Garden & Lawn

6 Best Garden Shears – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Last updated on September 14th, 2021

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What Makes a Good Pair of Garden Shears and Our Top Picks

Any serious landscaper or gardener will tell you that there are a few tools that they never miss in their arsenal. Garden shears have survived, many even in an era where power tools have taken over. A good pair of garden shears will help you get rid of any unsightly growth. It can be dead branches or new foliage but still, the garden shears will prove effective.

There are various kinds of garden shears currently available on the market today. To find the best garden shears for your landscaping needs, you will need to understand your base requirements. It is rather ill-advised to just buy a cordless lawnmower for use without understanding the specifications. The same thing applies to garden shears as different types excel in different fields and not all models are the same.

Before we get into our buyer’s guide and detailed reviews, below you will find a quick overview of our ‘Best Pick’ the CK 5029 Legend Golden Shears. We think they are the best shears for both professional gardeners and domestic use thanks to their very high quality build, self-sharpening blades, adjustable blade tension and excellent cutting performance which produce neat clean cuts.

BEST PICK

Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears
The G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears are a perfect pick for both professional and domestic use. The blades are both sharp and wavy to provide a smooth cut, this, in turn, provides any user with an excellent cutting performance. The blade tension can be adjusted easily using the dial setting mechanism. Features wooden handles for aesthetic appeal.

The top 6 recommended hedging shears that we have included in our review:

  1. Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears – BEST PICK
  2. Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears
  3. Spear & Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears – BEST TELESCOPIC PICK
  4. Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears
  5. Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears
  6. Jakoti Hand Shears – BEST TOPIARY PICK

Hedging Shears Buying Guide

The best shears available on the market are not always the most expensive or the cheapest models. It quite simply all boils down to the quality of the gardening shears. If the quality of the shears is high, you will be able to use them for years to come. Low-quality shears tend to get blunt at a faster rate and usually lacks the strength to deal with thick branches. Here are some of the factors that you need to keep in mind:

Types of Garden Shears

As stated before, you will find various kinds of shears that excel in different fields. It is important to understand what form of vegetation you are dealing with. The vegetation to be trimmed will affect the blade thickness, type and size of the tool to purchase.

Anvil shears are great for thick vegetation. Due to their design, you find that the blade is weighted in order to cut without needing to apply much pressure. Since they are able to tackle thick or dry branches, you will find that they are a bit heavier than the bypass shears. They don’t give the neatest finish but they are quite effective.

Bypass shears are the ones you need when you are looking for a clean finish. Thanks to the sharp curved blades you are able to cut without damaging the edges of the stems you are pruning. These shears are easily adaptable for light work but the best models are also perfect for professional gardeners.

Ratchet pruners are basically anvil shears with a twist. The twist is that it has a ratchet mechanism that lets the user lock the blades in one position. Once the blade is locked in position, you will be able to make subsequent partial cuts. Every time you engage the pruners, the blade cuts into a layer of wood until you get through.

These ratchet pruners work well for those who have limited muscle power or are suffering from injuries. Due to the ratchet mechanism, one does not need to apply high pressure to get through the material.

BEST TELESCOPIC PICK

Spear & Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears
This model is brilliant as it has all the features required. The Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears are well designed and user-friendly. The handles extend without contention and the blades’ tension can be adjusted for improved performance. It comes with a ten-year warranty and features a lock mechanism to keep the shears disengaged. It has a few flaws but they are workable. They are affordable after all so why not?

Mode of power

You have a choice between using manual shears and motorised ones. Manual shears are perfect for undertaking light detailed work. In the case that you have a lot of hedges to deal with, an electric or petrol-based hedging trimmer will serve you well. These motorised models are usually accompanied by telescopic handles so that the user is able to reach branches that are higher off the ground.

Blade length and quality of the blade

There is nothing more disappointing than buying expensive shears only to find that the blades are blunt. What contributes to the blades being blunt is the rate of use and the construction material used. It is recommended to get models that feature ground steel blades. Carbon steel blades are light and effective over time, you will not regret it.

Sharpen the shears once in a while to get perfect results. Also, ensure that the joint that holds the blade is always tight. This is because a loose joint makes for bad, uneven cuts.

The length of the blade also matters are it affects manoeuvrability and coverage. Shears with small blades will take a while to cover a large area. These small blades, however, are lighter and will prove more beneficial in tight areas.

Longer blades will definitely be heavier, and thus may cause you to strain in some positions while working. They are however convenient when you have a large area to cover in a short time or trying to reach those branches high up.

