A well-landscaped yard increases your home’s curb appeal, so a sturdy pair of hedge shears need to be a part of your yard tool arsenal.
The best hedge shears can quickly and easily trim your bushes, hedges, and small trees, so they always look tidy.
I review the top models inside this buying guide. I also explain the reasons you need hedge shears, their essential features and answer frequently asked questions.
Once you own a quality pair of hedge shears, you can transform your landscape so it always looks neat and beautiful!
Features Most Important To Me:
|Shock Absorbing Material
Detailed List Of The Best Hedge Shears
Fiskars Power Lever Hedge Shears
Reasons To Buy
- Power-lever mechanism with 2X the cutting power
- Soft-grip cushion and bumpers on handles prevents blisters and slippage
- Self-sharpening, hardened-steel blades
- 8″ blade length blasts through pruning jobs fast
- Serrations on the blade holds branches while cutting
Reasons To Avoid
- The shears work best on thinner branches
- Rusting can occur if the tool isn’t cleaned and dry after each use
The Fiskars Power Lever 8″ Hedge Shears feature a Power-Lever mechanism that increases cutting leverage two-fold. That means less strain on your hands, arms, and shoulders.
I like the easy-to-grip soft-cushion handles and the solid 8-inch blades with serrated edges that won’t slip while cutting through branches. Even better, the hardened steel blades self-sharpen during use and have a corrosion-resistant coating for years of cutting without dulling or rust.
On the downside, the shears have difficulty cutting through branches more than half an inch thick, which typically isn’t a concern when pruning shrubbery.
The Fiskars Power Lever 8-Inch Hedge Shears is best choice for homeowners who have more lightweight pruning demands but want a tool that is durable and will work reliably for years.
Best Cutting Reach
FLORA GUARD Extendable Hedge Shears
Reasons To Buy
- 9″ steel blades with wave design cut cleanly to prevent plant damage
- Extendable handles (up to 34.6 inches) lock into place and improve reach
- Rubber handles increase grip comfort, while bumpers prevent jarring
- Teflon coating on blades prevents rust and corrosion
- Blade Elastic Knob lets you loosen or tighten blades for precision cuts
Reasons To Avoid
- Handle construction is lacking in overall strength
- Handles are slightly offset, which can allow the bumpers to miss and pinch your fingers when clipping with lots of force
The FLORA GUARD 26″ Professional Hedge Shears feature an extending handle that increases cutting leverage and comfort during use.
I like the nine-inch blades that prune and shape bushes or hedges cleanly. I’m also a fan of the wavy design on the forged-carbon blades that improve cutting ability all the way through the tip and the adjustment knob to cut large or small branches easier.
On the downside, the lightweight material for the handles can only take so much strain before wanting to bend, so refrain from trying to cut oversize branches with this tool.
The FLORA GUARD Professional Hedge Shears gets top marks for clean cuts and the adjustable handle length. This model is best for homeowners who need extra reach for hard to prune shrubbery that is taller or wider.
Best Cutting Power
OARA Garden Hedge Shears
Reasons To Buy
- 10″-inch” blade clips more branches at once
- 65MN carbon-steel blades are tough yet cut cleanly to the tip
- Teflon coating is easy to clean and prevents blade rusting
- Shock-absorbing bumpers prevents vibration and hand injury
- Soft vinyl cushion grips increase control and comfort
Reasons To Avoid
- The coating on the blades can wear off, which increases the chance of rust
- The bumpers can fall out and get lost
The OARA Garden Hedge Shears features an ergonomic design with shorter handles that lessens fatigue but improves cutting power during use.
I like the commercial-grade carbon steel blades with waves that keep branches in place while pruning so your bushes cut evenly. I also like that the tool’s sharpness remains strong, even after months of use, and the overall weight of the tool isn’t stressful on the arms.
On the downside, the hedge shears’ overall length is only 21 inches, which may be too short to handle all your pruning needs.
What makes the OARA 21″ Garden Hedge Shears a great selection is the ease they cut hedges, especially when you want flat tops or sides. The design allows for precision snips with little effort, which makes it ideal for gardeners who prefer a very manicured look or enjoy creating topiaries.
4. Corona Extendable Hedge Shear
Best For Carbon Steel Blades
Corona Extendable Hedge Shear
Reasons To Buy
- Steel handles twist to extend shears up to 26″ for extra reach while pruning
- 10-inch Maxforged carbon steel blades provide long life
- ShockStop bumper reduces vibration and arm fatigue
- Improved pivot point for strong and smooth cutting action
- Cushioned round handle grips are comfortable and increase safety
Reasons To Avoid
- Blades do not self-sharpen
- Extension of handles is limited and the locking mechanism can loosen during use
The Corona Extendable Hedge Shear features an easy twist-to-extend handle to lengthen them by 11″ to prune out-of-reach growth quickly.
I like lightweight design that doesn’t skimp when it comes to the 10″ forged carbon steel blade with the strength to clip hedges cleanly. I also am a fan of the comfort-grip handles that prevent hands from slipping even if sweaty.
On the downside, while the blades are very sharp upon purchase, they will get dull over time and reduce cutting ability. But, they can be sharpened, even if doing so is an extra hassle.
The Corona HS 3950 Hedge Shears are a list topper for the super sharp and long blade that easily cuts through even thick branches. This hedge shear is best for homeowners who don’t mind sharpening tools before each gardening season.
