Gardening is a wonderful hobby that requires the right tools to make it as enjoyable and effective as possible. One of the most important tools in a gardener’s arsenal is a pair of garden shears. Whether you’re pruning bushes, trimming hedges, or shaping plants, garden shears will make the job easier and more precise.
But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for you. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right garden shears.
Types of garden shears
Garden shears, also known as pruning shears or clippers, are a crucial tool for any gardener. They are used to trim shrubs, prune bushes, and shape plants. With so many different types of garden shears available, it can be challenging to know which ones to choose.
Here are some of the most common types of garden shears and what they are best suited for.
Bypass Pruning Shears
These are the most common type of garden shears and are best suited for general pruning tasks. They have two blades that slide past each other, making precise cuts on live or green growth.
The ideal application for bypass pruning shears is on green wood. Live plant material responds best to this kind of shear due to the precise cuts that completely cut through the stem.
Anvil Pruning Shears
Anvil pruning shears have one sharp blade and a flat anvil-style blade. They are best used for dead or dry growth and are not recommended for live or green wood as they can crush and damage the stem.
Anvil pruning shears are ideal for cutting old or dry wood. The cutting edge touches down on an anvil, a flat, broad surface.
Ratchet Pruning Shears
Ratchet pruning shears are ideal for those with arthritis or hand fatigue as they require less hand strength to make cuts. Similar to anvil pruners, most ratchet pruners contain one sharp blade and one flat blade.
They have a ratcheting mechanism that increases the cutting power with each squeeze of the handles. As this multipurpose pruner cuts in phases, it is simpler to cut through thicker branches.
How to choose the right garden shears?
The blade material will determine the strength and durability of the shears. The most common materials used for garden shears are stainless steel, carbon steel, and titanium. Stainless steel is rust-resistant and durable, making it a popular choice for garden shears.
Carbon steel is known for its sharpness and is a good option for those looking for precise cuts. Additionally, titanium is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking for a lightweight option that will last for a long time.
Garden shears come in two main blade types: straight and curved. Straight blades are ideal for making precise cuts, while curved blades are better for shaping plants and shrubs.
If you’re pruning bushes, a straight blade will allow you to make a clean cut. On the other hand, if you’re shaping a shrub, a curved blade will help you create a more natural shape.
The length of the blade will determine how easily you can access tight spaces and make precise cuts. Longer blades can be useful for reaching high branches, but they can also be more difficult to control for delicate tasks. Shorter blades are easier to control, but may not reach as far.
Consider the type of plants and shrubs you’ll be working with when choosing the blade length.
The handle material can impact the comfort and grip of the shears. Options include plastic, rubber, and wood. Rubber and wood are more comfortable to hold for extended periods of time, but plastic is more durable and resistant to moisture.
While choosing a shear, consider how often you’ll be using the shears and how long each use will be when deciding on the handle material.
Some garden shears come with adjustable blades, which allow you to change the blade’s position to better suit your cutting needs. This can be a useful feature for those who need to make precise cuts at different angles.
The weight of the shears will impact your hand fatigue during prolonged use. Lighter shears are easier to handle, but may not be as durable as heavier options. Consider how often you’ll be using the shears and how long each use will be when deciding on the weight.
Also, you should take the ergonomics of the shears into account. Look for a shear that has cushioned handle and fits the hand gently and tightly. Some shears also include handles that rotate to relieve pressure, and this frees the user from bending their hands.
Majority of shears come with a safety lock feature that keeps the jaws locked while not in use. This keeps the blades from being completely exposed, which may be dangerous in your toolbox. If safety is an important aspect, choose a pruner that will keep you safe.
Cleaning and maintenance
After each use, it is important to clean the blades of your garden shears. Dirt, sap, and other debris can accumulate on the blades and dull them over time.
Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe down the blades, removing any dirt, sap, or other debris. If the blades are especially dirty, you can use a solution of warm water and soap to clean them. Make sure to dry the blades thoroughly after cleaning.
When not in use, it is important to store your garden shears properly. Do not leave them outside in the rain or other inclement weather, as this can cause rust and corrosion. Store them in a dry, cool place and protect them from moisture.
Even though gardening may be enjoyable, it also entails a lot of responsibility, particularly when it comes to caring for the health and general well-being of your plants.
Choosing the right garden shears is an important decision that can greatly impact the effectiveness and enjoyment of your gardening experience. We hope our guide to choosing the right shears has helped you out. Happy gardening!