Lopping Shears Vs. Basic Hand Shears Lopping Shears Vs. Basic Hand Shears

There are a few different types of gardener’s shears to choose from. There are a few different styles of hand shears that can be operated with one hand. Lopping shears, are also available for the gardener but are operated with two hands, one hand is used for each long handle.

Lopping Shear Uses

Lopping shears require the extra handle length for leverage and torque. The long handles add power to the cutting action of the blades, enabling the gardener to prune small tree branches and practically any size of shrub. Another benefit of the longer length of lopping shears is the ability to reach overhead branches.

Recent advances in technology have produced lopping shears with ratchet or gear powering, adding extra torque and making most tree-pruning jobs almost effortless.

Garden Shears

This generically-named variety of hand shears conjures classic images of red handles and leveraged blades. Garden shears are terrific for medium-duty jobs such as smaller shrubs and woody-stemmed flowers. Garden shears may have anvil blades, characterized by a sharp, knife-like blade hitting the flat surface of the other blade, perfect for some deadwood cutting needs. Other garden shears are called bypass pruners, with scissor-like blades that mimic a bird’s beak and offer a cleaner, straighter cut - often less likely to wound the plant or spread disease.

Flower Shears

At the other end of the spectrum from lopping shears are flower shears. These are hand shears specifically designed to cut flowers, especially deadheads. Smaller handles and shorter blades allow finesse and easy maneuvering to cut off deadheads while avoiding fresh blooms. Flower shears are available in various handle sizes and styles to suit different ergonomic needs, but are characterized by the smaller blades.

Bonsai Shears

Tiny trees with thick bark require a special tool, strong yet small enough to reach tight places. Bonsai shears look much like flower shears, but the blades are shorter and fatter, enabling the bonsai gardener to avoid snipping any important branches by accident. The blade action is scissor style like a bypass pruner, which guards against crushing any branches.

Grass Shears

Grass shears look quite different from the other hand shears described above. Operated with one hand, the handles are spring-loaded, and compress together as the user squeezes. The handles are oriented perpendicular to the blades. Blades on grass shears look like very long scissor blades, and are designed to trim grass around buildings, fences and mailbox posts – all the places that one might use string trimmer, instead.

Hedge Shears

Though hedge shears typically look like a hybrid of basic hand shears and lopping shears, no discussion of garden shears is complete without a mention of this tool. Hedge shears have long handles like loppers, but much longer blades. The long blades on hedge shears are designed to trim leaves and small branches, and to reach more cutting area with each slice. Hedge shears have been largely replaced by electric hedge trimmers, with serrated blades that operate much like an electric meat carver. From lopping shears to tiny herb snipping flower shears, today’s gardener can always find the right tool for their needs.

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