What are Garden Shears?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

A pair of garden shears is the perfect tool for any gardening project. Although in most cases, garden shears look like a pair of scissors, they are designed to prune and trim almost any garden flower or plant. The typical garden shears has two sharp, stainless-steel, serrated blades. Oftentimes, it has a curved section on the blade to cut through thicker items, such as twine, thick stems, and wire.

An expansive garden demands the use of a garden shears.
An expansive garden demands the use of a garden shears.

In some cases, garden shears is a broad term used to describe a wide range of shears. For example, there are also flower shears. They have two anvil-shaped blades that narrow to a point. They are ideal for cutting flowers and reaching tight or compact areas of a plant or flower.

The wide range of garden shears can also encompass grass shears. Grass shears are best used for trimming the grass or plant-life that surrounds structures such as fence posts, sprinkler heads, brickwork or bird fountains. They can be manual, electric, or battery powered. Grass shears typically have either two long, sharp blades that are pointed or multiple shorter blades that move rapidly to cut grass or even to trim plants. Usually the ones that move rapidly are powered by electricity or batteries.

Another example of garden shears are hedge shears. They are usually electric or battery powered. Hedge shears have a long blade – perfect for trimming and sculpting shrubs, hedges, or small tree limbs. When choosing a garden shears that will trim hedges, it is important to find one that is lightweight and that has serrated blades.

There are several ways to keep a pair of garden shears sharp. A professional blade sharpener at a specialty store or a quality hardware store is one option. Another way to sharpen the blades without spending a lot of extra money is to do it yourself. Depending on whether the blade is straight or has a serrated edge, there are a few ways to sharpen it:

• If the blades are serrated, use a serrated sharpening tool – it can be purchased at most hardware stores.

• If the blades are straight, use a metal mill file.

• In some cases, cutting through sandpaper may sharpen a straight blade enough to reduce dullness.

Proper maintenance of garden shears is important to keeping them in great condition. Clean off excess dirt, dust, or debris. If necessary, wash them in a bucket of warm water. Then, dry them off. If rust develops, rub the affected area with steel wool. Sand any rough areas of the handle – if the handles are wooden – and condition with a paste wax. Lubricate the pivot mechanism with oil and store the garden shears in a dry place.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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