Best Garden Shears – Complete Buying Guide and Review

Every gardener needs at least one pair of garden shears and many gardeners prefer to have two or more pairs so they can choose the best pair for any specific job.  If you know you’re in the market for a new pair of garden shears and just want to know which ones to buy, then please head down to our garden shears review.  If you want to know a bit more about what to look for in a set of garden shears, keep reading and we’ll talk you through it.

Best Garden Shears

Garden shears buying guide

First of all, you need to think about what job or jobs you’ll be doing with your garden shears.  Common tasks include trimming hedges, trimming lawns, edging lawns and pruning.  If you only have a small garden, then you can use a single pair of garden shears for multiple purposes, but we’d suggest investing in at least a couple of different pairs as even the best garden shears are usually very affordable, especially compared to other gardening purchases.

Once you’ve decided why you want your garden shears, here’s what you do to pick the best garden shears for you.

Check the blade

Carbon steel is the standard choice for good quality garden shears, but it’s not the only one.  Some manufacturers don’t actually mention the materials they use for their blades.  This can be a bit annoying, but as a rule of thumb, if the overall construction quality looks good (for the price), then they’ve probably used a decent metal for the blades.

In addition to the metal used, you want to think about length and shape.  For example, garden shears used for pruning tend to have short, curved blades for accuracy, whereas garden shears used for cutting hedges and trimming grass tend to have long, flat blades for speed.

You also want to think about the position of the blade relative to the handle.  For example, in some garden shears, the blades just extend out from the handle, whereas in others, they’re set at an angle to it.  This is particularly common with garden shears for edging lawns.

Check the handle

First of all, the handle needs to be the right length for the job.  Basically shorter handles give more control but less leverage and longer handles are the opposite.  Garden shears for pruning tend to have very short handles as they’re all about accuracy.  Garden shears for trimming hedges and lawns tend to have much longer handles so you get reach and leverage.

Some handles have ergonomic features or extra padding which can make them a bit more comfortable to use, although you’ll still need gloves, especially for longer periods of work.

Check the general components

Components such as springs, nuts and safety catches can all make a significant difference to how easy and comfortable garden shears are to use and how long they last.  Ideally, you should be able to replace basic components to prolong the life of your garden shears.

5 Best Garden Shears

Garden Shears Review

We’ve picked a selection of shears for lawns, hedges and pruning.  The list is based on a combination of performance and price, in other words, value for money.

Coopers of Stortford Garden Shears Hedge Lawn Scissors

Coopers of Stortford Garden

These garden shears are a nice “in-between” choice for when you want a bit more length than ordinary hedge shears, but don’t want to go all the way (and all the weight) of telescopic hedge shears.  You get up to 67cm reach for only 788g of weight.  The blades themselves are 17cm long.

These garden shears are designed for branches up to 1.3 cm thickness.  If you try using them on thicker branches you may break either the blades or the handles, due to the pressure created by the leverage of the longer handles.  Use them for their intended purpose, however, and they’ll do a great job.

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Coopers of Stortford Garden Shears Hedge Lawn Scissors | Lightweight Long Reach

Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
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Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears

These garden shears would be our choice for basic hedge trimming, although we’ve heard of them being used for topiary.  They certainly cut precisely and cleanly, thanks to the 21 cm blades.  The overall length is 60 cm and the weight is a chunky 949g.  Although that’s definitely on the heavy side, the cutting mechanism is so good it makes these garden shears very comfortable to hold and we could definitely see ourselves using them for extended periods.

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Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears - Less Effort Super Sharp Easy Cut...

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Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
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GARTOL Bypass Pruning Shears

GARTOL Bypass Pruning Shears 8-inch

These garden shears have a total reach of 20 cm of which the blade makes up about 8 cm.  Maximum cutting width is about 3cm.  The blades are Japanese SK-5 Steel coated with Teflon, which protects against corrosion.  The handle is very comfortable.  These pruning shears are not just a good investment piece for yourself.  The fact that they come in a nice box and with a pair of thin gloves means that they make an attractive and useful present for gardeners.

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GARTOL Bypass Pruning Shears 8-inch Garden Hand Pruning Tree Trimmers, Sharp and...

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Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
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JEOutdoors ZEM Pruning Shears

JEOutdoors ZEM Pruning Shears

If you’re the kind of person who always loses their pruning shears then these could be a great choice for you.  They’re basic in look and feel and priced accordingly, but the quality is surprisingly good.  JEOutdoors offers a lifetime warranty and they provide a spare spring, which suggests that they expect these garden shears to last a long time (assuming you don’t lose them).  In practical terms, they do a very decent job on stems up to 2cm thick.

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JEOutdoors ZEM Pruning Shears, Professional High Carbon Alloy Steel Sharp Blade Bypass...

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Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
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Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Lawn Shears and Edging Shears

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Lawn Shears
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Edging Shears

These are essentially the same garden shears except the lawn shears have the blade running parallel to the ground and the edging shears have it at a right angle to the ground.  In simple terms, you could use the lawn shears for edging but we wouldn’t use the edging shears for cutting grass on the lawn itself, just for trimming the edges.

