Finding hedge shears for maintaining your plants and hedgerows can be daunting if you don’t know what to look out for. So, I have put together a list of my best garden shears for hedge trimming , shortening and cutting back branches, shrubs and hedges.
Pruning hedges is a tedious job, right? Therefore buying the right hedge shears suited to your budget and purpose is important. You can make light work with the right pair of shears on twigs, stems and bushes. Preferably ones from a renowned manufacturer, decent steel blades,comfortable handles and a super sharp blade.
I am often asked by gardeners “what are the top hedge shears to buy?”, “do I need an extendable, telescopic shear?”, ‘what brand offers the best model pruning shears?”
With a wealth of experience I hope to help you in making the right decision when purchasing a set of hand held garden shears that will be a pleasure to use and give years of untroubled service. All of the models listed consistently receive rave reviews and are models tested (and used) by myself.
Best Garden Shears for 2020 – my reviews and recommendations to make hedge cutting easier.
- Gruntek Hedge Shears with Teflon Coated Blades
- Spear and Jackson RazorSharp Hedge Shears
- Gardena Classic Hedge Shears with Wooden Handles
- Davaon Pro Geared Hedge Shears
- Tabor Tools Telescopic Hand Shears
- Spear & Jackson Geared Hedge Shears
- Gruntek Q32 Telescopic Hedge Shears
- Fiskars SmartFit HS86 Hedge Shears
- Fiskars PowerGear HSX92 Hedge Shears
Gruntek Hedge Shears
For the money these hedge shears from Gruntek are rather good and perfect for occasional, small garden work.
The ergonomically designed handle is comfortable and the Teflon coated high carbon steel blade cuts with ease.
Spear & Jackson Hedge Shears.
No strangers to manufacturing value for money, simple gardening tools. the Spear and Jackson brand have not disappointed with this set, the Spear Jackson RazorSharp bypass hedge shears . Although the cheapest hedge shears reviewed they deserve a place on my top garden shears list when it comes to cost and performance.
These hedge shears feature a chrome plated, hardened C50 carbon steel blade will resist rusting. Out of the box these shears are sharp. This model comes in at 960 grammes in weight therefore these shears are one of the lightest reviewed. As standard this shear comes with a manufacturers defects 10 year warranty.
Excellent value for money from a well respected and long standing manufacturer. The razor sharp blade cuts through plant matter with ease. Only slight concern is the hollow handles and how long these shears will last with anything more than occasional use.
But all in, good garden shears for the money,
Gardena Classic Garden Shears with Wooden Handles
It has been a while since I picked up garden shears with wooden handles. Not because I have a particular aversion to wood tools, just that many manufacturers have moved onto composite and aluminium handles.
However, these are great hedge shears, cuts well and the ergonomically designed wood handle is very comfortable. There is a real feeling of quality on an otherwise competitively priced garden shear.
The coated carbon steel blades feature the wave design which does make cutting slightly easier and the ergonomic design of the handles really does make a difference if using these bypass shears for any length in time.
These Gardena Classic hedge shears come with a 25 year warranty, handy if something should go wrong with the shears.
All in all a great gardening tool from a reputable manufacturer and pleased to recommend this hedge shear.
Davaon Pro Geared Garden Hedge Shears
If you find prolonged use of hedge shears tiring on the hands then my advice is to look at geared models like these Davaon bypass shears.
With its geared action mechanism, SK5 carbon steel hardened blades and lightweight, comfortable handles , the Davaon Pro shears offer fantastic value for money and a great pick entry level hedge shear. My only concern is how long the comfortable soft grip handles will last?
Tabor Tools Telescopic Garden Hedge Shears
The Tabor B212E hedge shears are a great telescopic shear . Due to the wavy edge blade, cutting through vegetation is marginally easier. However I am not sure how easy it is going to be sharpening them.
When extended, this pruning shear has a total reach of 84cm. Therefore making it easier to trim the top of taller hedges, especially when you can only get to one side of the hedge.
I found them to be well made and balanced on the hands. They are 1.5kg in weight owing to the extra metal to make these telescopic shears but did not find my hands, wrists or arms aching after use.
Not as heavy duty as other sets I would recommend this model for light cutting work but still a good set of shears with decent blades.
Spear & Jackson RazorSharp Geared Garden Hedge Shears
Much like the Spear & Jackson model above, the build quality is great on these hedge shears however this model is the geared action version. Geared versions of bypass hedge shears really do make all the difference. You have to try it to believe it!
The blades have a PTFE coating, making cutting and cleaning easier after use.
As a professional gardener that uses tools as on weekly basis I would probably go for something a bit more heavy duty with a sturdier blade however, this model is perfect for the homeowner looking for a hassle free garden shear for that yearly trim.
Gruntek Telescopic Hedge Shears.
I found this set of bypass garden hedge shears from Gruntek a pleasure to trial and think they are a very well manufactured shear.
The hardened steel blades with non stick coating cuts extremely well. . Another feature is the ergonomic handle.
The simple telescopic construction works extremely well with the click and lock sytem and holds firmly in place when the shear is extended, unlike some models that extend by turning and twisting the handle.
These set of shears are ideal for taller hedges when you need to get to foliage high up.
Fiskars SmartFit HS86 Telescopic Hedge Shears
Fiskars gardening tools make up around 70% of the total of all my garden tools for 4 reasons. High quality, strength, competitive costs and razorsharp hardened carbon steel cutting blades. Just look around at the reviews.
