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With over 20 years of working at my family’s nursery and running the garden maintenance side of things, I’ve used my fair share of garden shears plus we have a 2 acre site lined with hedges. I’ll be honest. I’m the first to get out the DeWalt Cordless hedge trimmer or even the petrol hedge trimmers.
If I’ve got a really tall hedge to cut like one hedge around our nursery then I usually make use of one of my long reach hedge trimmers instead. However, there are times when I like to get out the garden shears and cut the hedge the old-fashioned way, plus, I really do appreciate the craftsmanship in a good pair of shears.
Sometimes, if trimming a smaller hedge, it makes sense to get the shears out. Other times, even with larger hedges, my customers prefer them to be cut with a good pair of shears. I also have specific topiary shears for buxus, often potted buxus and small traditional buxus hedges, or even lavender. I also often find myself reaching for the garden shears to cut back general shrubs where loppers are not needed.
Before I get into my detailed reviews further down where I review the best garden shears as well as give some tips in my buyer’s guide for choosing the right shears for your situation. I want to quickly cover a few of the garden shears.
Honestly, I think you can’t go wrong with these ARS KR 1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears. They are lightweight at under 1kg and easily the best shears I’ve come across. The overall build quality is fantastic, and they are actually made in Japan from high-carbon steel and have a hard chrome-plated finish. They’re super sharp; I basiclly give them an oil after using them with WD40 and give them a wipe. They’re made to last, plus you can get spare blades, but they’re easy enough to sharpen. However, they’re expensive, but they are a great garden tool. As a professional gardener, I really like that they are as at home cutting a beech hedge as they are trimming a traditional buxus hedge or even topiary. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
I’m also a big fan of these Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears. Again these are very well made and will last for years if cared for. I would say they are professional grade, and although not what I would call cheap, they are more affordable than the ARS KR 1000 Shears. They do a decent job of cutting hedges and shrubs but could be better for topiary. I also like that you can adjust the blade tension too. Plus, they have hollow ground blades, which are self-sharpening and low friction. They are a great piece of kit!
Now for topiary, I have used these Darlac Expert Topiary Shears for years. There very well built, super sharp, easy to use with just one hand and do an excellent job. I tried a few one-handed shears. However, none have been as easy or as comfortable to use as these Darlic shears. I like using these for topiary in pots as it allows me to rotate the pots as I prune. Great set of shear.
My top 8 recommended shears that I have included in my review
- ARS KR 1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears – These are without a doubt the best shears I’ve owned, professional grade and made to last.
- Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears – A good alternative to the ARS KR 1000 and slightly more affordable, excellent quality, sharp and comfortable to use. Another professional grade set of shears I recommend
- Darlac Expert Topiary Shear – My favourite for clipping topiary as well as Lavender
- Kimura Pro Heavy Duty Garden Shears – A good choice for personal use, good quality but affordable
- Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears – Affordable and budget friendly
- Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears – Great for taller hedges where you need extra reach
- Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears – Another great pair of telescopic shears for taller hedges
- Jakoti Hand Shears – Professional grade topiary shears, a little on the expensive side
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 when taking everything into consideration.
1. ARS KR 1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears
When it comes to choosing a decent pair of garden shears that will last for many years. It really depends on how often you are going to use them. If you are a professional gardener like myself or even have a lot of hedging, shrubs and topiary to trim etc. Then you can’t go wrong with these ARS ARS-KR-1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears.
These are, without a doubt, one of the best pair of garden shears you can get. I also like that you can adjust the blade tension by removing the screw and plate that secures the nut. This allows you to adjust the nut to get the correct tension before replacing the securing plate and the screw back into place. The plate stops the nut from unwinding when you’re using it. This is where most shears fail or cannot be adjusted. Nearly forgot you can also get replacement blades, but as long as you sharpen them occasionally, you won’t need to replace the blade.
