Selecting The Right Type Of Garden Shears

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One technique to keep a garden in good form is to prune trees and plants. In addition to maintaining the health of vegetation, timely pruning encourages their proper development. Therefore, investing in a pair of high-quality garden shears is vital for pruning in the best way possible.

Pruning both tender and hard plants is best done with shears. Finding shears that are the best all-around choice, though, can occasionally be challenging. And why not? Finding the best option might be challenging when there are so many options on the market.

This may be particularly true if you are unsure of the precise kind you require. What do garden shears perform, how do you choose the proper one, and what tasks do they assist with?

But don’t worry; we understand your predicament and have written this post where we’ll go over the various garden shears and provide tips on picking the best one.

What is a Garden Shear?

What is a Garden Shear?

Garden shear is used to trim or remove branches and stems. These tools help prune branches up to 2 cm. Therefore, we never advise using garden shears to cut thicker branches. Doing so can run you at risk of damaging the blades. Instead, larger cutting tools should prune large branches.

Garden shears are used for various gardening jobs, including pruning shrubs, deadheading flowers, precise clipping hedges, and harvesting crops like tomatoes or herbs.

Therefore, picking the appropriate kind of shears is of the utmost importance. But before we delve into that part, let us talk about the types of shear you will find in the market.

Different Types of Garden Shears

There are indeed a staggering number of garden shears on the market. But not every garden will be suitable for every sort of shear. If you are unaware of the various varieties of garden shears, you might never know which one is best for you. Here is a list of the various garden shear types available and a description of each.

1. Bypass Pruners

Bypass Pruners

Choosing bypass pruning shears is the best option if you wish to prune living branches. In other words, bypass shears might be the best option if your goal is to prune delicate twigs, foliage, blooms, and so on.

These shears have a metal hook that links to the blade. A sharp bypass pruner will easily provide gentle and precise cuts on soft materials.

Best for: Soft, live, and flexible twigs, leaves, flowers, etc.

Note: Bypass pruners come in various sizes. So, before choosing any, put them out in your hand to ensure you are comfortable holding your chosen piece.

2. Anvil Type Pruners

Anvil Type Pruners

Anvil pruners work well to remove dead branches, in contrast to bypass pruning shears. These pruners function as sharp knives on chopping boards. Anvil pruners simply feature a single blade that closes on a metal piece called the anvil.

This characteristic renders this kind of pruner inappropriate for soft branch pruning. However, if your branches are woody or thick, a forceful cut can be achieved with little effort with an anvil pruner.

Additionally, remember that these pruners tend to be hefty, making them unsuitable for cutting tasks that demand agility and precision.

Best for: Dead woods, thick and hard branches.

3. Ratchet Pruner

Ratchet Pruner

A ratchet pruner is perfect if you have a shaky hand or need to cut a thick branch that other shears or pruners can’t handle. Pressure is created as the sharp blade squeezes against the flattened anvil, aiding in the branch-chopping process.

This pruning shear makes it simple by breaking the task of trimming into several phases. The shear will latch against the branch once you’ve squeezed it against it.

You can let go of the tool when it’s convenient and squeeze it again. Until you have chopped the entire branch, you can go back and forth between the steps as often as you want.

Best for: Those with injured or weak hands.

3. Parrot Beak Pruning Shears

Parrot Beak Pruning Shears

Have you ever observed how parrots use their beaks to crush their food? The same principles apply to parrot beak shears as well. These shears have blades that resemble parrot beaks, as the name would imply. These garden shears give a highly precise cut by trapping the branch between the razor-sharp blades.

Best for: A parrot beak shear works best for trimming flowers, dense foliage, vines, etc.

4. Lopping Shears

Lopping Shears

These garden shears, also known as loppers, have long handles. These instruments are perfect for trimming twigs and branches with a diameter of up to two inches. A lopper will provide you the freedom to reach higher and further branches if you have tall or wide trees.

But remember that loopers are available in various sizes, designs, and price ranges. The finest kind will therefore rely on the type of pruning you plan to undertake, your budget, and your preferred size.

Best for: Tall and wide trees and plants. These shears will also suit you if you want trimming tools with a longer handle.