Comfort

As humans, we are made in different sizes and muscle abilities. A 60- year old may find it difficult to handle heavy shears for a long period compared to a younger person. That is why most manufacturers ensure that the pruner’s weight is well balanced. Having one side too heavy will definitely be an issue over time.

The handles are your point of contact with the shears. The handles should be ergonomically designed and well finished. Most shears use padded handles or bi-material designs to provide grip and protect the hands from any kickback produced.

After a long day at work, you might find it tedious to start tackling dried up sap on your blades. To make this process easier for you, select models that have been treated or have an additional layer of protection. You will find it rather convenient as all you have to do is wipe down the blades and store them. Many manufacturers use Teflon as their preferred protective coating.

BEST TOPIARY PICK

Jakoti Hand Shear
There was no contesting this because the weight speaks for itself. Weighing in at 281g, the Jakoti Hand Shear is the winner. This little pair of shears are perfect for more precise cutting such as trimming topiary or cutting backs tender perennials. We like that the design does not inflict strain on the hands. The blades are sharp enough to cut through whatever comes their way. Check not to push it beyond its limits though as they are only small and not designed for thicker branches

You can read my other review where I compare the best shears for topiary

Safety

Considering that shears are a cutting tool, you want them far away from children and pets. Many shears on the market have a locking mechanism. The aim of this mechanism is to ensure that the shears remain closed when they are not in use.

Some models need the handles to be squeezed together first before deactivating the lock mechanism.  Even if a child lays their hands on such shears, they won’t be able to use it. Also, be careful when selecting the preferred locking mechanism, you might find yourself using a model with a rigid system. This only spells out frustration for you when you need to use it yourself.

Coiled Metal vs Wire Spring

Between the handles of most shears, you will find a spring or coiled metal. The work of these features is to facilitate easier use of the shears by reducing the pressure applied to the next cut. Depending on the intensity of the work you are doing, you can select between the spring and metal coil. Springs are used on most models adaptable to medium-weight tasks. Metal coils will do well if you are working on heavy materials. In all truth both work extremely well, it is all a matter of preference.

Maintenance and repair 

The quality of the garden shears will affect how often repairs and maintenance are done. If the blades are of questionable materials then sharpening should happen regularly. In the quest to sharpen your shears, you need to know how that specific model is made. There are shears that can be dismantled to provide easy maintenance while there are others that do not. Remember to replace the spring once it loses its power so as not to affect neat cuts.


The Top 6 Garden Shears Reviews

Here you will find some of the best garden shears to take care of your landscaping needs. These shears are made of dependable materials and are fairly priced. Go through the individual reviews to see which products fit your bill best. 

1. Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears

BEST PICK

Buy on Amazon

Carl Kammerling International Limited G5029 C.K Legend Golden Headge Shears, Green/Black/Silver

The C.K G5029 Legend Golden Shears offer fantastic features for any serious gardener. This unit can swing both the professional and domestic environments with ease. The 1.34 kg unit is not so small, maybe that is why it can handle heavy work but the quality materials used will also help this model stand out.

The blades are the heart of this pair of shears. The blades speak of nothing but quality. The hollow ground blades don’t need sharpening very often as they possess a self-sharpening feature that is convenient and saves time. It, at the very least, helps maintain razor-sharp blades for the best cutting performance possible.

That is not all. The blades are chrome plated just to give them that extra strength and protection. You will notice the wavy pattern on the blades and this wavy design will hold whatever you are cutting in position until the blade goes through.

Jarring will also be missing when using this product. This is due to the rubber buffers set in place. There is a mechanism dedicated to adjusting the blade tension, therefore, use it according to the material you are handling.

We cannot ignore the handles as they are hardwood. They are lacquered for protection against the elements and these handles are durable and well merged with the blade.

Pros

  • Features beautiful wooden handles that adds aesthetic appeal.
  • The blades can re-sharpen themselves.
  • Features rubber buffers that steer away jarring.
  • Blades are sharp and wavy for smooth cuts.
  • The blade tension can be adjusted.

Cons

  • Tends to get heavy when using it for long periods of time.

Our recommendation

The C.K G5029 Legend Golden Shears is an excellent pair of shears to have and one which we would recommend, in fact, this is what helped it win our ‘Best Pick’ spot. You may have to shed a few more pounds compared to the basic model but it will definitely be worth it.