In either case, the handles are about 90cm in length (to the blades) and the blades add about another 4cm in reach.  The cutting blades are about 17cm in length.  Both garden shears do a capable job and are far more comfortable to use than garden shears you need to use on your knees.

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Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Lawn Shears

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Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
£33.90 £34.99
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Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Edging Shears

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Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
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Wilkinson Sword Long Handled Border, Lawn Shears and Edging Shears

Wilkinson Sword Unknown 1111137WF Long Handled Lawn Shears
Wilkinson Sword 1111138WF WS Long Handled Border, Edging Shear, 94x17x4 cm

Similar comments apply here.  The lawn shears have blades which run flat above the ground whereas the edging shears have blades which run perpendicular to the ground.  This means that you could use the lawn shears for edging (carefully) but we wouldn’t use the edging shears for trimming a main lawn.

In either case the handles are 85cm and the blades add an extra 13cm in length.  They are 17 in width.  As you’d expect from Wilkinson Sword, they do a capable job of cutting and save you from needing to get down on your knees to keep your lawn tidy.

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Wilkinson Sword Unknown 1111137WF Long Handled Lawn Shears

Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
£26.00 £26.68
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Wilkinson Sword 1111138WF WS Long Handled Border, Edging Shear, 94x17x4 cm

Last update was on: February 27, 2021 2:21 pm
£24.21 £29.99
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Wilkinson Sword Telescopic Hedge Shears

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Lawn Shears

If you have a high hedge to trim, then these telescopic hedge shears could be just what you need.  They offer a reach of 68cm to 87.5cm of which the blades are 20.5cm.  The price of this reach is a hefty 1.24Kg in weight.  This means that they may feel quite heavy in use, especially when you are first getting to grips with them.  That said, you have the option to do the work in manageable periods and in our opinion they are still more convenient than pulling out a ladder.

Garden Shears Review – Overall

There’s no “best” garden shears for every purpose so we’ve broken out our list into our best picks for common gardening jobs.

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Best garden shears for cutting grass

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Steel Lawn Shears and Edging Shears

Wilkinson Sword Long Handled Border Lawn Shears and Edging Shears

Sure you can use your hedge shears for cutting grass, but proper lawn shears and or edging shears will do the job so much more conveniently and really they hardly take up any storage space.

Best garden shears for hedges

Coopers of Stortford Garden Shears Hedge Lawn Scissors | Lightweight Long Reach

Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears

Wilkinson Sword Telescopic Hedge Shears

The best garden shears for cutting hedges will largely depend on how high your hedge is.  We really liked the Davaon Pro garden shears, but they have relatively limited reach.  If you need to trim higher up, then we’d suggest the Coopers of Stortford garden shears or the Wilkinson Sword garden shears.

Best pruning shears

GARTOL Bypass Pruning Shears

JEOutdoors ZEM Pruning Shears

Objectively speaking, the GARTOL pruning shears are a really great buy and would make a great gift.  That said, as pruning shears go, they’re on the more expensive side.  If you’re the kind of person who can never remember where you put your pruning shears (or you just don’t have much pruning to do), the JEOutdoors pruning shears are solid performers and amazing value for money.

clean after used

Taking care of your garden shears

The chances are you’ll get the most use out of your garden shears from spring to autumn.  Use the autumn “tidy-up” period as an opportunity to give your garden shears a bit of tender, loving care to prolong their life.  Here’s what we suggest you do.

  1. Give you garden shears a good clean in warm, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly in clean water until you are sure that all the soap is gone. Carefully dry them with a clean towel (or rag).
  2. Check carefully for rust and if you find any clean it off. The easiest way to do this is generally to use a steel wool or scourer. Once you are sure all the rust is gone, rinse and dry your garden shears again.
  3. Sharpen the blades with a whetstone or diamond file. Ideally you want to use a bench vice for this and you still want to sharpen away from yourself. If that’s not possible, hold the garden shears firmly and use a sharpening tool which you can hold comfortably in one hand.  Make absolutely sure both the blades and the sharpening tool are pointed away from you and sharpen away from your body.  File until a sharp edge forms.  How long this will take will depend on how blunt your garden shears have become.
  4. Have a feel of the sides of your garden shears and see if any burrs have formed. If they have, use a diamond file, a whetstone or sandpaper to get rid of them. Follow the same procedure as for sharpening, in other words, hold everything away from the body and work away from the body.
  5. Dip a cloth in linseed oil and wipe over the blades (carefully). Ideally wrap your garden shears in a cloth before you put them away for the winter.

Katie Mills

Katie is the Editor here at Poshh Living and is a well-respected voice in the world of design and home improvement. Katie has a first-class Hons degree in Journalism and is proud to say that she has written many leading entries in the biggest media outlets including Ideal Home, and Good House Keeping. Lover of the great outdoors and mother of two, Katie is 'down to earth', knowledgable and a great asset to the team

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