs that are hard to reach.
It is generally considered better to have a curved blade rather than a straight one. Curved blades allow for more precision and an easier cut, overall. Whether or not you want a serrated blade will depend on the type of branches you’ll be cutting. If you are dealing with thicker branches, you may want a serrated blade to help hack through them. If you are dealing with smaller branches, it will suffice to just have straight blades.
A good cutting mechanism will make cuts easier and inflict less stress on your body. A low-quality cutting mechanism will jar your body, arms, and shoulders and may lead to less clean cuts. Make sure to check real customer reviews as for how easily the shears you’re going to buy make cuts and whether or not the users were tired after an hour or two of using them.
Cutting capacity is an important consideration when shopping for shears because you want something that can handle the volume of cutting that you need to do. You can base your decision on how much cutting you need to do and what the thickness of the branches you need to cut are.
Generally, it’s safer to get something with more cutting capacity than you actually need rather than getting something with low cutting capacity and then finding out that you need more.
Ease of use
Having easy-to-use shears is important, especially for those using their shears frequently. Hard-to-use shears can cause fatigue quickly, which will get in the way of your productivity. Shears can also be difficult to use if they have too many adjustability features that are meant for professionals, so it would be better to pick the shears that are within your skill level to operate.
Maintenance and warranty
As with any product, you should always know what warranty comes with the shears you are buying. You want to be knowledgeable and well-read on the warranty and return policy so that if anything ever goes wrong with your shears, the process of getting that item replaced will be easier, if it’s offered. Generally speaking, it’s best to buy a pair of shears that has a good, long-term warranty.
How to maintain the blades?
The blades may need to be sharpened every so often, and will always need to be stored in a safe, dry place. After using the shears, they should be cleaned, dried, and then put into storage. Failing to do so can result in building of rust and a premature end to the life of your shears.
The difference between wavy and straight blades is that wavy blades often are much more precise and clean with their cuts. It also helps to prevent the blades from getting gummed up and creating bad, blunt cuts.
For cleaning, you can wash the shears with a hose. The important thing is to make sure that you get all of the dirt and other organic material off of the blades. If you have a power washer, that would be an excellent tool to use. After washing, you should always dry off the blades to prevent rust before putting the shears into storage.
Our top choice for the hedge shears was B212 from Tabor Tools. We felt that these are high-quality shears that, according to some customers, proved to be durable and reliable even after several years of use. The telescoping handles were easy to hold and use, the low-stress feature reduced fatigue, and the wavy blades made every cut flawless. The second were the Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears made from authentic Japanese steel which greatly added to their sharpness and cutting power. At the same time, they are extremely lightweight, which is great for any user, and especially if you spend plenty of time trimming and manicuring your garden. The third pair of shears we liked most was the Corona HS 3950, which also proved to be durable and thus great for everyday use, albeit a bit on the heavier side.