The blades are well-constructed to provide you with sharp cuts every time. It does not hurt that the handles are ergonomic and made of hardwood. It gives it a certain flair. This tool would do well for a professional or passionate gardener who prefers quality.

To sum it up, these are not cheap garden shears but you will struggle to find an even better pair. If you have the budget then these are a great choice, if not the best choice.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


2. Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears

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Davaon Pro Garden Shears - Best Gardening Tool for Easy Cutting and Trimming - Ideal for Hedges, Shrubs and Bushes - Complete with Soft-Grip Handle- Garden Shears for hedges & grass

The Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears are dependable, affordable and ergonomic. The 954g unit is light enough to be used by both young and older people. The aluminium body provides durability and reduces the weight of the shears. You can pick them off the ground without straining due to the balanced weight.

When it comes to the blades used in this model, you have nothing to fear. They are sharp and constructed from SK5 carbon steel that is very strong. You can be assured that the sharpness will be maintained through several cuts. The blades have a wavy design that facilitates easy grip whilst cutting different textures of plant forms.

Overall the unit is 60cm in length combining with the blades. The rust-free blades themselves measure 21cm in length. This indicates that you can cover a large surface area at once, saving you time.

The handles on this pair of shears are built for comfort. You will see that the handles are padded with a soft material. The finish on the handles is smooth so it won’t tag on your skin as you work.

You want shears that take less effort to get through the plant material. To aid in this quest for saved energy, models like this one have a few tricks up their sleeves. Using balanced designs, this unit amplifies the cutting action by 40%. You will experience no clumping as experienced in rigid shears.

The blades are coated with a non-stick material to prevent sap and dirt from sticking to the blades. The coating facilitates easier cleaning too so that a lot of time is not consumed. All these features are accompanied by a 5-year warranty that you can activate within the allotted time.

Pros

  • Lightweight thus friendlier to the user’s arms.
  • Comes with a 5 year warranty which raises confidence in the product.
  • Features wavy carbon steel blades to facilitate neat cuts.
  • The handles are padded for enhanced comfort and a better grip.
  • The blades are coated with Teflon to prevent substances from sticking to the blade.

Cons

  • Might prove heavy for some, especially when dealing with tall hedges.

Our recommendation

The Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears performs well for both domestic and professional purposes. The long wavy blades are rust free and they will be able to cover large surfaces in a short time. We like the use of aluminium for the body because it makes the unit lighter compared to materials like cast iron. To keep up with the weight of the machine, the padded handles will keep you company.

For one who needs sharp wavy bladed shears, consider this pair. They are affordable and the quality is assured. With a warranty of 5 years and a money-back guarantee, you can always return it if you don’t like it.  We think you will love it and if you are a home user then we think these are perfect. For professional users, we think you would be better investing a little more and going for the CK Shears (the winner of our ‘Best Pick’). That being said, if you are a professional gardener and on a budget, these will do a great job, just don’t expect them to last as long as some of our other recommendations.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below

Read next: Best topiary shears


3. Spear & Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears

BEST TELESCOPIC PICK

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Spear and Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears, Silver/Blue

The Spear & Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears weigh only 703g, therefore, it is user-friendly and one of the lightest pairs we have seen. The body of the shears is made from aluminium which is durable, rust-free and lightweight. You can easily pick the shears up and do your work.

These straight blade shears are made out of hardened carbon steel. This ensures that the shears are super sharp and strong. The upper blade on this model is coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene. The coating is meant to protect the blades from sticky sap and other forms of stains that may come up.

What is notable in this unit is the geared mechanism. Geared mechanisms are often found in shears in order to relieve the user. With every cut, the gear level is locked to prevent more force from being applied. If you are cutting through a thick branch, you will notice that you don’t have to press the handles that hard to get the blades through.

The entire length of the shears is 56cm. As for the blade length, it is estimated at around 20cm. The blades are not the longest the market has to offer, but it is manageable for domestic use.

You don’t have to worry about comfort when it comes to this model. The tubular handles are covered with protective padding to keep your hands comfortable. The finish on this product is excellent and thus won’t harm or tag your hands. The wavy blade will handle thick branches beautifully. The wavy structure holds the branch in place as you attempt to cut through it.

This model comes with a very impressive 10-year warranty. This is long enough for you to access the shears fully and longer than that offered by most other manufacturers for pure peace of mind.

Pros

  • Lightweight thanks to the aluminium structure.
  • Features sharp blades for clean cuts.
  • The shears are geared to reduce the amount of energy used per cut.
  • Offers ergonomic handles for better handling.
  • Features a 10-year warranty.
  • Blades are coated for protection and easy cleaning.

