Types Of Cutting Shears And How To Use Them

As a gardener, you should never lack a pair of gardening shears. Gardening shears offer excellent functionality since they help you keep your garden in perfect condition.

Currently, there is a broad spectrum of gardening shears, each offering different functionality. Before purchasing gardening shears, carefully evaluate your needs to determine your best option.

Keep in mind that gardening shears come in different shapes, sizes, and designs.

It would be best to buy gardening shears that match your hand’s size for comfortability. Moreover, if you are left-handed, choose a pair that is comfortable to use.

This article helps you understand the different types of gardening shears available in the market.

Different types of garden pruning shears available

One of the most popular types of shears is the basic pruning shears. These shears are ideal for conducting all pruning jobs. But in particular, they are specially designed for cutting smaller stems and branches.

With basic pruning shears, you can prune over 70% of a bush since you can use them to prune different plant types and species.

Almost every gardener can use pruning shears. These shears incorporate two functional blades that are sharp enough to cut thick stems, twigs, or branches.

You can also use ideal pruning shears to eliminate wilted or diseased plants. Basic pruning shears are often available in local stores like Home Depot. Also, you can find them on Amazon at relatively affordable prices.

Bypass garden pruners

The next type of shears is bypass pruners. Bypass pruners are slightly different in configuration. They have one elongated sharp blade and a lower blunt blade.

Typically, when in action, the elongated blade usually bypasses the shorter blade. Bypass pruners deliver a clean, even cut that protects the plant from damage.

These shears are popular among most gardeners since they are user-friendly and provide a quality job. You can use bypass pruners to prune almost every plant type.

Furthermore, these shears are specially designed for both right-handed and left-handed people. The handle of bypass pruners is also cushioned to provide a firm grip.

One of the main advantages of bypass pruners is that they are budget-friendly and available in most stores.

Hedge Shears

As the name suggests, hedge shears are specially designed to trim hedges. These shears are uniquely manufactured with elongated blades and handles that make long cuts.

This way, they make your work easier, especially when dealing with a lot of plants or trees. Hedge shears are perfect for shaping your garden and boosting your garden’s aesthetics.

Their handles provide extra comfort and enable you to hold them securely without losing your grip.

You can also use hedge shears to trim thick branches. Fortunately, hedge shears are readily available in most online and local stores like Home Depot.

Needle-Nose Pruners

These shears incorporate two sharp straight edges that can cut smaller branches with diameters of less than 0.75 inches.

Thus, needle-nose pruners are perfect for cutting tinier branches. Their handles are user-friendly and slip-resistant. They allow you to hold them firmly without constantly slipping.

The best thing about needle-nose pruners is that they are budget-friendly; you can find them for as low as $20.

Moreover, needle-nose pruners are well-known for performing a wide range of functions.

You can use them to prune small plants and trees. If you have tiny hands, needle-nose pruners are one of your best options.

Thinning Shears

Another type of shears is thinning shears. As the name suggests, these shears are specially designed for pruning delicate plants.

Thinning shears are slightly smaller compared to other shear types. So, they are best for cutting small plants and trees.

Although they have smaller blades, thinning shears can last for decades without the need for replacement.

One of the main benefits of thinning shears is that they have an adjustable pivot which makes them user-friendly. Anyone can use thinning shears; they function like standard barber scissors.

Moreover, their handles are slip-resistant, allowing you to hold them firmly during use.

Not to mention, thinning shears are affordable; you can find them for as low as $30. You can find these shears at various online stores and local stores near your area.

Lopping Shears

If your garden has plants with extra thick branches, lopping shears are your best option. Lopping shears are popularly known to cut big stems and branches.

They incorporate oversized handles that make it easier for you to prune large plants and trees.

When using these shears, you need to use both hands. Lopping shears are enormous. Thus, they need two hands during operation.

Lopping shears often come in handy when you cannot prune larger branches. You can always find these shears in online stores or local stores.

Ratchet Pruners

Ratchet pruners are perfect for gardeners who have minimal strength. These shears can cut thick stems and branches while consuming less effort.

As a result, they simplify your pruning job. So, ratchet pruners are the best if you have an injured hand or wrist.

Also, if you have an underlying health condition that affects your mobility, ratchet pruners are your best alternative. Additionally, ratchet pruners have robust non-slip handles that allow you to hold them firmly.

Ratchet pruners come in different designs and can be found at Home Depot.

Pole Pruners

Consider pole pruners if you plan to prune your trees. Pole pruners are strong enough to trim thicker branches and stems.

With these shears, there is no need for a ladder. Pole pruners have elongated handles that help you trim the top part of your tree while standing on the ground.

Nonetheless, gardening experts only recommend pole pruners for experienced gardeners. These shears require specific expertise during use. Thus, if you are a new gardener, you might not know how to use them correctly.

You would instead start with basic pruning shears before advancing to pole pruners. There are also electric pole pruners which enable you to complete the job without making any noise.

