Shears are essential in a gardener’s tool collection. But there are a large number of them, each designed for a specific task. I bet you didn’t know that there are as many as 18 different styles of gardening shears. Moreover, there are shears that are designed for left-handers, right-handers, people with small hands, and even people who use both their left and right hands to perform tasks like trimming.
To ensure that you have the right gardening shear for the task at hand, you need to be aware of certain details about each of the available 18 shears. Gardening is not a hobby that follows the idea that one size fits all.
The 18 styles of Gardening Shears from which you can choose include:
- Basic Pruning Shears
- Thinning Shears
- Bypass Pruners
- Anvil Pruners
- Needle-Nose Pruners
- Lopping Shears
- Hedge Shears
- Pole Pruners
- Parrot Beak Shears
- Ratchet Pruners
- Specialty Pruning Shears
- Electronic Pruning Shears
Basic Pruning Shears
Also known as hand gardening shears, pruning shears are designed to cut small branches, stems, and twigs. Commonly gardeners use this shear to prune all species of small plants that are up to ¾-inch in diameter.
These gardening shears feature two blades that cut at the same time. They are not capable at cutting branches or stems that are too thick, so they should be used to cut and trim thin branches, twigs, and offshoots. These shears are also good for fine grooming as well as manicuring shrubs and hedges. Don’t use it on branches that are thicker than ¾-inch in diameter.
This shear is very small and is designed to cut small, delicate plants and small trees like Bonsai trees. A scissor-like tool, the blades are short in length. These gardening shears include an adjustable pivot that assures easy use. They feature non-slip, cushioned handle that assist the user to grip the tool securely. The blades are narrow and straight so that they can get into tight spaces.
Equipped with two blades — an extra sharp top blade and a lower hook that is unsharpened – the upper blade passes the lower one when in a cutting motion, thus accounting for its name. Due to the shape and position of the blades, the tool offers less crushing damage and leaves a cleaner, even cut. They’re easy to use and assure great results, making them ideal for beginning gardeners to perform an assortment of tasks.
Bypass pruners are ideal for cutting any type of green, live growth and can be used comfortably by a left-hander or right-hander. The handle is soft molded, so it is comfortable to grip. Some bypass pruners come with a fairly straight handle and some come with a slightly curved.
This shear works similar to a sharp knife cutting something on a cutting board. It features a sharp blade that comes down a flat, heavy edge. Made for cutting thicker branches and applies even pressure on both sides of the cutting blade. It is designed to contact both sides of a branch. Once you gain some experience in using one, you will understand better its advantages.
Actually, an anvil pruner is the best kind of shear to use on thick branches. It is light in weight and small in size helping to reduce the strain cutting branches can cause on your hands. Sap or other debris can’t damage an anvil pruner with blades that are coated with titanium.
Ideal for cutting small, thin branches, this pruner can handle branches that are about 1.4-inch in diameter. The blades are straight and feature a double-ground cutting edge. They are comfortable to use due to their ergonomically designed handle.
This shear can be used on a multitude of tasks, so it should be included in your collection of tools. It is ideal for pruning fruit bushes and small plants, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Also known as loppers, this shear cuts stems and branches as large as 1-3/4-inches in diameter. It works well on trees including crepe myrtles, which have unusually large branches. It can be used as a substitute for both bypass and anvil pruning shears. It features a very large handle and offers more reach and leverage. This makes it ideal for cutting large, thick branches.
You need to use both hands to handle the tool. If you have a lot of trees on your property, then it should be included in your collection of gardening tools because it makes the task of cutting away decay and stray branches very easy. It is strong enough to handle any type of job.
Designed only to trim hedges, this shear features long blades and resembles a pair of scissors. It has a long handle and it makes straight, long cuts that go through more than one branch at a time. It is ideal for forming the shape of hedges and for a hedge with plants like boxwoods.
Hedge shears feature locking pivot bolts, tubular-shaped and ergonomically designed handles that include rubber shock absorbers. They have hollow-ground blades that can cut very thick branches. The blades are also well balanced and include serrated edges.
Considered to be the toughest for trimming and cutting trees, this shear includes a control rope, long handles that assist in reaching high branches on trees and shrubbery without the need of a ladder. The blades are complex and extra-sharp. So, it’s recommended that experienced gardeners use it, not beginners.
It’s the ideal tool for trimming fruit trees and thinning woods. You don’t require a ladder when using it to cut branches high up on a tree. There are electric pole-pruners that you can use that don’t make noise.
Parrot Beak Shears
Featuring two blades that resemble a parrot’s beak, this shear traps branches between the blades similar to a parrot crushing food. This shear is ideal for cutting flowers that you want to include in a bouquet or flower arrangement. It features one convex blade and one concave bland that are designed to work well together. The thin blades allow one to use them on roses, dense foliage, small branches, and vines.
This shear is designed to be used by people without much strength in their wrists or trim thick stems and branches that cannot be handled by other styles of shears. It is designed to make tough hobs easy because it includes a part that allows you to chop and trim a branch in steps.
Once you squeeze this shear to latch on a tree, you can squeeze it again to release it and then latch it again with another squeeze.
Specialty Pruning Shears
Then there are specialty-pruning shears that are designed for very specific tasks. This can include snipping or clipping fruits and vegetables.
There are six specialty shears that fall under this category:
- Pruning snips that are designed for making fast and precise cuts, shape and trim smaller plants or to deadhead plants.
- Pruning saws that come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, some of which can be extended. Ideal for lopping off tall or high branches without the need of a ladder. Many can be collapsed and stored easily when not in use.
- Floral pruners that are ideal for removing thorns, deadheading flowers, and cutting stems.
- Floral snips that are ideal for use on herbs, deadheading flowers, and more.
- Veggie and herb shears that are great for cutting vegetables or trimming herbs.
- Multi-purpose snip that handles such jobs as cutting open burlap sacks or fertilizer bags, sawing through light ropes or twine, cutting through wires, deadheading flowers, and doing customary light pruning.
Electronic Pruning Shears
Finally, there are many different types of rechargeable electronic pruning shears. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly included. They can perform all kinds of gardening tasks. Many of these shears come complete with a kit that includes one type or size of blade, one or more batteries, a charging cord, and carrying case.
Electronic shears are perfect for people with weak or sore hands and makes the task of pruning, trimming or cutting very easy.