Garden & Lawn

5 Best Topiary Shears for Clipping and Trimming Topiary Plants

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So, working on a nursery I’ve trimmed a lot of topiary plants over the years and I even have a nice selection at home. With this in mind, I thought I would do a review on the best topiary shear.

Personally, what I think makes a good pair of topiary shears is that they have to be lightweight so you can easily use them, ideally with one hand though not essential. The reason for this is so that it’s easier to turn pots as you trim. They obviously have to be sharp but also easy to sharpen and finally, comfortable in the hand.

From experience and with all this in mind, I think the Darlac Expert Topiary Shears are probably one of the best choices which is why I named it my best pick and the best choice for trimming topiary spirals and balls.

My runner-up, the Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears is perfect for trimming Buxus hedging and other established large topiary plants in the ground.

Best Pick

Darlac topiary shears is my best pick for the best topiary shears
Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears
This pair of shears is my best pick because they are very well made, durable,sharp, easy to use and perfect for spiral and balls. They are are also suitable for people suffering from arthritis. Designed to meet demands of everyday use, these shears are lightweight and what I really like is that they can be used with one hand. Overall, if you have topiary grown in pots or smaller topiary grown in the ground, these are a great pick and the shears I actually use myself.

Top 5 Topiary Clipper Reviews

1. Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears

BEST PICK

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Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears

So these Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears are by far the best topiary shears I have used, there is just something about them that keeps me picking this pair on the shelf.

Quality wise, they are excellent. I really don’t have any complaints, the 7-inch SK5 carbon high steel blades are of great quality and seem to retain their sharpness really well and the soft-grip rubberised handles feel very comfortable and nice to use.

When the blades get blunt you can easily sharpen the blades using a sharpening stone, the same you might use on secateurs is what I use.

Smooth action and the locking switch is does not get accidentally locked shut when using like some other shears i tried
Smooth action and the locking switch does not get accidentally locked shut when using like some other shears I tried

I have found that the size makes them ideal for working in tight/awkward spaces and they are incredibly lightweight weighing approximately 350g, this just seems to make them easier to use for longer periods of time.

Finally, the sharp blades also come with a tip protector to avoid any accidents. So I will add that although there designed for topiary plants, they are also great for cutting the edge of your lawn too.

Pros

  • The blades are made from SK5 carbon steel and they can be replaced once blunt.
  • Feature an ergonomic soft-grip handle.
  • Can be used with a single hand.
  • Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.
  • Offers good value for money.
  • Spares available

Our recommendation

The Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears are very sharp, durable and really are an excellent piece of kit. The shears can cover a wide area at a go and they are lightweight so manoeuvrability is good.

One last thing I really like about this pair, with some topiary shears, especially one handed models. I always seem to accidentally catch the locking switch which is super annoying as it locks them shut as you use them. However, with this pair, the locking switch is nicely out the way of the handle while still being within reach when using them.

Darlac topiary shears on my driveway

For those looking for reliable shears that provide an optimal performance every time, these shears would be a perfect choice. They are comfortable to handle even for those suffering from arthritis which will be a big plus for some people and they are durable and also great for detailed trimming too. If I had to recommend just one pair of shears for trimming topiary, these would have to be the shears which is why I also use them myself.

Read next: How and when to prune Buxus


2. Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears

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Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears

The Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears are what I would recommend for pruning larger more established topiary plants. They feature 18cm blades to cut through different branches and are perfect for hedging whether it be a box hedge or another type of hedge.

The blades are made from high carbon steel just like the Darlac shears above and they are supported by lightweight aluminium handles with rubber grips to give them more reach and make them easier to work with. As you would imagine, these blades are sharp and they are highly pointed to allow you access to branches in awkward spaces.

Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears

To stop the blades from jarring, the shears feature a cushion function which is a nice touch to the design.

The shears weigh 750g which is impressive for the size of the shears. Finally, I also like that they come with a long 10-year guarantee that only further shows that these are a decent pair of gardening equipment that is made to last.

Pros

  • Features highly pointed 18cm carbon steel blades.
  • Comes with a cushion feature to prevent jarring.
  • Offers aluminium handles with a rubber grip.
  • Backed by a 10-year guarantee.
  • Easy to use offering excellent value for money.

Cons

  • It is expensive.