Anvil Pruners

Unlike most shears, anvil pruners are sharper and more robust. Thus, they are ideal for cutting thicker branches and stems.

Even so, some gardeners report that anvil pruners are not user-friendly. It takes some time to learn how to work best with anvil pruners.

But once you know how to work with these shears, you’ll enjoy a wide range of benefits. You come across thick stems and branches when pruning your garden at times.

It might be difficult to cut these stems using regular shears in such scenarios. Anvil pruners are the best for doing the job.

Contrary to popular belief, anvil shears are not bulky. Thus, they don’t feel heavy on your hands, especially when using them.

One of the places you can find anvil pruners is Hayneedle. When it comes to pruning larger stems and branches, these shears are the best option to use.

Some anvil pruners are often coated with titanium to prevent the clogging of debris and dirt.

Parrot Beak Shears

The parrot beak shears are also a popular option among most gardeners. These shears have two blades that resemble a parrot’s beak, hence the name parrot beak shears.

They have been in existent for decades and are well known for their excellent functionality and reliability. More often than not, parrot beak shears are perfect for cutting flowers and arranging a bouquet.

Parrot beak shears contain both a concave and convex blade to cut thick plants and trees.

They almost work like bypass shears. And like most shears, you can find them online or in your local store.

Electronic Pruning Shears

There are different types of electronic pruning shears in this present age and time.

These shears are more user-friendly since you don’t have to operate them manually.

They use rechargeable batteries and are efficient. Although they are slightly more expensive than standard shears, they offer value for money.

You can find electronic pruning shears going for as low as $50 or less. Of course, the price often depends on the type of electronic pruning shear.

Almost every homeowner can afford this gardening equipment. The best thing about electronic pruning shears is that they help you save time and effort.

Most electronic pruning shears come with a complete kit that enables you to exchange your blades when necessary.

Additionally, they are convenient to carry, especially when moving from one place to another. Luckily, most manufacturers offer durable warranties for electronic pruning shears.

You can find this type of shears from Amazon and most local stores.

Specialty Pruning Shears

Currently, there is a wide range of specialty pruning shears.

These shears are uniquely made to perform specific tasks. Some include:

  • Floral snips:

These specialty shears can perform the same tasks as floral pruners. Nevertheless, they provide extra comfort and security when in use. You can use them to  cut deadhead flowers and herbs.

  • Pruning saws:

On the other hand, pruning saws are ideal for cutting higher branches while standing on the ground. With pruning saws, there is no need for a ladder. Pruning saws come in different shapes and sizes. Most of them are flexible hence user-friendly.

  • Floral pruners:

Floral pruners are often used to get rid of thorns, pruning stems, and deadheading flowers.

  • Multi-snips:

Multi-snips are well known to perform various pruning functions. You can use them to deadhead flowers and conduct light pruning in various plant types.

  • Veggie and herb shears:

As the name suggests, veggie and herb shears are perfect for cutting vegetables and herbs. One of the main advantages of these specialty shears is that you can use them to prune any plant size and species.

  • Pruning snips:

These specialty shears are ideal for delivering a quick and neat job. You can use them to prune small plants or trees.

Pruning Shears for Special Needs

Luckily, there are pruning shears for people with special needs. So, you need not worry if you suffer from an underlying condition like arthritis, among other mobility conditions.

Also, if you are old and your body doesn’t have much strength, you can always find pruning shears that work best.

If you have an underlying condition that limits your mobility, below are some of the features to look out for when purchasing gardening shears.

High-carbon steel blades:

Always purchase gardening shears with high-carbon steel blades. Such shears are sharper and much easier to use.

Thus, you need not use a lot of effort when using them.

Non-slip handles:

Ensure that the shear handles are slip-resistant and less bulky. This way, they won’t strain your hands during use. Additionally, they should be well-cushioned to provide extra comfort during use.

The shear handles should also be robust to avoid any accidents that might cause injuries.


Your gardening shears should have locks to provide maximum safety. These locks should also help you keep the shears closed when not in operation.

Sharp Blades:

The shears’ blades should be extra sharp and durable. This way, you won’t have to use a lot of effort when using them. Moreover, they should be able to stay sharp for long periods.

Before buying any gardening shears, take time to understand their features. If you have an underlying condition, conduct thorough research and find the most recommended shears.

Consequently, you’ll be able to enjoy gardening despite your health condition.

The main features of pruning shears

Below are the main features found in every type of shears.


Every shear has blades. The material of the blades usually varies depending on the type of shears.

Some blades are made with stainless steel. Most shear blades are non-stick and sharp to offer excellent functionality.


Handles are also a central feature of shears. Most shear handles are well-cushioned and slip-resistant to offer maximum comfortability during use.

In summary

At present, numerous types of shears offer different functionality.

Some of the main types of shears include basic pruning shears, anvil shears, and electronic pruning shears.

Each shear type usually caters to a wide range of requirements. So, before you purchase any shears, ensure you analyze all your requirements.

From there, it will be much easier to find what works best for you.