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Best Garden Shears - Garden Shears Reviews

Updated on March 21, 2016
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Enda is an avid gardener and also a builder who loves creative landscaping. He loves to share his tips with those who enjoy their gardening

An Introduction To Gardening Shears

If you’re looking for the best garden hedge shears to make cutting hedges a quick and simple task and save you some time then, the Gilmours Basic Hedge Shears is the pair to get. We spent a lot of time and consulted with many members of our gardening club to narrow these shears down to the most popular. When we had done that then we finally decided that these Gilmour shears were the best of the bunch and certainly the best value for money.

Gilmour Basic Hedge 8-Inch Coated Blades

Gilmour 8 Basic Hedge 8-Inch Coated Blades 8, Pack of 1
Gilmour 8 Basic Hedge 8-Inch Coated Blades 8, Pack of 1

This is the best seller on Amazon and for a simple basic set of garden shears, at an affordable price, I would tend to agree with that. They are good enough quality and for under $20 you are getting good value for money.

Are they the best?

No, not really as there are much better ones on the market, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for. These will cut hedges easily enough and they are well made. They are sturdy well balanced and the blades are sharp.

If you know gardening then you will already know the brand. The grip is comfortable and they have a nice cutting action.


Top Rated Garden Shears


What To Look For?

The blades are of course very important and they need to be sharp (and stay sharp) and of the various working parts these are the most important thing to look for.

Many of the modern day shears also have gears. They help with the cutting action and especially for people who do not have huge strength in their arms and hands. By adding gears you can get a very strong cutting action with minimum effort.

Extendible - Many of the shears these days are telescopic and again is something that you should look out for if you need to cut higher up or cut a wider hedge.

Garden Shears Buying Guide

Who Am I?

Don't worry I am not going to bore you with a whole lot about me. I have been gardening for years and I do enjoy it. Like any gardener we all use tools and no doubt we will all have our own favourites. I also belong to a gardening club and all of us have our own gardens and most of us also have an allotment. We talk a lot about tools and what works best so we do have a lot of shared knowledge.

Any opinions offered here are my own of course but I also do listen to my gardening colleagues and we use many of the products.

Quick Gardening Poll

How Big a Gardener Are You?

See results

Who should and should not buy Shears?

Let's face it folks some people will either be able to afford to pay a gardener to come in and look after their hedges and shrubs. The majority of people will of course use the electric hedge clippers which are a huge time saver. So in the main and certainly for these two groups of people, there will not be a huge requirement to buy a pair of hand shears.

There are however sometimes when you want to do a quick trim of a hedge, bush, shrub or lawn edge and that is where hand garden shears can come in very useful indeed. I have also used them for dead heading roses. These can also deal with cutting back bramble.

Before the invention of the electric hedge clippers almost everyone used these to keep their hedges under control. I remember being allowed to use these as a kid by my Dad on the condition that I didn't cut my fingers off. Back then of course there was simply no choice. An old hand mower and a pair of shears was all that you had.

These days I use these for a couple of gardening tasks. There are almost always parts of a hedge that you can not get at with the bigger hedge clippers. These will be hedge growing near a wall, between a wooden fence or perhaps a wrought iron set of railings. You will not want to damage the hedge clippers so some manual intervention is necessary.

I also use these to keep shrubs in shape and size. I just don't like the idea of assaulting a nicely growing shrub with a set of clippers. (One can get carried away) Using hand shears does give you a lot more control and prevents hacking. These are also pretty handy to do the edges of a lawn, especially when a border is involved. I am not a fan of using electric strimmers to do that, as they send grass blowing everywhere and just make a mess.

Best Garden Shears for Cutting Hedges

Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears, 7 5/8" blade, 22" overall length
Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears, 7 5/8" blade, 22" overall length

These are in my opinion thee best shears for cutting hedges. They are expensive though but are the highest quality available in the market in my opinion.

If you want smooth precise cuts from ultra sharp blades then you will fall in love with these Japanese style blades. Using these will cut your trimming time in half and make your gardening life a great deal easier.

These make you feel like a master gardener.


Hedge Clippers

Electric Hedge Clippers
Electric Hedge Clippers | Source

Normal Blades or Telescopic Blades?

That of course depends on how wide your hedge is or how high it is. The only way to check that out is of course to go and have a look. With my own front hedge ordinary length handles will do the job nicely, but my back hedges are higher, so I prefer the telescopic ones for that.

Now in some cases the hedges will be so high that even these normal telecopic hand shears will not reach so you will have to opt for something different.

Normal blade size varies from brand to brand but typically are about 22-23" long with the blade being around 7" in length. if you add on the typical telescopic length, then these can become a lot more useful to have around the home.

Let's Talk Handles

The traditional look is of course wooden handles. There is certainly something nostalgic about those and I do have a strong liking for them. They do take a bit of time though to wear into the shape of your hands. It also makes the handles pretty heavy as well. And finally it does create a weak spot where the wooden handle meets the metal blade.