5. Hedge Shears

Hedge Shears

You might occasionally need to make a lot of cuts quickly. A hedge shear could be helpful in these circumstances. These tools have a long, thin blade that can cut a sizable piece at once. In addition, a hedge shear can be used on delicate plants, such as bushes or tree leaves.

We should also point out that two types of blades are available for hedge shears: serrated and smooth. The smoother blade is better suited for small shrubs or hedges, while the serrated one is perfect for trimming course materials.

Best for: Hedges, small shrubs, evergreens, or deadheading perennials. With this kind of shear, you may trim branches with a diameter of up to 2 ¼.

6. Specialty Pruning Shears

You might want specific pruning shears to perform special trimmings, such as snipping or clipping fruits and flowers. The following are a few garden shears with distinctive and unique qualities. Any of these can be chosen based on your needs.

Floral Pruners

As the name suggests, these pruners are ideal for pruning flowers, thorns, deadheading, etc.

Veggie and Herb Shears

As you can assume from the name, these shears are ideal for cutting herbs and vegetables. You can use these shears on any size of veggies and herb plants.

Pruning Saws

These shears work like a lopper. They typically have long handles that make cutting tall branches easier without using a ladder. In addition, many pruning saws are essentially collapsible, making it simple to store them after use in any tiny place.

Pruning Snips

The finest use for these snips is deadheading and shaping tiny plants. However, pruning snips consistently provide clean, quick cuts.

Floral Snips

Floral snips are great for cutting herbs, deadheading flowers, etc. Much like pruning snips, these tools offer precise and agile cuts every time.


As their name implies, multi-snips are excellent for various trimming chores. These snips can be used for various tasks, including deadheading, cutting thin wires, opening sacks, and general light pruning.

Guide to Choosing the Right Garden Shears

You must already be feeling the need to reach for the best pair of garden shears. But if you are unaware of what to look for in garden shears, you risk making the wrong decision entirely. As we previously mentioned, not all types of garden shears are ideal for all types of gardens.

Not to worry, though; this section will go over the factors or features you should examine before choosing any certain pruning shear. Remind yourself that while a dizzying variety of shears is available, you should choose the one that best serves your gardening needs.

Shear Type

You can choose between a manual and an electric shear.

Trimming that doesn’t take much work and can be finished quickly is best done with manual shears. These shears are silent and have shock-absorbing components to reduce strain on the hands and wrists.

On the other hand, if you have extensive trimming jobs, an electric or motorized shear would perform well. But be aware that using electric shears could result in a persistent noise that bothers your ears and the neighbors.

Usually, an electric shear is not necessary for a small garden. However, if your garden border is hedged and frequently needs pruning, you can opt for an electric hedge trimmer.

Blade Type

When thinking of buying the right type of garden shear, you simply cannot overlook the blade types. Hand pruners come in three basic blade types: anvil, ratchet, and bypass. 

  • Anvil: It features a single cutting blade that closes down on a flat edge called an anvil. An anvil blade is most suitable for cutting dead wood.
  • Ratchet: This blade type functions similarly to an anvil blade, although it differs due to the cut mechanism. The ratchet blade reduces hand stress and exhaustion because you can squeeze and release the shear several times until the entire branch is cut.
  • Bypass: The bypass blade works well to trim live branches, leaves, flowers, etc. Basically, use a bypass blade if you have delicate plants and require a precise cut. Additionally, this blade can cut through slimy and slimy stems. Also, the living stems are not harmed by the bypass blade, which provides the cleanest cut.


The next feature to look for is the size of the shear. This is important not to land up with a bulk shear that you may not handle comfortably. Following are the standard sizes for pruning shears. Refer to the list and choose the one that serves your purpose.

Type of ShearsAverage Sizes (inches/ length)
Bypass4 to 5
Lopping20 to 25
Hedge Shears23
Parrot-Beak Shears8
Ratchet Pruners8

Tip: If you have a smaller hand, it is ideal to choose smaller garden shears. This is help prevent straining your hands.


Although this is not the most apparent thing to check, the spring of a garden shear should always be considered. Choosing garden sheers that come with coated high-quality stainless steel is always advised.