These shears are also made in Japan (not China, for a change) and are professional grade multi purpose shears that can be used to cut, trim and shape many types of garden foliage, including hedges. To give you an idea, I would say that they can cut through branches up to 30mm. However, 20mm is more realistic for daily use. For anything bigger, I get out the garden loppers instead.
The handles are one piece, and overall they are very lightweight at under 1kg and very easy to use even with the longer overall length of 65cm (just over 2ft).
When it comes to the actual business end, the blade. Its 180mm (7 inches) long blades are made from high carbon steel that’s been coated with a hard chrome finish. This makes it stronger than the already impressively durable carbon steel.
Within the handles are shock absorbers as shown in my picture above. These reduce the vibrations that occur as you cut the branches. This increases your comfort as you do your trimming tasks. And the grip part of the handles is made of aluminium, which adds to the light weight of these shears. This also adds to your comfort. All in all, using these professional shears is easy and even relaxing.
- Multi-purpose, two-handed pruning shears made to professional standards.
- The blade is made of high carbon steel with a hard chrome plated finish that a super sharp and replaceable.
- Ergonomic, lightweight design at only 840g.
- Pivot bolt to adjust the blade’s tension.
- Good reach with an overall length of 65cm.
These ARS-KR-1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears are what I recommend to most people that deliver on a professional standard hedging shear. The 18cm blades (though not the longest in this review) let you cut through most branches, this includes thicker hedges such as beech and leylandii, but it is also precise and clean enough to tackle buxus hedging too.
The only downside is that if you just have a small hedge you trim occasionally, you will get better value from the Carl Kammerling G5029 Shears. For heavy use, I recommend these all day long.
2. Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears
These C.K G5029 Legend Golden Shears offer fantastic features for any serious gardener and are a good alternative to the ARS KR 1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears I reviewed above. Give them a good wide of oil (WD40 does the trick) after every use and they will last for years. Professionally, with daily use over the summer, 3 years. Much longer if you just use them a few times a year.
A couple of things I really like, first off, the build quality is excellent and you can also adjust the blade tension like you can on my ARS KT 1000. It is slightly easier to do with these as there is a turn dial. Secondly, they cut through almost anything (within reason) general regular hedge maintenance, they do an excellent job. They are also light weight, probably 1.5kg of less.
I always say the blades are what makes a good pair of shears. On these they are hollow ground blades that don’t need sharpening very often as they have self-sharpening blades that are convenient and save time. As a professional with daily use, they probably need sharpening a couple of times a year. It, at the very least, helps maintain razor-sharp blades for the best cutting performance possible.
The blades also feature 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. Its quite common for hedging shears to feature wavy blades now, but I think these were actually the first shears with this design feature (don’t quote me on that!).
Finally, I really like the handles as they are made from hardwood. They are lacquered for protection against the elements and these handles are durable.
- An excellent pair of multi purpose shears ideal for both professional and domestic use.
- Features beautiful wooden handles that add aesthetic appeal.
- The blades can re-sharpen themselves, although I recommend sharpening them every year.
- Features rubber buffers that steer away jarring.
- Blades are sharp and wavy for smooth cuts.
- The blade tension can be adjusted with a simple dial.
These C.K G5029 Legend Golden Shears are an excellent pair of shears to have and one which I would recommend, in fact, this is what I would get for professional use. Overall they are an excellent pair of shears and although not cheap, they are still well worth the price. It’s close between these and the ARS KR 1000 shears I reviewed earlier. These are perhaps slightly better for large hedges like leylandii as they have a longer blade. It’s close, both shears are very good. If your looking for a similar pair that are more affordable then these Kimura shears I review further down are worth considering.
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3. Darlac Expert Topiary Shear
These Darlac Expert Topiary Shears are another great pair I have used regularly for many years, especially in my family’s nursery, to maintain the buxus topiary. These are a much better choice for shaping topiary plants as well as clipping dwarf hedging, including lavender, and even trimming heathers. They’re also perfect for dealing with the stray grass at the edge of your lawn that your lawn mower misses if you don’t have a pair of edging shears.