Best For Newbies And Serious Gardeners
AIRAJ Hedge Shears With Serrated SK-5 Steel Blade
Reasons To Buy
- Extendable handles can increase reach up nearly 37 inches
- 28 cm (11-inch) serrated SK-5 steel blades cut cleanly base to tip
- 20-percent angle from blade to handle increases comfort while cutting
- Handle grips decrease strain while increasing control
- Includes bonus pruning shears and gloves with purchase increases the value
Reasons To Avoid
- Size of blades and handles may be difficult to work in tight spaces
These AIRAJ Hedge Shears feature sleek and powerful serrated SK-5 steel blades that chomp through even tough hedges with little effort.
I like the push-button operation of the extendable handles that move from an impressive 27″ up to 34.6″. The handle ends have a rubber grip that improves control, while the bumper stop keeps your fingers safe while reducing shoulder strain.
On the downside, the size of these hedge shears is more extensive than most and could be troublesome for some people to operate.
The AIRAJ Hedge Shears with Serrated SK-5 Steel Blade is a favorite professional-grade hedge shear because both average homeowners and serious gardeners can benefit from the incredible precision trimming, long-lasting durability, and affordable price point.
Do You Really Need Hedge Shears?
Not everyone needs hand-held hedge shears, but if you have the average amount of shrubbery of most homeowners, they sure do come in handy.
Often when you want to keep your home looking manicured, it doesn’t require expensive or cumbersome electric or gas-powered hedge trimming shears. On the other hand, trying to prune back even one large bush with small pruning clippers can take too much time.
A hedge shear is the perfect size to prune bushes quickly, without causing too much strain on the arms and body, yet is compact enough to store out of the way when not in use.
Here’s a list of benefits of using hedge shears:
- Cleanly clears away overgrowth on hedges and shrubs
- Cut larger areas at once, which helps finish the job faster
- No gas, batteries, or electricity necessary to operate
- Long blades make it easier to control the cutting of flat or rounded shapes
- Safely cuts through small branches and leaves without causing damage to the plant
- Hedge shears work well to cut back grasses or perennials during fall garden cleanup
Just remember that hedge shears are not to cut through thick, woody branches, even if some of the top five hedge shears above can do so easily.
Using hedge shears for a serious tree or bush pruning can break the tool, so remember to use the shears for shrubbery “haircuts” only and opt for pruning saw for the tough cuts.
Important Features To Watch Out For
Let’s look at the features you need to consider before deciding which hedge shears will best suit your needs.
Blades on shears can be straight, serrated, or wavy. Serrated and wavy edges help hold branches in place, so they cut cleanly but are much harder to sharpen as they get dull from use.
The blade length is important, as well. If you have lots of larger bushes or hedgerows, look for longer blades so you can trim them faster. If you have smaller shrubs that are in tighter spaces, shorter blades or loppers may suit you better.
Always look for blades made from hardened or forged steel for durability, with a thickness that prevents bending and allows sharpening. A coating of Teflon or other corrosion-resistant material will prevent rust and improve the ease of operation and cleaning.
The overall length of hedge shears is critical, especially if you have tall or thorny shrubbery to trim.
Some hedge shears have shorter handles, which are better for more control over cutting a shape and will fit into smaller spaces. Others have two feet or longer handles, which can assist you in clipping off unsightly growth out of average reach.
Consider hedge shears that feature telescoping handles that can extend when you need them for the best of both worlds.
The handles on hedge shears need to be strong to withstand the force of constant motion and leverage to cut branches. Look for fiberglass or thick aluminum for a more lightweight hedge shear or wood or steel for something more formidable and weighty.
If your yard requires heavy use of hedge shears, opt for steel or wood handles that won’t break under constant use. Be aware the extra weight may take a toll on your arms, but it’s worth it for the durability.
Hedge shears without grips can slip out of your hand or cause blistering. Any type of rubber or foam cover on the handles is better than none. The thicker the material, the more comfortable they will be to use long-term.
Ease Of Use
Hedge shears work much better when cutting 1/4-inch branches or less. Some shears offer a “cutting notch” to handle thicker branches without damaging the primary blade.
Look for shears that offer adjustment at the blade pivot for the ability to tighten up the spacing to trim even the smallest branches.
Open and close the hedge shears to test how smooth they function and ask these questions:
- Does it feel too tight or sticky during operation?
- Do the blades have a gap between when shut or do they hit and not close fully?
- Can you hold it at the end of the handles and create enough force to clip through a normal branch?
- Does it have bumpers to stop the blades from closing to harshly?
- Is it too heavy or lightweight?
- Does the pivot assembly increase cutting force?
Don’t overlook these issues when deciding which hedge shear to purchase, as you want the tool to work as intended with the least amount of stress on your end.
Hedge Shear FAQs
Can Hedge Shears Be Sharpened?
Hedge shear blades made of steel should be able to be sharpened to maintain a crisp edge. The blade’s thickness will determine how many times a blade can handle sharpening before losing structural integrity. Homeowners can perform a DIY sharpening with a flat metal file and a whetstone by following a video tutorial or written instructions. My go-to option is to take my tools to a professional knife-sharpener who can create a sharper edge than I can at home.
Can I Use Hedge Shears To Cut Grass?
Yes, you can use hedge shears to trim lawn grass that has overgrown. What is beneficial about using hedge shears for this job is that it cuts a large swath of grass flat and even, so it matches the rest of the lawn. You can also use the tool to trim back or shape decorative grasses such as pampas or citronella or cut them to the ground if you live in an area where the plant dies back during winter.