For most everyday pruning jobs, look for multi-purpose shears with 17 – 20 cm (7 – 8″) blades. These will generally cut through stalks up to 10 mm in diameter without being too unwieldy or heavy.
For taller hedges (around 2 m), choose hedging shears with 22 – 30 cm (9 – 12″) blades and look for telescopic handles to avoid messing with ladders. When pruning larger hedges, it can be particularly useful to look for shears with a notch on the blades as this will allow you to cut through woodier branches.
Many of the best garden shears feature blades made from chrome-plated steel. The benefit of this material is that it holds its sharpness well and won’t rust. Sharp blades are indispensable when it comes to gardening work as clean cuts reduce the likelihood of bacteria entering the plant.
Of course, there are lots of different types of shears on the market, including options for grass cutting. If you’re looking to tidy up areas of your garden that the mower can’t reach, choose angled lawn shears to cut grass standing up. A handle length of at least 90 cm will be sufficiently comfortable for quick jobs.
I’ve chosen the ARS-KR-1000 Ultra Light Professional Multi-Purpose Shears as my top recommendation. They’re great all-rounders for pruning, with 18 cm blades that cut branches up to 10 mm in diameter. They’re also extremely sharp, with 47.3 cm handles that provide good leverage when cutting.
For more information about these shears, as well as details of the other garden shears I’ve researched, take a look at the reviews below.