What I like is that these shears are designed for one-handed use. Either left-handed or right-handed people can use them too. This is handed as I’m right handed, but put wife is left handed. I really like that I can trim topiary plants in pots with one hand and rotate the pot with the other hand to ensure an even shape when trimming the new growth.
The safety catch is easily accessible from both sides as it’s in the centre of the shears. In the past, I’ve had several one handed shears from various brands, with the Wilkinson Sword topiary shears coming to mind. The problem with some of these shears, including the Wilkinson Sword ones I also have, is I was forever acidently locking the shears when using them. However, with these Darlic shears, this doesn’t happen and is not a problem. These are also very well made, comfortable to use and very sharp.
The design lends itself to the “ultra-smooth cutting action” that doesn’t put undue pressure on your hands. My hands don’t ache, and I won’t get blisters from using these shears. I can easily use these shears for several hours at a time without any problems or discomfort, and I do this when all the buxus in the nursery where due a trim in Spring and sometimes there can be over 100 buxus to trim.
The blades are made of SK5 high carbon steel and are very sharp. Be careful not to cut yourself on them. It’s worth noting that replacement blades (and sprigs) are available. They really do last a lifetime if you look after them.
But do remember that these are topiary shears. They can only handle branches up to 1cm in diameter, and they are for trimming new fresh growth.
- My favourite topiary shears for one-handed use.
- Blades are made from SK5 high carbon steel and are super sharp.
- The safety catch is easy to use single-handed.
- Ultra-smooth cutting action through ergonomic design.
- Replacement springs and blades are available.
- Lightweight but durable and very well made.
These Darlac Expert Topiary Shears are a great choice if you’re looking for a good pair of shears for cutting buxus, bay trees, lavender etc. I’ve had these for well over 5 years!
A great pair of shears for topiary and much more affordable than my Jakoti Hand Shears, which I review further down.
4. Kimura Pro Heavy Duty Garden Shears (201 Pro)
These Kimura Pro Heavy Duty Garden Shears (the 201 Pro version) are an excellent alturnative to the Carl Kammerling G5029 C.K Legend Golden Hedge Shears for those looking for a more affordable pair but which are still made to professional standards.
They are also fairly lightweight, so you can trim, shape and cut a variety of hedging without your hands and arms becoming tired. These are heavy duty shears which means that they’ll last a long time and do a great deal of the work in your garden.
Like the best shears, the blades are constructed of SK5 carbon steel. This is a Japanese steel that’s used frequently in garden tools for its strength and durability. A coating of PTFE on the blades assists in the blades sliding through the plants and in grass/branch/leaf clippings and sap not sticking to the blades.
Even though, at 20cm long, the blades aren’t the longest in my review, they do have a handy feature at their base, which lets you cut that occasional larger stem when trimming a hedge. The blades have what is known as a bypass notch that enables you to cut slightly thicker branches up to 2.5cm in diameter.
Finally, I like that they have a patented gearing technology that translates the power you use to close the blades into three times the force you apply. You don’t have to squeeze the handles very hard to have a big effect. I’ve seen this rachet design on loppers for thicker branches, but this is also a good idea for shears.
- Heavy duty garden shears with patented gearing technology.
- Blades are 20cm long.
- Handles are lightweight and made of aluminium.
- Handles have soft TPR grips.
- Riveted handles for durability.
- Blades constructed of SK5 carbon steel.
- Coating on blades is PTFE for anti-stick and rust resistance.
- Patented gearing technology gives three times more power.
- Cuts stems and branches up to 2.5cm.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Dimensions: 30cm (handle length); and 56cm (overall length).
These Kimura Pro Heavy Duty Garden Shears (201 Pro) are a great choice for personal use and an excellent alturnative to the more expensive garden shears I usually recommend. I understand not everyone wants to pay £40-£80 for a pair of garden shears to cut a small hedge a few times a year, and these are a great alturnative. I wouldn’t recommend them for professionals but for occasional use, these will last a long time and are well-designed.
5. Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears
These Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears are a great pair of affordable and ergonomic shears. At 954g they are light enough to be used on longer hedges for longer periods of timw. I like that they have an aluminium body which provides durability and reduces the weight of the shears.
When it comes to the blades, they are sharp and constructed from SK5 carbon steel that is very strong.
Overall these are 60cm (2ft) in length so are not to long and managable. The rust-free blades themselves measure 21cm in length which is also resonable. 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. The handles are padded with a soft material.
Like a lot of shears, the blades are coated with a non-stick material to prevent sap from sticking to the blades for a more fluid continuous cuts. All these features are accompanied by a 5-year warranty.
- Lightweight at under 1kg and comfortable to use.
- Features wavy carbon steel blades for better cutting action.
- 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.
- It comes with a 5-year warranty for complete peace of mind.
These Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears performs well for both domestic and lighter professional purposes. I like the use of aluminium for the body because it makes the shears lighter compared to materials like cast iron but more durable than plastic handles.
For professional users, i think you would be better investing a little more and going for the CK Shears. 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 my other recommendations.
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6. Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears
These Spear & Jackson 8120RS/09 Razorsharp Telescopic Shears offers you more than the average pair of shears. It has all the basic features to make gardening an easy job.
At around 1.3kg, they feature a tubular aluminium handles that are covered with padding. 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. They feature C50 carbon steel blades which are very sharp. The blades have been coated with PTFE to prevent sap and dirt from sticking to the blade.
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. These comes with 10-year warranty.
- Features telescopic handles for easy reach.
- Has sharp blades whose tension can be adjusted accordingly.
- Features a lock mechanism to prevent random accidents.
- Has ergonomic handles for comfortable handling.
- Offers a 10 year warranty as a sign of confidence in the product’s quality.
These Spear & Jackson 8120RS Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge is the kind of model you go after when you need telescopic handles, I looked at a few models with telescopic handles but I came to the conclusion these were one of the only ones worth recommending. This model 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. I also like the blade tension adjustment systems as they help you configure their shears for the right cut.
For those looking for an even better choice with telescopic handles, especially professionals, then my next model below by Fiskars are well worth considering.
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7. Fiskars FSK114800 Hedge Shears
These 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 and have the best reach of any of the shears in my review. 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.
This straight bladed unit weighs 980g and has a blade length of 9.5 inches. You can get good coverage on both low and high ground. These shears comes with a very impressive 25 years warranty for they are a true tool for life.
- 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.
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. I 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.
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8. Jakoti Hand Shears
These 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.
- 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.
- Obviously not suitable for anything bigger than small hedges.
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.
I 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.
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Hedging Shears Buying Guide
The best shears are not always the most expensive or the cheapest models although you usually get what you pay for. It quite simply all boils down to the quality of the gardening shears and materials used. If the quality of the shears is good, you will be able to use them for years to come and in some cases they should last a life time if cared for correctly.
Here are some of the factors that you need to keep in mind:
Blade length and quality of the blade
There is nothing more disappointing than buying expensive shears only to find that the blades go blunt quality because of low grase steel. What contributes to the blades being blunt is the rate of use and the construction material used. I recommend choosing shears 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 keep them sharp. Also, ensure that the joint that holds the blade is always tight. This is because a loose joint makes for bad, uneven cuts. The best models actually have an adjustable blade tension.
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.
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. They really do need to be evenly balanced.
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. I always recommend spraying the blades with WD40 and wiping them down after every use
Considering that shears are a cutting tool, you want them out of reach of children and pets. Many shears on the market also 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. 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 some 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 regular sharpening will be needed. 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.
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. I find its always better to pay a little more for a good pair that last but everyone budget is different. I personaly prefer these ARS KR 1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears.
Last update on 2023-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API