Long Handled Shears: What Are They and How to Use Them?

long handled hedge trimmer

Have you ever struggled to reach those high branches or trim your hedges without straining your back? Long-handled shears might be the perfect solution for you. Long-handled shears are essential. They are for maintaining hedges, trimming grass, and shaping shrubs.

In this article, we’ll delve into what long-handled shears are and how you can use them effectively in your garden. By reading this, you’ll learn about the types of long-handled shears. You’ll learn about their benefits and tips for using them to maintain your garden easily. 

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, this guide will help you keep your garden neat and healthy. It will do so without hassle.

What Are Long-Handled Shears?

long handled pruning shears

Long-handled shears are a type of gardening tool. They are designed for trimming and shaping plants. They have extended handles that let the user reach higher or further without straining. These shears are great for cutting hard-to-reach branches. They are also useful for trimming hedges and maintaining lawn edges. 

Their design combines the use of scissors with the ease of long handles. This makes them a useful tool for any gardener.

Types of Long-Handled Shears

There are several types of long-handled shears, each suited for different gardening tasks. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right tool for your specific needs.

Hedge Shears

Hedge shears are designed for trimming and shaping hedges. They typically feature long, straight blades that can make clean, precise cuts. The long handles provide leverage. This allows for efficient cutting of thick branches and dense foliage.

Grass Shears

Grass shears are ideal for trimming grass in areas that a lawnmower can’t reach, such as along fences, around trees, and near garden beds. These shears usually have angled blades that make it easy to cut grass at ground level.

Pruning Shears

Pruning shears, also known as loppers, are used for cutting thicker branches and stems. They have strong, curved blades and long handles. These provide the needed strength and reach to prune trees and large shrubs well.

Read: Brush Cutter Safety Tips: How To Operate a Brush Cutter Safely

Benefits of Using Long-Handled Shears

Long-handled shears offer several advantages that make them indispensable for gardeners. Here are some key benefits:

  • Extended Reach: The long handles let you reach higher branches and deeper into hedges. You can do this without a ladder. It enhances safety and efficiency.
  • Leverage and Power: The handles provide extra leverage. This makes it easier to cut thick branches and dense foliage with less effort.
  • Precision and Control: Long-handled shears offer better control and precision. They let you make clean, exact cuts. These cuts promote healthy plant growth and keep a tidy look.
  • Ergonomic Design: These shears are designed to reduce strain on your back and shoulders. They make gardening tasks more comfortable, especially during prolonged use.

How to Use Long-Handled Shears

Using long-handled shears effectively involves understanding the proper techniques for different gardening tasks. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these versatile tools.

1. Trimming Hedges

When trimming hedges, it’s essential to start with a plan. Determine the desired shape and height of your hedge before you begin. Hold the shears with both hands, keeping your grip firm but relaxed. Use smooth, even strokes to trim the sides and top of the hedge, working from the bottom up. Regularly step back to check your progress and ensure a uniform shape.

2. Cutting Grass

For cutting grass along edges and in tight spots, hold the shears at a slight angle to the ground. Use short, controlled snips to trim the grass, avoiding the temptation to rush. This technique helps prevent uneven cuts and promotes a neat, manicured appearance. 

Regular maintenance with grass shears can enhance the overall look of your lawn, especially in areas that are hard to reach with a mower.

3. Pruning Trees and Shrubs

When pruning thicker branches, use long-handled pruning shears for better leverage. Position the shears around the branch, ensuring the blade is aligned with the desired cut. 

Apply steady pressure to make a clean cut, which helps the plant heal more quickly and reduces the risk of disease. Focus on removing dead, damaged, or crossing branches to improve the plant’s health and shape.

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Maintenance and Care

To ensure your long-handled shears remain effective and durable, proper maintenance is crucial. After each use, clean the blades with a damp cloth to remove sap and debris. Regularly oil the pivot points to keep them moving smoothly. 

Sharpen the blades as needed to maintain their cutting efficiency. Store your shears in a dry place to prevent rust and prolong their lifespan.

Safety Tips When Using Long Handled Shears

While long-handled shears are designed to make gardening easier, it’s important to use them safely. When using long-handled shears, safety should be a top priority. It prevents injuries and ensures effective gardening. 

  1. Always wear gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to shield your eyes from debris. Be mindful of your surroundings, especially when trimming near power lines or other hazards. Use both hands to maintain control and stability, and avoid overreaching, which can lead to accidents.
  2. Always inspect your shears before use to make sure they are in good condition. Check for any loose parts, rust, or dull blades that might compromise their performance and safety. Sharp blades reduce the effort required and make cleaner cuts, reducing the risk of slipping and causing harm.
  3. Proper handling is crucial. Always hold the shears with both hands, keeping a firm grip to maintain control. Use your dominant hand to guide the shears and your other hand to support and stabilize. When cutting, ensure your hands and fingers are clear of the blades’ path to avoid accidental cuts. Wearing gloves can provide extra protection and improve your grip, especially if the handles are slippery.
  4. Be mindful of your posture while using long-handled shears. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for better balance and distribute your weight evenly. Avoid overreaching or twisting your body, as this can lead to strains or falls. If you need to cut higher branches, use a stable ladder rather than stretching beyond your comfort zone. Take breaks to avoid fatigue, which can compromise your concentration and safety.
  5. Lastly, store your shears properly after use. Clean the blades to remove any sap or debris, which can cause rust or reduce effectiveness. Store them in a dry place, out of reach of children, and always engage any safety locks if available. Follow these safety tips. They will help you use your long-handled shears well and reduce the risk of accidents in your garden.
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Table: Comparison of Long-Handled Shears Types

Type of ShearsBest ForBlade DesignKey Features
Hedge ShearsTrimming and shaping hedgesStraightLong blades, extended handles
Grass ShearsTrimming grass in tight spotsAngledGround-level cutting
Pruning ShearsCutting thick branchesCurvedRobust blades, high leverage

Choosing the Right Long-Handled Shears

Selecting the right long-handled shears depends on your gardening needs and personal preferences. Consider the following factors when making your choice:

  • Blade Material: The blades are made of high-quality steel. They are durable and stay sharp for a long time. This gives clean cuts and lasting performance.
  • Handle Length: The length of the handles should be comfortable for your height and reach. Longer handles provide better leverage but may be heavier.
  • Grip Comfort: Ergonomic grips can reduce strain on your hands and wrists, making prolonged use more comfortable.
  • Weight: Lightweight shears are easier to maneuver but may not be as robust for heavy-duty tasks. Balance the weight with the intended use for optimal performance.

Table: Key Considerations for Choosing Long-Handled Shears

Blade MaterialHighSteel for durability and sharpness
Handle LengthMediumComfort and reach for the user
Grip ComfortHighErgonomic grips for reduced strain
WeightMediumBalance of maneuverability and strength


Long-handled shears are invaluable tools for gardeners. They offer extended reach, better leverage, and precise cutting for many tasks. You can use these shears for trimming hedges, cutting grass, or pruning trees. They can help you keep a beautiful and healthy garden. 

Regular maintenance and safety will keep your shears in top condition. They will give reliable performance for years to come. The right pair of long-handled shears lets you tackle any gardening challenge easily. They let you work with confidence. They help you turn your outdoor space into a well-kept oasis.

Understanding the types of long-handled shears and how to use them well can enhance your gardening. It can help you achieve better results.

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