What Are the Different Types of Garden Clippers?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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Different types of garden clippers are available for nearly every task in the garden. The length and shape of the garden clippers' cutting blades vary, depending on the intended use of the clippers. Garden clippers are made out of a variety of materials, and some styles feature ergonomic and cushioned handles as well as mechanisms to ease the strain on the gardeners' hands. Many types of garden clippers are available in both left- and right-handed styles.

Clippers with long blades, such as a serrated hedge shear clipper, can remove much more plant and leaf material with each cut as compared to the cutting path of a stubby clipper. The long length of the blades also require more force in order to cut through heavy foliage, stems and twigs, making the clippers best-suited for light-duty jobs, such as trimming hedges and bushes. The long clippers can also be used to shape and trim ornamental grasses and other easy-to-cut garden plants.

The leverage offered by the short and stubby curved blade of a garden pruning clipper typically provides tremendous cutting power with minimal effort from the user. These types of clippers, or loppers as they are also called, are well-suited to cutting tough stems, as well as larger twigs and small branches. Loppers are available with either long or short handles. While the short handles are appropriate for many tasks, the longer handles make it easier for a gardener to reach overhead or hard-to-access areas.


Garden pruning clippers are available in several styles, including anvil, ratchet and bypass. Anvil-style pruners feature a straight cutting blade that is closed against a flat edge to make a cut. The ratchet pruner works in the same manner, but it also offers additional leverage through a ratcheting mechanism. A bypass garden pruner features a pair of curved blades and works in the same manner as a traditional pair of scissors, with two blades "bypassing" each other to make a cut. The bypass pruner is also available with a built-in irrigation sprinkler adjusting tool, which can save a gardener from having to lug around another tool.

Some garden clippers are needed for light-duty cutting, such as garden scissors and fruit pruners. Garden scissors are used to cut flowers and mulching fabric, as well as thin wire. Curved fruit pruners can be used to harvest tree fruits, flowers and vegetables, as well as deadhead flowers at the end of the growing season.


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