Cons

  • The gear needs a better design so as to support the shears when in high-pressure motion.
  • The blade may get blunt within a few uses so does need sharpening regularly.

Our recommendation

The Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears are affordable and the quality is not bad. The thing about these shears is that you have to be careful when using them. If too much pressure is applied the gear snaps off leaving the blades loose. We recommend this model for light-handed pruning or for those who need pruners for occasional use.

The unit is light to use and it is mighty sharp if well maintained thus, making it a good addition for the domestic user who needs to maintain a hedge or cut back bushes occasionally.

We would not recommend professional gardeners as they probably would not last, the warranty might also not include professional use so this would need to be checked. That being said, for the amateur gardener the 10-year warranty is brilliant and will cover the ratchet should it break, hopefully, this will not be a problem though.

We did notice that at the time of our review these were the best selling shears in the ‘garden shears’ category on Amazon.co.uk with over 300 reviews which does say something about how good these are. They are also one of the best-priced shears we have seen.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


4. Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears

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Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears Blue

The Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Shears offers you more than the average model. It has all the basic features to make gardening an easy job. The unit is not that heavy therefore you can make swift cuts.

The 1.33kg model features tubular aluminium handles that are covered with padding. That means that in whatever position you hold the shears, your arms won’t give out on you. For those tall branches, the telescopic handles extend so that you have access. The handles extend from 34m to 50cm which is adequate height to work with and gives you a little more reach when needed.

As for the blades, no shortcuts were taken in terms of quality. The C50 carbon steel blades are sharp and ready for use. You will find that the blades have been coated with PTFE to prevent sap and dirt from sticking to the blade. The waves on the blade help to secure the branch in place for cutting, therefore, no slippage.

Need to adjust the blade tension? No worries. There is a mechanism located between the handles dedicated to that specific purpose. Whether it is a thin or extra thick branch, the shears will perform optimally. Next to the blade tension mechanism is the locking mechanism which ensures the shears are not used by inexperienced hands.

This unit comes with a 10-year warranty. In the case of any problems, read the terms and conditions to understand what the warranty covers. Ten years is a long time which indicates you can trust in the quality.

Pros

  • Features telescopic handles for easy reach.
  • Has sharp blades whose tension can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Offers a 10 year warranty as a sign of confidence in the product’s quality.
  • Features a lock mechanism to prevent random accidents.
  • Has ergonomic handles for comfortable handling. 

Cons

  • Proves heavy when used for extended periods.
  • Shock absorber mechanism quite loose thus a tad ineffective.

Our recommendation

The Spear & Jackson 8120RS Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge is the kind of model you go after when you need telescopic handles, we looked at a few models with telescopic handles but we came to the conclusion these were the only ones worth recommending. This unit was designed to provide you with all the basic pruning features that you need. It features a safety lock that ensures the unit remains disengaged when not in use. We also appreciate the blade tension adjustment systems as they help the user configure their shears for the right cut.

The shears are not expensive and therefore attainable to most.  If you need shears for domestic or light professional use, then these are worth considering You won’t regret it and the extra reach will come in handy.

For those looking for an even better choice with telescopic handles, especially professionals, then our next model below by Fiskars may be for you.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


5. Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears

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Fiskars SmartFit Hedge Shear HS86, Telescopic, Non-stick coating, High-Steel blades, Length: 68 - 93 cm, Black/Orange, 1013565

The Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears is another model that features the telescopic handle and is a very impressive model at that. The telescopic handles are convenient for short people and those branches up high. The telescopic handles on this model extend from 67.5cm to 92.5cm so you have plenty of extra reach. You can use the model without extending the shaft for normal use so they are also perfect for more confined areas.

The blades are sharp made of treated steel so that they can keep up with constant use. The lower blade is coated with Teflon to ensure that the sap doesn’t ruin your blades. Cheap shears won’t have features due to cost-cutting and therefore the blades go blunt after a short while.

To measure up to the thickness of foliage that you are looking for, the shears have a mechanism installed to control how wide the blades open. The soft grip telescopic handles provide and grip for those who may already have calluses.

This straight bladed unit weighs 980g and has a blade length of 9.5inches. You can get good coverage on both low and high ground.

The unit comes with a very impressive 25 years warranty for they are a true tool for life.

