Garden shears are one of the most essential tools for gardeners. However there are many different incarnations, each of which is used under different circumstances than their cousins.
Knowledgeable gardeners use their experience to help them determine which shears to use. Novice gardeners, on the other hand, may need a bit of an education.
Garden Shears Defined
Most if not all gardeners are probably aware that garden shears are used to cut branches and stems that fall in the size range of about 3.4-inch or 2-centimeters in diameter. It is suggested that you don’t try to cut larger branches with common garden shears because there’s a chance that the blades of the tool could be damaged.
Although there are many varieties of garden shears, the most commonly used are bypass shears and anvil shears. Both shears are available in an assortment of models and sizes. Still, knowing when to use shears depend on the type you have in your tool shed and the task that confronts you.
This style of garden shears is similar to scissors. They feature curved blades; the upper blade is sharp and cuts a branch as the lower blade serves like a hook and holds the branch in place so it won’t slide.
This style of shears has a sharp upper blade and a flat lower blade. It cuts branches a lot like a knife cutting on a board.
Choosing And Using Garden Shears
What shear you use is based on personal preference. However, most gardens prefer using bypass shears for a number of reasons.
First, bypass shears makes a clean cut. On the other hand, anvil shears tend to crush stems and branches as it cuts.
Second, bypass shears are ideal for reaching into tight spots. It permits closer cuts than anvil shears.
Third, Bypass shears are ideal for cutting flowers or softer branches without damaging the sensitive tissue.
Anvil shears is better for dealing with dead or dried branches. It is not uncommon for a gardener to have both styles of shears on hand –- the bypass shears for live growth and anvil shears for dead growth.
Which shear you buy is strictly up to you and the projects you perform in your garden. Regardless of which style you choose, select the one that you can afford. Shears aren’t cheap. However, if you care for them properly, they will last for several years.
Other Things To Consider
Don’t select shears until you’ve had an opportunity to handle them. Hold the shears in your hand and try them out to assure they feel comfortable to you. Believe it or not, there are subcategories of these shears including ergonomic as well as shears for smaller hands. Some companies actually make left-handed or ambidextrous garden shears.
Of course, it is important to clean shears regularly. You are assured of being able to undertake a more thorough cleaning if the shears can be dismantled. It is also recommended that you select shears that feature a lock or some kind of catch so the blades remain closed when the tool is not in use.