Trimming hedges can be a tedious, labor-intensive job that’s only made worse if you have old or rusty shears — or none at all!
Pruning shears can be used in a pinch, but their short blades will make the job even more difficult. New, high-quality hedge shears are the answer.
Luckily, many shears on the market today have special features to make the strain of trimming hedges easier on your arms and shoulders.
If you’ve taken a look at the buying choices for hedge shears, however, you may have quickly realized how many there are.
To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best hedge shears, as well as a buying guide. Read on to find the best hedge shears for you.
|TABOR TOOLS B620A|
The Okatsune 7744ai Precision Hedge Shears are our best overall choice because they’re used by professional gardeners in Japan. The handles are made of smooth Japanese white oak. The shears are lightweight — only 1 lb. 12 oz. These are shorter shears, at 22” overall. We liked that the shears are made of high-quality Izumo Yasuki steel. Because they’re so sharp, the shears do most of the work for you. This reduces shoulder and arm fatigue.
The only negative we encountered for these shears is the price, as they’re on the more expensive side. Otherwise, these are extremely high-quality shears.
The Tabor Tools B620A Hedge Shears are the best value hedge shears for numerous reasons. The wavy blade design allows for precise cuts, and the steel handles are strong and durable. The handles also feature shock-absorbing, non-slip grips, which helps prevent arm fatigue while cutting. The adjustable blade tension allows you to pick the most comfortable setting for whatever you’re cutting. The handle and blades are of medium length at 25”, which might be the ideal size depending on your height.
We found that at over two pounds, these shears are heavier than a few of the others on this list. They also have questionable durability, as many of the smaller parts — like the bolts — can break easily.
The ARS HS-KR1000 Hedge Shears are another professional landscaping option. The blades are made of steel for lasting sharpness, but they are also replaceable, which helps extend the overall life of your shears. A pivot bolt allows you to adjust the blades to match the thickness of the branches you’re cutting. At 1.7 lbs., these shears are also lightweight.
Perhaps because they’re so light, these shears feel a bit flimsy, and their durability is questionable. The blades also become dull quickly, so you will often need to sharpen them or buy replacement blades.
Bahco P51-F Hedge Shears offer consistently sharp cuts. This tool is high quality and good enough for professional use. We liked the partly serrated edge, as it enables you to cut up to 15mm-thick branches. The steel handles are also coated with epoxy resin for rust protection. Double rubber bumpers provide shock absorption to reduce arm fatigue.
Because they’re on the heavier side, these can quickly become uncomfortable to use. They’re also not the best choice for thicker branches.
These Fiskars PowerGear Hedge Shears made our list because they are the winner of the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation. The razor-sharp, precision-ground blades cut with less resistance, the blades have rust-resistant coating, and the handles are tough duraframe steel. This tool weighs less than two pounds and is easy to use.
Even though the blades have a rust-resistant coating, we found that they still rust easily. These shears are also made in such a way that they feel flimsy, which doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence in something meant to be cutting branches. Despite the company’s claims that the blades are really sharp, we found that in practice, this just isn’t the case.
The Corona Extendable Hedge Shear is a great choice if you want extra features. The handles are made of lightweight steel and have comfort grips, and the blades are made of high-carbon steel. The handles also extend from 15 inches to 26 inches, which is ideal if you have a variety of hedges to trim. Lastly, the shears have a pivot bolt that provides a smooth cutting action.
These are among the heaviest shears on our list, though, at 3.5 pounds. They also tend be difficult to use because the blades aren’t very sharp and the extendable handles also tend to slip. The overall quality of this tool is questionable since it can break easily.
Gnome Garden Hedge Shears have a few features with your comfort in mind, such as ergonomic, soft-grip handles to make them easier to hold and shock-absorbing, rubber-impact bumpers to reduce the stress on your arms. The blades are made of steel and are surface polished and heat treated for durability. Their curved shape also prevents slipping when pruning branches.
These shears are heavy, though. They weigh just under 3 lbs., which can cause arm fatigue after long periods of use. We also found that the blades need to be sharpened often, which can be inconvenient when you’re trying to trim multiple hedges. They break easily too, which makes us question their durability.