The Cut

You definitely wouldn’t want a pair of pruning shears that fall apart after just a few uses. So it’s crucial to inspect the shear’s substance. Look for hand pruners made of forged carbon steel while comparing prices. Carbon steel has a long lifespan and is resistant to oxidation and the elements.

In addition, when purchasing a pair of garden shears, think about the diameter of the branch you intend to prune. We make this claim based on the fact that different garden shears have varying cut capabilities. 

For instance, a lopper may sever stems with a diameter of up to 2 inches. On the other hand, certain hand shears can handle branches with a diameter of up to one inch better.

Specialty shears, like fruit pruners, herb pruners, etc., will work best on tender twigs and flowers. So, do not attempt to trim larger or tucker branches with these tools.


Pruning can be time-consuming, and selecting the incorrect pruner can stress your hands. Thus, you must pay close attention to the design of the garden shears or pruners you choose.

A set of ergonomically created shears can come in handy whether you frequently prune or for extended periods. However, the design of the shears you are using will determine how comfortable a pruning experience you will have. 

Therefore, we advise selecting a garden shear that has an ergonomic design, is compact, and has features that are comfortable to hold.

Additionally, check to see if the garden shears have non-slip padded handles to reduce cutting shocks and provide a secure hold.


High-end features on garden shears will often cost extra. And it is worth investing in a good quality garden shear to ensure its durability. 

However, if money is tight, try to pick a garden shear with the most qualities mentioned above and is reasonably priced. We do not suggest that you purchase a pruning shear with all the bells and whistles if you are not frequently into pruning activities

Which Garden Pruner is Best for Me?

It is really challenging to provide a definite response to this question. What kind of pruning you wish to do will determine what kind of garden pruner is best for you. Let us inform you that the market is filled with thousands of pruner brands. 

But, because bypass pruning shears provide the tightest and sharpest cuts, the majority of gardeners like them. Additionally, using a bypass pruning shear is simpler to operate.

However, consider that your needs and options for pruning may differ. So, avoid following market trends. Instead, pay attention to your requirements and choose the appropriate garden shears.

We looked at various types of garden shears on the market. The garden shears listed below are some of our favorites. The recommended features, such as sharp blades, a sturdy construction, ergonomic grip designs, and others, are present in these shears.

Fiskars Gardening Tools - Bypass Pruning ShearsFiskars Gardening Tools: Bypass Pruning ShearsBypass pruning shear• All-steel blade
• Rust-resistant
• Non-slip grip handle
• Suitable for branches up to 5/8" in diameter
• Not suitable for thick branchesCheck Price
Fiskars 79436997J Softgrip Bypass PrunerFiskars 79436997J Softgrip Bypass PrunerBypass pruning shear• Suitable for ornamental shrubs and trees
• Razor-sharp blades
• Low-friction coating on blades
• Cup capacity of 5/8 inch
• The springs tend to fall off easilyCheck Price
Corona Compound Action Anvil LopperCorona Compound Action Anvil LopperLopper• Cut capacity of 1 1/2"
• 32" fiberglass handles
• Resharpenable blades
• High-carbon steel anvil blade
• Not much durable
• Not suitable for live twigs
• Not great for precise and flexible trims
Check Price
Gardena 8903 Anvil PrunerGardena 8903 Anvil PrunerAnvil shear• Cutting diameter- 0.7" - 1"
• Fiberglass reinforced handle
• Nonslip coated blades
• Manual
• Not suitable for live twigs
• Lacks sharpness than bypass shears
Check Price
The Gardener's Friend PrunersRatchet shearRatchet shear• Ergonomic design
• 220 Grams
• Ideal for small snips
• Good grip
• Impossible to lockCheck Price


So, this was our take on selecting the right type of garden shears. We agree that it might be overwhelming to choose the best garden shear.

However, please pay attention to the shears’ size, length, weight, blade, pricing, etc., and match them to your pruning needs. The products that perfectly match your requirements are the ones you should choose.

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide to selecting the best garden shear. Please share your thoughts on this article and your experiences using garden shears. We’d love to hear your perspective.

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