I found these garden hedge shears a complete pleasure to use. They are the lightest telescopic shears on my garden shears list and also the longest (when extended). Having the handle grip coloured in bright orange also makes these shears easy to find in the garden, if you have misplaced them whilst working.
If your looking for a set of heavy duty telescopic hedge shear, one that cuts through thick branches, twigs and plants with ease then this tool will not let you down. They do manufacture some of the best garden tools available.
Fiskars HSX92 PowerGear Hedge Shears
As with all Fiskars gardening products these are a well designed and constructed shear . The added feature of PowerGear action technology makes for effortless work cutting through thick plant material. Perfect if you struggle with weak hands or arthritis.
At 808g these are light, well balanced and suitable for daily and professional gardening use . The blades are exceptionally sharp, cut through branches with ease and have a non stick coating, leaving little residue after cutting plant material and foliage.
With the fantastic build quality we’ve come to expect this company, the units weight and the PowerGear technology these are an exceptional garden shear.
Best Hedge Shears – my personnel choice
All of the above are a first-rate set of hedge shears and will (hopefully) give you years of use. My favourite and top of my list is the Fiskars HSX92 hedge clippers
Being a professional gardener I need the best tools to cut & prune hedges and plants on a daily basis. So, I found the HSX92 to be solid garden shears , well designed and with razor sharp blades. One of the finest I have used and shears that will last me for life (one hopes).
What’s more, all PowerGear products come with a 25 year limited warranty.
In case you have spotted something familiar with the handle colour of these tools. Remember the true design classic orange handle scissors? Yes, those were and are still manufactured by this brand. Tool maker extraordinaire.
All of the hand held shears reviewed are made for hedges and shrubs and not for shearing grass (although they could serve that purpose I guess)
Guide to Hedge Trimming with Hedge Shears
Looking after your hedge shears to keep them working for longer.
As with all garden tools, a little bit of care of your shears after use will keep them in the best order and should give you years of trouble free, efficient use.
Maintaining garden shears is the same maintenance routine as with all type of pruning tools.
Step 1.) With some warm soapy water (washing up liquid will do) carefully wash both blades, using a kitchen nylon scourer, removing any sticky sap from the blades. Word of caution, do not use wire brushes or scourers on blades that feature a PTFE coating as this may damage the protective coating on the steel blades.
Step 2.) Thoroughly dry the blades & shears with some kitchen towel or old rag. Do watch the newly sharpened blade with your hands!
Step 3.) Apply WD40 to the blade and central mechanism. This will keep the blade from rusting and the unit nicely lubricated for the next use. If your garden shears have a locking mechanism a little squirt of lubricant here will help the tool operating at best performance.
Keeping your Shears Sharp
Sharp shears make lighter work and cleaner cuts!
Over time the blades on your shears will become dull and will benefit from sharpening.
Keeping blades sharp will not only make your task easier in reducing the effort needed thus leading to less fatigue on your hands and arms but it is also good for plant health.
Blunt blades on shears do not produce a clean cut which can lead to disease entering hedges.
There are couple of choices when it comes to sharpening the blades on your shears . Either by buying a specialised tool for shears and doing it yourself or by handing your shears over to professional to do this for you.
Hedge Trimming – Popular Hedges
Yew Pruning (Taxus baccata)
Evergreen Yew hedges make one of the most forgiving when it comes to maintenance. When pruned correctly yew creates one of the best barriers and evergreen screens.
Unlike other conifers, Yew will regenerate even if you have to shorten growth far back towards the central trunk.
You can use your shears to clip Yew at anytime of the year, apart from in freezing weather. Be warned, cutting Yew does tend to clog the blades with sap.
If you need to drastically reduce the width of an overgrown boundary it is best to prune back hard one side and leave the remaining side full of growth. The following year cut back hard the remaining side.
Doing alternate sides like this means the hedge is still getting plenty of energy which helps with its regrowth. Yew is quite sappy so always give your shears a good clean straight after use with some warm soapy water and a scourer or wire wool. Of course, sharp blades will also help get a great finish.
Nicely groomed Laurel looks stunning, badly pruned can look terrible.
The key to getting the best out of Laurel is picking the right moment and importantly, the best pair of shears.
For the best looking Laurel hedge my preferred choice of tool is a decent set of secateurs with sharp blades as the branches can be too thick for shears.
Alternately use garden hand shears or petrol / electric shears. The key to a lovely looking Laurel boundary using shears is timing. Best to trim in late Spring as new growth will cover any tatty, half cut leaves.
Privet is the fastest growing of them all, as such they need attention throughout the year.
Best cut from early May onwards but you will want to carry out the last cut np later than mid – late summer. Leave it too late and the first frosts will damage new growth.
As always, a decent pair of shears with super sharp blades is advisable and a good clean of your shears after trimming is advisable to keep in the best shape and prevent spread of disease.
If you are lucky enough not to be suffering from Box blight or the Box caterpillar moth and have a healthy box hedge then the key here is to keep it healthy by trimming at the correct time and CLEANING UP
Buxus should be pruned at the end on May and around the beginning of Sept (this will be your last cut of the year). If it is a topiary hedge then I recommend smaller shears as takes less effort than wielding larger shears around.
It is really important to clean up the trimmings after trimming box and always make sure your blades are clean and super sharp. Your plants will thank you for it.
If you are struggling with having this disease or the caterpillar we have an article on the best box replacement hedges.