Our recommendation

For those with large topiary or hedges to take care of the Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears are probably one of the best models worth considering. They offer long sharp-pointed blades that can cut through branches of different sizes within reason, certainly topiary plants anyway. 

The only real downside is that they are quite expensive but they are large and they offer exceptional performance so I think they still offer excellent value for money. They are also a great alternative to those who might otherwise consider a hedge trimmer option but want to use a little more finesse.

Read next: Best shears for trimming hedges


3. Burgon & Ball GTS/CGGA RHS Topiary Trimming Shears

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Burgon & Ball GTS/CGGA RHS Topiary Trimming Shears

The Burgon & Ball GTS/CGGA RHS Topiary Trimming Shears are perfect for smaller and medium topiary such as spirals, cones and balls rather than larger hedges or very large topiary.

The fully metallic shears are hand-forged ensuring that you experience the comfort and the ease of using sharp blades. These 38.4 x 19 x 6.4 cm shears can be used for many garden activities including lawn edging so you can get more use out of them.

Burgon & Ball GTS/CGGA RHS Topiary Trimming Shears

Even though they are made of metal, the shears are light weighing in at 339g. You can easily manoeuvre with them even while using one hand. The RHS endorsed shears come with a 10-year guarantee too. This is clear evidence that the shears are of reliable quality so you are assured to get good value for money.

Pros

  • Made durable metal thus durable.
  • Comfortable to use because of its lightweight design.
  • Features sharp high carbon steel blades.
  • RHS endorsed.
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger topiary or hedging

Our recommendation

The Burgon & Ball GTS/CGGA Topiary Trimming Shears are ideal for light-medium topiary works. They are perfect for handing new growth rather than taking down stubborn branches.

These metallic shears are surprisingly light to use even for people with wrist problems. You may have to sharpen them to get them to the state that you prefer but other than that they do a good job.


4. Gardena 399-20 Comfort Boxwood Secateurs

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Gardena 399-20 Comfort Boxwood Secateurs

Closing the list is the Gardena 399-20 Comfort Boxwood Secateurs that weighs 615g so not too heavy. These large shears are comfortable to use and they bear sharp blades to deliver clean cuts. The 18cm blades are made from high precision-ground steel and they have a non-stick surface to help prevent jamming. Whether you are cutting sappy branches or not you are guaranteed that the blades will retain their sharpness.

These shears are designed with user comfort in mind because of the ergonomic handles fitted. The comfortable shock-absorbing shears prevent the hands from getting overly fatigued when working for longer periods of time. You can trust that your money is not wasted because the shears come with a 25-year warranty which is longer than another other warranty other manufactures offer.

Pros

  • Offers sharp 18cm-blades to give clean cuts.
  • Features shock-absorbing handles to reduce fatigue.
  • Provides a firm grip thanks to the ergonomic handles.
  • Lightweight, therefore, easy to manoeuvre with.
  • Covered by a 25-year warranty.

Cons

  • Not ideal for very small topiary.

Our recommendation

For those looking for large lightweight box shears, the Gardena 399-20 Comfort Boxwood Secateurs would be well worth considering. These shears feature long sharp blades that give clean cuts making it perfect for light-medium jobs. The shears are not designed to cut through thick dry branches as that will be strenuous however, they perform well on green fresh stems which makes them perfect for gaining topiary. They are a bit pricey but at least the performance is not shoddy.


5. WOLF-Garten HSB Box Tree Hedge Shears

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WOLF-Garten HSB Box Tree Hedge Shears

Another good pair of topiary shears is the WOLF-Garten HSB Box Tree Hedge Shears, which cut through branches like butter. The lightweight model weighs only 230g making them easy to use. You will find that the blades featured in this model are curved to provide precision cutting and they can be sharpened if they get blunt to keep them in perfect condition with a super sharp blade, something this is essential when trimming topiary.

Perfect for box hedges and other larger topiary plants, these shears feature non-sticky blades. It is possible to cut through sappy branches without the blades getting damaged. The shears are comfortable to use because of the ergonomic handles fitted. This model comes with a 10-year guarantee to attest to the reliable quality of the product.

Pros

  • Features sharp curved blades to provide a clean cut.
  • Very lightweight weighing in at 230g.
  • Comes with non-stick blades.
  • Comfortable to use for long periods.
  • Accompanied by a 10-year guarantee.