Almost all of the good quality shears these days use the lighter aluminium option and then use some form of rubber gripping. That is much more ergonomic and looks a great deal better. When you are working with any hand gardening tool, and especialy one you may be using overhead, then the lighter the better to avoid hand and arm exhaustion.

So the decision is always going to be the traditional wooden look versus the more modern and all round better aluminium handles. As these are now all coated and protected from rusting, I would have to say I go for the lighter version with a better grip.

The All Important Cutting Blades for Easy Cutting

With any cutting tool the decision will always come down to, how well do they cut? That is why we put the Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears as our number one choice. They are made from a very high quality carbon steel. The top half of the blade is coated with PTFE to make cutting even easier. The choice of gears then increases the power as and when you need it, and just makes them a bit of a cutting machine.

Many of the shears that we looked at we discarded because the blades are just really poor quality. All that will do is drive you crazy and you end up hacking away as they try to chew their way through the hedge or grass. Then because you have paid for them you get angry but know the chances are you will never use them again. That is when they go into the garage or shed never to be seen again.

Spending a bit extra to get a great cutting blade is absolutley something that we would recommend that you do.

Green Green Grass of Home


Appearance & Vanity

Now please call me old fashioned if you will but I do like to own a good brand when it comes to buying a product. Recently there has been an onslaught of cheap pound shop gardening tools. Yes you know the type when you take them home, use them and then watch them fall apart at the seams.

And yes I might even be a little vain but that's ok as well. When I am out in my garden I do like to have good looking quality tools and not some awful looking luminous yellow clippers with black handles. I have always believed that paying for a little bit of quality means you own something you can be proud of, and they they will last me for many years to come.

Trust me on this one thing, buying cheap garden shears will leave you VERY frustrated indeed.

How To Best Use Garden Shears

How to Look After Your Garden Shears?

Every good gardener knows that they need to look after their tools if they want to keep them in good working order. Personally I have no problem doing that as long as I don’t have to spend hours doing that.

With shears it is not that difficult to do. All you really need to do is three things:

  1. A little oil where the blades intersect and a tin of 3 in 1 is as good as anything out there and only costs about £2
  2. Clean and dry them after use. Even on warm days you need to do this as the sap from the grass, hedges and shrubs will still create moisture on the blades. All you need is an old cloth, and you can also spray on something like WD-40 to give them a quick clean down. Blades like those on the Spear & Jackson Razorsharp are well coated so probably don’t need this, but it would do no harm to clean them anyway
  3. Sharpen the blades – once a year will be enough for shears and for the first couple of years they will probably not need any sharpening. Unless you are skilled at this then just pay someone to do it properly as this is not a skill easily learned.

Gears on Shears

For years people have used shears and they did not have any type of gear system. All you really needed was a little muscle to cut through most hedges and a little extra muscle to get through the thicker stuff.

So if you had arms like a prize fighter then of course that would make life a great deal easier. Most of us do not though and that is why gears help a lot. Now I do not want to sound sexist in any way whatsoever, but it was the ladies in our gardening club who were very clear when they said, they love these gear type solutions.

They just make cutting a great deal easier. The older gardeners also said the same thing. So while a young gardener, male or female, can cut though a hedge quickly and easily, as we age, that task becomes more challenging as we start to get on in years. I include myself in that bracket and shears with gears is the way to go.

One of the main reasons we recommend the Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears is for the very reason that I have outlined above.

Is Weight Important?

When you are working with any tool, gardening or other, then the weight of it is almost always important. One of the major causes of accidents is fatigue, and with shears that can happen if you use them for an extended period of time.

You will be holding these out in front of you and will be using your hands and arms to do the cutting. So any weight if held outwards in the hands will caust fatigue to both the hands because of the gripping, and to the arms because of the weight pushing downwards.

With gardening shears it is all about getting the balance right. Wooden handles will make hedge shears heavier, and the metal in the blades also makes them heavy. So aluminium handles are better as long as they are strong enough and with good grips

Warranties, Guarantees – Peace of Mind

I know when I spend my money on any product that I want to know that if anything goes wrong that I can contact someone quickly and easily and also get the problem resolved.

I am not a brand buyer, but I do like to go with a recognised brand that offers a long warranty – and the longer the better as far as I am concerned. Brands for shears like Spear & Jackson and Wilkinson Sword do offer very good customer service. The shears that I recommend also come with a 10-year warranty and that also helped make those my number one choice.

There is little doubt that you will pay a bit extra for that, but I am ok with that. I like to have a local UK service number. Spear and Jackson are based in Sheffield England and can be contacted on 0114-281-4242 and they also have a website here will full contact details


Hopefully this article has helped you know what to look for if you are thinking about buying a good pair of garden shears. We like the Spear & Jackson range and the first thing you should figure out is whether you want the standard size or the telescopic option that offers more cutting width or height.

The Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Geared Hedge Shears are the best in my opinion for standard shears and for the telecopic option the Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Telescopic Hedge Shears are the best option having considered what is available.


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