The FLORA GUARD Professional Extensible Hedge Shears (not a typo, we promise!) feature sharp, wavy blades for precision cuts and handles made of lightweight steel. These shears have non-slip, shock-absorbing bumpers to reduce arm fatigue. The handle length is 26 inches and extends to 34.6 inches, which can be helpful if you have different-sized hedges to trim.
At a little over three pounds, these shears are on the heavier end of our list. Over time, they can cause fatigue in your arms and shoulders. The wavy blades are great for smaller cuts, but they will not cut through thick branches. The handle also breaks easily, as it tends to separate from the blade.
The main feature of the KSEIBI Hedge Shears is that they have telescopic extendable handles — they can increase in length from 27 inches to 40 inches. They also have a pivot bolt to adjust the blade tension, which is helpful if you have a variety of branches to trim. The blades are razor-edge and made of hardened steel.
Though they’re made of aluminum, these shears are on the heavier end at 2.75 pounds. They also break easily. The telescopic feature is nice in theory, but it also weakens the overall design. The blades can quickly become dull, and you’ll have to spend time sharpening them. The handles bend easily, so we don’t feel that they’re very durable.
As an inexpensive option, the Gilmour Basic Hedge Shears are small and lightweight. They feature 8-inch, nonstick-coated blades. The bottom blade is serrated, which is helpful for gripping thin branches. The aluminum handles have cushion grips for comfort.
The blades on these are not sharp enough for most cutting tasks, and we found that they rust quickly. Compared to many of the others on our list, these shears are very short. This can cause a great deal of fatigue in your arms and shoulders if you have to reach above your head to cut branches. We also found that the blades bend easily, especially with thicker branches. Overall, these shears seem to be of poorer quality than the others on our list.
When considering the best type of hedge shears, there are many features to look for. Depending on how much you’ll use the shears — if you have a yard full of hedges to maintain or just a few, for example — certain criteria will matter more than others.
If you’ll be trimming multiple hedges, then it would be best to find the lightest shears you can. Generally, shears with aluminum or fiberglass handles will be lighter than wooden or steel ones. Hedge shears can weigh anywhere from a little over 1 lb. to nearly 4 lbs.
Since many hedges are above shoulder height, it can become a serious workout for your back and shoulders. This should be taken into account when you look into the weight of each product.
The length of the blades is an important consideration, depending on what kind of hedges you’ll be trimming. For smaller jobs that require up-close work, smaller 6-inch blades will work well. If you have a row of tall hedges with a great deal of growth, then longer 9-to-12-inch blades with long handles will allow you to extend the reach of your arms.
If you plan on sharpening your blades regularly, then it’s best to look for shears with straight blades. This type of blade sharpens easily with a millstone. Serrated blades, though, are ideal for gripping and cutting twigs that are bigger than ¼ inch.
Not all shears can cut thick branches, so it’s important to consider the cutting capacity of each pair of shears. Most will not be able to cut branches larger than half an inch, and some will only be able to cut ¼ inch branches at a time.
Some shears have gear technology, which allows for easier cutting. It’s typically the most helpful on branches that have been allowed to grow thicker. If you’re keeping up with trimming and just have young growth, then the soft branches won’t be as hard to cut, and you may not need an advanced cutting mechanism in that case.
Certain shears will include padding on the handles or shock-absorbing bumpers where the handles come together to reduce the tension on your arms. Some have an easy scissor-like cutting mechanism, and others are a little harder to open and close.
Some blades feature a coating that can prevent rusting and gumming up, which is helpful when they’re being constantly exposed to branch sap. Other shears feature an adjustable pivot-bolt that allows you to change the blade’s tension.
While some blades, like straight blades, allow for easy sharpening, it can also be helpful to choose shears that have replacement blades readily available. This makes it easier to find the parts you need to keep your shears working properly.
Our best overall choice are the Okatsune 7744ai Precision Hedge Shears because of their incredible sharpness and overall quality. Made of Izumo Yasuki steel, these shears do all the work for you by slicing through branches easily.
The Tabor Tools B620A Hedge Shears are our best value choice because the handles feature shock-absorbing, non-slip grips, and the sharp, wavy blade allows for precision cuts. The shears also have adjustable blade tension.
We hope our reviews and buying guide have helped you find the best hedge shears for your trimming needs.
Featured Image Credit By: ARS HS-KR1000, amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!