Pros

  • Features telescopic handles to reach high branches.
  • Offers strong blades that rarely need sharpening.
  • The unit is coated with a protective layer to protect the sharp blades.
  • Lightweight, thus easy to manoeuvre around.
  • Very long 25 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • Cannot handle excessively thick branches.

Our recommendation

The Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears can perform basic pruning with ease. The telescopic handles are extendable so that you can reach high branches which is a bonus and they are also great for taller hedges.

It has sharp blades and therefore will produce neat edges. We love the soft grip handles that offer a comfortable grip for such a lightweight unit. If you are looking for durable shears with telescopic handles for home use or professional use, then this is the one for you. What really caught our attention with this model is the 25-year warranty, we have reviewed Fiskars tools before and they have always proved to be reliable tools

If we had to choose between these and the telescopic shears by Spear & Jackson, these would win every time.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


6. Jakoti Hand Shears

BEST TOPIARY PICK

Buy on Amazon

Jakoti Hand Shear for Gardening or Sheep Shearing

The Jakoti Hand Shears have been designed for both gardening or alternatively, if you have a few sheep on your land they are incredibly useful for sheep shearing as they are a lightweight tool. Can guess how much it weighs? It actually might be lighter than most of your tools. This pair of shears weighs a meagre 281g.

Maintenance? It’s taken care of. The blades come sharp ready for use, having to sharpen the shears is a thing of the past. These blades sharpen themselves. The reason might be attributed to design and the use of high carbon steel. High carbon is durable and tends to retain conditioning better.

The blades are 4.5 inches which are not long and is why they are perfect for undertaking light tasks such as trimming topiary, small hedges and cutting perennials back etc, and of course, if you have some, shearing sheep. This little gadget won’t strain your arms due to its ergonomic design. People with arthritis or arm injuries can use it without causing any more harm, this is due to the low-pressure spring installed of which replacements are available, unlike some models which don’t have spare springs to buy should you lose it.

Pros

  • Perfect for trimming topiary, small hedges such as box and perennials.
  • Features ergonomic handles that avail comfort to all.
  • Lightweight and very manageable.
  • Offers self-sharpening blades saving you the trouble of having to re-sharpen.

Cons

  • Obviously not suitable for anything bigger than small hedges.

Our recommendation

The Jakoti Hand Shears is versatile because it can attend to more than cutting branches. Both farmers and Zen enthusiasts (who like keeping good luck Bonsai) can enjoy the lightweight and ergonomic handles. The price is within reach for both professional and domestic users. Small and delightful but deadly sharp.

We think these are probably the best choice for trimming Buxus topiary such as balls and spirals as well a trimming back perennials in the garden. Not much use for large hedges though.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Final Conclusion

How seriously do you take your landscaping? Do you need neat hedges or do you need to just get overgrowth out of the way? This will point out how high your budget will need to be.

Buy models with sharp blades that cut effortlessly. The handles are also important if comfort is an issue for you.

The main difference between most models came down to just two things, do they have telescopic handles for extra reach and the quality of the shears themselves.

Below is a quick overview of some of our favourite models and final recommendations.

BEST PICK

This title is bestowed upon the C.K G5029 Legend Golden Shears. The reasons are simple and clear. The pair of shears boast self-sharpening blades, effective tension mechanisms, ergonomic hardwood handles and quality that most models aspire to. It can be used in both professional and domestic fields without fail.  It may be a little more expensive but it provides value for money and guarantees durability.

For any professional gardener looking for shears that can handle daily use, this is by far the best choice assuming you don’t need the telescopic feature, in that case, it has to be the Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears.

BEST TOPIARY PICK

There was no contesting this because the weight speaks for itself. Weighing in at 281g, the Jakoti Hand Shear is the winner. This little pair of shears are perfect for more precise cutting, such as trimming topiary or cutting backs tender perennials. We like that the design does not inflict strain on the hands. The blades are sharp enough to cut through whatever comes their way. Check not to push it beyond its limits though as they are only small and not designed for thicker branches. 

BEST TELESCOPIC PICK

This model was also brilliant as it had all the features required. The Spear & Jackson 8170RS/11 Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears are well designed and user-friendly. The handles extend without contention and the blades’ tension can be adjusted for improved performance. It comes with a ten-year warranty and features a lock mechanism to keep the shears disengaged. It has a few flaws but they are workable. They are affordable after all so why not?

Don’t forget if you are a professional gardener looking for a telescopic pair then your best choice would be the Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears.


The best pruning shears are within your reach. If you have seen the pair of shears you want to buy what are you waiting for? We hope that the shears you select will work like magic. 

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Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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