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey.

Our recommendation

The WOLF-Garten HSB Box Tree Hedge Shears are perfect for larger box hedging jobs in the garden. These sharp shears offer clean cuts and it is lightweight so working with them should not be a problem.

I appreciate that it comes with a 10-year warranty which basically means that if you look after them and keep them well maintained, sharpening the blades, they will last for many years and in return offer excellent value for money.


Buyers Guide

Topiary shears are not hard to purchase, the problem lies in finding the best topiary shears for your type of plants which usually comes down to size. This is because there are many models in the market that it gets confusing between single-handed models for smaller detailed worth to larger shears ideal for hedging.

We have compiled this buying guide to help you find the best Buxus shears which are well worth considering. You better get your mental pen and paper and take some quick notes because it will be a fast one.

Quality of the blades

Quality and sharp blades on topiary shears

The quality of the blades is determined by the materials used. Quality materials will present durable blades that can be re-sharpened for use. Carbon steel is a popular material because it is durable and can be kept sharp for longer. You have the choice to replace or re-sharpen your blade depending on the model you have selected because not all models have spares readily available.

Length of the blades

Topiary shears have long blades approximately 25-30cm tall

The length of the blade matters because it provides easy reach in tight spaces or cut larger areas at branches, for example for hedging. Look for models that feature long blades if you want easy reach. Topiary shears that have short blades tackle plants within reach with ease and more detailed worth with plants like spirals. Consider the thickness, detail and the location of the topiary plants and then select the appropriate shears.

Comfort and handling

lock mechanism on topiary shears, sometimes they are in a inconvenient place and can get in the way when using them

No one likes working with uncomfortable tools and that is why the best topiary shears nowadays are well balanced with comfortable soft-grip handles. Ergonomic handles that can be used with or without gloves are convenient even for those with weak grips.

If you happen to find topiary shears that have anti-jarring features this will help avoid the issue associated with cheaper shears which are jamming up due to not using none stick blades and blunt blades. The opening and closing of the shears should not be a struggle so as to facilitate back to back cuts.

Safety features

Not all models feature a tip/blade protector but if you find one that does, it is a bonus. These blade/tip protectors shield the user from the sharp tips of the blade that can pierce the skin if one is not careful. The tip/blade protector also maintains the blades sharpness and prevents children from prying the shears open.

Price

You can only work with what you have so there is no need of spending too much. Luckily, topiary shears do not cost much therefore you have some wiggle room. Keep in mind that professional topiary shears will cost a tad more because they are designed to keep up constant use.

Warranty

When you get topiary shears that come with a decent warranty you are automatically assured that the shears should be of good quality and manufactured from the best materials that are made to last. There are some models like the Gardena 399-20 Comfort Secateurs that come with a long warranty of 25 years. You are assured that if the product is faulty you can get a solution from the supplier.


FAQs

How do you clean blades with sap stuck on them?

There are different methods one can use to remove sap from the blades. Some use a mixture of methylated spirit and water while others rely on a little lubricant to help scrap the sap from the surface. Use a brush or a blunt tool to scrap stubborn sap out. Be careful not to use too much force especially for shears with a non-stick surface.

Testing topiary shears on buxus cones

How do you maintain topiary shears?

  • It is important to clean the shears after each use to prevent the accumulation of dirt which will cause the blades to go blunt.
  • When the blades get blunt, consider replacing them or re-sharpening them. This is because blunt blades need more muscle power to cut through the plant matter. It’s usually much cheaper to buy a sharpening stone and sharpen the blades than buy new ones.
  • Regular lubrication is good to keep moving parts of the shears working seamlessly, a little WD40 usually does the trick.
  • Replace old springs with new ones to maintain the shears clean cuts.
  • Keep the shears in a safe place where they won’t drop to the ground and get damaged.

Final Conclusion

Have you seen topiary shears that could be given the title of the best Buxus shears? We are sure by now you have an inkling of the kind of topiary shears you want.

Most people will probably be better choosing between the Darlac Expert Garden Topiary Shears which is my best pick and perfect for small topiary plants and the Burgon & Ball GTO/THS RHS Topiary Hedge Shears which are also perfect for box hedging or larger box plants as you have two hands so have better leverage when needed.

As I have explained above they are both top-performing shears that will get the job done.


Last update on 2022-03-17 / 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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